It’s officially American Archives Month! Archives Month began in 2006 as an initiative to celebrate the work of archivists and raise awareness about the function, purpose, and cultural and historic value of archives. How many blank or quizzical looks have you received when you mention that you are (or want to be) an archivist? Increasing public knowledge about the importance of archives translates into increased attention, visibility, support, and even funding. We know what we do (or want to do) is important in the here-and-now. Now is the chance to share your passion for archives with the world!
We kick started the month with #AskanArchivist day on October 3rd, but keep an eye out for lectures, programming, and other events taking place throughout October in honor of Archives Month. If you are looking for inspiration as to how to get your own institution involved, the Society of American Archivists offers a wide range of tools to help practitioners brainstorm and prepare for engagement and outreach opportunities – check out their website for more info.
One fun way to get involved in Archives Month is to attend or volunteer at an archives crawl event. According to ArchivesAware!, the Society of American Archivist’s blog, “Archives Crawls are multi-repository tours that allow participants to visit several institutions throughout a day or month and become acquainted with the range of resources held by local cultural heritage institutions. Similarly, Archives Bazaars or Fairs bring together several institutions into a single space, allowing attendees to learn more about local archival resources.” Cities and counties from across the county host these kinds of events, often annually. For those of you in California, there is still time to attend one of these events this month: the Monterey Peninsula Archives Crawl (Saturday, October 12th), the Los Angeles Archives Bazaar (Saturday, October 12th), the San Francisco Archives Crawl (Saturday, October 19th), or the Sacramento Archives Crawl (Saturday, October 26th). If you can’t make one of these, don’t worry – there are archives crawls or bazaars that take place throughout the year all over the country, so check out the libraries and archives in your local area to see what is happening near you.