Thursday, October 18, 2012

October Is American Archives Month


AOTUS: Collector in Chief has posted a new item, 'American Archives Month'



October is American Archives Month, a time when we celebrate the work that archivists all over the country do to ensure that the records of their institutions are created, collected, and protected in a manner that allows their clientele to find what they need.  Here at the National Archives that means ensuring that citizens can hold our government accountable, can learn from our history, and can explore family histories, to name just a few ways the records are used.

We risk losing our memory as a country if we cannot meet the challenges of electronic records management. The fact is, without good records management, it is impossible for us to learn from the past and plan for the future....I expect the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration to change the way we do things, the way we think about things, and the way we deliver services to the public.

What do I love about the National Archives?  The discoveries made every day in the records of our country, such as:

Last week a veteran arrived in College Park by motorcycle from Nevada.  He has been searching for 43 years for information about his platoon leader killed in Viet Nam. The staff found the information he needed “in 30 seconds!”

An archivist in St. Louis learned of a family bible in our pension claim records for his Revolutionary War ancestor

Letters with checks for the pennies collected by school children, teachers, and Elks Lodges around the country in a campaign to save the Navy’s oldest ship, the U.S.S. Constitution during the late 1920s.
The fact that my grandfather, Paolo Ferriero, was 15 years old when he arrived in Boston from Naples in 1903.  And that he was met by his father, Antonio, who had arrived three years before.

One of the supplementary questions NOT asked during the 1940 Census:  “Do you have a waffle iron and a Bible?”

What I love most about the National Archives is the staff in 44 facilities across the country who are so passionate about their work—those who work with veterans, the general public, genealogists, scholars and students, the Federal Agencies, the White House, and Congress.  And, just as passionate, are those who support those who are doing that frontline work.  For me, every month is Archives Month!

David S. Ferriero was confirmed as 10th Archivist of the United States on November 6, 2009.

Previously, Mr. Ferriero served as the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries (NYPL). He was part of the leadership team responsible for integrating the four research libraries and 87 branch libraries into one seamless service for users, creating the largest public library system in the United States and one of the largest research libraries in the world. Mr. Ferriero was in charge of collection strategy; conservation; digital experience; reference and research services; and education, programming, and exhibitions.

 Among his responsibilities at the NYPL was the development of the library’s digital strategy, which currently encompasses partnerships with Google and Microsoft, a web site that reaches more than 25 million unique users annually, and a digital library of more than 750,000 images that may be accessed free of charge by any user around the world.

Before joining the NYPL in 2004, Mr. Ferriero served in top positions at two of the nation’s major academic libraries, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, and Duke University in Durham, NC. In those positions, he led major initiatives including the expansion of facilities, the adoption of digital technologies, and a reengineering of printing and publications.

Mr. Ferriero earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from Northeastern University in Boston and a master’s degree from the Simmons College of Library and Information Science, also in Boston. After serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War, he started in the humanities library at MIT, where he worked for 31 years, rising to associate director for public services and acting co-director of libraries.
In 1996, Mr. Ferriero moved to Duke University, where he served as University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs until 2004. At Duke, he raised more than $50 million to expand and renovate the university’s library and was responsible for instructional technology initiatives, including overseeing Duke’s Center for Instructional Technology.

We have provided links to other websites because they have information that may interest you. Links are not an endorsement by the National Archives of the opinions, products, or services presented on these sites, or any sites linked to it. The National Archives is not responsible for the legality or accuracy of information on these sites, or for any costs incurred while using these sites.

You are encouraged to share your comments, ideas, and concerns.  


United States Archivist David S. Ferreiro
National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington D.C. 20081-0001

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