Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco

Building 640 at the Presidio in San Francisco
Information Source for the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Treasures Revealed Workshop

On Saturday, March 5, 2011 the San Francisco JACL had a workshop called "Treasures Revealed". The workshop was about preserving artifacts and treasures so that they can be passed onto future generations. The presenter talked about how many artifacts and treasures from WWII have been passed down, but because they were not properly preserved they have become worn out usually due to negligence. Many WWII items from Japanese interns are presented in museums and exhibits, but they often appear worn out due to their lack of proper preservation.
The workshop began with some slides and then an introduction of everyone who attended. Many Japanese Americans have had parents or grandparents that saved artifacts/treasures whether or not they have monetary value. Unfortunately, many descendants of the Issei and Nisei may have found their grandparents or parents treasures and threw them out believing they were trash. Often times artifacts were discovered in bad shape because of lack of care. These objects represent previous generations and the stories they posses are what makes them treasures. So it is important to properly store these items and probably label them so that future generations will not simply throw them out.
The Japanese interned had to make do with what they had and became resourceful carefully not wasting anything. Objects like these tell stories about camp life and are physical evidence of those times. Seemingly insignificant things from previous generations could store valuable tales of heritage for descendants to find. But the important thing for saving objects is to consider what has a story that the next generations should know. The point of the workshop is not to hoard valuables, but to leave a legacy behind for future generations to discover. The presenter gives valuable tips for preserving treasures like leaving them protected in plastic bags and unexposed to the elements: sunlight, moisture, heat, etc. Keeping them covered will help prevent fading or becoming worn out. Label objects and maybe right down a description so that descendants will know why your old stuff is valuable and it will teach them a bit of history as well.
The workshop had a good turn out, there were about 10 or more attendees and people got to hear some stories about their treasures. Everyone got to learn a little about how objects are valuable because of their stories not monetary value. Everyone seemed to have a good time, no one was uncomfortable and shared their thoughts/stories. All attendees got to learn about preserving their treasures and leaving something behind for the futures. Overall it was a nice workshop and should done again in the future.

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