[Preservenw] Western States & Territories Preservation Assistance
menges at u.washington.edu
Wed Jul 18 14:41:25 PDT 2007
Western States & Territories Preservation Assistance Service
Many smaller libraries and archives have historical collections of books and
documents that provide rich insight into the particularity of life in their
locales and contribute to an overall understanding of the history of their
regions. They provide the people who live there a strongly felt sense of place
and community. People want to maintain cultural resources in local institutions
to have access to the collective memory of their ancestors.
Some regions in the country are served by regional preservation field services
that provide preservation information and training to the archives, libraries,
and historical societies in their regions. The Western and Pacific states lack
a comparable organization. In addition large geographic distances in the West
and Pacific often prevent the sharing of information between smaller
institutions. To address this need a new group, the Western States &
Territories Preservation Assistance Service (WESTPAS), has been formed in
cooperation with the state libraries and state archives in the region.
WESTPAS is funded by a NEH grant with additional generous funding from BELFOR
USA, a disaster restoration company. It will serve eleven states and three
territories in the Western and Pacific regions (Alaska, American Samoa,
California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana
Islands, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming).
The nationwide Heritage Health Index survey on the state of the preservation of
cultural collections indicated that 80% of libraries and archives in the
Western and Pacific regions are not prepared to respond to a disaster involving
their collections. They have neither a written disaster response plan nor a
staff trained to carry it out. To help address this need WESTPAS will initially
focus on providing disaster planning training in the West and Pacific regions.
We are in process of scheduling workshops in the Western and Pacific Regions. A
24/7 toll-free number for EMERGENCIES involving the collections (888-905-7737)
has been established and a web site <www.westpas.org> is being developed with
information relevant to the preservation needs of the region have been
The WESTPAS project planners/trainers are Lynn Davis (U Hawaii) Normandy Helmer
(U Oregon) Kristen Kern (Portland State U) Gary Menges (U Washington) Barclay
Ogden (UC Berkeley) Julie Page (California Preservation Program) and Randy
Silverman (U Utah).
More information about the Preservenw