IS IT WORTH KEEPING?
> Why do we keep outdated scientific and technical literature?
> What motivates you to preserve family photographs?
> Why would we preserve advertisements for products no longer manufactured?
> What can you learn from old maps and city directories?
Through a visit to the current Linderman Library exhibit, it is our hope that you
will discover answers to these questions. Inspired by the title of an 1890s Atlantic
City directory, the exhibit "Worth Keeping: Preserving the Past / Informing the
Future" is intended to provide a survey of Lehigh's extensive and varied Special
Collections. Topics on display range from technology to immigration, and from
advertising to local history. Exhibited items have become part of the collection
through deliberate acquisition as well as through more unexpected means. They
might have been a treasured artifact or a component of everyday life. Visitors are
encouraged to consider how these items and other material in Special
Collections might be used for personal or academic research, as well as
Curation of collections is motivated by diverse factors that are always in flux, as
decisions about what is worth keeping are ultimately subjective and dependent
on the individual responsible for preservation. Sentimentality might drive a
family to preserve photographs or correspondence, while research value is often
the driving consideration for academic institutions. Geography also plays a
significant role in determining what is "worth keeping." Location and
demographic trends often impact the availability of, and interest in, documents
and artifacts relevant to local history. Other factors for academic collection
include condition, preservation, conservation, space, and cataloging.
As you visit this exhibit and see the range of items that generations of Lehigh
librarians, archivists, curators, alumni, and members of the local community,
have determined to be worth keeping, consider what merits preservation in your
world. We invite you to imagine yourself on a creative journey through the
historical documents and everyday objects, taking the opportunity to look
around and identify material that contains personal stories and histories.
On display in Linderman Library through June 26 during building hours, ''Worth
Keeping" is located in the Louis and Jane Weinstock 1936 Reading Room on the
first floor, the Cafe Gallery on the ground floor, and in the Bayer Galleria on the
third floor. Please also visit the Cabinet of Curiosities in the Special Collections
reading room on the third floor, open weekdays until 5:00 pm.