Highlights & Accomplishments in 2020 Part 4

Jamie Seemiller- Acquisitions Archivist, Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Department

During the closure at the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Department (WHG), I have been impressed at how our staff has pivoted to meet our community’s needs. In the archives, we have migrated over 1,000-word doc inventories into ArchivesSpace and offer full-service reference help with no fees for copies or scans. For acquisitions, our Staff Acquisitions Committee has reviewed 60 collections and received 38 donations. I was able to have 31 in-person donor meetings (most being donor drop-offs at the library dock with a few in-person pickups). While we normally bring in over 100 collections a year and review around 150 potential donations, I am happy that we were able to keep moving forward.

This year we also relied on WHG staff to help document history as it was happening. Staff created the COVID 19 photo project to document Denver neighborhoods during the stay-at-home lockdown in March/April. We also established the George Floyd/Denver Unrest collection by gathering protest signs, march videos, and photos of the downtown area.

George Floyd Protest sign

While we are only allowed to work in the library on a limited basis, I think this year has given us the time and space to think about our processes and create a better plan moving forward. Plans for 2021 include a diversity audit of the archival collections and testing a new form that combines our Gift form and Deed of Gift to create less work on the back end of a donation. This year has been a challenge, but I am proud of the work we have done in WHG to continue to serve the community and preserve history.

One thought on “Highlights & Accomplishments in 2020 Part 4

  1. Congratulations to you and your team! These are great examples of perseverance and continued service during such challenging and restrictive times. Well done!

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