Preserving Pennsylvania’s oldest historical documents

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Image courtesy of Cumberland County Archives

What to look for on Smart Talk, Wednesday, May 15, 2019:

“History may not repeat itself, but the present often rhymes with the past.” And in order to understand the past, preserving old documents and records is key.

Cumberland County archivists recently received a grant to preserve documents that are older than the United States. These records include pieces from signers of the Declaration of Independence, among other works of historical significance that give a glimpse of Pennsylvania’s past.

“Preservation is education,” says one Pennsylvanian archivist. By preserving local history, archivists can contribute to the rich history of our nation and educate those about the importance of old records. One of the original thirteen colonies, Pennsylvania is the source of critical points in United States history, like the Battle of Gettysburg and its founder William Penn.

Also, as technology continues to evolve, local counties are noticing a shift from the traditional ways to catalogue documents to ways in which archivists can electronically “preserve” documents in an online format. This allows residents and visitors easy access to the past.

Joining us on Smart Talk to discuss the importance of preserving historical documents are Barbara Bartos, Cumberland county archivist, Andrew Dalton, Adams County Historical Society‘s assistant collections manager, and Jesse Crooks, a librarian at the Mercer Museum in Bucks County.

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Barbara Bartos, Cumberland County Archivist, and Andrew Dalton, Adams County Historical Society Assistant Collections Manager