CSM Archivist Amanda Pike Offers Expertise During Book Preservation Workshop for The Big Read

The College of Southern Maryland announces Amanda Pike as the coordinator of the Southern Maryland Studies Center (SMSC) at the La Plata Campus. Pike encourages residents to check out the wealth of information SMSC carries on historic preservation

When it comes to preserving history, the College of Southern Maryland’s Amanda Pike, coordinator of the Southern Maryland Studies Center (SMSC), is an expert. Not only does she acquire and process materials for the center, Pike is developing a long-term plan to ensure collections are archived according to national preservation standards and she will be offering her archival expertise as part of an interactive workshop for The Big Read in Southern Maryland. The workshop, beginning at 11 a.m., Feb. 20 in the Dr. Elaine Ryan Library at the La Plata Campus, will include basic preservation care, simple book repairs, causes of book damage and hands-on solutions for treating damage to bound material.

Recently arrived at the SMSC, Pike intends to offer outreach events such as the workshop that will increase the public’s awareness of its resources as well as build the center’s online collections catalog. “People know the center predominantly as a source for genealogy materials but we also have great information on historic preservation, African-American history, environmental studies, local history, and industry and historic sites in the region, including primary source materials that can assist local researchers, genealogists, students and historians,” she said.

Established in 1976, the SMSC is a hub for research on the culture, development and family histories of Charles, Calvert, St. Mary’s, and southern portions of Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.

With a wealth of materials and resources, including state and federal census records, newspapers, and colonial and church records on microfilm, SMSC contains records of organizations, individuals and families from the 18th century to the present and provides insight into the economic, social and political currents that shaped these regions. Its print materials include books, newspapers, slides, maps and an extensive photograph collection including the Thomas and Maxine Headen Collection, whose first 1,000 records are available online at http://www.csmd.edu/library/smsc/. Also available online are past research projects including “In Our School World: African American Schools during a Century of Segregation, Charles County, Maryland” and “Hidden Identities: Southern Maryland Slaves & the United States Colored Troops at Camp Stanton, Maryland.”

Pike is developing more comprehensive finding aids to publish on the center’s website, such as archival indexes that list the contents, their history and background, to assist researchers.

She noted that one of the most interesting components of the center’s holdings is its oral history collection. “We have over 500 hours of audio recordings with local residents providing first-hand accounts of life in Southern Maryland throughout the 20th century. Currently, only the catalog records of each interview are available online but we are working on digitizing these tapes which provide insight into the lives of individuals from all walks of life.”

Previously Pike served as a law library intern at Eckert, Seamans, Cherin, & Mellot, LLC while earning a master of library and information science degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She holds a bachelor of arts in anthropology and sociology from the University of Mary Washington. Pike has also worked as a student technician in preservation at the Archives Service Center at Pitt and as an archives intern at the Andy Warhol Museum Archives, also in Pittsburgh. She is a member of the Society for American Archivists and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archivists. She lives in Huntingtown.

To contribute documents, photographs, family papers, records and more to the SMSC visit www.csmd.edu/Library/SMSC/donations.html; for information on volunteer or internship opportunities, contact Pike at APike@csmd.edu; for information on the book preservation workshop, call 301-934-7626 or visit www.csmd.edu/TheBigRead.




The Big Read Book Preservation Workshop. 11 a.m. to noon, Feb. 20. College of Southern Maryland, Learning Resources Building, Dr. Elaine Ryan Library, La Plata Campus, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. As part of The Big Read in Southern Maryland, join CSM Archivist Amanda Pike for an interactive workshop on preserving and maintaining your personal book collections. Learn a brief history about books, basic preservation care, and simple book repairs. The workshop will review causes of book damage, how to prevent damage to your books, and hands-on solutions for treating damage to bound material. The workshop is part of Southern Maryland’s activities focused on Ray Bradbury’s book “Fahrenheit 451” as part of the National Endowment for the Arts literature program. www.csmd.edu/TheBigRead. 301-934-7626.