American Archives Month 2015

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 Hidden Connections 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 #archivesmonth.

October 22: Online Q & A: Ask-the-Smithsonian

A perennial favorite, archivists specialzing in audio/visual material, photographs, and manuscript collections will gather on the Smithsonian's Facebook page to field questions from the public about taking care of their own archival items. 11am-3pm.

October 30: Archives Fair

The DC Caucus of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, the National Archives Assembly and the Smithsonian Institution Archives and Special Collections Council invite you to attend the 2015 Archives Fair: Hidden Connections.

A full schedule of presentations is scheduled throughout the day, including remarks by Archivist of the United States David Ferriero and two panel discussions featuring Smithsonian colleagues:      

  • Archival Resources documenting the Japanese American Confinement Camps and Japanese American World War II experiences.
  • CLIR Hidden Collections grant project for processing African American archival collections across the area.

Location: McGowan Theater @ The National Archives 700 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC. 9am-4pm

Event Schedule and Registration

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 frequently rotating blogs throughout the month. Other blogs to follow this month include The Bigger PictureArchives of American Art BlogAirSpaceField Book Project, and Eye Level.

Streaming Archival Sound and Video

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

October 17th is also Home Movie Day! Check for local events at the Center for Home Movies website.

SI Transcription Center

Digital volunteers can explore current archival transcription projects at the SI Transcription Center. A sampling of current archives projects include the E. Howard Clock Orders Ledger from the National Museum of American History’s Archives Center;  the Bladensburg Union Burial Association Records from the Anacostia Community Museum Archives; and artist Arthur Dove's diary from the Archives of American Art.

Archives Month Pinterest Board

Digitized items connecting users to Smithsonian archival collections will be featured on the "October is Archives Month" pinterest board.

Little Black Books: Address Books from the Archives of American Art

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