American Archives Month 2018

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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 3.

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:

African-American Research Library and Cultural Center
For American Archives Month, the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in  Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is exhibiting "Reflections: Celebrating 10 Years Since the Historical 2008 Presidential Election." The nonpartisan exhibit, which will run through December 31, commemorates the November 4, 2008, election day in which Barack Obama, then Senator from Illinois, secured the majority votes in the election that would make him the 44th President of the United States. The Special Collections and Archives staff invite visitors to share where they were on election night and read Obama's first address in Chicago on the night the final count came in.  

Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum
The Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum on the island of Maui, Hawaii, is observing American Archives Month 2018 by partnering with local museums and historical societies to advertise events. Each organization will host its own event, while advertisin and invite the public to visit all sites. The Sugar Museum will present a collection of photos and a tour for visitors, emphasizing the importance of preserving Maui’s history. 

American Samoa Archives Month
On October 19, some of American Samoa’s early morning commuters came upon the 3rd annual American Samoa Archives Month street wave in Tafuna. Sponsored by the Office of Archives and Records in Samoa’s Department of Administration Services, the event had 50 staff members in Archives Months t-shirts braving light rain from 7–8 am to display colorful posters and banners, with messages like: “We Are Made by History,” “Masina O Fa’amaumauga,” “Celebrate Our Archives Month,” and “Puipui Teuga Pepa.” Staff members received lots of waves, smiles, shouts, and car honks throughout the activity, and local politicians Lucia Bartley and Amata Coleman joined in the street wave. Other celebrations throughout the month have included television interviews; a student contest (grades 6–12) for an “American Samoa Archives Month” poster on the theme of “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow,” in which entries will be on display at the Tafuna Archives Records Center; displays of reproductions of the 1900 Deed of Cession and the 1960 and 1967 American Samoa Constitutions; and “A Night At The Archives” event on October 31. 

Archivists of Central Texas 
The Archivists of Central Texas is celebrating Archives Month with the 2018 Austin Archives Bazaar on October 28 from 2-6 pm. Now in its third year, the bazaar has 26 area repositories participating and a full slate of speakers who will share about how they use archives in their work. Speakers include the hosts of the Two&Fro podcast, the creators of a PBS series about haunted places in Texas, a PhD candidate discussing her research on US slavery and the African Diaspora in Mexico, and a community organizer invested in prison abolition, critical trans politics, and restorative justice initiatives in Texas. Other attractions include an archival film screening, an old-time photo booth, the Archives Peep Show where visitors can experience Austin’s visual history at their own pace, and an oral history booth to record visitors' Austin stories for future generations. At the Preservation Station, visitors can bring cherished family materials and learn from professionals how to best preserve family memories. 

Beulah M. Davis Special Collections, Morgan State University 
The Beulah M. Davis Special Collections at Morgan State University will celebrate American Archives Awareness Month with its first Annual Harold T. Pinkett Day. The Davis Room richly benefited from archival consultation and direction from Dr. Pinkett and professor/archivist Dr. Roland McConnell, both of whom were historians and public intellectuals who challenged African Americans to consider their archival legacy. In the February 1944 issue of Crisis magazine Dr. Pinkett wrote: "Truth has a habit of making itself heard in the most unpredictable ways. Viewed in this light, efforts of Negroes in preserving their past may help to banish the long night of darkness that has rested over their great deeds and may hasten a new day of truth and justice." This program will raise archival and institutional awareness about the university's trailblazers.

Border Regional Archives Group 
The Border Regional Archives Group (BRAG) is celebrating American Archives Month by hosting its second Border Archives Bazaar on Saturday, October 13. Twenty-two regional archives from southern New Mexico, west Texas, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico, are participating. The group has made an effort this year to ensure that the bazaar is a binational, bilingual event.

Orange County Archives 
Archivists in Orange County (OC) are launching the first annual Orange County Archives in Action: A Regional Archives Bazaar on November 3 at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. Regional institutions, cultural organizations, museums, and archives will exhibit their collections, share stories, and answer questions about the region’s history. The daylong event will include several presentations from OC community members dedicated to preserving and increasing awareness and access to primary sources documenting OC’s diverse past.

Meredith Evans, SAA President 
For American Archives Month, SAA President Meredith Evans spoke at Ames Rotary and Iowa State University Library for the opening of Congressman Edward Mezvinsky’s Papers. Both talks discussed each individual’s social responsibility and participation in the preservation of materials that reflect one's life and heritage. She spoke about the complexities and challenges working with born-digital documents and encouraged everyone to download and print a few photos off their phones or electronic devices to share with a loved one—and to ensure that the memory reflected outlives the life of the device itself. Here she is with Beth McNeil, dean of Library Services, and Petrina Jackson, head of Special Collections and University Archives.

Michigan Tech Archives 
The Michigan Tech Archives, a department of the Van Pelt and Opie Library at Michigan Technological University, will be celebrating American Archives month in many ways. #AskAnArchivist Day on October 3 will include social media interaction as well as a meet-and-greet with Blizzard T. Husky, the campus mascot. He will be "asking" questions via thought bubbles inphotos, which will be shared throughout the month. Staff will also host "A Night in the Archives" on October 19 for the campus parish. On October 24, the archives will host a travel grant presentation on local mining history, showcasing research that has taken place in the collections as well as highlighting a scholar's research experience. On October 30, staff will launch a new exhibit, "Becoming the Pride of the Upper Peninsula: The Early Years of the Copper Range Railroad." Throughout the month, social media campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram will feature staff's favorite things in the collections, and the staff will continue involvement in the recovery efforts to help the Houghton County Historical Society, which saw collections damaged in the Father's Day Flood of 2018.

Monmouth County Archives in New Jersey
Monmouth County Archives is hosting its 23rd annual Archives and History Day on October 13. Sixty-three history-related organizations, including archives, libraries, historical societies, and government agencies, will have exhibit tables. During the day, there are lectures, awards presentations, a history game with prizes, and a tour of the archives. Attendees will also have an opportunity to view our annual exhibit, Buildings in Monmouth: Stories and Styles, featuring documents and photos from our archives and other personal and institutional collections. 

Office of the City Clerk, San Diego
The Office of the City Clerk in San Diego will kickoff the month with a public "Opening of the 2nd Annual Archives Month” event on October 3. An award will be presented by the California State Historical Records Advisory Board on behalf of California Chief State Archivist, Nancy Lenoil to the City Clerk, Elizabeth Maland. In addition, Throughout the month, the office is featuring guest lecturers throughout the month who will present on the formation of the City of San Diego.

Physician Assistant History Society
The Physician Assistant (PA) History Society in Johns Creek, Georgia, is celebrating American Archives Month early with its inaugural PA Historian Boot Camp! This two-day workshop invited participants from PA programs, national organizations, state chapters and special interest groups in the profession to learn how to effectively save, study, and share the history of the PA profession and their individual organizations. The Society shared strategies for identifying materials and information most in need of preservation at their institutions; recognizing gaps in the historical record and helping to fill them; using archives, finding aids, websites, and literature to assist research; creatively writing and speaking on PA history and the history of their institutions; and best practices to save and store personal and institutional documents. The Boot Camp was a huge success and participants walked away with a greater understanding and appreciation for historians and archives. The Society hopes to continue this as an annual event. 

Rochester Area Special Collections, Archives, and Libraries (RASCAL)
RASCAL held its 3rd annual Rochester Archives Fair on October 3, 2018. With the theme “Archives through the Ages,” more than a dozen area institutions hosted exhibit tables highlighting their unique collections and had staff on hand to discuss the archival treasures they preserve. Each table represented a particular decade in time, from the 1800s to the 1980s. Learn more about the fair here and view photos from the event here

Society of Florida Archivists
American Archives Month is also Florida Archives Month. Every year, the Florida Archives Month Committee, part of the Society of Florida Archivists, places a call for submissions for "Found it in the Archives" and "Archives Spotlight" posts. These submissions of 100 words or so and an image are shared on the Society's website and social media, including Twitter, throughout the month. Beginning in 2017, the Florida Archives Month Committee also encourages members to take advantage of the free classes for libraries, archives, and cultural heritage organizations through the Florida Division of Library and Information Services. And new this year, the Florida Archives Month Committee is encouraging members to update their repository listings on the Guide to Florida Archives and Manuscripts Repository.

South Dakota State Archives
Governor Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed October as “Archives Month” in South Dakota. In addition to participating in #AskAnArchivist Day on October 3 and Electronic Records Day on December 10, the South Dakota State Archives will host a photo scavenger hunt on Facebook to help people find local sources of history. Each Monday in October, staff will share a new prompt, along with a sample image from State Archives collections. In the comments, residents can share a photo of local examples and join the conversation.    

Texas State Library and Archives Commission
New this year from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission is a virtual poster with links to archival institutions and images. A PDF version can be downloaded and printed on 11"x17" paper. Anyone may use this “poster” for other Archives Month activities.

University of California, San Francisco
The University of California, San Francisco is hosting the lecture, "Medicine as Mission: Black Women Physicians' Careers, 1864-1941" on October 10; an Archives Crawl, in partnership with other local repositories, on the theme immigration and migration to California on October 13; and Halloween Open House: Oddities of the Past on October 31. Find more details about UCSF's archives month activies here.

Virginia Archives Groups
Several regional repositories and archives groups in Virginia are celebrating American Archives Month. The Virginia Caucus of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) is sponsoring the contest REMIX | Archival Oddities, where participants are asked to use archival images submitted by Virginia institutions in new and interesting ways. Anyone can enter to win fabulous prizes by Oct 31 (see its tumblr page for ideas, rules, and images to use).

Virginia Commonwealth University and George Mason University both hosted archives fairs on October 5, gathering more than 17 repositories to participate. Students, faculty, staff, and the general public learned about archives and the archives profession and made REMIX entries.

Representatives from the Library of Virginia and MARAC tabled at the annual First Fridays Art Walk on October 5. They talked to more than 200 people and encouraged the use of archives and creation of REMIX entries. 

Western New York
The Western New York Library Resources Council is hosting a number of food-related events in their Harvest of History themed celebration of American Archives Month!. From learning to preserve family recipes to how ingredients and utensils have evolved to gathering recipes for its Online Regional Cookbook, the events celebrate Western New York's food history. See a list of events here.

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