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Public Forum on the New DC Archives

On Thursday, May 21, starting at 6 pm, the Secretary of the District of Columbia, in cooperation with the Friends of the DC Archives, held a community forum to provide the public the opportunity to learn about the plans and understand the importance of protecting and preserving DC’s valuable historical documents and artifacts. The program took place in the Washingtoniana Division reading room of the Martin Luther King Memorial Library at 9th and G Streets, NW.

This dilapidated 1893 structure deep inside Naylor Court, NW, originally the Tally Ho Livery, is where the collections of the DC Archives are housed. Included are valuable records of the DC government such as birth and death records, wills, land and marriage records.  photo—preservingdcstables.blogspot.com.

This dilapidated 1893 structure deep inside Naylor Court, NW, originally the Tally Ho Livery, is where the collections of the DC Archives are housed. Included are valuable records of the DC government such as birth and death records, wills, land and marriage records. photo—preservingdcstables.blogspot.com.

Featured was a panel which discussed the preservation of government records (the new Archives building) followed by questions and discussion. The following topics were covered:

History of the DC Archives; the need and project overview; other DC government collections (Sumner School, Dunbar HS, MPD, DDOT, Washingtoniana Division and Georgetown branch library’s Peabody Room, Superior Court and Court of Appeals); considerations for a multi-functioning facility (space type, size, research, records processing, storage, oral history, meetings and preservation and digital laboratory); national standards and what might be best for DC.

Former president of Southeastern University and before that member of the DC City Council Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis served as panel moderator. Joining her on the panel were newly appointed William Branch, Acting Public Records Administrator and Senior Archivist, Office of Public Records/DC Archives; also newly appointed Kerrie Cotten Williams, Special Collections Manager, DC Public Library Washingtoniana & Black Studies Division; and Jeff Bonvechio, Deputy Director of Capital Construction Services, DC Department of General Services.

[For background, see “New Group to Support DC Archives,” InTowner, May 2014 issue pdf at page 1.]