The news cycle moves at such a rapid pace these days that it can be easy to miss the media’s increasing coverage of archives and archivists. That’s why we’re launching our new series Keeping ArchivesAWARE: News and Highlights, a recurring roundup summarizing the latest archives-related news stories, features, commentaries, announcements, and projects that have caught our eye, with links to the original sources. Such media coverage can be an invaluable tool with which to communicate the power of archives and archivists’ vital role in society to a wider public audience. We hope you enjoy this first entry in the series, and that you’ll share your favorite stories widely!
Keeping ArchivesAWARE: News and Highlights
A team at the University of Oregon recently launched The March, a digital exhibition about the making of filmmaker James Blue’s documentary of the same name chronicling the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The exhibition is a collaboration among Professor of Rhetoric David A. Frank, the University of Oregon Libraries, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Conflict studies professor Stephen Badsey writes in the Washington Post about director Peter Jackson’s new documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, which features digitally restored film footage and audio recordings from the Imperial War Museum documenting the British army on the Western Front during World War I. Badsey notes that “the Jackson project’s implications for the future of historical documentaries are immense.”
Nora Caplan-Bricker writes in Harper’s Magazine about the Documenting the Now project, the Internet Archive, and the immense complexities and challenges of preserving social media movements and other documentation of our contemporary moment when such content lives solely on the internet.
Bethany Anderson, University Archivist at the University of Virginia, writes in The Conversation about the recent crop of articles on the “discovery” of a “lost” Sylvia Plath story at Indiana University’s Lilly Library. Anderson notes how the media frequently overlook the fact that such gems can only be “discovered” by researchers because archivists have painstakingly worked to preserve and make them available in the first place – as was the case with Plath’s “new” story, which had in fact been publicly accessible for years thanks to archivists at the Lilly.
Biographer Robert Caro writes in The New Yorker on “The Secrets of Lyndon Johnson’s Archives,” about his early experiences conducting archival research at the LBJ Presidential Library for his now-seminal multivolume biography of the 36th U.S. President, with plenty of references to how archivists were an integral part of his research process.
SAA has launched Archives In Context, a new podcast that highlights “archival literature and technologies, and most importantly, the people behind them.” The first season, which includes seven episodes, can be listened to on the Archives In Context website, Google Play, Spotify, and iTunes. We’re excited to dive in!
The International Council on Archives’ Section of Professional Associations will be hosting the second annual Film Festival on Archives and Records Management at the ICA 2019 Annual Conference (October 21-25, Adelaide, South Australia), focusing on the theme of advocacy. Have you or your institution produced a film that communicates the value of records and archives? Be sure to submit it for entry to the festival!
Archivist and historian Alyssa Ballard was profiled in the Ukiah Daily Journal on her work at the Mendocino County Historical Society in California.
File this one under “things we find utterly delightful”: The City of Greater Sudbury Archives has created an interactive educational game called Grandma’s Attic to help “teach students of all ages the difference between libraries, museums, and archives.”
Have some interesting archival news items or highlights you’d like us to share? Email us at email@example.com and we may include it in our next Keeping ArchivesAWARE roundup!