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Society of
American Archivists

17 North State Street
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Chicago, IL 60602-3315
tel 312/606-0722
fax 312/606-0728
toll-free 866/722-7858


American Archives Month in the Past

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October Is American Archives Month!

2009 American Archives Month Public Relations Kit



The mystic chords of memory, stretch . . . from every . . .
living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land . . . .

—Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861



Celebrating the American Record 2009

President Lincoln’s eloquent reference to "the mystic chords of memory" resonates today as we celebrate the importance of archives. The American record has enduring value and America’s archives – in all their diversity of form and function – serve as its memory.

American Archives Month is an opportunity "all over this broad land" to raise awareness about the value of archives – and archivists. This 2009 American Archives Month Public Relations Kit provides basic materials that we hope you will adapt to make your own archives program more visible and more appreciated. [Read more of this message from SAA President Frank Boles.]

Take a peek inside the 2009 American Archives Month Public Relations Kit and find:

  • Communication Planning 101
  • Get Ready...Get Set...Then Celebrate! Making your American Archives Month a memorable experience.
  • The Impact of Archives
  • "Make an Impact!" Contest

Make an Impact! Contest Participants and Winners (PDF)

See How Your Colleagues Are “Celebrating the American Record”


Supplementary Materials:

What Is An Archives? (PDF)

Download this one-page article, print multiple copies (preferably on a color printer), and make it available to young people who visit your repository.  Or take it with you to distribute to students on your next career day visit!

Say What? Talking Points on the Value of Archives (PDF)

Imagine yourself on an elevator with a friendly stranger who innocently inquires what you do for a living. You say with enthusiasm, "I'm an archivist!" The stranger gives you "that" blank look and you know she's thinking, "Say what?"

Event Planning Guide (PDF)

Turn to this guide for tips on Organizing Your American Archives Month Event, a Comprehensive Checklist for Planning Your Event, and a Sample Media Relations Timeline.

How to Know If Something Is Newsworthy (PDF)

If you’d like to pitch a news story or interview to a particular editor or reporter, it helps if you’ve thought through why your story is newsworthy….

Sample Press Release (PDF)

Creating and Maintaining Good Media Relations (PDF)

You and your institution may already have developed relationships with one or more reporters as part of your repository’s outreach efforts. If so, American Archives Month is another opportunity to take advantage of your contacts.

5 Easy Steps for Ensuring Media Coverage (PDF)

Take a crash course in media relations in five steps. Learn how to develop a contact list, release your message, use images, issue a proclamation, and more.

Sample Proclamation Request Letter (PDF)

Sample Proclamation (PDF)

Tips for Media Interviews (PDF)

So you’re going to be interviewed?  See these tips for preparing for your interview and getting your point across.

Changing Channels: New Media (PDF)

Use your institution's online presence to engage your audience and encourage participation in your archives.

Archives and Young People (PDF)

Tailor the "good word" about archives to a younger generation. They're current and future users of archives, influencers of our culture, and they may even be future archivists!

A Dozen Ideas for Reaching Out to Your Community (PDF)

Ready to tell the world about your archives but not sure where to start? Here are twelve specific ideas to kickstart a community outreach effort.

Tried and True: Outreach Ideas from Your Colleagues (PDF)

Here are just some examples of how other archives have celebrated the American record!

Lasting Impressions: Care and Management of Photographs (PDF)

Photographs increasingly are viewed as important resources for unique information about many facets of public and private life, of the natural world and the built environment, and of individual heritage. Whether you work in a repository that handles photos on a collection level or you're sorting through some old family photos, here are some tips from the experts on the care and management of photographs.

How to Use Prized Items in Your Collection to Tell Your Story (PDF)

People love a good story, so use that memorable document, photo, or artifact in your repository to present a compelling explanation of archives and archivists. See some stories from the Wisconsin Historical Society staff that they used to advocate for the state archives.

Measuring the Impact of Archives (PDF)

How can we measure the impact of archives? The Georgia State Archives used the results of a simple survey to develop a profitable partnership with the state tourism agency.

Make An Impact! Contest (Web)

Is your 2009 American Archives Month or Archives Week poster a design sensation? Do you have a great idea for an American Archives Month activity? SAA wants to hear from you! If you're willing to show off that poster or spread the word about your idea - you could win a prize! Check out the winners of last year's "Picture This!" contest for examples of successful entries.

See How Your Colleagues Have Celebrated the American Record: