Explore the changing landscape of programming and communications in public library archives and special collections. From photo-voice projects and citizen cartography to social archives and residencies for artists, ARCHIVES ALIVE illuminates emerging practices in American libraries.
Featuring more than 100 projects and programs, this first-time survey of public library archival programming offers ideas and examples that can be adapted for all types of libraries and cultural heritage institutions.
According to Professor Anne Valk, Associate Director for Public Humanities at Williams College,
Archives Alive is structured to provide entry points to the programming approaches found in libraries across the county. Ten (10) programming categories are explored in depth, examples are drawn from institutions large and small, and leading librarians and archivists comment on their public engagement initiatives and why they are significant for the future of cultural heritage institutions.
From Boston and Nashville to Little Rock, Seattle, Chicago and Bangor, Maine, Archives Alive captures works-in-progress that herald changes in the library and archival professions.
By shining a light on emerging practices Archives Alive reveals the capacity of librarians and archivists to build new connections between archives and their communities. It is also a call to action, demonstrating the need for greater recognition of archives and special collections for the future of libraries.
“Public library activity dealing with the growing enthusiasm for special collections and archives has too often been neglected in the professional literature. A welcome addition to this emerging body of material is Diantha Schull’s overview of more than one hundred library programs that are designed to engage audiences with original materials. Based on a survey of U.S. public libraries, both large and small, Schull’s lucid descriptions of exemplars from across the country address outreach, public programming, organizational structures, funding patterns, challenges, future plans, and more.”Deidre C. Stam, former Dir. of the Program in Rare Books and Special Collections, SLIS of Long Island University; Trustee, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
“Diantha Dow Schull brings much needed attention to the innovative programming taking place in public library archives and special collections around the country. From tried-and-true exhibitions to experimental digital projects with teenagers, these 117 profiles provide a rich sampling of the imaginative ways that public libraries facilitate the use of unique archival materials by their diverse publics. Archives Alive is a required resource for library stakeholders seeking to inspire staff and audiences and to foster appreciation for public library resource.”Krystal Appiah, African Americana Specialist and Reference Librarian, Library Company of Philadelphia
“This is the book I’ve been waiting for. The examples capture the changes that are adding all sorts of new value to public library services and improving the lives of those who live in the communities served by these libraries. I intend to use it in my collection development and public library courses as well as my doctoral seminars!”
“With Archives Alive, Diantha Dow Schull has brought together an enlightening range of efforts to connect communities and collections. Large and small these projects offer a valuable roadmap of promising practices for not only archives professionals, but also to those in the library, museum, public history, and education sectors. The work chronicled here will serve as impetus and inspiration for cultural heritage community engagement efforts for years to come.”Sharon M. Leon, Director of Public Projects, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, George Mason University