Preserving Family History with KU Libraries

Posted on Mar 14, 2013 in Alumni News, Campus News, and News

Here’s a guest post from Katie Coffman, communications coordinator for KU Libraries, about one of their recent events.

With the help of our friends at the KU Alumni Association, we took our “Preserving Family History” show on the road last weekend. After previously hosting this program on the KU campus and in Wichita last year, we decided to team up with the North Central Chapter Jayhawks for another installation.

Downtown Salina’s historic Stiefel Theatre was the perfect venue for a discussion on best practices in preserving family heirlooms. KU Curator of Collections Sherry Williams and Conservator Whitney Baker shared their expertise in maintaining historical collections and offered ideas for preserving photos, papers and news clippings. Rebecca Smith, executive director of Communications & Advancement at KU Libraries, and Brad Eland, assistant director of Kansas programs at the KU Alumni Association, also attended and mingled with the audience of roughly 25 Salina residents, including many proud KU alumni.

Several attendees brought personal items to share with Whitney and Sherry, and everyone had an interest in, and plenty of very detailed questions about, the topic of how to select which of your many priceless family heirlooms to keep and how to preserve them for generations to come.

“We love bringing events like this to communities outside of Lawrence,” Smith said. “Not only is it useful and interesting information being shared by two experts in their fields, it also sheds light on the unique and often overlooked roles played by librarians on KU’s campus.”

Didn’t get a chance to attend any of these installments of “Preserving Family History?” We’ll be at the Topeka Shawnee County Public Library on Saturday, May 4, and would love for you and your fellow KU alumni and friends to join us. Visit for more information.

Rock Chalk!

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