“You Like Me… You Really Like Me!”

Local Records Archivist Callie Freed (right) demonstrates a DIY humidification chamber.

The Library of Virginia’s Chancery Records Index (CRI) program received an impromptu endorsement last week from members of Virginia’s local historical societies attending the Where History Begins workshop held at the Library.

During a panel discussion titled Facing Digitization Issues, Digital Initiatives & Web Services Manager Kathy Jordan was showing off the LVA website and highlighting various digital collections. When she mentioned the Chancery Records Index, “the room broke out into loud, sustained applause,” according to Local Records Services Director Carl Childs. “Needless to say, [it was] a good feeling and testament to our good work and how much it is appreciated.”

In addition to historical and genealogical information, chancery court records offer a unique glimpse into the everyday lives of Virginians from the early 18th century on because the records rely so heavily on testimony from witnesses. The CRI is the result of a sustained effort to process, preserve, microfilm and digitize those records to make them available to the public. Access the CRI at http://www.virginiamemory.com/collections/chancery/.

It is always nice to feel appreciated but it is especially nice to know that local historical society members – the people who are often on the front lines of preserving and celebrating Virginia’s local history – recognize the LVA’s work.

An estimated 115 people representing 58 local historical societies from around Virginia attended the workshop. It was made possible by a generous State and National Archival Partnership (SNAP) grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Partners in the project include the Virginia Association of Museums (VAM), the Henrico County Historical Society, and the Goochland County Historical Society, along with the Library of Virginia Foundation and the Virginia State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB).

–Dale Dulaney, LVA Local Records Archival Assistant

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2 Comments

  1. Kathy Jones-Kristof said:
    19 August 2010 at 1:42 pm

    It is interesting to see that your records in the photo contained with this blog are displayed in Rubbermaid containers. Is that archivally correct, or is this just for carrying to a seminar?

    • Dale said:
      19 August 2010 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks for the question. Originally there were captions explaining each image but somehow they disappeared and I was not aware of it. In this image one of the Local Records archivists is demonstrating a DIY humidification chamber used to help make pliable exceptionally stiff documents. An inch or two of tepid water is added to the larger container and the smaller container, with documents placed inside, is placed inside the larger container and left floating. The top of the larger Rubbermaid container is closed and everything is left to sit overnight. Repeat as needed. This simple and very effective technique is used here at the LVA.

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