Preserve Your State and Branch Records and Honor Your State and Branch’s Achievements
Archival records are extremely valuable. They document your state or branch’s institutional memory and also highlight the achievements of your state, branch, and individual members. Thanks to archival records, the contributions that local women volunteers make and have made to AAUW’s mission can be acknowledged, honored, and celebrated. AAUW members should feel empowered to take an active role in ensuring that their records are preserved.
Your records may be in a variety of formats, including paper and electronic documents, books and other publications, photographs, audiovisual materials, and artifacts. The amount of archival materials will vary depending on the age of your branch and past collecting efforts.
If your state or branch wishes to maintain its own records, you will need to know how to gather, preserve, and organize state or branch archives. If your state or branch does not have the resources or the appropriate space to maintain a collection, you will need to identify an institutional repository to professionally care for the records and make them accessible for research.
Due to limited space and resources, AAUW does not actively collect the records of states and branches. However, we are available to assist you with identifying repositories that might be willing to accept your collection. Please contact the AAUW archivist with any questions.
Being responsible for your state or branch archival collection can seem a daunting task. But rest assured that AAUW is here to help you make informed decisions about managing your records. Here is how to get started.
What to Do if You Have Minimal Resources and Time
If you have minimal human or financial resources and a limited amount of time to devote to your archival collection, you can do the following to ensure the safety of your records.
- Find a safe and secure, yet accessible, location to store your collection.
- Make sure the location is cool and dry.
- Consolidate as much of the collection as possible to one location; thoroughly search meeting places, and contact members to determine if they are storing records in their offices or residences.
What to Do if You Have Additional Resources and Time
If you have additional resources and time, add the following steps from the Guidelines for Preserving State and Branch Archives (PDF) to establish more robust archives.
- Identify a permanent location.
- Collect and evaluate your records.
- Organize and arrange your records.
- Process your records.
- Describe the materials and make the records accessible.
What Else Do You Need to Know and Do?
Consult these additional resources from our Guidelines for Preserving State and Branch Archives (PDF).
- Examples of Materials That Belong in Your State or Branch Archives
- Examples of Materials That Do Not Belong in Your State or Branch Archives
- Recommendations for Handling Archival Materials Properly
- Information on Donating Your Archives to a Repository
- Resources for Archival Supplies and Preservation Assistance