Much of Texas’ rich history is told through the records held in courthouses across the state. Many counties lack the resources to preserve these records for future generations. In response to this need, the Texas Supreme Court created a volunteer Task Force to study the conditions of the Texas state court archives, and provide statewide recommendations and best practices for the protection and preservation of these records. Ultimately, the Task Force will develop a comprehensive plan to raise public awareness of the historical treasures found in the court records, and develop recommendations for how these records can be made more accessible to the public.
As a chair of the Records Preservation Committee, Cheryl Carrabba shares her professional expertise in a number of areas. Carrabba Conservation is an integral part of the Preservation Task Force, hosting work meetings of the Records Preservation Committee. Using the results of a state-wide court records survey conducted by the Task Force, the Records Preservation Committee pinpointed Texas counties by region that hold the oldest historical records and showed the highest level of preservation needs. For the identified regions, the Committee created a specialized workshop curriculum and training programs to address pressing preservation issues statewide.
After initial development of curriculum, the Committee identified partnerships within the regions to serve as hosts. In addition, regional professionals in their areas of expertise agreed to aid in the execution of training workshops and local fundraising. Regional workshops will cover topics related to preventative physical preservation including handling instruction; treatment such as surface cleaning; unfolding, humidification and flattening; acid-free re-housing and storage in stable suitable environment. These workshops will also cover digitization, archival management, storage concerns, climate monitoring and collection security.