Call to Action #1: Demonstrate the Value of Archives

People seem to sense – almost instinctively – that archives are important.  They come in droves to see the founding documents on display at the National Archives in Washington, DC.  They comment on “how interesting” it must be to be an archivist.  But they can’t quite put their fingers on why it all matters....

Let’s work together on changing that!  Here are some ideas for how you might take action to raise awareness of archives this fall.


1. Tell a Story

Develop a brief “story” that explains how the use of archival records had an impact on, or resulted in a positive change for, a person or group. 

Your narrative should focus on the outcomes or results of someone using archival records, not on the content of the records.  We’re developing a catalog of stories that we can share with each other (and with the public!) on the SAA website to illustrate how archives change lives.   

Click here for examples of stories

Submit your story


2. Highlight Your Repository

Take advantage of American Archives Month (October!) to raise awareness of archives – and your own repository – by doing one of the following:

  • Contact the website or newsletter editor or public relations person in your own organization with an idea for an article that draws attention to your archives and your records.  (If you develop and include in the article a story as described in #1 above, you get extra credit!) 

Tips on pitching an article idea

  • Invite your local media to visit your repository so that you can familiarize them with your holdings and how they’re used.  If the visit results in an article or radio/TV clip that you can share with us, you’ll get extra credit for that, too! 
  • Identify a particular group of users or constituents who might become strong supporters of your archival collections and give them a tour that focuses on their interests.

Ideas for hosting a repository tour

Tell us about the action(s) you took!

For more ideas on what you can do to help raise awareness of archives this fall, see SAA’s American Archives Month webpage.