April 28 – May 4, 2024

Preservation Week

Preserving Identities

Why preservation?

Preservation Week inspires action to preserve your collections. We believe that memories and treasures should last a lifetime and beyond, and that these physical and digital materials support both community and cultural identities. Focusing on preservation for a designated week every year raises awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions play in preservation, by sharing information to help make informed decisions that help your collections last for the future.

The 2024 Preservation Week theme is Preserving Identities.

Connect your community through events, activities, and resources that highlight what we can do, individually and together, to preserve our personal and shared collections.

2024 Honorary Chair

Traci Sorell writes inclusive, award-winning historical and contemporary fiction and nonfiction in a variety of formats for young people. She is a two-time Sibert Medal and Orbis Pictus honoree and an award-winning audiobook narrator and producer. Eight of her books have received awards from the American Indian Library Association. A former federal Indigenous law attorney and policy advocate, Traci is a Cherokee Nation citizen and lives within her tribe’s reservation in northeastern Oklahoma.

“Between research assistantships and internships in graduate and law school, I deepened my experiences with libraries and archives. I loved hearing recordings of Cherokee people talking story and singing in 1927 and 1949 at the Library of Congress. While interning for the National Museum of the American Indian prior to its opening on the National Mall, I saw George Gustav Heye’s vast collection from Native Nations in this hemisphere still in his original Bronx storage facility. Looking at cultural items made by Cherokee people hundreds of years ago made me simultaneously happy and incredibly sad.

I always left with this same impression, which I continue to feel today. Caring for and maintaining these recordings, archival documents, and cultural items is critical. But equally critical is ensuring that those who descend from these “preserved identities” have easy access to the information, images, and items. Seeking and implementing creative solutions through virtual access; permanent loans to archives, museums, and libraries located in Native communities; and providing grants for those who want to visit and study collections in person must be the path moving forward. Not only does that honor those whose contributions are preserved in a collection, but it also demonstrates respect for their descendants and the sacrifices made on behalf of their community.”

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