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Harney County Library (Burns, OR 97720-1299)
Cheryl Hancock (Project Director: May 2010 to November 2012)
Preserving the Past in the Western History Room of Harney County Library

A preservation assessment of the library's Western History Room, an assessment of disaster vulnerability for the library as a whole, and staff training in emergency preparedness and response planning. The library's collections include 2,000 books, 700 audio-visual items, 500 tape-recorded oral history interviews, and several thousand photographs pertaining to the history of the American West and, particularly, a region of southeastern Oregon populated over time by various Indian tribes, Basque and Scottish sheepherders, lumber industry developers, and cattlemen.

The Claire McGill Luce Western History Room of the Harney County Library houses a collection of local and regional historic items. Photographs, pamphlets, family histories, microfilm, books, and oral history recordings make up the bulk of this collection. Most of the items have been donated by various individuals. Staff have minimal training and experience in storing, preserving, and providing access to this collection. A consultant will be hired to conduct a general preservation assessment of the collection and help draft a long-range plan for care of this collection. There is no plan in place for dealing with a disaster of any type either in the library or the Western History Room. A major portion of the materials in this collection is irreplaceable. The consultant will offer a workshop to staff on Creating an Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan for Collections. Subsequently, library staff will create a Disaster Response Plan with assistance from the consultant.

Project fields:
Archival Management and Conservation

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2011 – 10/31/2012