American Archives Month: Fun Tools For Discovering What Archives Are About!

Archives are exciting…just as much as this 1943 Cyclone football game appears to be!

October is American Archives Month!  What is American Archives Month?  It’s a month to celebrate  archives.  In addition, it is a month in which archivists around the country focus on raising awareness of archives and what archives have to offer.  If you are a regular follower of the Special Collections Department blog, you may have read past blog posts which has some basic information about our department.  When this school year first began, we had a post giving a general idea of what we have here.  For last year’s American Archives Month, we had a blog version of a tour of our department.

After reading the posts listed above and perusing our website and our catalog records available through the library’s search system, you may still have other questions about how to use an archive.  We hope to someday create our own tutorial for our department, but for now we’ll list for you below some fun creations others have made which might help you get a better idea of what archives, and archivists, are all about.

The Archives of American Art have put together a wonderful blog post called “Our Archivists’ Toolkit” in which staff members have written brief descriptions of their favorite tool to use in their daily work.  What a wonderful idea – we wish we had thought of it first!  Take a look and find out about the variety of devices archivists use when hard at work.

The Archives Society of Alberta has an interactive tutorial which allows you to take a tour of a generic archive.  The tour includes a research room, stacks area, processing room, preservation lab, and an archivist’s office (including the bookshelf)!

A view of our collections storage area, showing boxes of university archives collections.  Don’t worry – this is only a small portion of our archival collections!

Yale University’s Manuscripts and Archives have put together a very detailed online tutorial which helps researchers learn how to find primary resources and do research in an archive.  They have tried to make the tutorial helpful to researchers using other repositories.

Ever wonder how to handle rare materials, especially rare books?  The Folger Shakespeare Library has put together a wonderful video on YouTube giving you the details:


If you still have questions after checking out the resources highlighted above, please do not hesitate to visit us and ask!

When you come and visit, here’s the view of our Reading Room which you will see.  The Reading Room is where researchers look through our archival collections and rare books.

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