American Archives Month 2011

October is American Archives Month—an opportunity to raise awareness about the value of archives and archivists. There is strength in numbers, and our collective voice can be more powerful than individual voices when we set aside time each year to celebrate our collections.

Since 2006, the Society of American Archivists has provided members with public relations kits that offer practical information and great ideas to help you make your archives program more visible. You can access past PR kits by clicking on the graphic images to the right. Additional tips and tools are contained in supplementary material ("Get Started!"). Whether you're interested in planning an event, issuing a press release to attract media coverage, or prepping for a media interview, these "evergreen" resources will assist you in enhancing public awareness of your repository—and your profession!

For 2010-2013, SAA is focusing its public awareness efforts on the campaign—I Found It In The Archives!—which reaches out to archives users nationwide to share their stories about what they found in the archives that has made a difference in their lives. (To read more about participating in this initiative, see

Share your American Archives Month activities: send a note about what you did to participate to

See How Your Colleagues Celebrated American Archives Month

ZSR Library Civil War Materials Exhibited

Archives Week features the archival collections around North Carolina. Rebecca Peterson and Craig Fansler put together an exhibit that highlights Wake Forest University's Z. Smith Reynolds Library materials from the Civil War, including Confederate broadsides, Herbert Valentine Diary, George Bright diary, and Lipe family letters. [Read more]

Prohibition Era Program Set

Cape May (NJ) Court House – The seventh annual Archives Day Presentation and Archives Tour on Wednesday, Oct. 12, will focus on Prohibition Era criminal court matters in Cape May County. [Read More]

Alcorn State University

 Expanding Beyond Communities: Preserving the Legacy of Alcorn State University [Read More]

Wisconsin Historical Society

This year's theme, "Born in Wisconsin," highlights materials that reflect our state's varied stories, focusing on people, ideas, organizations, products, and events native to or associated with Wisconsin. This broad focus will allow you to showcase your holdings, programs, and services. [Read More]

Utah Archives Month Archives: The Records of Our Lives

Archives showcased include academic, private, corporate, religious and governmental repositories from across Utah. All events are free and open to the public. [Read More]

Archives Month at the Smithsonian

The Archives Fair will highlight vast collections of archival and historical records at the Smithsonian. Staff from over a dozen different archival units, including the Smithsonian Institution Archives, will be on hand to showcase some of the Smithsonian’s archival treasures as well as current projects and programs. [Read More]

Louisiana State University Baton Rouge Libraries Special Collections

American Archives Month Kicks Off with a Brown Bag in Hill. [Read More]

Archives Crawl offers fascinating look into local history (Sacramento Press)

Local history buffs were treated to a rare peek back into the region’s past on Saturday as four separate sites played host to 22 different archivist groups in Downtown Sacramento. [Read More]

Texas General Land Office Hosts Symposium

The 2nd annual Save Texas History Symposium was held at the Texas General Land Office and the AT&T Executive Conference Center in Austin, Texas on October 1, 2011. Titled "The Texas Revolution at 175: Onward was the Cry," the day-long symposium offered a full morning of presentations. Afternoon events included a panel discussion on untold stories of the Revolution; an educator's workshop; a genealogy workshop; a tour of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum; a tour of the Texas General Land Office Archives, map vault, and digitization lab; and a pioneer surveying expedition on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Vendors and exhibitors provided free giveaways and books for sale, and prints of Texas General Land Office maps and a commemorative poster were on sale as well. Visit the Save Texas History website for more information on preservation, outreach and education at the Texas General Land Office Archives. [Read More]

Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc.

The Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc., along with hundreds of organizations in the archives community across New York State, will celebrate New York Archives Week (October 9-15, 2011) with special commemorative activities across all five New York City boroughs. New York Archives Week is an annual celebration aimed at informing the general public of the diverse array of archival materials available in the Metropolitan New York City region. A complete list of Archives Week events and schedules can be found on the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc.’s website:

Sixth Annual Archives Day Celebration at Texas State’s Alkek Library

October is National Archives Month, and on Friday, October 14, as part of their sixth annual Archives Day celebration, the Wittliff Collections and the University Archives at Texas State University-San Marcos present a panel on “Archives and Anniversaries.” [Read More]

Casper College Hosts Celebratory Presentation

The Casper College Western History Center hosted a presentation on October 6, 2011, by the former public relations director of the Wyoming Medical Center (WMC), which celebrated its 100th anniversary. Presenter Elaine Hough was employed by the WMC for 27 years and was responsible for maintaining and writing the history of the WMC periodically for press releases. Upon her retirement, she facilitated the donation of all the historic photographs and records of the WMC to the Casper College Western History Center. The presentation highlighted the records and photographs contained within the collection, as well as the growth of the WMC from its humble beginnings 100 years ago. Following the presentation was a reception in the Western History Center with images and records on display. Tours of the archives were also conducted to allow the attendees a peek into the actual archives.

Sixth Annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar at USC

History will come alive on October 22, 2011, as dozens of Southern California’s rare and archival materials come together at the 6th-annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar. The daylong event is hosted by the USC Libraries and presented by L.A. as Subject, a research alliance of libraries, museums, archives, and other cultural institutions dedicated to preserving the region’s rich history. Read more here.

Meekins Library’s Hosts Animal Exhibit

The Meekins Library in Williamsburg is hosting the photographic exhibit, “Our Animal Friends,” in the Neil Hammer Gallery of the Hawks-Hayden Community Room, from October 1 to 31, 2011. This exhibition commemorates, memorializes, and celebrates the domestic and wild creatures that intertwine with the lives of Williamsburg and Haydenville residents, focusing on pets and wild animals. The exhibit was created by Archivist Daria D’Arienzo as part of the Meekins Library’s “living archives” program, “Lives of the Valley,” to tell the stories of Williamsburg and its place in the valley and hills.For more information call the Meekins Library at 413-268-7472. See the poster here.

Experts on Andy Warhol and Grateful Dead Collections Help iSchool Students “Keep it Weird” for Archives Week

Event: In honor of American Archives Month, The University of Texas at Austin student chapter of the Society of American Archivists (SAA-UT) will host a series of events Oct. 24-29 inspired by Austin’s uniquely offbeat vibe. [Read More]

BUY LOCAL: The evolution of advertising in northern Illinois commerce” Exhibit Grand Opening and Reception

The Regional History Center of Northern Illinois University celebrated #ArchivesMonth with a reception and unveiling of the "Buy Local: The evolution of advertising in northern Illinois commerce" exhibit. The exhibit is open to the public during Archives Month. [Read More]

Celebrate the Year of the Arts through Miami's archives

In celebration of the Year of the Arts, and in recognition of American Archives Month, Miami takes a look back through the years with a virtual photo album of students "celebrating the arts." [Read More]

Cape May County Clerk's Office NEW JERSEY

Cape May County has participated in American Archives Month with an “Archives Day Program” over the last several years. This year the Cape May County Clerk, Rita Marie Fulginiti hosted the Seventh Annual Archives Day Presentation and Archives Tour in Cape May County on Wednesday, October 12, 2011. The presentation focused on the Prohibition Era (1920-1933) criminal court matters in Cape May County. “Maintaining law and order here was challenging because the Prohibition against Intoxicating Liquors created an underground of illegal activity by rum runners and others making and distributing liquor. It was a colorful and interesting time in Cape May County history.”

Local Historian, Michael Conley, presented historical tid-bits entitled “Politics, Booze and Scandal, Cape May County during Prohibition.” A snap shot of some of the more colorful incidents, stories and faces associated with that era, in what was believed to be a sleepy time here at the Cape. Mr. Conley related stories of people and events like Judge Henry Eldredge; the raid on the brothel the “Red Onion”; the troublesome Ms. Berta Brown; and the indictments of 14 Freeholders.

There were approximately 45 people in attendance, most of which returned to the County Clerk’s Office for a tour of the Archives and a hands-on training session in using public records for research.

Experience of an Archives Internship

I recently graduated from Queens College, The City University of New York with a MLS and a certificate in Archiving, Records Management, and Preservation. I would like to contribute to this campaign by sharing my current archival internship experience.

This fall, I have an internship at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Specifically, I am cataloging the archival collections in one of the science departments known as Herpetology. Herpetology is the zoology branch dealing with reptiles and amphibians. Most of the collections contain correspondence, photographs, sketches, paintings, field notes, specimen lists, maps, and daily journals. These items are either from former curators of the Museum, or herpetologists who donated their works and in some cases, specimens (usually snakes, frogs, lizards, and turtles) to the museum that they collected from past expeditions (usually to countries with tropical climates) throughout the world.

Since the Herpetology Department was established in the early 20th century, there are many archival materials to sift through and assess. I have to say that before having this internship, I never thought much about reptiles and amphibians and how they relate to their environment. From reviewing some of the field notes and journals, however, I am amazed that there were people who collected and studied these creatures for a living and enjoyed doing it. Some collections are a century old. These are more fascinating to me because I enjoy learning about the past. In addition, I am learning to appreciate reptiles and amphibians, and not view them as a nuisance, but to understand how they also have an important role (to keep the ecosystem thriving) in our planet.

Indiana Archives Month

Funded by the Indiana State Historic Records Advisory Board (SHRAB), the Indiana Archives Month Committee is charged with the planning and production of statewide events focused on the education and promotion of Indiana's archival community during the month of October. Indiana Archives Month seeks to promote the use of archives and the preservation of historic records within our communities. Archival repositories throughout our state, such as the Indiana State Archives, the Indiana State Library, the Indiana Historical Society, and countless local institutions serve to preserve Indiana’s heritage through the written record. Through these archives, Hoosiers can study the past, trace their ancestors, learn about their community, and maintain the laws of our state. [Read More]

Goodwin College (Connecticut)

On Wednesday, October 26, Goodwin College unveiled its new collection that includes items related to American slavery and the Civil Rights movement. Additionally, there are some interesting letters involving the Kennedy administration lauding those who protected students at the University of Mississippi when that institution was integrated in 1962. The collection will be part of the Hoffman Family Library of Goodwin College.

The collection includes: 

- land deeds, research documents, a compacted summary of Roots written by Alex Haley, and several other original documents from Haley’s research into Roots.
- A secret letter from Booker T. Washington to a lobbyist asking for opposition to a proposed rail travel bill.
- A letter from George Washington Carver bearing the letterhead of the Tuskegee Institute.
- three sets of slave manacles hand-forged in South Carolina. The manacles are made of wrought iron and are very heavy.
- a 1798 decree granting freedom to “Naomi,” a slave from New Milford, CT.
- an 1818 medical bill signed by Andrew Jackson for care of his slaves.
- a series of letters from the Kennedy administration praising the actions of law enforcement and other agencies for their actions in preventing rioting and violence when the University of Mississippi was integrated in 1962. These include letters signed boy John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and senior members of the Department of Justice and the Attorney General’s Office.
- An 1865 document outlining plans for reconstruction following the Civil War.
- Three pages from the Connecticut Journal dated from the late 1700s.

North Carolina Archives Week

  • List of the North Carolina events:
  • The Society of North Carolina Archivists (SNCA) put together a poster and bookmark, planning guide, video, and calendar to help reach out to archives users across the state. The 2011 theme highlighted the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. More information can be found at the NC Archives Week blog
  • Guilford College's Friends Historical Collection commemorated the Civil War theme by highlighting the experiences of Quaker conscientious objectors from 1861 – 1865 in a small exhibit on site and expanding its online resources with additions to the "North Carolina Quakers and the Civil War" online collection.  This collection began with the digitization of the John B. Crenshaw Papers in 2005 through an NC-ECHO LSTA grant and continues as a growing resource.  The Friends Historical Collection also hosted the dedication of a new marker commemorating the historical and ecological importance of the college's woods and offered  Archives Week "Behind the Scene Tours." See for more information.

Proclomation by the city of Dallas, Texas

Metroplex Archivists celebrated Archives Month in the Dallas/Fort Worth/North Texas area with a proclamation from the Mayor of Dallas, who proclaimed October "Archives Month in Dallas".

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