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American Archives Month 2013

October is American Archives Month, a time to focus on the importance of the Smithsonian’s vast collections of archival and historical records and to highlight the many individual Smithsonian archival units responsible for maintaining over 137,000 cubic feet of rich primary resources.

The Smithsonian Institution Archives and Special Collections Council has designated a theme of True Story for their online events. Archivists, curators, and conservators will share the items they've come across in Smithsonian archival collections that tell an interesting story. They will also share stories of how they came to work in an archive and the stories they uncover in the important work that they do.

Many of the events and content for this year’s Archives Month are hosted on social media venues – Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, and Smithsonian blogs. Links are found in the Calendar of Events below.  Be sure to check frequently for new and changing content.  Share what's happening on Twitter with #archivesmonth2013.

CANCELLED - Archives Fair - October 18, 2013

A regional Archives Fair, hosted by the DC Caucus of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) and the National Archives Assembly, has been cancelled.

Month-long Events


Each October blogs across the Smithsonian give an inside look at the Institution’s archival collections and practices during a month long blogathon. The Smithsonian Collections Blog will feature a new blog post every day. Other blogs to follow this month include The Bigger Picture, Archives of American Art Blog, AirSpace, Field Book Project, and Eye Level.

Streaming Sound, Video, and Film Festival

Archivists across the Smithsonian will share sound, video, and film from their collections via the Smithsonian AV Archivists Tumblr.

Archives Month Pinterest Board

Digitized items revealing true stories will be shared from archival collections on the Smithsonian "October is Archives Month" pinterest board.

Chandra X-ray Center Data Archive

To celebrate Archives month, staff have been digging into the Chandra data archive looking for hidden gems; when sifting through the many terabytes of data comprising well over 10,000 observations from one of NASA's "Great Observatories," we're bound to unearth more than a few.  This month the Center is also launching a new way to view Chandra observations through an interactive sky map, updating the collection of "openFITS" images, and adding some new open source images to Flickr. Find out more at

Other Special Events

October 1-22: Exhibition: The Art of Handwriting

A selection of artists' letters from the Archives of American Art is on exhibit in the Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery in Washington, D.C. 11:30am-7pm daily.

October 25: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Smithsonian Libraries Meetup & Editathon 2013 will offer a range of topics for editors to choose from, focused around collections from the Smithsonian's archives, libraries, and museums. The event will include new editor training and an afternoon editathon. 1:00-5:00pm at The Victor Building, 750 9th St. NW

See the Wikipedia event page for more information.

October 29: Online Q & A: Ask-the-Smithsonian

A perennial favorite, archivists specialzing in audio/visual material, photographs, and manuscript collections, together with a paper conservator, will gather on the Smithsonian's Facebook page to field questions from the public about taking care of their own archival items. 10am-5pm.