This is the latest post in our series Responses and Retrospectives, which features archivists’ personal responses and perspectives concerning current or historical events/subjects with significant implications for the archives profession. Interested in contributing to Responses and Retrospectives? Please email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas!
It’s that time of year again. No. Not pumpkin spice latte time – though it’s that time of year too. It’s American Archives Month!
Quick History Lesson
American Archives Month was launched in 2006 by the Society of American Archivists in support of their mission to advocate for the value of archives and archivists.
Archives Month Activities
Archives across the country can participate in archives month activities by doing any of the following:
- Host an archives open house
- Publish an article on your archives or collection
- Create a display of highlights from your archives collection
- Offer an archives workshop to the community
- Give a lecture on a topic related to your archives
- Write a blog post or post a video about your archives
- Advocate for the resources you need for the archives to run smoothly
And Don’t Forget About #AskAnArchivist Day!
#AskAnArchivist day is October 2 this year and SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness (COPA) will be hosting a Twitter takeover of the SAA twitter account (@archivists_org). To learn more about #AskAnArchivist day and how you can participate please check out this SAA webpage.
Hone Your Archives Elevator Pitch
American Archives Month is a great time to work on your elevator speech. Not sure where to begin? Check out COPA’s elevator speech cheat sheet with prompts to guide you. Need examples to inspire you? Check out Talking Points on the Value of Archives for elevator speech examples. And for Twitter friendly speeches check out the Twitter #Archivesin5Words to see just how succinct (and funny) we can be.
American Archives Month Resources
A major partner and contributor to American Archives Month is the Council of State Archivists (COSA). Please check out the COSA Archives Month Resources page for information about Electronic Records Day, a sampling of Archives Month 2018 programming, press releases and governor proclamations, and example of state archives’ websites. COSA also offers a library of past American Archives Month posters to help inspire you.
Additional Resources to Help You Plan American Archives Month
- Event Planning Guide: Organizing Your American Archives Month Event
- Celebrating the American Record with Young People (K-12)
- A Dozen Ideas for Reaching Out to Your Community
- Ideas for Reaching Out to Your Community Using Photo “Treasures”
- Ideas from Your Colleagues for Celebrating the American Record
- How to Use Prized Items in Your Collection to Tell a Story
Resources to Help with Media
- How to Know if Something is Newsworthy
- Creating and Maintaining Good Media Relations
- 5 Easy Steps for Ensuring Media Coverage of Your Archives Month Event
- Tips for Media Interviews
- Changing Channels (Social Media Tips)
- ALA’s Public Relations and Marketing for Archives (book)
And don’t forget, International Archives Day is June 9, 2020!
In 2004, membership from the International Council on Archives petitioned the United Nations to create an International Archives Day. The date was chosen in honor of the ICA’s founding date: June 9, 1948. Just like Christmas in July, we can revisit our American Archives October activities and celebrate Archives Day in June.
Past American Archives Month Activities
To see a summary of activities archives across the country have hosted from 2006-2018, please see these pages:
Some of the resources offered in this blog post and on the American Archives Month webpage are dated. Do you have resources, tips, or toolkits we should know about? Please let the Committee on Public Awareness (COPA) know in the comments on this post or send an email to email@example.com so that COPA can continue to offer up to date outreach resources.
Now get out there and let us know what you’re doing for American Archives Month by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post was written by Rachael Cristine Woody, a member of The Society of American Archivists’ Committee on Public Awareness (COPA). The opinions and assertions stated within this piece are the author’s alone, and do not represent the official stance of the Society of American Archivists. COPA publishes response posts with the sole aim of providing additional perspectives, context, and information on current events and subjects that directly impact archives and archivists.