Of Library Hops and Archives Crawls

Yesterday was the 3rd Annual Oregon Archives Crawl.

Since I’ve always enjoyed a good library hop, this sounded like fun. What is it exactly? What does it entail?

From their site,

“Based on the popular concept of a pub crawl, the Archives Crawl consists of four host institutions that open their doors for the curious, provide behind-the-scenes tours, and offer space for many other archivists from local collections to bring information about their archives and examples from their collections. People “crawl” from one venue to another, checking out the items and meeting the archivists. In addition to tours, exhibits and the opportunity to chat with an archivist, special events demonstrate why archives are not just for scholars but for the curious of all ages.”

What’s cool about this year’s crawl was their theme of “Celebrate women; celebrate archives!” If you recall, earlier this year, at Central Library’s Collins Gallery, the exhibit was “Votes for Women! The Oregon Story.”

My first stop was at the Oregon Historical Society to get a tour of their Davies Family Research Library. (Another library to add to my list!) Did I manage to get lost looking for this library? Yes. I took an elevator from the museum and ended up in the adjacent building- the Sovereign Hotel. Aside from that little hiccup, the Library Director gave a wonderful tour of the place. There were so many interesting things to see and this is just a small percentage of what they actually have. The majority of their collection is in a warehouse in Gresham.

After quick visits to the Portland Archives and Records Center and Portland State University’s Millar Library, I ended the crawl at Central Library’s John Wilson Special Collections where the librarian gave a show and tell of some of the items there.

I’ll be honest. I’m not really into history. But the Archives Crawl is something that I always look forward to. It’s a great way to learn about topics I normally wouldn’t think about. And, it’s so fascinating that libraries have to somehow preserve the past, find ways to stay current and relevant, and think ahead to the future- all at the same time!

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