Broward County Library and Smithsonian to present ‘Save Our African American Treasures’
By James Gordon
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Broward County African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) will co-host a two-day program to help South Florida residents identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance tucked away in their attics, closets and garages. The event will feature presentations, hands-on activities and preservation tips.
The program will take place Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the library, located at 2650 Sistrunk Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale.
Free and open to the public, the event is called “Save Our African American Treasures: A National Collections Initiative of Discovery and Preservation.” It is the 14th in a series held across the country since 2008. All are welcome.
Participants are invited to bring up to three personal items for a 15-minute, professional consultation with experts on how to care for them. The specialists will serve as reviewers, not appraisers, and will not determine items’ monetary values. Objects such as books, photographs, ceramics, metalwork and textiles no larger than a shopping bag (furniture, carpets, weapons and paintings are excluded) can be reviewed. Additional information is available at nmaahc.si.edu or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (877) 733-9599.
“We are extremely proud of bringing ‘Save Our African American Treasures’ to South Florida and of our partnership with the Broward County Libraries Division,” said Lonnie Bunch, director of the Smithsonian museum. “We must encourage citizens of South Florida to become aware of what they have, to protect it and to preserve it so the story of African Americans in this country can be told. Citizens hold the 19th- and 20th-century objects—family photographs, military uniforms, farm tools and wedding dresses—that can help tell this story for future generations. If we do not act now to preserve these items, the tangible evidence of a critical component of American history will be lost.”