noun: a place in which public records or historical documents are preserved; also : the material preserved – often use in plural
verb: to collect and store materials (such as recordings, documents, or computer files) so that they can be found and used when they are needed
October is American Archives Month. Designed to raise awareness about the importance of archives, archivists around the country use Archives Month to highlight collections in their care. This year, staff of the UCF Libraries Special Collections & University Archives has curated an exhibit looking at the types of materials we collect, how we preserve and make those materials available, and some of the challenges facing archivists today. Included in the exhibit is memorabilia found in University Archives; examples of analog and digital materials and the challenges facing preserving and making these materials available for research; and various types of ephemeral material found within the department. Cases in the exhibit also highlight conservation work done by departmental staff and various tasks archivists undertake when processing archival collections. The exhibit will be on display October 24, 2016 to January 31, 2017, in the John C. Hitt Library 5th floor exhibit area adjacent to Special Collections and University Archives.
Preserving official records and documents is not a new idea. Archives have existed since the second millennia BC. Ancient Chinese, Greek, and Roman civilizations created and maintained archives. Religious and secular archives from the Middle Ages, still in existence today, provide much of our historical knowledge about that time period. The modern concept of the archival repository has roots in the French Revolution when governmental, religious, and private records were seized and preserved by French revolutionaries. Today, archives are found in both public institutions and private businesses and continue to preserve history for future generations.
For more information on the collections, please contact Special Collections & University Archives Department at (407) 823-2576, firstname.lastname@example.org.