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Monday, October 2, 2017

October is American Archives Month: The Power of Collaboration

Happy American Archives Month! To celebrate, the Smithsonian Collections blog is running its seventh annual blog-a-thon with blog posts every weekday in October.

This year’s theme is the Power of Collaboration. An apt choice for this particular blog, as we are a collaboration between archives, museums, and libraries across the Smithsonian.  The power of collaboration resonates deeply across the Smithsonian as scholars from diverse disciplines work together to ‘increase and diffuse knowledge.’ I suspect James Smithson would be delighted to think that the institution he endowed would go on to study and foster collaboration between topics as diverse as African Art, Astrophysics, American History and Natural History. 

This month we will be posting stories about collaboration in archives and initiatives across the Smithsonian.  The Smithsonian Transcription Center through the power of collaboration has made more than 321,274 pages transcribed and text searchable, making them available not only to scholars, but anyone with access to an internet connection.  Along with the Collections Search Center, SOVA – our online virtual archives, and SIRIS - the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System, these Smithsonian collaborations make our collections and the knowledge they help us create more accessible and useful

Locally, we will be celebrating at the 2017 Archives Fair at the National Museum of American History on Saturday, October 21st. A collaboration between Smithsonian Institution Archives and Special Collections Council, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference DC and Maryland Caucuses, and the National Archives Assembly that will highlight the power of the cultural heritage and the stewardship archives provide to preserve it.  Come join us to explore the ways in which the preservation of archival collections translates into the preservation of culture and how collaborations between artists and archives nurture cultural heritage.

Here at the Smithsonian Collections blog, we bring Archivists, Museum Specialists, and Librarians together to highlight their collections, current work, and the curiosities of working with collections.  With recent blogs ranging from ethnographic fieldwork to solar eclipses and National Aviation Day, this blog is a collaboration that highlights the simply amazing variety of things we can learn from each other.  The Collection Search Center is a collaboration that brings together over 12 million objects, archival collections and library materials; we hope that this month our blog can give you a peak into the work that makes these collections available and these collaborations possible.

Remember to check back every day for new content from across the Smithsonian!

Lisa Fthenakis, Program Assistant
Smithsonian Institution Archives 

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