Archives Month Recap

Hopefully many of you were able to participate in or attend the renewed Archives Month initiative in October. Our goal as the planning committee was to establish a small initiative that would acclimate the local archives community to the Archives Month concept and establish a framework for an annual celebration. We originally aimed to support and facilitate 3-4 original events while highlighting 6-8 established events or exhibitions at institutions throughout the region. Archives Month Philly grew well beyond that vision in its first year. Open calls and outreach yielded a much higher participation rate than anticipated, a development that was exciting but admittedly overwhelming at times. Approximately 30 institutions participated in close to 20 screenings, tours, workshops and lectures while we were able to publicize 10 ongoing exhibits. Both the planning committee and participating institutions developed creative and diverse programming which included a multi-repository screening, happy hour, open mic night, open houses and discussions. Buoyed by outside publicity, a well-established in-house audience and the involvement of multiple repositories, the Wagner Free Institute’s, Lantern Slide Salon drew well over 200 people and was perhaps the most successful outreach event in terms of sheer numbers. By most accounts, every Archives Month Philly event had turnout of some kind contributing to the overall goals to celebrate the work we do as archivists, promote ourselves to the general public and provide inspiration for future years. You can still review the calendar and descriptions of the month at A huge thanks to the Archives Month 2013 planning committee (Sara Borden, Matt Herbison, Hillary Kativa, Jenna Marrone and Bayard Miller) for all of their hard work and to everyone that participated or supported by attending Archives Month Philly events.

The 2013 initiative was great for formulating lots of questions and answers for future efforts. Despite the overall success there is of course a lot that could be improved upon.  It’s not too early to start considering what Archives Month Philly 2014 should look like. There’s been a lot of great anecdotal feedback but now that there’s been some time to reflect would love to hear any additional questions or suggestions. Additionally, if you or your institution would like to participate this year please email Archives Month Philly is only as good as the investment our whole community puts into it!


John Pettit

Archives Month Philly Planning Committee

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