One of my work projects this week was putting together the logistics for our summer webinars. This is the first summer I've opted to do webinars and I'm oddly excited. Since our on-campus students and faculty numbers are lower, I'm focusing on broader topics to see if I can attract outside interest.
One of the sessions, personal archiving, grew out of a class workshop I provided at the end of this semester. The professor was teaching a course on global archives and she wanted her students to understand the role of archival work in their personal lives. As a former preservation librarian with inherited knowledge of archival practices (thanks, dad!) who happens to have just worked on her own personal archive, I was eager to provide this session. The class went great and the students asked wonderful questions. I'm going to use that input to improve the presentation. (People need to know about transcribing handwriting!)
I'm thrilled to provide this as a broader webinar because I don't think people consider their photographs, diaries, cookbooks, memorabilia, and online presence as an archive. But it is! We are the archivists of our own personal and family history. Before "stuff" can make it in to an institutional museum or archive, it has to be collected and saved by someone. Even if a person never "makes it big," these personal collections are important.
I'm using this session to share what it means to curate a personal archive. I'm including best practices - physical and digital - as well as ideas of what to save and how to save it. Plus, I'm digging into extra information like what to do with your archive once you have it. To provide an example of what this work looks like, I'm sharing photos and insights from my own personal archival journey.
I have never been so enthusiastic about a webinar before. I think, given our student and community population, I may turn this into a standing thing I offer a few times each year.
Do you have a personal archive?