Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Archival security workshops in New York State

Police officer standing in a room, ca. 1920. New York (State). Conservation Dept. Photographic prints and negatives, [ca.1909-1949]. New York State Archives series 14297-87, SARA No.1702. Image courtesy of the New York State Archives.

Theft is a serious and increasingly pervasive threat to historical records repositories. If your repository falls victim to a thief, your professional life -- and, in all likelihood, your personal life -- will never be quite the same. I wouldn't wish the experience on my worst enemy.

It's simply not possible to station police officers in the corner of every repository's reading room and next to every stack entrance. However, there are steps that every repository can take to minimize the chance that it will lose records to theft, and noted archival security expert Mimi Bowling will discuss how to do so in a series of free full-day workshops held throughout New York State. People who attend one of these workshops will leave prepared to take immediate action to strengthen their local security programs.

Bowling will address the following topics: risk awareness; insider theft; facility design and security technology; security of information systems; working with vendors and contractors; research room management and design; developing institutional security policies; procedures and post-theft response. She'll also touch upon additional topics as requested by participants.

I had the good fortune to attend a Society of American Archivists security workshop that Bowling co-taught a couple of years ago, and can personally vouch for her depth of knowledge and her ability to tailor recommendations to each repository's unique needs and circumstances. I learned a lot, and I'm really excited that she's teaching the following series of workshops:

Rochester Region
September 13, 2010 (Monday)
Ontario County Safety Training Center
Canandaigua (Ontario County)

Western New York Region
September 14, 2010 (Tuesday)
Erie 1 BOCES
West Seneca (Erie County)

Central New York Region
October 4, 2010 (Monday)
Utica Public Library
Utica (Oneida County)

South Central New York Region
October 5, 2010 (Tuesday)
Roberson Museum and Science Center
Binghamton (Broome County)

Hudson Valley Region
March 7, 2011 (Monday)
Historic Huguenot Street
New Paltz (Ulster County)

Capital Region
April 11, 2011 (Monday)
Crandall Public Library
Glens Falls (Warren County)

Northern New York Region
April 18, 2011 (Monday)
Town of Massena
Massena (St. Lawrence County)

Metropolitan New York Region and Long Island Region
Spring 2011

To register for one of these workshops, please contact Brittany Turner of the New York State Archives at bturner[at]mail.nysed.gov or 518-473-0130. Early registration is encouraged and appreciated; only 25 seats are available for each workshop.

Representatives of New York State's historical records community, including archives, governments, libraries, museums, historical societies, schools and non-profit organizations, will be given first priority, and additional seats are available for security personnel and law enforcement representatives working with these organizations. However, out-of-state representatives and others interested in the topic are also welcome as space permits.