Thursday, October 14, 2010

October is National __________ Month

Okay, you’re jumping to conclusions…

In the event you might have missed it, I’m honor bound to draw your attention to the fact that the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council has once again declared October to be “National Sausage Month.” 

It only makes sense to have the celebration of sausages fall in October, since it’s National Pork Month as well.

October is a pretty busy month.  It’s German-American AND Polish-American Heritage Month, both of which fit nicely with the aforementioned National Sausage Month. And it’s also National Cookie Month, and National Dessert Month.  And National Pizza Month and National Popcorn Poppin’ Month.

Hungry yet?

Researchers, however, should take time out from all those eating binges to remember that October is also Archives Month.

Archives and special collections repositories around the nation, from the largest to the smallest, go all out in the month of October to showcase their collections and instruct and inform the general public about the value of archival collections.  Chances are, there’s an archives near you that’s holding some kind of special event this month.

Consider New York State, for example.  Every year, the NY State Archives spearheads a month-long campaign to raise archival awareness in New Yorkers of all ages and descriptions.  This year, the theme is “Safeguarding Your History”.  The poster features a circa 1912 photo showing a fireman trainee learning to jump at the Rochester NY Fire Department Training Academy.  (“Safeguarding” – get it?)

The State Archives website has a calendar of archives-related events around the state, with appropriate hyperlinks to the variety of exhibits, lectures and workshops taking place all over New York.

If you’d like your very own copy of NYS Archives 2010 poster with the jumping fireman, the link to the pdf. file is here.

The big news this past week was that the New York State Archives and New York State Library in Albany instituted Saturday hours.  This is a REALLY BIG DEALThere's more info here.

Neither the NYS Library nor NYS Archives has been open on Saturday in most researchers’ living memory.  The fact that I actually remember those Saturday hours long ago only underscores how truly antiquated I am.

So, if you use the NYS Archives/Library in Albany and are excited by the prospect of Saturday hours, click on the “contact us” part of the NYS Archives webpage and then send ‘em a note to say thanks.

And while you’re at it, send a note to your favorite archives/archivist and say simply, “Thanks for being there for us.  Have a happy Archives Month!”

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