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The rise of the New Social History emphasized “history from the bottom up,” making the story of the common man and woman just as important as well-known historical figures.

Local historical records are an essential resource to this new frame of thought in the history academy.

Bruce W. Dearstyne of the New York State Archives explains the importance of maintaining and organizing local records.

Dearstyne explores how local history organizations can make their records accessible to the public for research.

The author also shows how to appraise documents for historical value, seek out funding for historical records programs, and provides a basic overview for maintaining a local history collection.

Also helpful is his discussion of creating historical records programs without actually collecting materials.

This includes making the public aware of the resources available, providing resources for organizations that do not hold records, and finding homes for records.

Technical Leaflet # 121 (1979)

For more information on similar topics, please refer to Technical Leaflet Bundle 1, Archive Basics.