Yesterday was apparently #AskAnArchivist day on Twitter (not, as some users thought, #AskAnAnarchist), and the resulting thread gave archivists a chance to show off some of the things from their collections and share a bit of their lives with Twitter users.
Lots of archivists simply wanted to communicate the scale of their collections:
— U of MN Libraries (@umnlib) October 4, 2017
— UMD SpecColl (@HornbakeLibrary) October 4, 2017
Some archivists posted photos of the sorts of things people might not expect in an archive:
— Center for Pop Music (@center4popmusic) October 4, 2017
— MLSing In Action (@MLSingInAction) October 4, 2017
User @EKuzina asked archivists to post Halloweeny archival material:
— Rebecca Hopman (@extabulis) October 4, 2017
— SHS of Missouri (@SHSofMo) October 4, 2017
While I think we may have reached the saturation point of “[Inter]National _____ Day” (Oh please let us have reached saturation point!) hashtags like this one offer a distinct opportunity, not only to reach people outside the archival world but to also connect with colleagues outside of a conference environment. That the exchange occurs on Twitter also enables these conversations to continue throughout the year. I would be very surprised if the archives which participated didn’t gain a bunch of followers. Finally, events such as this encourage archivists, who may be weighed down by the everyday grind of processing, to look at their collection in new ways, to recognize the wacky and poignant material that sometimes blurs together. I enjoyed looking through the feed and I suggest you check it out!