October is American Archives Month! Established in 2006 by the Society of American Archivists (SAA), American Archives Month celebrates the work done by archivists around the country. Whether they are part of a team, or "lone-archivists," as can sometimes be the case, the work done by them cannot be understated. Archivists are here to help preserve, care for, and make accessible items that are important to the community they serve.
Here at the Eagle Valley Library District, we are celebrating American Archives Month by putting on display some of the tools and materials that archivists use to protect the items that are donated to the archive. Tools such as nylon gloves are used when handling photographs, brittle paper, and negative film. These type of gloves are often used as an alternative to cotton gloves, which can leave behind fibers on the material you are working with. Protective enclosures such as phase boxes can be used to protect old and rare books in your collection that are in poor condition.
Archives are more than just holding repositories though. While a big part of what we do involves the preservation and continued care of materials, we actively work on other exciting projects too! Not only do we work closely with the Eagle County Historical Society, we also conduct oral history interviews with local, long-time residents, actively add obituaries to our genealogy database, and scan photographs to upload to our Digital Archive. Our Digital Archive holds thousands of photographs documenting the history of Eagle County, from the days of the early pioneers to the present. Created to make these historic photographs more accessible to the public, the Digital Archive is just one of the many ways in which the Local History Department actively works to serve the community, as well as visitors, here in Eagle County. Make sure the stop by and check out the new exhibit the next time you’re at the Eagle Library!