We always enjoy opportunities to share samples of our holdings and resources at public events and had two chances to do so in the last couple of weeks.
October is designated as American Archives Month, which provides a chance for cultural institutions to reach out to local communities and share the valuable resources available in their collections, explaining how the materials are preserved and made accessible. On October 5, 2016, a Washington, D.C. area Archives Fair was held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Archivists and librarians from a variety of institutions across the region came to share information about their collections with the public and to answer questions.
Armed with pamphlets for our current World War I Artist exhibit and with reproductions of Civil War stereographs, I enjoyed explaining more about the Library and the collections found in our division.
The second event took place this last Monday, Columbus Day, October 10, 2016. Twice each year the Main Reading Room is opened to the general public, who can marvel at the architecture in this historic research room and learn about the Library’s resources that are available year-round. While any researchers who obtain a reader identification card can use the room for research on regular days, on these special days, many reading rooms gather there to display their offerings. With the grand surroundings of that room, we were able to share information about Prints and Photographs Division collections and activities with interested children and adults alike.
We had facsimile stereographs people could try for 3-D viewing, as well as slide shows showing a selection of images in all formats. We also enjoyed introducing younger visitors to the card catalog through pictures and a glimpse of the real thing!
Archives Month is a great opportunity to explore the collections in archives, libraries, and cultural institutions around the country. Have you had a great experience at an archive near you?
- Explore the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog to view our collections!
- You can also ask us questions just like our visitors through the Ask a Librarian service.
- Find out more about American Archives Month on the Society of American Archivists webpage.
- Discover how to get started with research in the different divisions at the Library of Congress!