October is Archives Month!
In our world, we have millions of things we commemorate at certain times every year. There is National Celery Month in March and National Fish Month in September, but my favorite commemorative event is Archives Month in October. It is a time when archives and special collections throughout the nation celebrate their holdings and cultural heritage to raise awareness about their repositories and the archival profession in general.
To give you some background on the history of Archives Month, I will share the following statement from the Archives Month website: “Archives Week has been celebrated throughout the archival community since approximately 1988. A formal observance of Archives Week in Virginia, including the production of a poster by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) Virginia Caucus in conjunction with the Library of Virginia and the Library of Virginia Foundation, began in 2002. In 2006, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) coordinated a nationwide observance of American Archives Month.”
In Virginia the theme for this year is “Homegrown: Celebrating Virginia’s Cultural Heritage in Its Archives & Special Collections!” Whether it’s agriculture, viticulture, aquaculture, horticulture, food culture, or film culture, Virginia is home to a wealth of diverse cultures. In honor of the theme that the Library of Virginia, in conjunction with the Virginia Caucus of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) and the Library of Virginia Foundation, has produced a poster commemorating the commonwealth’s archival and special collections, repositories and the rich, cultural record they protect. Fifteen archival repositories from across the state contributed images to the Archives Month poster (http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/archivesmonth/2013/media.htm). If you are interested in attending Archives Month events, please visit http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/archivesmonth/2013/.
So, go ahead and celebrate by checking the events site, by attending a lecture that was produced using primary sources, or by calling for a manuscript at the Virginia Historical Society reading room. The archivists will thank you!
Laura Stoner is the assistant archivist for business collection and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference Virginia Caucus representative