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Word from the Library … Speaker series underway

Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Jill Rael

Jillian Rael

By Jill Rael, Special to The Times

The Friends of the Library have worked diligently on this season’s Speaker Series lineup, and I am happy to announce that we have a wonderful program scheduled.

Last season was a great success, and it helped the Friends raise money for the Genealogy Room. Those who came previously provided feedback and let the group know what the community would like to see this season. You spoke and the Friends listened! This program will be not only interesting, but also quite useful.

A number of participants expressed an interest in learning more about how to care for their own family collections, both photographic and documentary, and we have several speakers in line to help. On April 30, Jose Betancourt, professor of photography at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, will be discussing how to date photographs by knowing what type of photo is in question.

On May 28, I will be discussing how to properly store and care for your historic photographs. For those who may not know, photography was my minor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and I spent several years working in Cultural Resource Management before entering the library world.

On June 25, Mary Lee Gaffin, an anthropologist and cultural resources manager at Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research, will be discussing the proper care and preservation of historical documents. If you have old letters or other items on paper, you will appreciate the techniques and products demonstrated to help such ephemeral items live on for the next generation.

In July and August, we take a break from preservation and conservation to explore a few new topics. On July 30, Dr. Tom Sever of the University of Alabama in Huntsville will be discussing the exciting world of archaeology and remote sensing. Tom is an archaeologist and remote sensing specialist who has helped pioneer the use of remote sensing/GIS technology in archaeologist research. Dr. Sever has performed fieldwork around the world and will be an exciting addition to our program.

On Aug. 27, we will end our program with a panel discussion once again. Dr. Farris Beasley will be joined by Meyers Brown of the State Museum and Fred Prouty of the State Wars Commission to discuss Camp Blount and the movement to purchase and preserve this local site. There is a serious effort underway to purchase the site for historical interpretation and recreation, and this panel will provide history and explain why its preservation is so vitally important.

Each talk runs from 6 until 7 p.m. in the Genealogy Room. Please come and join us for this season’s series! Until then, we hope to see you at the Library!