Oregon Heritage Commission has bestowed an Oregon Heritage Excellence Award to a collaborative project between Oregon Folklife Network (OFN), Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS), and University of Oregon Libraries (UO).
The CTWS Culture & Heritage Language Department initiated the audio preservation project by asking James Fox, Head of UO Libraries Special Collection and University Archives, for assistance in preserving and improving access to its audio archives. With funding from an Oregon Heritage Commission grant, CTWS Culture and Heritage Language Dept. director, Valerie Switzler and archivist Dallas Winishut prioritized the open reel sound recordings materials as most in danger of degradation, and also most valuable to the tribe’s current cultural programming. UO Librarian Nathan Georgitis chose and installed the equipment needed for the preservation workstation, and trained Switzler, Winishut, and tribal volunteer Greg Arquette in best practices for sound preservation. OFN program manager, Emily West Afanador, performed video documentation of the project with interviews provided by both Switzler and Winishut, for a forthcoming documentary short to educate the broader Oregon public about the importance of preserving cultural sound recordings, and the challenges and rewards of partnerships.
The Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards recognize individuals, organizations, and projects for outstanding efforts in heritage preservation. The award honors those that make the most of available resources and develop innovative approaches. The collaborators will receive this honor during the Oregon Heritage Conference, April 23-25, in Albany, Oregon.