American Archives Month is celebrated annually in October to raise awareness about the value of archives and the importance of archivists.
Started in 2006 by the Society of American Archivists and supported by the Council of State Archivists and National Archives and Records Administration, American Archives Month is a time to focus on the importance of records of enduring value and to enhance public recognition for the people and programs that are responsible for maintaining our communities’ vital historical records. Archival records are essential in supporting society’s increasing demand for accountability and transparency in government and public and private institutions. They protect the rights, property, and identity of our citizens.
In the course of daily life, individuals, organizations, and governments create and keep information about their activities. Archivists are professionals who assess, collect, organize, preserve, maintain control of, and provide access to this information that have lasting value. Archivists keep records that have enduring value as reliable memories of the past, and they help people find and understand the information they need in those records. These records, and the places in which they are kept, are called “archives.” Archival records take many forms, including correspondence, diaries, financial and legal documents, photographs, video or sound recordings, and electronic records.
An archives serves to strengthen collective memory by creating a reliable source of information and provides access to an irreplaceable asset – an organization’s, government’s, or society’s primary records. Archivists bring the past to the present, they are records collectors and protectors, keepers of memory. They organize unique, historical materials, making them available for current and future research.
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