The Committee on Public Awareness has compiled the follow articles as resources for promoting the value of archives and archivists. If you have any recommendations for additional articles to include, please contact the COPA chair


In “Creating Innovative Programing for Nontraditional Audiences” (Archival Outlook Jan/Feb 2020), seven archivists share tips and lessons learned on outreach and engagement.

In “Building New Traditions: A University Archives Advocates for Diversity and Inclusion” (Archival Outlook Nov/Dec 2019), five archivists from Texas A&M University Cushing Memorial Library and Archives discuss diversity and inclusivity efforts that fostered new traditions in collecting archival materials, collaborating in the community, and the successful hiring of diverse student workers.

In “Moving Your Archives from the Basement to the Airwaves: A Case Study in Public Radio Collaboration” (Archival Outlook Nov/Dec 2019), Leslie Waggener and Molly Marcuse of the American Heritage Center offer a primer on how they engaged public radio to host one-minute stories from AHC’s wide-ranging collections. They also offer excellent tips on writing for broadcast.

In “Let Me Tell You about Aaron Burr’s Divorce: Promoting Archives through the Media” (Archival Outlook Jan/Feb/ 2019), Geof Huth of the New York State Unified Court System offers a two-part spiel on how he garnered media attention for a story about his archives by first “telling the story they want to hear” and then “telling the story you need to tell.”

To Like or Not to Like: Understanding and Maximizing the Utility of Archival Outreach on Facebook” by Joshua D. Hager (American Archivist Spring/Summer 2015) describes how 23 archivists across the US use Facebook to  raise the public profile of their institutions and share collections. The interviews also reveal four guidelines that could help archivists have further success on Facebook: highlight visual items, work collaboratively with other institutions to take advantage of Facebook’s sharing tools, profile items with intrinsic value, and establish a narrow identity that focuses on one or two specific subjects.

Marketing Finding Aids on Social Media: What Worked and What Didn't Work” by Felicia Williamson, Scott Vieira and James Williamson of Sam Houston State University’s Special Collections (American Archivist Fall/Winter 2015) shares how a combination of certain social media sites, in this case WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter, provides a better marketing strategy for getting the word out about archival collections.

Social Media and Crowdsourced Transcription of Historical Materials at the Smithsonian Institution: Methods for Strengthening Community Engagement and Its Tie to Transcription Output” by Lesley Parilla and Meghan Ferriter (American Archivist Fall/Winter 2016) demonstrates that crowdsourced transcription has grown in popularity as a tool for generating transcribed data and public engagement.

New Uses for Old Records: A Rhizomatic Approach to Archival Access” by Wendy M. Duff and Jessica Haskell (American Archivist Spring/Summer 2015) describes recent collaborative projects and techniques that encourage a reworking of the traditional access model and make new connections into the archives, including social media crowdsourcing projects, gamification techniques, GIS interactives, mobile applications, and remixed archival photographs.

Developing Virtual Reality Experiences for Archival Collections: Case Study of the May Massee Collection at Emporia State University” by Brady D. Lund and Shari Scribner (American Archivist Fall/Winter 2019) discusses the use of virtual reality technology to make a special collection at Emporia State University accessible 24/7 to a global audience.