Have You Hugged an Archivist Today?

With their permission, of course. My apologies to my colleagues at the Pennsylvania State Archives for failing to mention in last week’s post that October is Pennsylvania Archives Month. This year’s poster (below) supports the 2012 theme, “The Land of Penn and Plenty: Bringing History to the Table,” and features archival photos from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce (proving that Pennsylvania has been marketing its food heritage for years).

Archives Month is a national effort to draw attention to the importance of documentary heritage—not just the keeping of it but also the sharing of it. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) has a statement on their website about the importance of archives to lifelong learning—from students doing History Day projects to seniors researching their family history to pass it along to the next generation.

Our historic sites and museums use archival research to make connections between the artifacts in our collections and the stories they have to tell. For sites dealing with the 19th, 20th, or 21st century, historic photographs can illuminate topics in striking ways. You can search the Trailheads blog archive for “archives” and find quite a few relevant posts. Go here, here, or here for a few of them from the past year.

How have you used archival research lately?

(Also, please remember that Drake Well Museum, Fort Pitt Museum, and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania will be open on Columbus Day.)


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