Archival collections vary in content and scope, and how universities or archives handle those collections varies even more. When Troy University was gifted thousands of interesting and unique postcards, the librarians were unsure of how to handle these since no archivist was on staff and no one was trained in the preservation or organization of archival material. This forced librarians to educate themselves and discern the best way to move forward. The purpose of this study is to investigate ways to preserve archival collections while increasing the visibility and usage of the content. The first section will include a literature review of ways archival materials are handled in libraries and museums as well as best practices for preserving, organizing, and sharing special collections. The authors will then detail the way this information was used to establish digitization processes and storage options for managing an archival collection of postcards in their academic library. The last part of the paper will detail the way this academic library increased the visibility and usage of the postcard collection by collaborating with other academic departments to create both physical and online exhibits. This section will give practical details concerning the production of three multi-panel traveling exhibits, the methods used for generating interest and securing bookings for these exhibits, and the logistics of managing the exhibits.

Publication Date

Summer 6-1-2020