‘Preservation is a Collective Responsibility’: Behind the Scenes of Chenango Historical Society’s Preservation

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Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 7:17 PM EDT
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NORWICH, N.Y. (WBNG) -- At the Chenango Historical Society Archives, Zachary Greenfield works hard to keep objects preserved.

“Generally speaking, my job has to do with processing the artifacts that we have, taking in new ones, clean them up a little bit, recording the information that we have about them, and putting them where they need to be afterwards” said Greenfield who is the Archives Consultant for the organization.

There is a lot of work that goes into preserving history he says. Specifically the artifacts, whether they are physical objects, or documents.

“Even if things are on display, it is important to preserve them so that they can be accessed for future generations; either for research purposes in some places, or for future exhibits” said Greenfield.

According to the Archive Consultant, like humans, historic items need to rest too.

“It’s not healthy for the item to be displayed 100% of the time. You want to take them down, (and) let them rest so that they’re not exposed to light air constantly”.

He says preservation can start at home.

“Before you donate your objects to whatever your local institution if you also take care of it it helps us so that we can preserve things better and allow them to be around for future generations to be researched”.

It’s something he says everyone can do.

“It’s not just us that take care of objects, it’s a collective responsibility of people to preserve history and take care of it”.

Greenfield said if there is an item that you might consider ‘historic’ and want to know how to preserve it properly, to call your local historical society.