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Press Release
October 9, 2003


Archives Week 2003 Celebration To Be Held October 12-18

Washington, DC. . . In celebration of Archives Week 2003, October 12-18, the National Archives Assembly invites members of the public to attend free events in the Washington Metropolitan area to "Discover the Culture Within Archives." Archives Week is an annual observance of the importance of archival and historical records to our lives. Archivists hold special events and activities during the week of the Columbus Day holiday each year to increase public awareness of the relevance of archives to modern life.

Local events and presentations include:

October 14, Tuesday, Lecture and Tour of the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom
9:45 a.m., National Archives Building, Room 105

"Protecting Cultural Symbols: Conservation Challenges in Restoring the National Archives Rotunda Murals"
Painting conservator David Olin will report on his treatment of two monumental mural paintings by Barry Faulkner. These large paintings on canvas, commissioned for the National Archives Rotunda in the 1930s, had become distorted by bulges of crumbling plaster behind the canvas. Mr. Olin will discuss the logistics of removing these paintings safely from the deteriorating plaster substrate onto immense rollers, transporting the rolled paintings to a special studio designed for their conservation, the conservation treatment and the reinstallation in the Rotunda. The talk will be illustrated with slides taken throughout this once-in-a-lifetime project. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. National Archives Senior Conservator Kitty Nicholson who served as technical representative for the project will provide background on the murals paintings, and lead a tour in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom to see the restored paintings following the lecture.

Directions: Take the Green Line or Yellow Line Metro to the Archives - Navy Memorial stop and exit onto the Navy Memorial Plaza. The National Archives Building is across the street at 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

October 15, Wednesday, 6th Annual Washington, DC, Area Archives Fair
Exhibits: Noon - 5 p.m. Smithsonian Institution's Ripley Center
Lecture: "Assignment: Baghdad"
2:30 p.m., Ripley Center Lecture Hall
Doris A. Hamburg, Director, Preservation Programs, and Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler, Director of the NARA Document Conservation Laboratory, recently returned from Baghdad, Iraq. They were on an assignment to review archival materials documenting the Iraqi Jewish community through the centuries that were severely damaged during the recent hostilities. Ms. Hamburg and Ms. Ritzenthaler will give an illustrated account of their adventures in Baghdad, as well as a discussion of the condition of the archival materials and the preservation strategies being developed to secure the future of this important collection.

The Archives Fair will feature exhibits on local, national and world history and will showcase regional archival collections. The following repositories will be represented: American Red Cross; Corcoran Gallery of Art Archives; DC Public Library; Defense Technical Information Center (DoD); George Washington University; Historical Society of Washington DC; Howard University, Moorland Spingarn Research Center; Library of Congress (American Folklore Center, Manuscript Division, Prints and Photographs); National Archives and Records Administration; Naval Historical Center, Operational Archives Branch; Smithsonian Institution (Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery; National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division; National Anthropology Archives; National Museum of American History, Archives Center; Office of Smithsonian Institution Archives; and Archives of American Gardens, Horticulture Services Division); University of Maryland; and University of the District of Columbia, Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives.

Directions: Take the Orange Line or Blue Line Metro to the Smithsonian stop and exit onto the Mall. The entrance to the Ripley Center is between the Smithsonian Castle and the Freer Gallery and will lead you to the underground complex.

For further information about Archives Week events, please contact Jennie Guilbaud at (301) 837-1777 or by email: jennie.guilbaud@nara.gov.

04-03

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