Cultural Heritage Services
“The cultural heritage of a people is the memory of its living culture. It is expressed in many different forms, both tangible (monuments, landscapes, objects) and intangible (languages, know‑how, the performing arts, music, etc.). The origins of this heritage are multifarious, too. In retracing its own cultural lineage, in recognizing the many different influences that have marked its history and shaped its identity, a people is better able to build peaceful relations with other peoples, to pursue what is often an age-old dialogue and to forge its future.” from the Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 21 November 2001 proclaiming 2002 “United Nations Year for Cultural Heritage.”
Libraries, archives, and museums play a crucial role in helping their local populations discover and preserve the documentary heritage of their communities. CLRC’s Cultural Heritage Services program works to help its members realize their full capacity to collect, preserve, and disseminate information about their unique cultural materials and records of enduring value.
CLRC supports a number of “communities of practice” including the College and University Archivists Roundtable (regional) and the Special Collections Roundtable of Upstate New York. Roundtables generally meet on a semi-annual basis and provide an opportunity for members to visit peer institutions, exchange ideas, and encourage collaboration. Cultural Heritage Services also support the activities of CLRC’s Digitization Special Interest Group (DIG-SIG) which is made up of New York Heritage users and other digitization experts and practitioners from around the region.
If you have an idea for a roundtable or special interest group that you would like to form in support of cultural heritage activities, let us know and we can provide logistical support.
As part of CLRC’s comprehensive continuing education calendar, CLRC’s Cultural Heritage Services works to bring CLRC members the latest knowledge in areas related to library, archive, and museum cultural heritage practice. Events include online classes and in-person classes and workshops in areas including, but not limited to: archival processing, preservation practices, oral histories, digital curation, exhibits, and more! If you have talents you would like to share, or a class or workshop you would like to see offered, please contact us.
Site Visits and Advisory Services
CLRC is proud to offer archival processing and basic preservation advice to its members who are charged with caring for cultural heritage materials but may have questions about how best to deal with the materials. CLRC’s Assistant Director is a trained and certified archivist who can answer questions over email, phone, or come out and meet with member libraries in person.
New York Heritage
CLRC works with its partners at the Empire State Library Network (ESLN) to offer its members access to New York Heritage Digital Collections via the CONTENTdm platform. Members participating in this service may use it to describe and provide another point of access to their unique historical materials. Creating digital access to cultural heritage objects on public platforms can significantly enhance the research value of such collections as well as heighten the contributors presence in the community.
CLRC assists potential contributors in the following ways:
- provide start up support, including giving contributors tools and access instructions for participating in New York Heritage
- provide quality assurance on collections through feedback and continued training
- periodic classroom training opportunities on CONTENTdm and other ways to enhance the contributor’s digital presence
- matching interns to collections and mentors throughout the CLRC area
- invites contributors to be members of DIG-SIG
New York State Historic Newspapers
CLRC can assist members in digitizing its historical newspapers in two ways. First, members may apply for a Regional Bibliographic Databases grant. This allows organizations to apply for funds to digitize and provide access to their historical newspapers using any means of digitization or platform that they like, provided that the end-product supports the research interests of the CLRC region. There is no cost-share required for RBDB grants. The RBDB grant invitation period usually opens at the end of the year and remains open for 6-8 weeks. Please check the RBDB grant page for additional details.
Second, CLRC members may apply for the Newspaper Digitization Assistance Program which allows organizations to submit their microfilmed or already-digitized (in PDF) historical newspapers to the New York State Historical Newspapers site. There is a cost-share required for this program. More details may be found on the Newspaper Digitization Assistance Program page.