Professional Media, August 2012

Preserving Local Writers, Genealogy, Photographs, Newspapers, and Related Materials. Scarecrow. 2012. 344p. ed. by Carol Smallwood & Elaine Williams. index. ISBN 9780810883581. pap. $55. PRO MEDIA

Smallwood (How To Thrive as a Solo Librarian) and Williams (Highland County District Library; Librarians as Community Partners) present writings created specifically for this volume, addressing the preservation issues that “custodians of history” face in local communities. From traditional methods of paper and photographic conservation to the burgeoning field of digital preservation, the 33 contributors provide a thorough manual for those just starting in the discipline and for professionals wanting to branch out into a different area. The volume focuses on important concerns like preserving collections on stringent budgets and how to best promote them once acquired. Some pieces delve into the specifics of successful preservation projects, with personal observations, retrospective comments, and lessons learned. Especially poignant is Alexia Hudson’s essay on the Emily Davis Preservation Project, which digitized the journals of a free black woman writing during the Civil War. Each author’s piece has its own style and methodology, which results in some inconsistencies overall regarding bibliographic references and presence or absence of source notes. This will be detrimental to readers. VERDICT This collection of practical how-to essays, complete with charts, diagrams, sample proposal letters, policies, and best practices, is a must-have tool for historical societies, museums, libraries, and archivists.—­Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal