Participants in MayDay 2007

The following groups and repositories notified us that they helped to spread the word or participated at some level in MayDay 2007 activities.  Thanks for helping to save our archives!

Australian National Committee of the Blue Shield (ANCBS), Collections Council of Australia
Adelaide, South Australia

“I write to you both now to thank you for your generous support of the proposal I put to you only a few days ago - that the Australian National Committee for the Blue Shield (ANCBS) use the MayDay idea in Australia.

On 26 April we made the adapted MayDay information live on the Collections Council of Australia website. This included use of all of the logos Lawrence kindly provided to us….

[The MayDay page is located on the Blue Shield homepage under Projects > Current > Second Announcement. However, we have also linked to it from our Events page in two places - as 'MayDay! MayDay! MayDay!' and as the first event on the 'May - a special month for collections' page. The Collections Council also happened to release its e-Bulletin #15 on 27 April 2007, so it contains a reference to MayDay as well. To subscribe to this occasional e-Bulletin please go to e-Bulletin under Tell Us on the Collections Council's homepage]…..

MayDay is the first ANCBS announcement which has been distributed to all the collections sector list-servs / e-Bulletins that the Collections Council uses to distribute sector-wide information….

The Collections Council was established to provide nation-wide coordination for collecting organisations in Australia. Our strategic plan was released in July 2006. One of the key projects that the Collections Council is on the verge of promoting is a system of support to regional collections. If we are successful in securing government support for this 10-year (establishment) scheme, it will provide the perfect conduit for channelling such campaigns as MayDay in the future

Thank you for taking the initiative in creating MayDay, and for being so generous in your support of the ANCBS in promoting the campaign for Australia."

—Veronica Bullock, Development Officer 

Council of State Archivists (CoSA)
Iowa City, IA

The Henry Ford
Dearborn, MI 


"As part of May Day 'Saving Our Archives' activities, the conservation staff of The Henry Ford organized a hands-on disaster preparedness workshop for the staff of the Ford Motor Company archives. Here The Henry Ford’s paper conservator Minoo Larson demonstrates the proper method for handling damaged film negatives to Elizabeth Adkins, director of Ford’s Global Information Management. Adkins is president of the Society of American Archivists."

—Kate Storey, Public Relations

Heritage Preservation
Washington, D.C.

Press Release

"Staff at Heritage Preservation filled in the Council of State Archivists' Pocket Response Plan template with staff emergency contact information (each staff person has two copies) and updated the off-site records of articles of incorporation, insurance coverage, and inventory."

King County Archives
Seattle, WA

Illinois State Archives
Springfield, IL

“The Illinois State Archives joined other archives, libraries, museums, and historic preservation organizations across the country on May 1 in observing MayDay, an annual national event focusing on disaster preparedness and emergency response. The Society of American Archivists began MayDay in 2006 as a way for archivists and other cultural heritage professionals to think about disaster preparedness.

Archives staff members participated in a variety of activities, including rereading the Archives' Internal Disaster Recovery Plan, taking note of the location of fire exits and fire extinguishers, and participating in an evacuation drill. In addition, new emergency evacuation warden signs have been placed throughout the building.”

—Elaine Shemoney Evans, Illinois State Archives

Lane Community College, Archives and Records Management
Eugene, OR

“…I wanted to send an update on our May Day "Red Bag" lunch. We invited people from the college community to a casual lunchtime discussion of procedures in the face of a records emergency. We set up a display of various pamphlets, books, the Emergency Response and Salvage Wheel, and damaged materials.

We started with a definition of what constitutes a records emergency or disaster. We broke it down into three types of disasters: environmental, technical, and security. This led to into a general discussion of concerns, questions, and ideas. Then, we gave participants a tour of the Archives, showing them where we keep our first aid kits, fire extinguishers, alarms, flashlights, and emergency supply kits. We reviewed the importance of updating phone numbers, the employee emergency manual, and the locations of exits and alarms. Then we discussed some best practices for records storage, such as not keeping boxes on the floor, keeping records in boxes or file cabinets, and identifying critical records with brightly colored stickers. We provided suggestions for where participants could access information at the local, state, and national level, as well as resources such as the Library of Congress, NEDCC, and Solinet websites. Finally, we talked about electronic records and some special considerations for digital preservation.

We were encouraged to do another lunchtime discussion for those who couldn't make it. We are considering it, but focusing on specific types of disasters (environmental, technical, and security).”

—Tiah Edmunson-Morton, Processing Archivist

Litchfield Historical Society
Litchfield, CT

"At the Litchfield Historical Society, we have a "back room" and a smaller room with air handlers in it that turned into catch-alls for everything we were saving because we thought we might use it again- lots of empty boxes, craft supplies, broken electronic equipment etc. The director, curator, and archivist decided to use MayDay as an opportunity to rid ourselves of this potential hazard, and we cleaned all day. We hauled out truckloads of stuff, some to Goodwill, some to the dump, and at least 10 pounds of dust. Attached are photos of the piles we removed and the cleaned up spaces. We have reclaimed our collections workspace, and found room for the interns coming this summer to work on any number of projects. Additionally, our administrative assistant/ gift shop manager updated and reprinted our Emergency Manual for each employee.

We (and our collections) thank you for the MayDay idea!"

—Linda Hocking, Curator of Library and Archives

SAA Preservation Section 

Saint Michael's College
Colchester, VT

"At Saint Michael’s College, we used the [2006] occasion to hold a long overdue meeting of our Disaster Committee. At the meeting, we decided that we would use the May 1 date as our disaster plan annual update date. We also decided that we would do an annual disaster/emergency training/update/in-service at the library staff meeting that falls closest to May 1 next year."

—Elizabeth B. Scott, Archivist

Shelburne Museum
Shelburne, VT

Syracuse University, Archives and Records Management
Syracuse, NY

"Sent to over 300 records coordinators at the university:

ARM Memo #8: MayDay – Are you prepared for a disaster?

MayDay is a day set aside each year when records professionals do something to help preserve our documentary heritage. This year your University Archives is contacting you to remind you about being prepared for potential disasters.

We all know about the consequences of major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, but not all disasters get publicized to that extent. Did you know, for example, that we ourselves experienced a water disaster in 1999, caused by the accidental breaking of a sprinkler head during a renovation? Hundreds of boxes of records were damaged, but quick work ensured that almost all the contents were saved. Do you know where to turn off the water if there’s a plumbing mishap in your area? We do now.

Disasters can be large or small – unintentional or intentional – water-based or fire. Don’t think that any SU office is immune. We know of one office (thankfully not here) where a minor roof leak just happened to drip onto the filing cabinet housing Board records and someone had inadvertently left the file drawer open.

So here’s our MayDay recommendation to you as employees who have records in your custody. Take a few minutes today and look over your office area. If you see any potential safety problems take steps to correct them. If you have records stored where there is any chance of possible water damage, move them to a safer location. Try not to store in basements or damp areas. Follow records retention guidelines and destroy obsolete records so you only have to protect records with current value.

While most of the records in SU offices will eventually be destroyed, some do have historical value however and will end up in the University Archives as testament to the work we all do today."

—Edward L. Galvin, Director, Archives and Records Management


Last updated: November 9, 2010