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Archives Month Programming Suggestions

This list of program ideas is only meant to suggest possibilities. Brainstorm with others in your community and in your institution to develop other ideas that fulfill the mission of Archives Month and that work for you. Involve as many people in your area as you can. Be imaginative!

Classroom Collaborations

  • Give an educational presentation for National History Day students on how to use primary sources.
  • Conduct a class project to write about the historic topic.
  • Work with a teacher to develop lesson plans that incorporate historical records by or about the historic topic.

Local Media

  • Work with your local newspaper to print a photograph or letter from your collections each day or each week of Archives Month.
  • Publicize any events underway in conjunction with Archives Month.
  • Suggest a news story that contrasts the historic event that occurred in your area of Wisconsin with it's popularity today and how that's changed.

Public Programming

  • Develop a campaign to collect documents from your community that should be preserved for posterity. Publicize your collecting efforts during Archives Month and enlist the interest and support of your community.
  • Create an exhibit of items from your collections and invite school classes and community groups to guided tours of the exhibit and of your institution. For even greater exposure, move the exhibit from your institution to other public spaces, such as the post office or a school exhibit case.
  • Work with community groups to create public programs or panel discussions about the history topic, both past and present.
  • Record reminiscences of your community members. Their recorded memories can be your most precious historical records.
  • Host a viewing of films featuring the historic topic.
  • Organize a family history night, when your genealogy patrons have your collection to themselves. Encourage parents and grandparents to bring members of their families' younger generations to learn about their family history.
  • Put on a Home Movie Night event, bringing people in your community together to watch the films and videos related to the historic topic; Remind the audience that home movies are historical records like every other document in your archives.
  • Work with other archival institutions in your area to host an Archives Bazaar. The bazaar would allow participating institutions to showcase examples from their collections for the public in one location.
  • Digitize a portion of your collection and create an online exhibit to premiere in October.
  • Design a scavenger hunt that highlights historical landmarks in your area. Penn State University Archives designed their scavenger hunt around historic campus trivia.
  • Develop a self-paced walking tour of historic places in your area. To facilitate the use of archival material and to bring history alive, make available a guidebook with copies of historical records such as photographs, clippings, deeds, and other archival items to complement their tour experience.
  • Record a podcast to accompany an exhibit or a self-paced walking tour that patrons can download from your website. All you need to create a digital audio file is a computer, a microphone, and free audio-editing and recording software, such as Audacity®.


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