If you count up all the archivists in Alaska, well, you’ll need more than just your fingers and toes but maybe not very much more. And it’s odd because for as many people who assume we’re all on first-name basis with each other, there’s probably as many people who assume none of us ever communicate. And given the huge geographical distances between some of us, maybe that’s not so surprising.
But we do communicate, contrary to an unfortunate stereotype that has archivists as quiet little bunnies all sitting in amongst our boxes, and we communicate pretty well with each other. We talk about collections, we talk about training, we talk about common interests and sometimes, common problems. Sometimes it’s through one-on-one conversations, but we do have other methods. One of those methods is the Alaska Archivists listserv. Currently there’s about 30 subscribers. Now, that’s not all the archivists in Alaska (and if you’re reading this and you’re an archivist in AK and want to be on the listserv, hit the contact us link above and let us know and we’ll get you subscribed.) This listserv was started in 2003/2004 at the suggestion of the Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board (ASHRAB), another way we all get together in Alaska.
One of the things the SHRAB will hopefully be taking on soon, maybe under the auspices of the ARC program, is getting a list online of all the archives in Alaska. Where we are, who we are, what types of things we have and can do. Which will not only make it easier for people to find us, but for us to find each other. Fingers crossed, everybody.