Welcome to ArchivesAWARE!

This post was authored by guest contributor David Carmicheal, State Archivist, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Chair, SAA Committee on Public Awareness (COPA)

Yet another archival blog? Really?! Who has time for one more? We hope you have time because this might just be the most important archival blog you ever read. Really.

If you’ve hung around archival conferences and listservs for the last few years, or even had drinks with a few archival colleagues in the past month, you’ve probably heard the familiar lament: ‘My archives is misunderstood. No one knows what I do. My work is important but my institution keeps cutting my budget.’ But over the past couple of years the groans have been joined by a more exciting sound: the voices of archivists who are determined to do something about public perceptions of archives.

There have always been archivists who have a passion for archival outreach, and we all know individuals who are great at spreading the message that archives change lives, but lately those lone voices seem to be growing into a groundswell, an entire chorus of archivists working together to harmonize their message and express the value of our work in ways that a lone individual cannot. This blog intends to be an outlet for those who want to join that chorus. People like you. So, you should

Read this blog. Want to learn how to better express the importance of archives to colleagues, friends, or even strangers? Want to learn tips and techniques to help you make the case for archives to your boss or your board? Can’t quite get the hang of that elevator speech? Keep your eye on this site. You should find plenty of good advice here.

Write for this blog. Had a great outreach success or an advocacy disaster? Share it here. We’ll all learn from each others’ triumphs and failures. Care to talk about upcoming events related to outreach, advocacy, or awareness? This is your place.

Share this blog. Do you have friends or colleagues who might like to read  this blog or write for it? Maybe even some non-archivists who have experience or expertise in public relations or outreach? Share the link!

If you join us in this venture—if we work together to share our experiences and build new skills in advocacy and awareness building—this could easily become the most important archival blog we’ll ever read. Are you ready to join the chorus?

Want to join the conversation on ArchivesAWARE? The editors are always looking for additional content! Read more about the submission process on the About page, and contact the editors at archivesaware@archivists.org.

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