Using Events to Engage Potential Donors: BITTAW & Student Group Records Acquisition at SUNY Potsdam
Matt Francis - @archivingmatt
MARAC Fall 2013
Aerial view of SUNY Potsdam
grounds, circa 1970s
Original St. Lawrence Academy
building (founded 1816).
“Without becoming an underground member
himself, the archivist can only hope to collect
what these organizations make available.”
-Nicholas Burkel, College and University Archives: Selected Readings, 1979
Overcoming low visibility, and students lack of
understanding about archives.
High turnover in student groups.
Lack of records and/or centralization of records.
Wanted to use events
to build relationships
and assist with
component was one
part of a year long
outreach campaign to
Donation from additional
2 new accessions from a
Invited to speak to Greek
Received donations from
another office and
Donations from BITTAW
Would have liked greater participation.
8% of recognized student groups participated.
Overall archives use up 29% among undergrads.
Built several important relationships for the
Increased overall awareness of the archives and
it’s role on campus.
Invite student groups with
donated materials to the
Encourage creation of
Have interested students
curate their own exhibit.
When working with students take a holistic approach
and engage them on multiple fronts.
Word-of-mouth is your friend, and take time to
appreciate the ripple effect of your work.
Don’t reinvent the wheel; use existing tools and
create reusable pieces.
Events work – they provide specifics for students to
grab onto, let you “build to the event.”