As part of American Archives Month, for the second year in a row, History@Work will be running an October series dedicated to publicly-engaged work by archivists and librarians in the U.S. and abroad. This year, we are recruiting pitches related to the COVID-19 crisis. Do you want to share your thoughts and experiences with us about archives and public history as it relates to the work you have been doing surrounding the COVID-19 crisis?
Archivists are important advocates of public history. However, public historians who specialize in different areas may not be familiar with archivists’ efforts to decolonize archives, assist community members interested in maintaining their own collections, and other areas of critical practice. As such, this series will focus on archival and library practice and labor as well as archives and libraries as public history. Because the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted new challenges surrounding the use and maintenance of archives, we also welcome pitches from users of archives. We see this series as an opportunity to share information and forge connections among and between archivists, their publics, and other practicing public historians.
Original blog post pitches are welcomed on a range of topics as it relates to the COVID-19 crisis, including (but not limited to):
- Using, accessing, and providing access to archives during a pandemic
- Community-engaged archival practice in an era of social distancing
- Archives, digital technology, equity, and outreach during a pandemic
- Archival work as public history (including “how-to’s”)
- Archives as vehicles for activism
- Archives, diversity, and inclusion
- Archival practices, policies, and procedures during a pandemic
- Archival work to document COVID-19
- Behind-the-scenes posts on archival labor and how it has changed (or not) during a pandemic
- Reflections or connections to archives-related articles published in History@Work and The Public Historian
History@Work posts are between 800 and 1200 words. Post should be written in accessible language and avoid jargon; we prefer hyperlinks and citations integrated into the text over footnotes. We strongly prefer posts that include images. You can read more about our typical editorial process and style here: https://ncph.org/history-at-work/guidelines/. You can read the 2019 Archives Month posts here.
A sample of past History@Work posts that have featured archives include:
- GVGK Tang, “Project Showcase: Still Fighting For Our Lives,” January 15, 2018.
- Tammi Kim, “Archiving the 1 October web,” April 17, 2018.
- Marla Miller, Christine Crosby, and Stephanie Rowe, “Advocating for Archivists,” August 16, 2018.
In addition, prospective authors may choose to respond to, or get inspiration from, this sample of articles about archives from The Public Historian:
- Wendy Duff, Barbara Craig, and Joan Cherry, “Historians’ Use of Archival Sources: Promises and Pitfalls of the Digital Age,” The Public Historian, Vol. 26 No. 2, (Spring 2004): 7-22.
- Nathan Masters, “Report From the Field: The Los Angeles Archives Bazaar,” The Public Historian, Vol. 35 No. 4, November 2013: 60-64.
- Christopher D. Cantwell, Stuart Hinds, Kathryn B. Carpenter, “Over the Rainbow Public History as Allyship in Documenting Kansas City’s LGBTQ Past,” The Public Historian, Vol. 41 No. 2, May 2019: 245-268.
Pitches for original posts, which should be between three and five sentences long and may include images, are due by Friday, July 10, 2020. First drafts for accepted pitches are due by Monday, August 10, 2020. All posts go through peer editing. Questions and pitches can be directed to guest editor and archivist Krista McCracken at email@example.com.
~Krista McCracken is a public historian and archivist at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, as well as a member of the NCPH Board of Directors.
~Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan is a public historian and scholar of early American social history at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where she directs the undergraduate Public History Program.
~Nicole Belolan is the Co-Editor of The Public Historian and the Digital Media Editor for the National Council on Public History and is based at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers in Camden, NJ.