From the first day of the month to the last, October is filled with national emphases to remember. There’s Breast Cancer Awareness, AIDS Awareness, Bullying Prevention, Domestic Violence Awareness, Health Literacy, LGBT History, Disability Employment Awareness, Polish-American Heritage and Oktoberfest, just to name a few.
These and many more are not found on the average calendar. Nonetheless, the fact that they exist means they are and can be observed (or not) in any number of ways.
One such observance that definitely deserves remembering is American Archives Month. Librarians at the University of Mississippi’s J.D. Williams Library are joining the national and statewide celebration.
“American Archives Month was established in 2006 to publicize the importance of archives to the general public,” said Jennifer Ford, UM director of archives and special collections. “Programs during this month highlight the various archival functions of preservation, cataloging and accessibility of primary materials.
“This year, the president of the Society of American Archivists, Kathleen Roe, invited archivists to participate in the ‘Year of Living Dangerously for Archives,’ especially stressing the need during Archives Month to advocate for their collections.”
Those responding to a call to demonstrate their value of archives will be planning events to celebrate this month. For example, the Society of Mississippi Archivists is highlighting the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer for American Archives Month. A poster created by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Mississippi Records Advisory Board and Society of Mississippi Archivists, with funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, shows archival Freedom Summer images and documents.
“In response to the SMA, UM’s Department of Archives and Special Collections has mounted an exhibit case featuring several items from our collection about this historic event to further increase awareness,” Ford said.