Why Archives Matter: The Importance of Preserving Your AAUW History

AAUW Montanta state officers are pictured here in 1970. MHS Photo Archives 940-352.

AAUW Montanta state officers are pictured here in 1970. MHS Photo Archives 940-352.

Your AAUW state or branch history is a valuable resource! Historical records document the specific achievements and contributions AAUW women have made throughout history. Stories from AAUW members are an equally important part of that history.

Far too often we hear of collections that are neglected or completely lost and of memories that are never captured. The AAUW Archives Task Force and staff have created several archives resources to help you learn how to gather and preserve that history. Whether you are working with your state or branch archival collection or conducting oral history interviews with fellow members, these guides are helpful at all stages of your project.

AAUW Guidelines for Preserving State and Branch Archives

The AAUW Guidelines for Preserving State and Branch Archives manual provides basic information on how to gather, preserve, and organize state or branch archives. If you have neither the resources nor the appropriate space to maintain your archives, this guide provides assistance in identifying an institutional repository that will professionally care for your records and make them accessible for research.

AAUW State Archives Locations

Many AAUW states and branches have taken the next step in managing their archives and have deposited their archival collections with historical societies and at university libraries in their state. Through these arrangements, their archival records are being processed and cataloged and made available for public research. The AAUW State Archives Locations list details the various locations of AAUW state division archives. Often, branch collections are stored alongside the state collection. This list is particularly helpful if you are seeking information on AAUW archiving efforts in your state.

Intro to Oral History

Oral histories supplement traditional archival collections by including the first-person voice and the experiences of the individual being interviewed. If you are interested in augmenting your historical archives with stories from AAUW members from your state, branch, or community, the Introduction to Oral History guide will walk you through the necessary steps to get started. You will find information on selecting candidates to interview, drafting questions, choosing recording equipment, and conducting the interview.

We Want to Hear from You About Your Archiving Efforts!

What archives- or history-related projects are you working on? Are you just getting started, or are you a seasoned veteran? AAUW would like to be informed of your progress and offer any assistance you may need. Learning about the archiving efforts of AAUW states and branches enables us to develop supplemental resources tailored to state and branch needs.