Crowds Surge for HSW-Smithsonian Treasures Program

On Saturday and Sunday November 8-9, the final installment of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture's "Save Our African American Treasures," program was held in partnership with the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. at the Carnegie Library building.

The final installment of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture’s “Save Our African American Treasures,” program was held in partnership with the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. on November 8 and 9th.

On November 8th and 9th, the Historical Society and the Smithsonian Institution hosted  “Save Our African American Treasures,” a program initiative of the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). While the final tally isn’t yet available, estimates indicate that at least five hundred people turned out for the two-day event. The “Save Our African American Treasures” program kicked off in January 2008 and has been hosted in cities across the country in the years since; the November 2014 event was billed as the final – and wildly successful – installment in the NMAAHC’s program.

Many attendees brought their family’s personal treasures with them; others came to attend preservation workshops and learn more about community partners such as the Historical Society; the Special Collections of the D.C. Public Library; Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of D.C.; and the Military Road School Preservation Trust.

Professional conservators, curators and collections managers contributed their expertise throughout the weekend, identifying historical items and providing preservation guidance to owners of busts, dolls, paintings, photographs, quilts, clothing, personal letters, ephemera and more.

Next week we’ll offer a look at some of items that came to light as a result of the program; in the meantime, check out what the Washington Post; NBC4; CBS DC; WTOP and others had to say about the event!

While final numbers aren't yet available, at least five hundred hundred people turned out for the two day event; many attendees brought their family's personal treasures with them.

While final numbers aren’t yet available, at least five hundred people turned out for the two-day event; many attendees brought their family’s personal treasures with them.

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Items brought in for preservation guidance and identification purposes included busts …

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… paintings …

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… dolls …

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… and textiles, including flags and quilts. Professional conservators, curators and collections managers contributed their expertise throughout the weekend.

HSW Executive Director John Suau talks with program participants at the Society's informational table.

HSW Executive Director John Suau spoke with program participants at the Society’s informational table.

Event participants packed the Kiplinger Research Library, where indices to genealogical material are among the African American heritage resources available for researchers.

Event participants packed the Kiplinger Research Library, where indices to genealogical material are among the African American heritage resources available for researchers.

HSW volunteer Sarah Bordeaux, a graduate student studying exhibition design, welcomed participants to the Society's exhibit.

HSW volunteer Sarah Bordeaux, a graduate student studying exhibition design, welcomed event goers to the Society’s exhibit.