October is American Archives Month, which is, according to the Society for American Archivists (SAA), an “opportunity to raise awareness about the value of archives and archivists.”
Even if your work does not explicitly involve day-to-day use of archives, American Archives Month provides a good opportunity to think about ways in which the preservation of archival records has meaning in your life. Municipal records document everything from births to marriages to deaths. Personal collections may include family photographs, video and audio recordings, memorabilia, and keepsake artifacts. How important is the preservation of these archival collections to you?
If you are a researcher, then access to archives in all manner of formats may be critical to your work. What does the term “preservation” mean to you? Have you considered the importance of preservation programs to your ability to access and use these archival materials?
If you do work with archives, what are your attitudes toward preservation? If you are an archivist, do you pursue training that actively supports the preservation aspect of your work? If you are a preservation professional, do you understand the role of archivists and how better to collaborate with them to achieve the best care of the collections for which you are responsible? As archivists, librarians, preservationists, and conservators, how do you educate the public about the importance of preserving archival collections?
FOR MORE ABOUT ARCHIVES, ARCHIVISTS & AMERICAN ARCHIVES MONTH:
- Visit SAA’s American Archives Month 2010 website for information about how different states are celebrating, and check out Gaylord’s “Worst Archives” contest for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate.
- The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) offers a great online resource center for archivists, general information for the public about managing archives, and a directory of American Archives Month activities.