Libraries at small- and mid-sized academic institutions continue to re-define themselves as journal and monograph collections go online, budgets and staffing remain flat or reduced, and value to student learning and the institutional mission needs to be apparent. This all spells opportunity for archival programs which, with a strong focus on advocacy and daylighting formerly hidden collections of unique content, can re-invigorate the library and spotlight the active role today's service- and user-oriented archives can play in supporting student research, fostering ties with constituents, and ensuring the preservation of an institution's stories and history. A recently-completed National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)-funded grant project involving seven private institutions in Washington and Oregon utilized a focus on effective advocacy and consulting archivists to move archival programs to the next level. Despite limited resource levels at most of the institutions, tangible and sustainable progress was made on describing collections, establishing best-practices and policies, and perhaps most importantly, cultivating a strong ethic of persistent, creative, low-cost advocacy and outreach.
Jodi Allison-Bunnell is the Program Manager for Northwest Digital Archives at the Orbis Cascade Alliance. Linda Morton-Keithley is a consulting archivist based in Boise, Idaho. Elizabeth Stiles Knight is a consulting archivist based in Seattle, Washington.
Allison-Bunnell, Jodi; Morton-Keithley, Linda; and Knight, Elizabeth
"Build It—And Advocate for It—And They Will Come: Lessons from a Collaborative Project in Archives Advocacy and Program Development,"
Journal of Western Archives: Vol. 4
, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/westernarchives/vol4/iss1/9