I’ve got a another new project in the works, scheduled for an early 2015 launch. It will be about archives (of course) and targeted at the general public. I’m working on finalizing the scope and project goals at the moment, and I want to make sure I’m aiming for the right goals and including the right content, so last week I posted on Twitter:
For archivists: What do you most wish people knew about archives? What’s the thing people most often don’t know?
— Kate Theimer (@archivesnext) December 3, 2014
Here are some of the responses I received:
That people know how much work “just scanning a photo” really is.
That archivists aren’t trying to hide interesting sources from researchers; that we WANT them to use the archives!
some don’t get the ‘point’ of what we’re doing, who we are serving, who has archives.
That it’s not all digitised, nor should it be.
Keen to find out about entry-level graduate jobs in archives & where to find them, as well as the transition from library work
That there’s more than meets the eye. Treat archives like an adventure. Adventures take time/effort/risk but are rewarding.
How we get our materials; that our collections grow rather than were given/purchased all at once; that we have contemp. stuff!
I find ppl are shocked when I post pics of tours I’ve been on (IE Recent tour of Hockey Hall of Fame Archives!)
that they are entitled to access the records. And frequently people don’t know how to do that. Or how to ask
That knowing the collection s/t was in doesn’t mean I can find it. Some collections are 300+ boxes! &How finding aids work.
That we can’t catalogue and/or index the contents of everything. Searching takes time and effort.
most archives are publicly owned and are a societal resource
that is pronounced Ar-kiv-ist 🙂 And no, putting a whole bunch of things on the web is not ‘archiving’.
I wish people knew archives are applicable to many disciplines, not just folks interested in “history.” My favorite recent illustration of this is Thomas Piketty’s use of historical financial records to in his econ book “Capital”
Would like to see archivists more involved in, benefitting from popular discussions about archive/archives [example: http://flavorwire.com/479261/david-bowie-is-the-movie-doesnt-do-david-bowie-is-the-exhibit-justice]
that we don’t just have ‘old stuff’ but are busy swiping history as its made.
that archivists don’t necessarily work in “archives” all the time-can be Inst. Repository,data curation, etc.
Also, we cannot digitise everything, digitisation is rarely preservation, digital preservation is more than storage
How do you decide which new materials to keep, and which to get rid of?
Anything to add? What do you most wish people knew about archives?