Thursday, October 31, 2013

Archive Adventures: Celebrate!

October is my favorite month for a variety of reasons: the crisp air and vibrant costumes of the trees, the way the sun slants across the Valley just before dusk, and Halloween. Add this to a certain celebration across America this month and it's a bit like opening my Christmas gift a couple months early!

From basic "What is an archive?" lessons to in-depth lectures on records managements, we take this time to say it loud and proud to the public..."Archivists make it last longer!" It's all about making the artifacts and records we hold more visible, more accessible, and safeguarded for future generations. And we're not just talking to the public about it! The celebration is also dedicated to collaboration between archives, sharing information to help each other provide better services and practices. Though it's already the end of the month, archives are always around so it's basically a year-long thing!

This year, Pennsylvania is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, making it the focus for our state's Archives Month.  Though it was in its infancy at the beginning of the war, Penn State has a great collection of Civil War papers from around the state. The James C. Stevenson papers provide unparalleled documentation in the form of diaries kept during his four years of service. He talks about everything from his fellow soldiers' experiences to life after the war. And if you are a photo hound, you'll get plenty of pictures of his regiment, the (PA 100th Volunteer Infantry) Roundheads!

We also have Asa Martin's (founder of the Pennsylvania Historical Society) collection, which includes letters from the time of the Civil War, land records, and documents from the early-mid 19th century. You'll have to come in to find more on the Civil War and explore the archives a bit. It's scary (good)  how much you can find!

From all of us in Special Collections (dressed up as our Records Management mascot REMSBY), Happy Halloween!