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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Meet Me at the Fair!

In case you've been asleep the last two weeks: October is American Archives Month!

YOU are invited to the First-Ever Archives Fair at the Smithsonian Institution - Free and Open to the Public!

Attend the first-ever Smithsonian Archives Fair on Friday, October 22, 2010 from 10am to 5pm in the S. Dillon Ripley Center’s concourse.  This event will highlight vast collections of archival and historical records at the Smithsonian. Programs include a Lecture Series on projects and research based on Smithsonian collections, informational displays from over a dozen Smithsonian archives, and an “Ask the Smithsonian” program with hands-on consultations and preservation tips from experts including 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. Visit for all the details!

The S. Dillon Ripley Center is located at 1100 Jefferson Drive, SW near the Metrorail’s Smithsonian station (Mall exit).  Limited on-street parking is available.
For those not able to attend the Smithsonian Archives Fair, the Lecture Series will be stream cast and archived at the above web address.  Also, a Smithsonian paper conservator and an electronic records conservator will be available virtually on the Smithsonian’s Facebook account, Thursday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 answer any questions the public may have about their own paper and electronic archival items.

The Smithsonian Collections Blog is hosting a 31-day Blogathon for October in partnership with sister blogs: 

Archives of American Art Blog
The Bigger Picture, blog of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Eye Level, blog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Affiliate, blog of Smithsonian Affiliations

Smithsonian Institution affiliate blogs including:
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, an Affiliate in Clewiston, Florida
Telluride Historical Museum, in association with the Pinhead Institute, an Affiliate in Telluride, Colorado
Montana History Revealed Blog, from Affiliate, the Montana Historical Society Research Center 

Read them regularly for behind-the-scenes information and visuals of what an Archives is, what we do, and how we do it. 

The Smithsonian’s archival units support program areas ranging from art and culture to history and science, and maintain the records documenting the history of the Institution itself.  These repositories preserve and make available meaningful documentation in the form of photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, rare printed materials, business records, maps, drawings, films, video and audio recordings, data, research files, and other documents.

Archives preserve memories, tell stories, and solve mysteries every day.  Without them, questions would go unanswered, histories would remain untold, and new discoveries would be difficult to uncover.  You don’t need to wait for American Archives Month each October to celebrate what the Smithsonian’s archives are all about. Check them out at, search Smithsonian Collections at

Please share this invitation with all interested parties.  Tweet us! #archivesmonth

To quote my favorite musical, Meet Me in St. Louis: "Meet me at the fair!"

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