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Monday, October 01, 2007

American Archives Month

Great history books often begin with someone crying out, "Eureka!" at a table covered with boxes and folders--with a researcher whose mind is now tying together the strands of the story that they discovered in documents in archival collections. (OK, not everyone cries out--some just get this twinkle in their eye or betray a quiet excitement!) To celebrate this, the Society of American Archivists has declared October 2007 American Archives Month.

Finding one's way through the vast collections can be daunting--luckily, there's a great place to start: Historical Documents Online: Search Hints for Selected Topics: Marine/Navigation. If you haven't checked this out, take a look--even if you don't think you're interested, it's a great place to begin learning just what sorts of information shows up at the National Archives ("NARA"), and just what sort of documents, images, and cartographic resources appear there.

And take a moment this month to celebrate! Does your local library or historical society have primary resources? Documents? Local history collections? What about you and your family--thought about caring for your own photographs, scrapbooks, and books? Celebrate Archives Month by checking out Conservation Online's Conservation/Preservation Information for the General Public, a fantastic list of resources from reputable organizations.

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