Written by Alexandra Angel, Guest Writer
Earlier this month, history and archives enthusiasts flocked to California’s state capitol for the annual Sacramento Archives Crawl, an Archives Month event hosted by the California State Archives, California State Library, Center for Sacramento History, and the Sacramento Room at the Central Library. Crawlers visited all four venues and discovered items from dozens of archives and special collections libraries centered around this year’s theme – Myth, Folklore, and Legend. The event had something for everyone: eye-opening exhibits and tours, fascinating presentations, a scavenger hunt, and even live music!
I started my day at the California State Archives, which offered a tour featuring theme-specific items, presentations on genealogy research and military archives, as well as exhibits from organizations including the Lavender Library and the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. I then met up with SAASC Board Chair, Caroline Perez, and together we explored the exhibits at the California State Library. We viewed items and visuals from California Revealed, the California State Parks Archives & Photographic Archives, and the UC Davis Library Archives and Special Collections, as well as information about services like the State Library’s Digital Concierge Program. We enjoyed a performance by Irish folk/punk band Stout Rebellion while browsing books on myths and legends from the Library’s General Collection, literature on UFOs, and recipes for some of the most famous literary cocktails.
Our last two stops highlighted the local archives and collections from the Sacramento region. At the Center for Sacramento History, we took a tour of their archival repository that includes city and county records, artifacts, photographs, and moving images and recorded sound. We also chatted with members of the West Sacramento Historical Society and the Sacramento River Delta Historical Society, as well as archivists from the Yolo County Archives, and the Placer County Museums, Archive and Research Center. We ended the day at the Sacramento Central Library, where crawlers toured the Sacramento Room, learned about Sacramento County History Day, and entered to win prizes from local businesses.
If you’re like me and just beginning the MLIS program, events like the Archives Crawl are a great way to dive into the archiving world. By visiting each site and engaging with various archivists and library staff (many of whom are SJSU MLIS alumni!), we learned about their different tasks and projects, how they got their start in the archives profession, and some of the challenges archivists face today. It was great to see their work front-and-center, and their passion and enthusiasm were inspiring. Major kudos to everyone from the host locations, participating archives and libraries, and sponsoring partners who made the whole event possible. The entire day was incredibly fun, and I can’t wait for next year’s crawl!
Alexandra Angel is a first year MLIS student with an interest in archives, preservation, and records management. She has a background in public affairs, strategic communications, and policy research & analysis.
*All photos provided by Alexandra Angel