I’ve been contemplating a change for quite a while now, and hinting at it for some time, but I think it’s time to put out there what I’ve got in mind for my next project. I enjoyed all the work I’ve done here on this blog, which branched out on to Twitter and speaking engagements around the world, as well as editing a whole lot of books and serving on SAA’s Council. I’ve been very successful at observing and commenting on the world of archives and I enjoyed doing it. And I don’t want to leave that role behind entirely, but I need to tackle something new.
I want to, as they say, “be the change,” so very soon I’ll be launching a new project devoted to sharing what I know about the world of archives with the general public. I don’t know how successful I’ll be at reaching beyond an audience of records professionals, but believe me, I’ll try. On Tumblr or Twitter or whatever platform(s) I end up using I’ll share stories that I think will show the public what archives are about today as well as some history of how the profession developed in the U.S. and the challenges we face. As I write original content I’ll be learning some new things and re-learning others to try to demystify a field which can apparently be intimidating or opaque to many people. (And I’ll also be moving forward with the Helping History site I wrote about last month.)
I hope I can use the new blog as a starting point for a mass-market trade paperback, suitable for the front table of your local Barnes & Noble (and for easy download to your e-reader of choice) and the top of the New York Times bestseller list, but if not that, at least I hope I can do some good by opening up the world of archives to as many people as possible and blowing the dust off some outdated stereotypes.
In the course of working on the new project, I’m sure I’ll run across information more suitable to share here on ArchivesNext, and I also suspect I will continue to use this blog (and Twitter account) to ask questions and get feedback from my fellow professionals. So ArchivesNext will continue on, but change is good for all of us. And I’m excited about moving from talking amongst ourselves to trying to reach out to promote archives to the world.