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Preservation Week 2024: Athens-Clarke County Library and safeguarding family memories

The Athens Clarke County Library Heritage Room is excited to welcome patrons to celebrate Preservation Week from April 27 to May 14, 2024, with a series of programs aimed to help the Athens Area Community preserve valuable personal and family memories. Those who attend a Preservation Week program at the library will be entered into a drawing to win a professional Photo Preservation Kit, a $160 value!

On Saturday, April 27th the Heritage Room will kick off Preservation Week with an Open House co-sponsored with the Clarke-Oconee Genealogical Society. Come learn about the Heritage Room, Athens history, and get a behind the scenes tour of our vault and archival collections. Did you know that digital materials degrade faster than paper?

On Tuesday, April 30th learn from Heritage Room staff, with archival and digital preservation experience, how to best organize and save your digital materials at Creating a Personal Digital Archive. Not sure what to do with all that stuff you’ve been holding onto in your attic?

On Tuesday, May 14 attend Organizing & Care for Personal Collections. Learn expert tips on how to best curate, organize, and store your family heirlooms--everything from photos to textiles, furniture, and more.

Throughout April and May, patrons can schedule one-on-one time with staff to digitize their personal photos, slides, negatives, or other documents by booking a Scanning Appointment. Be sure to attend one or all of the events to learn how the library is preserving the history of the community, how you can help with that mission, and how the library can assist you with preservation.

Photographs, family letters, outdated or forgotten computer hard drives, all of these things deteriorate over time. The Athens-Clarke County Library Heritage Room believes that these paper, digital, and filmed memories should last a lifetime and beyond.

The physical and digital materials used today, as well as those used in the past, contain important information about an individual, the community, as well as our cultural identities and experiences as humans. The preservation of these materials contribute to our understanding of history and its participants just as collections in libraries, museums, and archives do.

What is Preservation Week?

Taking place April 28-May 4, 2024, Preservation Week is a nation-wide movement to inspire action to preserve personal, family, and community collections in addition to library, museum, and archive collections. Preservation Week also raises awareness of the role libraries and other cultural institutions play in providing ongoing preservation education and information.

The 2024 Preservation Week theme is Preserving Identities. Cultural stewards both in and outside of libraries play an important role preserving the historical materials and knowledge that are key to understanding one’s identity. Equally important is finding ways to safeguard and share this heritage in ways that are responsive to the communities they belong to.

Funds for this project were provided by Georgia Public Library Service through the Library Services and Technology Act from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The Athens Regional Library System consists of 11 branch locations, located within 5 counties in Northeast Georgia. All events are free and open to the public. For more information about the Athens-Clarke County Library Heritage Room Preservation Week programs, please visit  For inquiries regarding Preservation Week, please contact Ashley Shull at

For more information about the national Preservation Week movement, please visit


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