#AskAnArchivist Day 2020
Promotional image for #AskAnArchivist Day 2020 from the Society of American Archivists.
One day every October (American Archives Month), archivists flock to Twitter for #AskAnArchivist Day. The event, organized by the Society of American Archivists (SAA), allows archivists to explain what they do and answer questions from the public in real-time.
This year, four representatives from our Archives--Sr. Manager, Archives & Library, Brian Wilson; Reference Archivist Kathy Makas; Processing Archivist Janice Unger; and Processing Archivist Hilary Severyn--took shifts answering questions from The Henry Ford's Twitter account. Between the four of them, they covered topics ranging from the availability of research assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic to our Ford Motor Company records to mustache-related puns. Below are some highlights from the day's Q&A.
Hi! How are you handling requests during the pandemic?— Dr.Katherine Sharp Landdeck (@katelanddeck) October 7, 2020
We are taking inquiries by email and phone. We've also mounted a public instance of our finding aid search application on the public web to help with access. You can find contact info and search tools here: https://t.co/19MRuVeBkK #AskAnArchivist— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
Terrific! Are you then scanning and emailing materials or copying and snail mailing? Is there a fee?— Dr.Katherine Sharp Landdeck (@katelanddeck) October 7, 2020
We're doing all those things! Whatever would work best for you. Contact us and let's talk! https://t.co/WPOJodCxQU #AskAnArchivist— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
Do you have any records of the Ford Motor Company?— PA Historical & Museum Commission (@PHMC) October 7, 2020
Yes! We are the repository of the historic business records of @Ford from the beginnings of the company into the late 1950s. Henry Edmunds is shown here amongst those records after they arrived @thehenryford in 1964. https://t.co/wiRj3XT0Ap #AskAnArchivist pic.twitter.com/yxUdX8OmPo— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
If you are interested in exploring that history further, the records from the office of Henry Ford are a good place to start. Finding aids available here: https://t.co/UAIqHI4VeJ #AskAnArchivist— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
Are you working on any fun projects right now?— Julia (@JuliaGSpencer) October 7, 2020
We're helping out our Collection Management team with two big inventory projects that will contribute to freeing up valuable storage space. #AskAnArchivist— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
Can you show us some of the Halloween-related items in the collection? 🎃— Uncle Bubba 🎃 (@EricAlder) October 7, 2020
We've got some great postcards in our collection! Every year we hand out a reproduction of one specially selected for our Hallowe'en event; you can check out past years' postcards here: https://t.co/R2iCzu6MHe#AskAnArchivist— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
Anybody else getting ready for #Halloween? I love seeing our old candy related material at the #BensonFordRC, such as this poster from around 1950. https://t.co/u699hlUnH6— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
Do you have a favorite live music related artifact at the #BensonFordRC? An instrument, event program, photo, other memorabilia? 🎤🎸🎶 #AskAnArchivist— wjohn (@wjohn_food) October 7, 2020
We have a theremin in our Museum holdings along with a program in the Archives of a theremin performance given @thedearborninn in the 1930s. https://t.co/7IJQHSYOvg #AskAnArchivist pic.twitter.com/0yzbWXS4Dx— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
Also, our Warbler Family Papers which includes photographs and a piano from Detroit's Club Harlem are pretty cool. You can read more in this blog post: https://t.co/KgQuttvoqP #AskAnArchivist pic.twitter.com/F6WYoxmupu— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
Now we ask the questions for #AskAnArchivist day: What sentence can make every archivist's hair stand on end the fastest? Our favorite is "Hm, what's that dripping sound?"— King County Archives (@KingCoArchives) October 7, 2020
Researcher in the Reading Room, "Do you have any scissors I can borrow?" #AskAnArchivist pic.twitter.com/ci0JpzEYxy— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
Our burning question for #AskAnArchivist: Who has images of squirrels? Colleen McFarland Rademaker is a squirrel aficionado. pic.twitter.com/qDN8l6YX1o— corningmuseum (@corningmuseum) October 7, 2020
We've got a lovely fluffy-tailed friend from 1865!https://t.co/gobP6bwUYm#AskAnArchivist pic.twitter.com/9wfhKmWXQ6— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
My time is almost up - I would love to see some mustaches in the archive! This image is of M. Bohle who owned a slaughterhouse in Waterbury. #AskAnArchivist pic.twitter.com/8MtYnmkShV— Mattatuck Museum (@MattatuckMuseum) October 7, 2020
It would be hard to ketchup to this magnificent mustache-muttonchop combo sported by H.J. Heinz (of Heinz condiment fame)!https://t.co/iX9OaonCrW#AskAnArchivist pic.twitter.com/vq5jH6KOER— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
All those letters sent by regular folks to Henry Ford: can they be made available and searchable online?— Dan Albert (@exchaoordo) October 7, 2020
"All" is a lot. ;-) But this link will get you quite a few digitized letters to and from Henry Ford. #askanarchivisthttps://t.co/kABu5OCDkO— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
If you don't know about '64-'65 NY World's Fair which is a fascinating story go and learn - I'll wait. No, really you should. It was one of the most important events in Disney history & Ford's Magic Skyway had you get into real Ford cars as your ride vehicles. Such a great idea. https://t.co/fpNqkuia75— Sarah Uthoff (@Trundlebedtales) October 7, 2020
Here's more archival material from that World's Fair as well. #AskAnArchivist https://t.co/PanVsiFBJp— The Henry Ford (@thehenryford) October 7, 2020
To see everything we shared during #AskAnArchivist Day, you can browse those tweets here, and you can also follow Brian, Kathy, and Janice on their individual Twitter accounts.
If you have your own questions about the work of our Archives, or research questions we might be able to assist with, feel free to email email@example.com to get in touch directly.
Ellice Engdahl is Digital Collections & Content Manager at The Henry Ford.
21st century, 2020s, research, by Ellice Engdahl, archives, #Behind The Scenes @ The Henry Ford