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Pictured from left are Anne Bailey Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Secretary Stephanie Shahbandy; Joe Geiger, West Virginia Archives and History director; and Anne Bailey Chapter Regent Mary Johnson.

Members of the Anne Bailey Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, presented the NSDAR Excellence in Historic Preservation Certificate and medal to West Virginia Archives and History for its outstanding work in preserving materials that document the state’s history on Oct. 9.

The award specifically is presented to Archives and History for its work in saving the Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corporation records from certain destruction a few years ago.

The Wheeling-Pittsburgh materials had been left in the corporate headquarters building in Wheeling after the owners filed for bankruptcy in 2012. By the time Archives and History staff were invited to salvage materials, water had damaged some of the records beyond saving.

However, with the help of a few local archivists and historians, much other material was retrieved in a short period of time.

The collection, housed at the State Archives in Charleston, includes more than 180 boxes of documents, a box and oversized folder of photographs, four boxes of audio-visual materials and several hundred maps and drawings related to various properties that once were part of the steel operations.

The NSDAR Excellence in Historic Preservation Certificate and medal were created by the administration of current President General Denise Doring VanBuren, in an effort to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that promote historical preservation in a variety of ways. It honors individuals and groups that have saved and/or preserved their local history, including restoration of buildings, collections, significant objects, monuments, cemeteries and other important artifacts.

“West Virginia Archives and History is most deserving of this recognition, not only for its work in saving the Wheeling-Pitt materials, but for the work it does every day to preserve West Virginia’s history,” Anne Bailey Chapter Regent Mary Johnson said in a release. “The work of archives around the country is often overlooked and underappreciated.”

Johnson noted that October was American Archives Month.

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