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IUB Archives

October is American Archives Month!

Black and white photo of a woman in a gingham dress drinking coffee.

I hope you are stocked up on your pumpkin spiced lattes, because October is around the corner and it is a busy month!

Did you know that October is American Archives Month? It is a month to focus on the value of archives and archivists, so be sure to thank an archivist! System-wide, Indiana University’s archivists work hard to ensure that IU’s rich history of academic and research excellence is preserved.

Bloomington news and events

The University Archives in Bloomington works with units to develop records management strategies that ensure records of enduring value are maintained and arrange and describe unique collections of records and papers to make them accessible. Archivists also support research and teaching by making available and encouraging the use of IU’s unique collections by the IU community and the public. Below we’ve outlined several programs that might be of interest to our readers:

Portrait of David Ferriero

On October 4th, the IU Libraries will host a Q & A with David Ferriero, Tenth Archivist of the United States 4-5:30 PM EST at Woodburn Hall. Aligning with the IU’s Themester theme of Lux et Veritas, Ferriero will share his thoughts on open government, presidential records and classified documents, and the important role archives and archivists play in collecting, preserving, and sharing histories. In his role as Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero promoted good recordkeeping as the backbone of open government. His visit will highlight the important role that records management and archives play in accountability and access. Ferriero is an excellent speaker, so you won’t want to miss this event!

Also, on October 6th the University Archives in Bloomington is opening a new exhibit featuring recent acquisitions curated by Katie Morrison (Assistant Archivist) and Amanda Rindler (Records Manager). This exhibit will include past IU Police Department manuals, costume design drawings made by late professor emeritus Robert O’Hearn, promotional items from the “Bring Back the Bison” mascot campaign, and Bloomington LGBTQIA+ community organizing ephemera. We’re excited to offer everyone a peek behind the scenes to see collections that are currently uncatalogued. Maybe you’ll see something you recognize!

Memorabilia from the Bring Back the Bison campaign including a frisbee, toy and book
“Bring Back the Bison” Campaign Material, 2021-2023

October 10th is also Electronic Records Day (get it? 1010 like binary code!), which is intended to raise awareness about the crucial role electronic records play in the world. Electronic records are still records, so don’t forget about them! These records have metadata attached and because hardware and software rapidly become obsolete, archivists have to act sooner in the life cycle to preserve records in this format. The State Electronic Records Initiative and Indiana Archives and Records Administration both have great resources on electronic records. Reach out to the IU Archives if you have questions or are interested in transferring your electronic records.

Image of the IU Archives reading room with a photoshopped squirrel at a table.

Last but not least, we are also trying to find a name for our new Records Management Squirrel! We’ve settled on the squirrel as our records management mascot for a few reasons; squirrels are cute, there is a Squirrels at IU Instagram, and squirrels hoard nuts like people hoard records. You know, they bury them and then can’t find them — we don’t want to do that with records and the squirrel gives us an illustration of that. Submit a name to join in on the fun!

IU Northwest events

Or, perhaps you are in the Northwest part of the state and would like a way to celebrate? During American Archives Month, the Calumet Regional Archives (CRA) at IU Northwest will celebrate 50 years of preservation, community engagement, and research! You are invited to celebrate on Thursday, October 12, 2023 from 2:00-4:00 PM CST (in-person). The event will include various speakers discussing the history of the CRA and future directions of IUN’s archive, history trivia, light refreshments, and archival tours. Please direct any questions toward Jeremy Pekarek (Assistant Library/Archivist) who can be reached at 219-980-6547 or

Archives reading room with wooden exhibit cases and tables
Calumet Regional Archives reading room, photograph by Jeremy Pekarek

Now you are all set to properly enjoy the season of archives. Don’t fret as October ends, though; Records and Information Management Month will come in April!

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