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E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The Holidays Inc and the National Archives for Black Women’s History Preserving The Past to Serve The Future:

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Presentation on theme: "E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The Holidays Inc and the National Archives for Black Women’s History Preserving The Past to Serve The Future:"— Presentation transcript:

1 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The Holidays Inc and the National Archives for Black Women’s History Preserving The Past to Serve The Future: Effective Chapter Management An Intergenerational Imperative National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

2 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Tazwell Franklin Archives Technician National Archives for Black Women’s History (NABWH) Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

3 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A We in the Present have a Responsibility to both the Past and the Future We are part of an Intergenerational Continuum

4 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A A Legacy Dating Back to 1939 In 1939, the NCNW established an Archives Committee to document the experiences of African American women in America. In 1939, the NCNW established an Archives Committee to document the experiences of African American women in America. Throughout the years, the NCNW has remained active in preserving and maintaining historical consciousness and cultural awareness. Throughout the years, the NCNW has remained active in preserving and maintaining historical consciousness and cultural awareness. The NCNW’s Aframerican Woman’s Journal promoted the Archives in the 1940s.

5 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A A Legacy Dating Back to 1939 Mrs. Bethune, Jeanetta Welch Brown, Sue Bailey Thurman, and Arabella Denniston viewing the newest editions to the National Archives for Negro Women’s History.

6 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Museum and Archives In 1977, as part of the Mary McLeod Bethune Historical Development Project and under the leadership of Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas, the NCNW created the National Archives for Black Women’s History and the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Museum. In 1977, as part of the Mary McLeod Bethune Historical Development Project and under the leadership of Dr. Bettye Collier-Thomas, the NCNW created the National Archives for Black Women’s History and the Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Museum. The Museum and Archives was developed for the purpose of preserving and interpreting documents and artifacts which illuminate and explain the historical experience of African American women in the United States. The Museum and Archives was developed for the purpose of preserving and interpreting documents and artifacts which illuminate and explain the historical experience of African American women in the United States.

7 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The Bethune Museum and Archives was located at the first headquarters of the NCNW at 1318 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., and was incorporated as the Bethune Museum and Archives, Inc. The Bethune Museum and Archives was located at the first headquarters of the NCNW at 1318 Vermont Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., and was incorporated as the Bethune Museum and Archives, Inc Vermont Avenue during the restoration process in the late-1970s. Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Museum and Archives

8 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The opening ceremonies of the Bethune Museum and Archives, on November 11, 1979, were held in conjunction with the First National Scholarly Research Conference On Black Women. The opening ceremonies of the Bethune Museum and Archives, on November 11, 1979, were held in conjunction with the First National Scholarly Research Conference On Black Women. Bettye Collier-Thomas and Dorothy Height speaking at the opening. Mary McLeod Bethune Memorial Museum and Archives

9 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The National Park Service In 1982, an Act of Congress designated the house at 1318 Vermont Avenue, NW, as the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site. In 1982, an Act of Congress designated the house at 1318 Vermont Avenue, NW, as the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site. The Bethune Museum and Archives, Inc., continued to manage the Site with the cooperation of the National Park Service. The Bethune Museum and Archives, Inc., continued to manage the Site with the cooperation of the National Park Service.

10 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The National Park Service In 1991, a second Act of Congress authorized the National Park Service to acquire by purchase and donation the land, buildings, and collections of the Site. In 1991, a second Act of Congress authorized the National Park Service to acquire by purchase and donation the land, buildings, and collections of the Site. The purposes of the 1991 act were to — The purposes of the 1991 act were to — 1. preserve and interpret the life and work of Mary McLeod Bethune; 1. preserve and interpret the life and work of Mary McLeod Bethune; 2. preserve and interpret the history, lives, and contributions of African American women; and 2. preserve and interpret the history, lives, and contributions of African American women; and 3. preserve and interpret the struggle for civil rights in the United States of America. 3. preserve and interpret the struggle for civil rights in the United States of America.

11 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The National Park Service One of the tasks enumerated in the Act was: One of the tasks enumerated in the Act was: …to administer the archives currently located at the historic site, including providing reasonable access to the archives by scholars and other interested parties. …to administer the archives currently located at the historic site, including providing reasonable access to the archives by scholars and other interested parties. Operating and maintaining the National Archives for Black Women’s History is, by law, central to the mission of the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site. Operating and maintaining the National Archives for Black Women’s History is, by law, central to the mission of the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site.

12 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The National Park Service On May 10, 1994, the National Park Service acquired the property and collections of the Bethune Museum and Archives, Inc. On May 10, 1994, the National Park Service acquired the property and collections of the Bethune Museum and Archives, Inc. The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site is now a full unit of the National Park Service, owned, operated, and funded by the Federal Government for the benefit of the American people. The Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site is now a full unit of the National Park Service, owned, operated, and funded by the Federal Government for the benefit of the American people.

13 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The National Archives for Black Women’s History serves as the repository for 63 collections. The National Archives for Black Women’s History serves as the repository for 63 collections. Among these 63 collections are The Holidays Incorporated Records. Among these 63 collections are The Holidays Incorporated Records. The NABWH Today

14 The Holidays Incorporated Records contain a rich history of the organization from its birth to the present. The Holidays Incorporated Records contain a rich history of the organization from its birth to the present. The items at the NABWH that document this history include correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, annual reports, and a host of other material. The items at the NABWH that document this history include correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, annual reports, and a host of other material. E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

15 The NABWH Today

16 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The NABWH Today

17 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The NABWH Today

18 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The NABWH Today The NABWH is the home for over 4000 photographs relating to the NCNW and organizations, like The Holidays Incorporated, and individuals affiliated with the NCNW.

19 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The NABWH Today The Holidays Incorporated Records are unique in that: The Holidays Incorporated Records are unique in that: It is one of, if not the only, collection we receive gifts for on a consistent basis It is one of, if not the only, collection we receive gifts for on a consistent basis Therefore it is one of the collections that is constantly growing Therefore it is one of the collections that is constantly growing The membership of the Holidays is a valuable resource for the NABWH staff The membership of the Holidays is a valuable resource for the NABWH staff They can help the NABWH staff identify individuals and events from various photographs in the collection They can help the NABWH staff identify individuals and events from various photographs in the collection

20 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The NABWH Today A Busy Research Archive A Busy Research Archive Researchers from all over the United States and the World Researchers from all over the United States and the World Researchers from England, Germany, Italy Researchers from England, Germany, Italy The only Archive devoted solely to the preservation and study of the history of African American women The only Archive devoted solely to the preservation and study of the history of African American women To study the work of the NCNW, researchers must come to the NABWH To study the work of the NCNW, researchers must come to the NABWH Other important collections beyond the NCNW attract research interest Other important collections beyond the NCNW attract research interest

21 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A The NABWH Today Plans for Preservation and Outreach Plans for Preservation and Outreach Digitize the Collection Digitize the Collection Preserve the originals Preserve the originals Microfilm copies will provide long-term safety against technological obsolescence Microfilm copies will provide long-term safety against technological obsolescence Distribution of copies to libraries, research centers Distribution of copies to libraries, research centers Establish ability to research off-site Establish ability to research off-site Prudent disaster planning Prudent disaster planning Complete Processing of Unprocessed Collections Complete Processing of Unprocessed Collections Digitization project will require this Digitization project will require this Audio Transcription Project Audio Transcription Project Creating transcripts of the audio from historic audio and video tapes. Creating transcripts of the audio from historic audio and video tapes.

22 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Chapter Records are Important The full history of The Holidays Incorporated cannot be told without understanding the work of the Chapters The full history of The Holidays Incorporated cannot be told without understanding the work of the Chapters Understanding how The Holidays Incorporated projects work locally, on the ground, is important Understanding how The Holidays Incorporated projects work locally, on the ground, is important How do the initiatives get translated into actual work at the local level? How do the initiatives get translated into actual work at the local level? Who actually does the work? Who actually does the work? How do the results differ from place to place? How do the results differ from place to place?

23 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Chapter records Chapter records Are historically important Are historically important Should be preserved Should be preserved Should reside in an archival repository Should reside in an archival repository The National Archives for Black Women’s History is the logical place for them to go The National Archives for Black Women’s History is the logical place for them to go Chapter Records are Important

24 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Records Management How you organize and store your Records is important How you organize and store your Records is important Planned, documented filing system Planned, documented filing system Keep eventual disposition in mind Keep eventual disposition in mind Which Records document historic work Which Records document historic work Which Records are useful for only day-to-day operations Which Records are useful for only day-to-day operations Keep legal and reporting requirements in mind Keep legal and reporting requirements in mind As legal time limits for retention arrive for specific records, filing system should make it easy to move them from the active to historic files As legal time limits for retention arrive for specific records, filing system should make it easy to move them from the active to historic files Keep ease-of-use in mind Keep ease-of-use in mind Keep succession of officers in mind Keep succession of officers in mind Help them get up-to-speed quickly Help them get up-to-speed quickly

25 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Records Management Develop Records Management Standards Develop Records Management Standards Filing structures Filing structures Retention Schedules Retention Schedules Step-by-Step Instructions to follow Step-by-Step Instructions to follow Why reinvent the wheel for every Chapter when the needs are pretty much the same across the board? Why reinvent the wheel for every Chapter when the needs are pretty much the same across the board? Chapters with interest in putting together these standards can help create template for rest of The Holidays. Chapters with interest in putting together these standards can help create template for rest of The Holidays.

26 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A What to Keep, What to Send, What to Discard Records sent to an archive repository should be retired records of historic value Records sent to an archive repository should be retired records of historic value Should be the originals Should be the originals Should be the entire body of work Should be the entire body of work Not individual “interesting” documents, but a collection documenting all the work of the organization Not individual “interesting” documents, but a collection documenting all the work of the organization Keep with You — Keep with You — Records needed for ongoing operations Records needed for ongoing operations Financial and other records within IRS audit or other legal time windows Financial and other records within IRS audit or other legal time windows

27 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A What to Keep, What to Send, What to Discard Send to Archive Repository Send to Archive Repository Constitutions and By-Laws (versions over time) Constitutions and By-Laws (versions over time) Meeting Minutes and Other Notes Meeting Minutes and Other Notes Financial Records, Ledgers, and Audit Reports Financial Records, Ledgers, and Audit Reports Correspondence – incoming and outgoing Correspondence – incoming and outgoing Speeches, Notes for Presentations Speeches, Notes for Presentations Publications created by Section Publications created by Section Press Releases Press Releases Publicity Materials Publicity Materials Grant Proposals Grant Proposals Membership Records Membership Records

28 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A What to Keep, What to Send, What to Discard Send to Archive Repository (continued) Send to Archive Repository (continued) Records of Special Projects and Programs Records of Special Projects and Programs Photographs documenting activities and members Photographs documenting activities and members Send negatives and prints, if you have both Send negatives and prints, if you have both Please identify subject(s), event, place, and date Please identify subject(s), event, place, and date If possible, identify photographer and obtain and transfer copyright to the image If possible, identify photographer and obtain and transfer copyright to the image Audio, Video, and Movie Film of activities Audio, Video, and Movie Film of activities Please identify subject(s), event, place, and date Please identify subject(s), event, place, and date Transcripts or notes identifying speakers very useful Transcripts or notes identifying speakers very useful Selected Artifacts of Historic Importance Selected Artifacts of Historic Importance

29 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A What to Keep, What to Send, What to Discard What to Discard or Separate Out What to Discard or Separate Out Duplicate Material Duplicate Material Keep 1 or 2 good examples for the Archive Keep 1 or 2 good examples for the Archive Recycle the rest Recycle the rest Publications of Outside Entities Publications of Outside Entities Unless contents specifically relate to your Section Unless contents specifically relate to your Section Rarity of the material may create an exception Rarity of the material may create an exception Send inventory list as part of archival collection to document what was discarded Send inventory list as part of archival collection to document what was discarded Material Unrelated to Chapter Activities Material Unrelated to Chapter Activities May have value as its own collection! May have value as its own collection!

30 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Coordinate Donations of Records Please don’t just box things up and send them Please don’t just box things up and send them Need to work out procedures Need to work out procedures Need to discuss shipping details Need to discuss shipping details The NABWH needs to arrange for proper storage The NABWH needs to arrange for proper storage Just how much stuff is there? Just how much stuff is there?

31 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A How to Store and Protect Don’t mix personal papers and Chapter records Don’t mix personal papers and Chapter records Keep inherited filing structure Keep inherited filing structure Don’t reorganize records Don’t reorganize records Keep the original filing order Keep the original filing order Don’t purge or sanitize material Don’t purge or sanitize material History is not always pretty History is not always pretty Struggles, internal and external, are part of the story Struggles, internal and external, are part of the story If absolutely necessary, selected material can be embargoed to protect privacy of people during their lifetimes If absolutely necessary, selected material can be embargoed to protect privacy of people during their lifetimes Scrapbooks and Photo Albums Scrapbooks and Photo Albums Don’t use original material to create new ones! Don’t use original material to create new ones! Keep existing examples intact Keep existing examples intact

32 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A How to Store and Protect Climate controlled secure area is best… Climate controlled secure area is best… Understand this is not likely Understand this is not likely At the minimum — At the minimum — Protect from climate extremes Protect from climate extremes Especially extreme heat Especially extreme heat Protect from water Protect from water Flooding, broken pipes, wet basements, leaky roofs, high humidity Flooding, broken pipes, wet basements, leaky roofs, high humidity Protect from pests and other dangers Protect from pests and other dangers Rodents, insects, pets, curious children, etc. Rodents, insects, pets, curious children, etc. Protect from accidental discard Protect from accidental discard Mark containers clearly as to contents Mark containers clearly as to contents Inform household members of its importance Inform household members of its importance

33 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A How to Store and Protect Computer Files, Digital Photographs, and Computer Files, Digital Photographs, and Print out and store as paper hard copy Print out and store as paper hard copy Use acid-free paper Use acid-free paper Greatest danger is technological obsolescence Greatest danger is technological obsolescence Hardware to read media not available Hardware to read media not available Software to read files not available Software to read files not available Media Deterioration Media Deterioration Floppy disks lose magnetic signal over time Floppy disks lose magnetic signal over time CD- and DVD-ROM disks unreliable CD- and DVD-ROM disks unreliable Surfaces deteriorate Surfaces deteriorate Disks delaminate Disks delaminate Five to ten years if lucky Five to ten years if lucky Especially vulnerable to poor storage conditions Especially vulnerable to poor storage conditions

34 E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A Tazwell Franklin Archives Technician National Archives for Black Women’s History (NABWH) Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior


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