American Archives Month 2014

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Since 2006, American Archives Month has given the profession an opportunity to tell (or remind) people that items that are important to them are being preserved, cataloged, cared for, and made accessible by archivists. To help you participate in American Archives Month, SAA has provided members with practical information and great ideas to help make your archives program more visible. Or check out our #AskAnArchivist Day page, which details how you can participate in an opportunity to engage with the public via Twitter on October 2.

This October, take steps (big or small), to reach out to your communities, make connections, and show others the significance of archives.

Here’s how your colleagues are celebrating American Archives Month:

Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH)

The agency will present a series of special exhibits and events to showcase historical collections and inform the public about the important service that archives provide to all Alabamians. The Archives Crawl, for example, will kick off on October 4 and will continue throughout the month. To participate in the crawl, visitors are invited to explore the Rosa Parks Museum, the Alabama State University, Alabama Public Television, the H. Councill Trenholm Technical College, and Auburm University at Montgomery to view the collections and collect a passport stamp at each stop along the way. 

Archives Month Philly

The Delaware Valley Archivists Group is presenting Archives Month Philly, a month-long festival of history-themed events at Philadelphia's archives, special collections libraries, and cultural institutions. The full lineup of events features programming at more than fifteen regional institutions, including the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Union League, and the Wagner Free Institute of Science.

Archivists of the Houston Area (AHA)

AHA is celebrating Archives Month with tours of the Truman G. Blocker Jr. History of Medicine Collections at the Moody Medical Library and the San Jacinto Battle Monument and Museum. In addition, the group is also hosting Migrating Archives: A Roundtable on Moving the Whole Kit and Kaboodle. 

Austin Archives Bazaar

The Austin Archives Bazaar is an opportunity for the local community to come together to learn about the resources available in the Austin and Central Texas area. The event, held on October 19, will feature booths with twenty-two Central Texas archives showing off their collections, as well as an archival film screening, an oral history booth, a preservation station, and more.

California State Archives

The California State Archives is hosting three Archives Month events in October at the California Secretary of State’s building. The State Archives will host an open house as part of the fourth annual Sacramento Archives Crawl. The full-day event with the theme “Having Fun in the Sacramento Region” will showcase local historical treasures. The archives is also hosting a Digital Archives Day for the Family Historian and a Preservation Workshop. For more information, see the latest issue of California Originals, the California State Archives’ quarterly newsletter.

Capital Area Archivists

To celebrate Archives Month, the Capital Area Archivists hosted the 19th Annual Capital Region Archives Dinner at the historic Stockade Inn in Schenectady, New York. More than seventy-five archivists and records managers from throughout New York State's Capital District recognized outstanding achievement in archives and listened to speaker Thomas R. Porter (Sakokwenionkwas) discuss "Documenting Native American History and Culture: The Haudenosaunee Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow."

Indiana University South Bend

The Archives at Indiana University (IU) South Bend is celebrating American Archives Month by doing inreach and outreach. Like many academic archives—particularly smaller repositories—the IU South Bend Archives is a unit of the library. Archivist Alison Stankrauff, a lone arranger (and also one of ten reference librarians), is doing inreach to her fellow librarians and library staff to talk more about what the archives has, how the archives receives materials, how that content is organized, what student interns are working on, and how the materials can be accessed. The archives also has an autumn and Halloween-themed display in the library’s lobby highlighting the archives’ holdings. 

Los Angeles Archives Bazaar

The ninth-annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar will feature a broad array of institutions, and archives will have experts on hand to show off their collections and answer questions. In all, more than seventy archives—from the Autry National Center of the American West and the Los Angeles Public Library to private collectors whose materials fill the gaps left in the region’s history—will be represented at the event, which is free and open to the public. 

Louisiana State Archives

The Louisiana State Archives is hosting lectures throughout Archives Month. Lectures include "The Battle of New Orleans"; "Barefoot, Bloodied, and Bruised: The Story of Louisiana Six-Man Football"; and "The National World War II Museum."

Marquette University

In conjunction with American Archives Month and in support of the Wisconsin theme of Sharing Our Very Best, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives invited the Marquette community to tag their best photos of Marquette. Students, staff, alumni, and others affiliated with the university were asked to post a photo of a great experience or one of their favorite things about Marquette using the hashtag #MyBestMU in various social media. The tagged items were captured by archivists and posted to the “My Best” Marquette board on Pinterest.

National Archives and the Academy of American Poets

The National Archives partnered with the Academy of American Poets to launch "We the Poets," a collaboration with citizen poets that resulted in twelve poems inspired by records in the National Archives. The poems will be posted online on the National Archives Prologue: Pieces of History blog during October. The poets also recited their poems at the National Archives Building; these performances can be viewed on the National Archives YouTube Channel

New Orleans Public Library 

The Louisiana Division/City Archives of the New Orleans Public Library is hosting two programs for Archives Month: Introduction to Property Research Resources and Introduction to Genealogy Resources. 

Northern Illinois University

The Regional History Center and University Archives at Northern Illinois University (NIU) is hosting an exhibit in conjunction with American Archives Month and the fiftieth anniversary of the university archives. You Are What You Eat: Cookbooks as Ingredients to Shape Identity and Community will feature historical cookbooks, recipes, and ephemera. In addition, the Center will be hosting an exhibit grand opening for NIU staff, faculty, students, and the public. Staff will re-create a few of the recipes featured in the exhibit, and copies of the recipes will be available for guests to take home. The local newspaper will be running a feature the week of the grand opening to help with publicity. 

North Carolina Archives Month

As part of North Carolina Archives Month, the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will host numerous exhibits and events aimed at promoting awareness of the importance of our profession to our state’s citizenry and public leaders.

Oregon Archives Month

The Portland Area Archivists have organized the Oregon Archives Crawl, which will include twenty-seven different archives and heritage organizations situated within three host institutions: Oregon Historical Society, the Multnomah County Library, and the City of Portland Archives & Records Center. 


The partner institutions of the Historic Pittsburgh website will be hosting a Historic Pittsburgh Fair on the University of Pittsburgh campus to celebrate Open Access Week and American Archives Month. Representatives from fourteen Pittsburgh-area repositories will be on hand to display items from their collections and talk with researchers. 

Society of North Carolina Archivists

The Society of North Carolina Archivists is hosting this year's Archives Month with the theme "North Carolina at Play: Health and Leisure in Our State." A poster and bookmark were created to promote the month, featuring images contributed by various repositories around the state.

South Carolina Archives Month

Sponsored by the South Carolina Archival Association (SCAA), the theme and inspiration for South Carolina Archives Month this year is the natural environment. SCAA is encouraging archivists to curate exhibits or host lectures, open houses, or other events that highlight the landscape, conservation, flora, fauna, agriculture, management of natural resources, and outdoor recreation in South Carolina. Scheduled events include an archives tour. 

University of Miami (UM)

To celebrate Archives Month, archivists and librarians from UM Libraries will be sharing stories from their expereinces working at UM. The series will be called "Life in an Archive," focusing on the stories of people who have used and/or donated to UM collections. Archivists from special collections, university archives, and the Cuban Heritage Collection will share stories on a weekly basis; there will also be a blog series

University of Texas at Austin Student Chapter

For its 21st annual Archives Week, the University of Texas at Austin Student Chapter will be hosting several events, including "What You See Is Not What You Get: The History and Nature of Documentary Forgery," a lecture by Dr. David B. Gracy, and the "Best of Harry Ransom Center, a Repository Show-and-Tell."

Virginia Archives Month

This year, Archives Month in Virginia will celebrate all the ways archival and manuscript collections assist, educate, enrich, and enliven the lives of Virginians (and many others). Numerous programs and lectures are slated to take place at institutions around the Commonwealth to explore Virginia history, and an Archives Month poster features images submitted from archival repositories across the state.

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