Sunday, October 5, 2014

Societies: Collaboration Starts in October!

Not only is this month Family History Month (in the U.S.), it’s American Archives Month as well. I hope that throughout the month, your Society has an event planned that will embrace the heart of Senate Resolution 160 from September, 2001, which proclaimed this month as Family History Month. Please take a moment to read the Resolution, keeping in mind the important date it was passed: September 12, 2001.

It is equally important that we celebrate American Archives Month. The reality is that, without Archives, many of us would not have source material with which to research our ancestors. Think about that. And, without patrons to go to the Archives, the Archives cease to be relevant. We depend on one another, just like a family.

Photo courtesy Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana (c) 2014

What makes this year so extraordinary is that the current President of the Society of American Archivists, Kathleen Roe, has committed to getting Archivists out of their comfort zone and into outreach mode. You can read about her “Year of Living Dangerously for Archives” on the Off The Record blog. The most exciting part is many Genealogy Societies are attempting to do the same thing. The changes in research resources and techniques opens up so many challenges to those running societies, and yet, there are even more opportunities as greater numbers of people want to leverage the information available to them digitally, but don’t know how. That’s where Genealogy Societies can step up to fill a large need.

I look at this as one of the most energizing possibilities in a long time: for Archives and Genealogy Societies to work together to support each other’s goals. Strong, viable repositories of our most precious documents, photographs and ephemera being used by strong, viable genealogy societies, all of whom support the family historians, genealogists, and researchers who are anxious to build the stories of our ancestors lives in a collaborative way.

So, how are you making the most of Family History Month/American Archives month? We'd love to hear what you're doing, or even what you'd like to do, to make this month really special.

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