In the states and territories, the NHPRC is assisted in its work by a network of State Historical Records Advisory Boards (SHRABs). Utilizing funding from the NHPRC and local sources, many of these boards undertake projects that create resources to address records needs in their states. Although these resources may be designed to address the needs of a particular state, they are also meant to be widely shared. Here are a few examples of recent SHRAB projects:
The Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board created the Online Scavenger Hunt as a way to teach students how to find primary sources available online and get some practice interpreting what they find. Included in the hunt are letters, diaries, artifacts, and photographs documenting Ohio’s people and history. All of the items are housed at Ohio archival institutions that have made them available via their websites. This activity will also teach students how to recognize a primary historical source and investigate potential topics for History Day projects.
From a list of 25 items that can be found on one of a dozen websites, students are asked to locate a document, a photograph, and an artifact. They then report their findings on investigation sheets, which are submitted to their teachers. Look for Jacob Correll’s Civil War diary, a 29th Ohio Volunteer Infantry regimental flag, a photograph of women working at the Dayton Wright Airplane Company during World War II, and other items at http://www.ohrab.org/committees/wg-scavenger-hunt/.
The North Carolina Historical Records Advisory Board developed a series of online tutorials on the basics of handling and caring for family papers. Created in 2014, “The Care and Handling of Family Papers, Photographs, and Essential Records” tutorials were developed in collaboration with the State Archives of North Carolina. These five tutorials, which are each between seven and twelve minutes long, provide information about identifying and protecting essential family papers, performing basic paper preservation, sharing family papers, preserving photographs, and managing digital images. You are invited to view these tutorials at
In 2008, the New York State Archives suffered a traumatic incident of insider theft. Since then, the Archives has evaluated and improved its security and theft prevention practices. In order to raise awareness of security issues in the historical records community and assist others repositories with their own security improvements, the New York Historical Records Advisory Board sponsored the development of resources that provide information about preventing loss, responding to a suspected theft, and recovering records. These resources are intended for all historical records repositories, especially small and mid-sized archives, museums, libraries, governments, and other organizations that care for materials that document our nation’s history. A security presentation, “To Preserve and Protect,” and other resources can be found at http://www.nyshrab.org/about/about_projects_security.shtml.
During the Missouri Historical Records Advisory Board’s strategic planning process, seven regional meetings were held across the state, drawing participants from 89 institutions. The purpose of these meetings was to obtain information on issues faced by local records repositories, as well as strategies to address those issues. Of the myriad topics raised, a constant was the desire for the Missouri Board to provide guidance on various best practices, including digitization. In response to this need, the publication Digitization Guidelines for Small Historical Institutions and Repositories was created. Many sources were surveyed in the development of this text and are listed at the end of the document. This brief, 11-page publication may be accessed at http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/mhrab/MHRAB_Digitization_Guidelines.pdf.