If your archives is on Twitter, I hope you sign up to take part in “Ask Archivists Day” which will take place on June 9 (which is also International Archives Day). The event is being organized by the same group who brought us “Follow An Archive Day” on Twitter, and I’m helping them with promotion here in the U.S. and wherever else my tentacles reach.
If you are familiar with last year’s successful “Ask A Curator Day,” it’s the same concept. Archives and archivists from around the world volunteer to answer questions posed by the public on Twitter. Details about the process will be outlined soon, but as with most things on Twitter, I don’t think this will be very complicated.
I’m also particularly anxious to tap into my historian, genealogy, family history, museum, social networking and other non-archivist followers to ask you to help promote this in your communities. The success of this event will depend almost as much on getting lots of good questions as getting lots of knowledgeable archivists to answer them.
If you are an archivist interested in participating, as directed on the project blog, add your name and other information to the editable GoogleDoc and start following @AskArchivists on Twitter for more information.
I assume that our special collections colleagues (and maybe also those pesky rare books people!) are also welcome to participate. Although it’s not clearly stated on the site, I’m also assuming that individual archivists can volunteer to answer general, non-repository specific questions. (And I just heard on Twitter that @NDIIP has signed up, so don’t be shy if you think maybe you don’t meet the requirements ofÂ an “archives.”) Anyone who can answer questions the public might ask about the materials we hold and what archivists do will be of use. Although it’s hard to predict (and fun to imagine), I think there will probably also be fact-based questions about history in general, don’t you? And questions about preservation–I would expect a lot of questions about how to take care of “old stuff” and maybe also preserve personal digital content too. The question stream alone should be fascinating. What do people want to know?
So, please sign up and if you have any questions about the project or suggestions for promoting it to the public, please share in the comments here. And of course, don’t forget to sign up to follow @AskArchivists on Twitter and subscribe to the project blog.