Mind the Gap: Transition from Traditional to Contemporary

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October 24 -25, the Center for Jewish History will host the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) annual conference. This year is titled, Now! And Then? Preserving Modern and Contemporary Collections in Libraries and Archives. From CCAHA, “this two-day conference will explore ways to anticipate, plan for, and address preservation concerns in modern and contemporary collections.”

As part of the conference, two staff members, Kat Fanning and Sarah Hopley, from the Center’s Archive and Library Services division will give a presentation titled, Mind the Gap: Transition from Traditional to Contemporary, which will cover the Center’s own transition from working solely with traditional archival material (paper, A/V, photographs) to contemporary digital collections.

The presentation will highlight the innovative and collaborative approach the Center and five Partners are taking in managing born-digital and time-based media collection materials.

Kat Fanning conducted a survey of both Center and Partner staff to determine current and anticipated digital collection needs. The results of this survey are being used to shape how the Center not only approaches its own digital collections, but also how they can work to best support the Partners.

Across the nine departments in the Archives and Library Services Division, many staff members are cross-trained. This prevents the creation of silos and allows for broad collaboration and contribution from the extraordinary knowledge each person brings. Therefore, when looking at collection and preservation of digital material, we are not just looking at it from the first step of accessioning, we’re also thinking about it from the view of our library systems, preservation, processing, and user accessibility.

Being able to bring all those skills to the table allows the Center to have a broad, overarching view of how to approach the unique puzzle time-based and born-digital collections bring to archives.

  • Sarah Hopley, Senior Manager for Collection Services at the Center for Jewish History

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