Archives Month in the MARAC region

October 2008

"What is the Archivist Footprint?"

American Archives Month is intended to raise public awareness about the importance of historic documents and records. Hopefully this project will grow over time into a fully coordinated nationwide effort to promote the value of archives and the importance of archivists.

To celebrate Archives Month in the MARAC region, the Steering Committee designated the month of October for activities. Although member States and institutions may promote their own themes, MARAC encourages all members and member institutions to think about the question "What is the Archivist Footprint?". An issue of global concern that has transcended the 21st century is the rapid depletion of the Earth's natural resources. It is incumbent upon individuals alone or as a member of a group to do their part for the environment. The archivist is one of these individuals. Just as everyone else, the archivist has a footprint.

You the archivist have a footprint and so does your institution. This theme is meant to raise your environmental awareness covering the workplace and home environment. Archivists are represented in the public, private and other settings. Some archivists have retired from the profession and other such as students are just entering the profession. The Archivist Footprint allows everyone to participate. Perhaps innovate solutions can be utilized by all?

This MARAC theme is meant for the archivist to ask that central question. What can I do to lessen my impact on the environment? A simple change in habit or raising awareness among colleagues or friends would have long lasting benefits. Recycling has become the norm for most places. Can you come up with an idea to improve upon current practices? An archival manager in the policy making position may want to examine having timed lights in their stacks and other workplace areas to reduce the use of energy. MARAC month would provide the perfect opportunity for students to come up with innovative friendly ideas to share with their fellow students. Retirees could ask themselves the question, "As an archivist, what can I do that is environmentally friendly?"

The Archivist Footprint allows everyone to participate. This is a collective effort to be enjoyed by all. Changes can come in small ways. For example, spend a few extra pennies to buy pencils that have been made from renewable resources. If everyone did their share, this would help save natural resources. This theme will inspire archivists to come up with effective solutions that benefit their workplace environment and the environment at large.

To celebrate Archives Month in the MARAC region, the Steering Committee designated the month of October for activities. To submit events for inclusion on this page, please contact Vincent Novara ([email protected])

Image: Cover of SAA's American Archives Month 2008 Public Relation Kit [pdf file]

Regional Events

District of Columbia

altWednesday, October 8
Event: Archives Fair: Celebrate the American Record
Time: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Place: National Archives and Records Administration | National Archives Building | Presidential Conference Rooms and William G. McGowan Theater Lobby | 7th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
Directions: Metro: Archives/ Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter
Go south one block to National Archives Building, Constitution Avenue, Special Events Entrance

(click on the image to see the full poster)

Connect with regional archivists and archival repositories as we celebrate Archives Week by sharing information about our diverse collections at the 12th Annual Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area Archives Fair. Join us at 12:00pm in the Jefferson Room for the Panel Session entitled, "A Special Brew: New Perspectives from the National Archives on Civil Rights and Brown v. Board of Education." This session, presented by National Archives archivists Lisha Penn, Trichita Chestnut, and Brenda Cooley, focuses on federal records relating to the major court cases that led to the Brown v. Board of Education decision, investigations into voting rights abuses, and the FBI and Justice Department investigations into the murders of Emmitt Till and James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. Brenda Cooley will present her personal account of the integration of her high school in Louisburg, North Carolina in 1966 as discovered in RG 60 litigation case files. This discussion will be of interest to researchers, archivists, and everyone interested in the documentary legacy of the Civil Rights movement.

Sponsored by the Mid‑Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, DC Caucus, and the National Archives Assembly.

For more information: please contact Alison Oswald by phone at 202-633-3726 or via e‑mail at [email protected] or Bill Carpenter by phone at 202-357-5466 or via e-mail at [email protected].

Ongoing during the month of October
Event: Smithsonian Open Houses
Times and Locations: Please consult the Open House Schedule for details [NB: word document will open in a new window].

In celebration of American Archives Month, the Smithsonian Institution will host a series of open houses to highlight the many individual Smithsonian archival units responsible for maintaining the Institution's vast collections of archival and historical records.

The Smithsonian Institution has over a dozen archival units that support program areas ranging from art and culture to history and science, and maintain the records documenting the history of the Institution itself. The archival collections form the foundation for research, scholarship, publications, exhibitions, public and educational programs, and outreach.

MARAC members are invited to stop by one of the open houses that will be held in various Smithsonian archives and research centers during American Archives Month. We hope to see you at some point!

Discover more about the archival resources of the Smithsonian at Guide to Smithsonian Institution Archives, Libraries, and Special Collections.



(See a PDF of the Virigina Archives Month poster)

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, October 7
Event: Kick-Off Breakfast and Reading of the Governor's Proclamation Declaring October Archives Month in Virginia
Time: 8:15–9:00 AM
Place: Library of Virginia Pre-Function Hall, 800 East Broad Street Richmond

Wednesday, October 8
Event: Special Collections Open House and Exhibition Opening: Ringing Far and Near: Student Music and Song at the College of William and Mary
Time: 3:00–5:00 PM
Place: College of William and Mary's Swem Library, Ukrop Way, Williamsburg
Description: Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center presents an open house and exhibition opening. Ringing Far and Near: Student Music and Song at the College of William and Mary will highlight music on campus from the early 20th century to the present, including everything from the choir and ensembles sponsored by the Department of Music, to a cappella groups, the marching band, student rock bands, and everything in between.

Thursday, October 9
Event: Book Talk and Signing: Archives of the New Dominion and Uncovering Richmond's Gay and Lesbian Past
Time: Noon
Place: Library of Virginia Conference Rooms A-B, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond
Description: Alex Lorch, interim head of Special Collections and Archives, Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries, will speak about the Archives of the New Dominion project and its effort to locate, secure, and make accessible the history and archives of Central Virginia's African American, gay and lesbian, Latino/Latina, and women's activist communities. He will talk in greater detail about the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Richmonders whose stories were uncovered due to the efforts of the Archives of the New Dominion project. After the talk, Lorch will be available to sign copies of Lesbian and Gay Richmond, which he wrote with co-author Beth Marschak.

Wednesday, October 15
Event: Lecture: Unraveling the Stories of the Past: Women as Archivists in "Virginia's Historical Laboratory"
Time: Noon
Place: Library of Virginia Conference Rooms A-B, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond
Description: Library of Virginia archivist Jennifer Davis McDaid will talk about the experiences of women students from Westhampton College who worked as archival apprentices in the Virginia State Library (now the Library of Virginia) from 1916 to 1924. State archivist Morgan P. Robinson trained the apprentices to be careful researchers and potential historians. Their experiences, glimpsed in the Library's annual reports, the occasional letter and newspaper article, and Robinson's personal papers, provide us with an intriguing snapshot of a time when change was coming quickly for women, for Virginia, and for the archival profession.

Thursday, October 16
Event: Documentary Screening and Discussion: Down in the Old Belt: Voices from the Tobacco South
Time: 7:00–9:30 PM
Place: Hollins University's Wyndham Robertson Library, Hollins Room, 3rd Floor, 7950 East Campus Drive, Roanoke
Description: Join us for a screening of the documentary Down in the Old Belt: Voices from the Tobacco South (57 minutes) by James P. Crawford. The film traces the history and culture of tobacco in the Old Belt of Virginia. Based on interviews and oral histories of 26 Old Belt tobacco farming families, Down in the Old Belt reveals tobacco's historic decline in context to the land and its faming people. Following the screening, Crawford will discuss his research and answer questions. A reception will follow. This event is proudly sponsored by Roanoke Public Libraries, Hollins University, Roanoke College, and the History Museum of Western Virginia.

altTuesday, October 21
Event: Virginia Archives Fair
Time: 11:00 AM–3:00 PM
Place: Virginia Historical Society, Cabell Gallery/Halsey Lecture Hall, 428 North Boulevard, Richmond
Flyer: View and print out a flyer for this event [pdf file will open in a new window]
Description: What do archivists do? What types of collections are at the archives and special collections libraries in Virginia? Representatives from several institutions will talk informally about their holdings, publicize collections, provide informational handouts, and answer questions for the general public.

Saturday, October 25
Event: Friends of the Archives Richard Slatten Lecture Featuring Noted Speaker and Genealogist Patricia Law Hatcher
Time: 9:00 AM–4:00 PM
Place: Library of Virginia Conference Rooms, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond
Cost: $25 for members, $35 for non-members, and $45 for admission and membership.
Description: Patricia Law Hatcher, FASG, a noted speaker and genealogist specializing in problem solving, has been asked to speak on the following topics:
-- Developing a Colonial Mindset
-- Evaluating Evidence—A Methodology for Every Day
-- "They Just Showed Up!" Where to Look When You Don't Know Where to Look
-- Power Tools—The Power Is in You, Not the Tool

Wednesday, October 29
Event: Book Talk: The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness
Time: Noon
Place: Library of Virginia Conference Rooms, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond
Description: Author Jack El-Hai will discuss his groundbreaking new biography of neurologist and psychiatrist Walter Freeman, featured in the PBS documentary The Lobotomist. El-Hai, whose work is based in part on archival research in Freeman's personal papers at the George Washington University, takes readers into one of the darkest chapters of American medicine—the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the 20th century, before the introduction of effective psychiatric medication in the 1950s. A book sale and signing will follow the talk.

October 1-31
Event: Archives Month Exhibition: Preserving the Past, Shaping the Future: The Archival Footprint on Society Place: Place: Library of Virginia Lobby, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond
Description: This exhibition highlights records documenting two major social movements in Virginia's history: the struggle for equal rights for women, including the right to vote; and the civil rights movement, particularly the onset of segregation and the slow road to desegregation.

Mid-October to February 2009
Event: Archives Month Exhibition: School Desegregation in Norfolk, Virginia
Place: Old Dominion University's Perry Library Lobby, 4427 Hampton Boulevard, Norfolk
Description: As part of Archives Month and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of Massive Resistance, Old Dominion University Libraries will present the exhibition School Desegregation in Norfolk, Virginia. A digital collection of this material is available online at:

September 4, 11 & 18 and October 2
Event: Oral History Workshop: Recording Oral History: Technology and Techniques
Place: Virginia Historical Society, 428 North Boulevard, Richmond
Contact: Mary Virginia Currie, 804-342-9678.

For more information see the Virginia Archives Month section on the Library of Virginia's website.