The Yolo County Archives’ mission, to preserve the uniqueness of Yolo County, is often met with the contribution of community projects that also are aimed at preserving the memory of Yolo County.
The mission to increase the relevance and use of the archives in an increasingly interactive and online world comes with ongoing efforts to move the Yolo County Archives into the digital age. A good example of these two objectives being met is with the contribution of the Restore/Restory Project to the Yolo County Archives.
Jesikah maria ross, director of the Art of Regional Change program at UC Davis, recently contributed her collection of creative content from “Restore/Restory: A People’s History of the Cache Creek Nature Preserve.” The records submitted were in various formats, including digital, which will allow the archives to develop online access for the Yolo County community and beyond.
“Yolo County Archives is an amazing resource for all things Yolo and we encourage the public to come in and explore,” says Patty Wong, Yolo County librarian and chief archivist.
“Restore/Restory” involved more than 200 people in documenting Yolo County’s diverse and changing demographics, traditions and relationships with the land that is now the Cache Creek Nature Preserve west of Woodland.
Guided by an advisory group of scholars and residents, the two-year project brought university students and community members together with ross to collect hundreds of audio recordings, photographs and documents. Then, they curated the collection into a variety of innovative media arts pieces, including a story map of community memories, an audio tour presenting multiple perspectives on local history, digital murals combining archival and contemporary images, and an illustrated historical timeline of the preserve.
Community members can access and explore these productions online at restorerestory.org.
The Yolo County Archives is moving into the digital age by uploading and adding content to the California Digital Library’s online archives catalogue. Ross’ collection of biographical and historical notes, along with the scope and content of the Restore/Restory Project collection soon will be available for viewing via the online archives catalogue.
“The archivist is doing a wonderful job preserving the stories of Yolo County and bringing them into the digital age,” Supervisor Don Saylor said at the transfer of materials to the archives. “These stories are a critical part of our heritage. By placing them in the archives, we ensure that future generations will be able to access and share themn. Restore/Restory is a true Yolo County treasure and a perfect complement of the existing assets in the archives.”
A significant part of ross’ research for this project was done at the Yolo County Archives, at 226 Buckeye St. in Woodland. She began her research there by meeting with local historians Joann Larkey and Shipley Walters. Larkey helped ross navigate through the extensive Joann Larkey Collection, which was used in part to develop the Restore/Restory Project.
Many Yolo County residents contributed to this project through the telling of their stories, knowing their memories would be preserved and accessible to future generations through the Yolo County Archives, ross said. Among the participants were representatives of the Cache Creek Conservancy, Yoche Dehe Wintun Nation, UCD Humanities Institute, UCD Center for Regional Change, Yolo County Historical Society, Capay Valley Vision, Tuleyome and Putah Creek Council.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Yolo County Archives and its role in preserving history, creating content and accessing historical records such as the Restore/Restory Project should call 530-666-8010 or email [email protected]. Research hours are by appointment only and are on Tuesdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Thursdays between noon and 4 p.m.