Creating a local history archive at your public library

CHICAGO — Archival collections at public libraries present their own challenges distinct from other library materials, but they also offer the promise of unique connections between the library and its users, particularly when the archives relate to local history. Written by Faye Phillips, an archivist and librarian with hands-on experience in multiple archival and manuscripts repositories, “Creating a Local History Archive at Your Public Library,” published by ALA Editions, presents best practices for the acquisition, access, and care of local history materials in public libraries. Providing guidance on creating a new archive as well as reinvigorating an existing one, it addresses:

  • what makes for a successful local history collection, with real-life examples that can serve as models;
  • policies, planning, procedures, and day-to-day work involved with archival collections;
  • processing, from appraisal and legal transfer to arrangement and description;
  • maintenance of the collection, offering guidance on proper care, storage, security, and disaster prevention and recovery; and
  • continuing education for staff.

Phillips is the owner of V F Phillips Consulting specializing in library and archival services, local history research and publications, and appraisal. From 1986 to 2012 she was a librarian, archivist, administrator, and associate dean at the Louisiana State University Libraries in Baton Rouge. Her publications include works on local history, and the administration of archives and special collections. She has designed and taught courses on local history, archival practices, preservation and digital libraries.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions and ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or editionsmarketing@ala.org.

Rob Christopher
Marketing Coordinator
Creating a Local History Archive at Your Public Library
rchristopher@ala.org
ALA Publishing
(312) 280-5052
American Library Association