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County of Chester, Chester County Archives (West Chester, PA 19382-4958)
Laurie A. Rofini (Project Director: May 2012 to April 2015)
Chester County Archives Preservation Assessment and Training

A preservation assessment of the county's archival collections and participation by staff in two workshops on preserving and creating access to digital sources. Encompassing 2,940 volumes and 1,823 cubic feet of historical records, the Chester County Archives documents a wide range of social, economic, and legal affairs in one of Pennsylvania's three original counties, from its establishment in 1682 to the early 21st century. The collections include extensive series of criminal and civil court files, land records, probate proceedings, tax rolls, naturalization files, board of commissioner minutes, and other administrative records documenting the lives of citizens in the area for over 325 years. The archives also contain Colonial-era treaties with native Lenni Lenape leaders, petitions relating to indentured servants, and information on the recovery of fugitive slaves and slave manumissions. The county's digital holdings consist of some 360,000 surrogates of selected original documents summarized above.

Chester County Archives and Records Services (West Chester, PA) is requesting a Preservation Assistance Grant of $5,985. The grant will fund two activities that will enable CCARS to better preserve its paper and digital collections. The first activity is a preservation needs assessment and report done by the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts. The assessment will cover how the historic government records of Chester County are stored and handled. These records, which date from 1681 to 2006, document over 325 years of county government operations and services and are widely used by the general public, students, and historians. The second activity is participation in two online classes on digital stewardship which will provide staff with the necessary knowledge to preserve a growing digital collection of images and records. The continuing preservation of these records is vital to an understanding of the past and to maintaining public access to government information.

Project fields:
Archival Management and Conservation

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

$5,985 (approved)
$5,985 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2013 – 12/31/2014