As the air outside chills (but stays steady indoors under the humming HVAC system), October is nearly here and American Archives Month will be upon us again. The scene is familiar, straight out of a Normal Rockwell painting: sleepy-eyed researchers rush through the archives doors, gather in the glow of UV-filtered light sources, and excitedly unwrap the treasures in their Hollinger boxes. Merry Archives Month to all!
Over the past year of the Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories, we have discovered many incredible archival collections at small museums, all-volunteer historical societies, and other "under the radar" spots. We are in the progress of cataloging these collections and putting them online, but there is much more yet to be done to increase the visibility of small archival repositories. American Archives Month is a great time to think about archives advocacy, publicity, and public relations!
For Archives Month ideas and tips, check out the PR kits and other useful resources on the Society of American Archivists website. Consider joining the Delaware Valley Archivists Group to connect to the local archives community and gain access to professional expertise on the group's listserv. And help us celebrate the achievements of small archives--and other types of heritage organizations--at the first annual History in Pennsylvania ("HIP") Awards luncheon on October 19th! (There are only two weeks left to register, so get your ticket today.) It will be just like Christmas.