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Celebrate “October is American Archives Month” with the Smithsonian Archives Fair Friday, Oct 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature a lecture series on hidden treasures in the Smithsonian archival collections, a film series and an “Ask the Smithsonian” program with hands-on consultations and preservation tips from experts such as archivists, librarians, museum specialists and conservators to teach local-area residents how to care for items they have tucked away in the attics, closets and basements of their homes. The fair takes place in the concourse of the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center located at 1100 Jefferson Dr. S.W.
During the “Ask the Smithsonian” portion of the fair, attendees may bring in one to two easily transported archival items (two if the items are related) no larger than a shopping bag. Archives include everything from letters, diaries, maps and scrapbooks to photographs, films, recordings and computer disks—anything that contains information of enduring value. Objects such as paintings, dolls, clothing, textiles, mechanical objects or toys will not be reviewed. The reviews are informational only; monetary appraisals will not be given and donations will not be accepted during the fair. Pre-registration is required and appointments can be made online only.
About the Smithsonian’s Archives
Archives preserve memories, tell stories and solve mysteries every day. Without them, questions would go unanswered, stories would remain untold and new discoveries would be difficult to uncover. The Smithsonian includes more than a dozen archival units that support program areas ranging from art and culture to history and science. The archives also maintain the records that detail the history of the Smithsonian. These searchable repositories preserve and make available photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, rare printed materials, business records, maps, drawings, films, video and audio recordings, data, research files and other meaningful documents.
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