Did you know that October is American Archives Month?
An archives is a place where people go to find information. But rather than gathering information from books as you would in a library, people who do research in archives often gather firsthand facts, data, and evidence from letters, reports, notes, memos, photographs, audio and video recordings, and other primary sources.
Archivists are professionals who assess, collect, organize, preserve, maintain control of, and provide access to the portions of this information that have lasting value. Archivists keep records that have enduring value as reliable memories of the past, and they help people find and understand the information they need in those records.
Whether or not you realize it, you probably have an archives in your home. It might be in a filing cabinet in the study, a box in the basement, a chest in the attic – or even in all three. This is your personal archives: a collection of material that records important events from your family’s history.
Believe it or not, there are similarities between your family’s archives and local, state, or national archives. All save items to serve as proof that an event occurred, to explain how something happened, or for financial or sentimental reasons. All types of archives may be stored in more than one location. And both personal archives and larger archives save a variety of materials that can range from letters, to photographs, to films, to databases, to official documents, and more.
Come and celebrate American Archives Month with us!
To learn more about archives and archivists, visit Special Collections on the second floor of Bartle Library!