One Dove; One Dove; Your Lucky to Have One Dove…

1 03 2010

“A century from now, will desegregation in Virginia be a forgotten story? If we don’t do a better job of saving our records, it could be. Currently, few records of school desegregation in Virginia are publicly available….”

With this ominous sentence Old Dominion University librarians Sonia Yaco and Tonia Graves discuss the state of historical access and preservation of records relating to the desegregation of Virginia schools. “Mapping the Desegregation of Education in Virginia: Where are the Records?” describes  the all too common scenario of historical records disappearing. I have discovered the same scenario while conducting research about a particular county in Alabama. However, the picture is not so gloomy. Yaco and Graves also describe a very unique, ambitious and valuable initiative Desgregation of Virginia Education (DOVE). DOVE’s goals are to identify, locate and preserve records that document Virginia’s  School desegregation process.

Visit the DOVE website @ http://www.lib.odu.edu/special/dove; monitor DOVE’s progress on DOVE’s blog @ http://www.lib.odu.edu/specialcollections/dove/blog and view the DOVE catalog @ http://www.lib.odu.edu/special/dove/scripts/viewitems.php.

Sometimes it’s great to read and write about high level concepts such as web 2.0, cloud computing, metadata, XML or other ways of leveraging technology in archives and special collections, but, as a historian, I get really excited when I see a concrete effort to place the focus on the one thing that matters the most – the COLLECTION i.e. the objects that the researcher/end user is interested in.  

DOVE’s progress should be monitored and the framework should be noted and referenced as a model for similar state/regional inventory projects.