Archives Month in the MARAC region

 

2014 Archives Month:  “History is All Around Us”

The theme for 2014 Archives Month in the MARAC Region is “History is All Around Us.”  

American Archives Month is intended to raise public awareness about the importance of historic documents and records. To celebrate Archives Month in the MARAC region, the Steering Committee designated the month of October for activities to raise awareness and to publicize the importance of archives.  Although member states and institutions may promote their own themes, MARAC encourages all members and member institutions in October 2014 to consider the role of archives and archivists in raising awareness about the pervasiveness of historyand the archival repositories that house historical records and artifactsin everyday life.

Using this broad theme, “History is All Around Us,” MARAC members and their respective organizations can further develop existing outreach initiatives or launch a new awareness campaign.  Examples of how this theme might be applied are listed below:

  • Elevators.  Although they are small spaces, elevators provide a “captive audience” for your message about the value of archives and archivists.  Place promotional brochures, posters, or flyers in elevators that announce a new acquisition or little-known collection or object.  Or, create a flyer describing a historical event about your institution’s history to encourage new visitors to your repository.  This point of interest shares an historical fact and notes that this information has been culled from the archives.
  • Stairs.  Place a series of historical facts or photographs on the wall of the staircase. People can read or see photographs as they ascend or descend the stairs.
  • Entry Desk.  If you have a sign in or patron registration sheet, place a brochure or flyer nearby detailing the history of your archives and the historical richness of the holdings.
  • Bookmarks.  Bookmarks are another great way to promote your archives.  These small and inexpensive paper items are a great way to describe important an event(s) in history, which also promote the archives.
  • QR Codes.  These small codes can direct users to detailed information about your repository.  Easily scanned with a smartphone, there are many websites (or check with your IT department) about the feasibility of using QR codes.
  • Social Media.  If you haven’t already done so, consider launching a Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest campaign!  Develop a marketing schedule with regular posts about your collections, exhibits, and other events to keep the information fresh and updated.  By doing so, the archives presents itself as an involved, technologically engaged, and vital portal of information for your institution.

Your archives may already be taking these and other positive steps to raise awareness about archives and the archives profession.  Do you have other innovative outreach ideas?  Please consider sharing them with your colleagues via outlets such as the MARAC Blog (http://marac-blog.blogspot.com/).  Or, to submit Archives Month events for inclusion on this page, please contact the MARAC Outreach Committee at marac.outreach@gmail.com

Happy Archives Month! 

(The examples below were created by David D’Onofrio of the United States Naval Academy)

Elevator posterElevator poster