(970) 349-1880

History in the Making X

Share Your Experience! COVID-19 in CB

Preserving Local History: A Virtual Conference for Museums and Libraries in Colorado

October 9, 2020 all-day
Virtual Conference
$15 per organization / Students are free
Nel Burkett
Organization Registration                      Student Registration

This one-day virtual conference is being held to provide professional education and networking opportunities for rural museums and libraries of Colorado. Through a partnership with History Colorado, Colorado State Library, Western Colorado University, and the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, small and rural organizations are invited to connect with conservation specialists while networking among similar organizations and students.

What do we hope to achieve with this one day conference?

  1. Provide education on how to care for historic collections for small rural museums and libraries that rely on volunteers, a small staff, and limited budgets to care for Colorado’s history. 
  2. Create networks among Colorado’s museums and libraries, recognizing that our small historic organizations share similar challenges as well as unique talent and expertise. Through this conference, we aim to build support systems and recognize resources that can help us all better preserve and share Colorado’s history.
  3. Connect students with museum’s and libraries in need of interns and volunteers, providing students with the opportunity to gain real world experience.

In this 2020 conference, sessions will focus on the preservation and sharing of historic photograph collections.

Conference sessions descriptions:

10am - 11am
Identification of Photographs and Processes- Kevin Smith

This session will briefly outline the history of photography and photographic processes and the development of different photographic formats.  Several types of processes and formats will be covered, as well as tips in identifying them for dating and preservation purposes.  Examples of processes include cased photographs like Daguerreotypes and Ambrotypes, unique processes like tintype and cyanotype, glass plates and lantern slides, nitrate and acetate film, various kinds of prints, and more contemporary color processes.

Zoom Webinar: Participants cannot be seen or heard, but can interact with questions.

11:15am - 12:15pm
Preservation and Care of Photograph Collections- Kevin Smith

This session will cover standards and best practices for museums to implement long term preservation of their photograph collections.  Topics include; environmental controls and standards, ideal storage, handling, types of damage or deterioration and ways to address it, and process-specific preservation tips.  Session material will accommodate for museums and organizations of all sizes so attendees can best plan for their unique photographic collections.  

Zoom Webinar: Participants cannot be seen or heard, but can interact with questions.

12:15pm - 1:30pm
Break for lunch
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Copyright and Use- Melissa de Bie

This session will define and explain rights and reproductions in museums, giving guidance for standards and best practices.  Topics will include applicable guidelines for identifying differences between copyright and license, fair use and rights laws, risk assessment, and other typical permission and use situations for museums and cultural institutions. 

Zoom Webinar: Participants cannot be seen or heard, but can interact with questions.

2:45pm - 3:45pm
Care of Digital Collections- Leigh Jeremias

Caring for digital collection is not simply about collecting or making a digital copy of an object. It is a process of collecting, reformatting, cataloging, storing, and sharing digital objects. With this session, you will learn the fundamentals of digital collections care including collecting or selection for digitization, digital capture, preservation, description, and sharing.

Zoom Webinar: Participants cannot be seen or heard, but can interact with questions.

4pm - 5pm
Strategy and Application- All Presenters

This open forum session will address practical strategies and applications for photograph care and preservation, rights and reproductions, and digital preservation and care.  

Zoom Meeting: Participants can be seen and heard. You are encouraged to discuss and ask questions.

5pm - 5:30pm
Happy Hour: Connecting Museums, Libraries, and Students

This open session will provide the opportunity for any museums and libraries to connect with each other, share contact information, and for students to connect with organizations. 

Zoom Meeting: Participants can be seen and heard. You are encouraged to discuss and ask questions.



Melissa de Bie

Director of Collections Access | Senior Registrar
History Colorado

Melissa has a Master's degree in Anthropology with a Museum Studies concentration and worked in the field for 20 years with a variety of collections experience from anthropology, art, natural history, and history museums.  At History Colorado for 11 years, she has been directly responsible for creating and implementing collections initiatives that provide increased collections access, relevance, and advocacy through multiple digital and physical outreach mechanisms.  Melissa has focused on collections access work with multiple roles of leadership in collections management, database administration, move planning and implementation, exhibit work, and other collections and digital initiatives.  She is currently working on a 2 year IMLS National Leadership Grant with museum professionals from The Field Museum, History Colorado, and Newfields Indianapolis Museum of Art to create a unique educational web platform using collections resources.  I have also presented at national and regional conferences such as AAM, AASLH, and MPMA on collections moves, deaccessions, database access and discovery, and innovative collections use in exhibits.  


Kevin Smith

Associate Curator of Photography
History Colorado | Collections Services 

Kevin has a Master’s degree in History from University of Colorado Denver, where he specialized in 20th Century American History and the Cold War.  He has also earned an Archivist Certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists, coordinated through the Society of American Archivists.  He has worked in both archival and museum settings, including the Broomfield Depot Museum and the Colorado State Archives.  Kevin has worked at History Colorado in a variety of contract and staff roles for the past seven years, where he’s worked extensively in processing manuscript and photograph collections.  One of his more recent projects include the processing of History Colorado’s collection of approximately 10,000 postcards, which he wrote about in the Summer 2019 issue of Colorado Heritage.  He now works as History Colorado’s Associate Curator of Photography, where he is working on further developing the museum’s collection of photographs and making them more accessible to the public.  


Leigh Jeremias

Digital Collections Coordinator
Colorado State Library

Leigh Jeremias is the Digital Collections Coordinator for the Colorado State Library where she manages the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection and the Plains to Peaks Collective, the Colorado-Wyoming Service Hub of the Digital Public Library of America.  Ms. Jeremias has over 19 years experience working to make historical collections more accessible to the widest audience possible. She has extensive experience in the development, care and refinement of archival and digital collections as well as knowledge of several collection management databases, metadata schemas and aggregation, copyright and risk assessment, and project management. Prior to working at the State Library, Ms. Jeremias worked at History Colorado and the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Pa.  In her current role she works to expand state and national access to all types of historic collections found at both small and large cultural heritage institutions. 

Thank you:

Thank you to History Colorado and Colorado State Library for partnering with small archival organizations to enhance the care and preservation of Colorado’s history.






Preserving Colorado History Conference Booklet

Organization Registration

Student Registration

Comments are closed.