Animals from the Archives competition to benefit Furkids: The Rules

Ok, in the next two posts we’ll be kicking off the first round of the Animals from the Archives competition! In the coming weeks, pictures of adorable animals submitted from archival collections around the world will be battling to make it through to the final round and be crowned Most Loved Animal From the Archives. I’m hoping we can be as successful this year helping Furkids as we were last year donating to the Cleveland Animal Protective League, when you donated over $3,400. If you participated last year, the rules are basically the same, but if you’re new to this, please keep reading.

1) While we’re all having fun here, the purpose is to raise money for the good work of Furkids, Georgia’s largest animal rescue and no-kill shelters. Since the Society of American Archivists is meeting in Atlanta this year, Caryn Radick has once again spearheaded plans to find ways that the archival community could give back to help local animals in need. This is one of them. So, we ask you to make a donation of at least $1 for every vote you make in this competition. How you do that is up to you, and this is all on the honor system. You can donate $100 and vote 100 times. You can donate $50 and have 50 people in your office vote. You can donate $31 and vote once in each of the brackets over the next few weeks. You can donate at the beginning, and “spend” your votes in the weeks to come, or you can keep track of all your votes and donate appropriately at the end. You can make a donation of an item the shelter needs and then vote according to the dollar value of your gift. Please be honest and generous. We’re trying to help animals and the people who help them. Don’t cheat.

2) There are several ways you can donate:

  • Go to this page on the Furkids website (“Donation”) and do it online
  • Send Furkids a check (go the Other Donations Options page, and click on the link for the form under Mail-In Donation).
  • Buy something from the Furkids Amazon wishlist and it will be shipped directly to them
  • Buy something from their wishlist and bring it with you to the SAA meeting in Atlanta. There will be a collection point at the meeting–probably in the registration area–but that will be confirmed closer to the meeting

3) Whenever and however you donate, please contact Caryn ( to let her know what you gave. This is the only way we can keep track of how much money this campaign is raising, and we’d kind of like to be able to know how successful we’ve been, as well as track information that will help us plan for possible ventures in future years. (Your name will be kept confidential, although you’re welcome and encouraged to talk about donating!)

4) This will work in a “March Madness” style bracket system. So we’re starting out with 32 animals competing in 16 brackets. Working up to the start of the SAA meeting we’ll be narrowing it down to 16 animals, then 8, then 4 and then ultimately the final two. The final battle will take place during the week of the SAA meeting, with the winner announced on Saturday, August 6.

5) You can vote more than once for any animal in any bracket. You will also be able to track how the voting is going over the course of the competition, so if you’re really pulling for one animal, you can keep voting for him or her and try to put your favorite over the top. But remember, if you vote, you should pay up accordingly.

6)You are welcome to help promote this competition to your colleagues, friends, and patrons, but please make it clear that while it looks free to vote (and it technically is), they should make donations accordingly.

7) While SAA is assisting us in promoting this fundraising effort, this is not formally associated with SAA. So if there’s anything you don’t like about it, don’t blame them. If you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below or contact Caryn or me (

Our thanks to all the archival organizations around the world who sent in images of animals. They were all wonderful and it was a difficult process to narrow down from 105 to just 32! That gives us plenty of candidates for next year’s contest, though. And now, let the fur, feathers, and scales fly as the lucky animals vie for your love, and your votes!

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