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Outreach

Innovative Practices for Archives and Special Collections

Edited by Kate Theimer

Paperback
eBook
Outreach: Innovative Practices for Archives and Special Collections explores how archives of different sizes and types are reaching out to new potential users and increasing awareness of programs and collections. The book features twelve case studies that demonstrate ideas that can be transferred into many other settings. Some of the practices described in the case studies rely primarily on technology and the Web to interact with the public, while others are centered on face-to-face activities.

The case studies featured are

  1. The Oregon Archives Crawl: Engaging New Users and Advocates
  2. Moved by the Spirit: Opportunistic Promotion of the Hamilton Family Séance Collection
  3. Working Within the Law: Public Programming and Continuing Education
  4. Staying Connected: Engaging Alumni and Students to Digitize the Carl “Pappy” Fehr Choral Music Collection
  5. “Pin”pointing Success: Assessing the Value of Pinterest and Historypin for Special Collections Outreach
  6. Creating a New Learning Center: Designing a Space to Support Multiple Outreach Goals
  7. "Wikipedia is made of people!”: Revelations from Collaborating with the World's Most Popular Encyclopedia
  8. 21 Revolutions: New Art from Old Objects
  9. Happy Accidents and Unintended Consequences: How We Named Our Tribble
  10. Navigating Nightingale: Creating an App Out of Archives
  11. DIY History: Redesigning a Platform for a Transcription Crowdsourcing Initiative
  12. Taking Preservation to the People: Educating the Public About Personal Digital Archiving

All twelve case studies look at outreach as identifying the organization’s intended audience, building new ways of reaching them, and helping the organization achieve its mission. Each also reflects a philosophy of experimentation that is perhaps the most critical ingredient for any organization interested in developing its own “innovative” practices.

This volume will be useful to those working in archives and special collections as well as other cultural heritage organizations, and provides ideas ranging from those that require long-term planning and coordination to those that could be immediately implemented. It also provides students and educators in archives, library, and public history graduate programs a resource for understanding the variety of ways people conduct outreach in the field today and the kinds of strategies archivists are using to attract new users to collections.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 198Size: 6 x 9
978-0-8108-9097-8 • Paperback • May 2014 • $64.00 • (£42.95)
978-0-8108-9098-5 • eBook • May 2014 • $62.99 • (£42.95)
Kate Theimer is the author of the popular blog ArchivesNext and a frequent writer, speaker and commentator on issues related to the future of archives. She is the author of Web 2.0 Tools and Strategies for Archives and Local History Collections and the editor of A Different Kind of Web: New Connections between Archives and Our Users, as well having contributed chapters to Many Happy Returns: Advocacy for Archives and Archivists, The Future of Archives and Recordkeeping, and the Encyclopedia of Archival Science. She has published articles in the American Archivist and the Journal of Digital Humanities.

Kate served on the Council of the Society of American Archivists from 2010 to 2013. Before starting her career as an independent writer and editor, she worked in the policy division of the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, Maryland. She holds an MSI with a specialization in archives and records management from the University of Michigan and an MA in art history from the University of Maryland.

Kate Theimer is the 2014 recipient of the Society of American Archivists’ Spotlight Award. The Spotlight Award recognizes the contributions of individuals who work for the good of the profession and archives collections—work that does not typically receive public recognition. Since 2011, Theimer has used Facebook, Twitter, and her blog to raise money for Spontaneous Scholarships that help unemployed, underemployed, and underfunded archivists to attend SAA’s Annual Meeting. The first year the scholarships were offered Theimer raised $5,504 to assist 18 students and 8 SAA members at the full registration rate; the program continued in 2012 and 2013 resulting in a total of more than $20,000 in donations and almost one hundred archivists assisted over the first three years. Theimer recently launched a campaign to raise funds for the 2014 scholarships.

Introduction
1. The Oregon Archives Crawl: Engaging New Users and Advocates
Diana Banning, Mary B. Hansen, Anne LeVant Prahl, Portland Area Archivists
2. Moved by the Spirit: Opportunistic Promotion of the Hamilton Family Séance Collection
Shelley Sweeney, University of Manitoba
3. Working Within the Law: Public Programming and Continuing Education
Leigh McWhite, University of Mississippi
4. Staying Connected: Engaging Alumni and Students to Digitize the Carl “Pappy” Fehr Choral Music Collection
Amy C. Schindler, College of William & Mary
5. “Pin”pointing Success: Assessing the Value of Pinterest and Historypin for Special Collections Outreach
Mark Baggett, Rabia Gibbs, Alesha Shumar, University of Tennessee
6. Creating a New Learning Center: Designing a Space to Support Multiple Outreach Goals
Dorothy Dougherty, National Archives at New York City
7. "Wikipedia is made of people!”: Revelations from Collaborating with the World's Most Popular Encyclopedia
Sara Snyder, Archives of American Art
8. 21 Revolutions: New Art from Old Objects
Laura Stevens, Glasgow Women’s Library
9. Happy Accidents and Unintended Consequences: How We Named Our Tribble
Rachael Dreyer, American Heritage Center
10. Navigating Nightingale: Creating an App Out of Archives
Geof Browell, King’s College London
11. DIY History: Redesigning a Platform for a Transcription Crowdsourcing Initiative
Jen Wolfe and Nicole Saylor, University of Iowa
12. Taking Preservation to the People: Educating the Public About Personal Digital Archiving
William LeFurgy, Library of Congress
About the Editor
Index
These case studies are a broad range of ideas that. . . .are applicable to a variety of situations, with approaches that include long-term planning or short-term implementation. Using both electronic media and face-to-face interactions, the intended goals of these projects include pre-determined learning outcomes, encouraged support for the special collection or long-term interaction with potential users. . . . Examples come from a range of situations, including a public continuing education law course using Mississippi law archives and an interactive 'archive crawl' in Oregon and should serve as a source for further ideas.
American Reference Books Annual


The [Innovate Practices for Archives and Special Collections] books are invaluable resources for everyone working in archives, special collections and other cultural heritage organisations. They also have a role in providing students and educators in archives, library and public administration with insights into the vast variety of reference and outreach resources available in the field and the diverse ways in which new users can be attracted to and use archival collections.
Australian Library Journal


The diversity of case studies demonstrates the creativity and innovation of contemporary archives and offers a rich choice for any organization planning outreach activities.. . .Taken in isolation, each case study is worthy, successful to varying degrees and often intriguing, but their power is arguably in their collection as a whole (reflecting that of an archive itself ) – to demonstrate the rich and varied ways that different organizations can tackle outreach. Theimer’s role as editor is to praise this creativity and to promote the outreach activities in a meta level of archival outreach. This is a book we will recommend to our students.
Archives and Records: The Journal of the Archives and Records Association


Kate Theimer has given us a very timely and very useful book. In an area such as outreach, which does not lend itself to “standard” methods, diverse case studies are the best way to share successful approaches that also meet Theimer’s criteria for innovation and transferability. The mix of cases relying on online-only activities with others using face-to-face techniques offer rich possibilities for repositories varied in outreach experience, resources, objectives, and audiences.

Larry Hackman, former director of Truman Presidential Library, State Archivist of New York, and editor of Many Happy Returns: Advocacy and the Development of Archives


Archivists are connectors, always trying to hook up the diverse resources in their collections with all sorts of people for uses both known and imagined. This new book, edited by Kate Theimer, describes a dozen ways in which archivists are using innovative strategies to expand the understanding and uses of archives, regardless of people’s prior familiarity with them. Whether it’s through crawling, crowdsourcing, social media, or even séances, the clear message in this book is that archives are for everyone and archivists can be creative in getting archives into as many new hands as possible.
Terry Baxter, Archivist, Multnomah County (OR) Archives


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