Save Our African American Treasures is a collaboration among cultural institutions, community leaders, and the public to preserve and collect African American material culture.

Save our Treasures webpage. An image of three women, one is facing the other and displaying an arifact
Save our Treasures Book measurement
Four women seated around a table viewing a document
Purple gloved hands holding black and white photo of a couple
Four women standing around a table while one woman displays an artifact

The Museum launched the Treasures program in January, 2008. At each event, members of the public learn how to preserve their family photographs and papers, military uniforms, quilts and the other ephemera that document African American life. Save Our African American Treasures (SOAAT) features presentations, hands-on activities, and preservation tips.

One goal of our Treasures program is to connect program participants with their local museums, archives, and preservation organizations. And to honor personal pieces of American history in their own backyard. Museum Educator National Museum of African American History and Culture
Participants in the Treasures Program

Participants at a Save Our African American Treasures program event. 

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Our Programs

Saving Our African American Treasures offers an in-museum program, District Treasures, a remote traveling program, Hometown Treasures, and a virtual program Digital Treasures. All programs are designed to engage visitors, stimulate nationwide preservation activities, and promote collaborations among cultural institutions and their respective communities.

District Treasures

District Treasures is held in Washington, D.C. at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Participants can register and bring up to three personal treasures for professional review.

Hometown Treasures

Hometown Treasures travels to a select city annually. In collaboration with strategic hometown hosts the National Museum of African American History and Culture promotes the preservation of family treasures nationally. Local community members are invited to attend preservation workshops, professional reviews, and Expos.

Digital Treasures

Digital Treasures provides visitors the opportunity to enjoy virtual sessions and demonstrations led by museum professionals. Attendees can participate in online workshops, professional reviews, and Expos. All engagement focuses on the preservation of family heirlooms and treasures.

Learn more about Save Our African American Treasures in-museum and community outreach programs.

Please visit the Museum Events Calendar for scheduled dates and registration information.

Past Save Our African American Treasures programs have been held in:

Fort Lauderdale, FL New York, NY
Albany, GA Atlanta, GA
Charleston, SC Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX Detroit, MI
Houston, TX Indianola, MS
Los Angeles, CA St. Helena, SC
Topeka, KS Washington, DC
Birmingham, AL Denver, CO

 

Saving Our Treasures

Toolkits for Individuals, Families, Groups and Organizations
Hometown Treasures Toolkit for Individuals

Simple, Low-cost, Preservation Tips for Individuals

This Family Treasures Toolkit provides resources to assist you in understanding how to preserve your family treasures so they are available for future generations. Treasures are objects that hold special meaning and tell stories about the experiences of your family. As you discover items, turn to this guide for tips on how to preserve your family treasures.

Learn More about Simple, Low-cost, Preservation Tips for Individuals
Hometown Treasures Toolkit for Groups and Organizations

Host a Hometown Treasures Program for Your Community

This digital Hometown Treasures Toolkit for Groups and Organizations serves as a step-by-step guide to hosting a Hometown Treasures program for your community. You may choose to only conduct the program’s hallmark – the professional reviews. You may also choose to customize the program to meet the needs of your organization, group, or community.

Learn More about Host a Hometown Treasures Program for Your Community

'Quick Tips' for Preserving Your Family Treasures

Keep family treasures safe for future generations with these tips from the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute.

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