The National Endowment of the Humanities has awarded Bakersfield College Library’s Delano Campus a grant to preserve Delano’s Common Heritage. NEH recognizes that America’s cultural heritage is preserved not only in libraries, museums, archives, and other community organizations, but also in all of our homes, family histories, and life stories. The NEH Common Heritage program aims to capture this vitally important part of our history. The public in the community of Delano will be invited to share photographs, documents, artifacts, family letters, artworks and family heirlooms related to family and community history representing Delano’s diverse international migration history. Items will be digitized, along with descriptive information and context provided by oral histories. Contributors will receive a free digital copy of their items. With the owner’s permission, the digitized materials will be made publicly available through Digital Delano.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR DIGITIZATION EVENTS
Q: What can I bring?
A. Bring papers, letters, journals, photos, documents, and any other items that are important to your past.
Medals, coins, and other objects can also be scanned or photographed.
Stories can be recorded (video and/or audio) to accompany your item or as a stand-alone historical artifact.
Q. But don’t you want only stories that fit your project?
A. No! The point of the project is to help community members preserve what is important to them. Bring items or stories that matter to you.
Q. Do my materials have to be about Delano?
A. No. Life in Delano connects people with experiences from all parts of the world. It doesn’t matter where your documents, photos, or items were written, taken, or produced. If they’re somehow connected to you and your family they count.
Q. Will I have to leave my documents?
A. Absolutely not! You will be present during the digitization of your item(s) and will leave with a digital copy as well as the original.
Q. How will I get my digital copies to preserve my items?
A. Each visitor will receive a USB-drive with scans of their materials.
Q. How much can you scan? I have 14 boxes of old WWI letters from my relatives.
A. We will start with a selection of a few documents that are most important to you. Depending on the number of people who attend a scan session, we might be able to do more, but not all 14 boxes. But if you really have 14 boxes of WWI letters we definitely would like to visit about setting up a separate visit!
Q. How can I contribute scans of my items to help the “community” part of this project?
A. When you bring in your documents you’ll be offered a simple release form that lets you donate digital copies of your materials to the project. We’ll handle the technical part.
Q. Is donation of copies required? I just want scans to take with me.
A. No, you don’t have to donate copies, but the project organizers would love it if you did. We’re hoping to paint a broad picture of all sorts of experiences of life in our international community and your documents will help.
Q. Who would be interested in copies of my old family materials?
A. Historians, community members and students all are interested in the rich experiences of people like you.
Q. I’d like to do a bigger scanning project. Can that be arranged?
A. We certainly hope so! The Bakersfield College Library at the Delano Campus and Digital Delano is always looking for new material. You can leave your contact info and we’ll contact you to make arrangements.
Q. What about old home movies and slides?
A. Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to digitize old home movies and slides.