June 9 is International Archives Day!

Participate in a Worldwide Archives Celebration! Visit the National Archives Museum and join us for family-friendly archival activities in the Boeing Learning Center in Washington, DC.

Today’s post comes from Meg Phillips, the National Archives External Affairs Liaison.


On Saturday, June 9, the National Archives joins with archives around the world to celebrate International Archives Day. This day is dedicated to promoting the great work of archives and archivists in preserving and providing public access to our communities’ historical records and promoting access to government records for transparency and accountability.

The theme of the day this year is “Archives: Governance, Memory, and Heritage.”

To help us celebrate, bring a child or two to the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, to see some of the ways that American memory is protected for current and future generations. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Boeing Learning Center, we’ll have special activities that will help you learn how archivists work with the raw material of history every day. There can be no better way to celebrate International Archives Day than to show a new generation the power—and appeal—of archives.

International Archives Day also commemorates the founding of the International Council on Archives in 1948, as described by National Archives Historian Jessie Kratz in last year’s blog post about the celebration. The ICA continues to promote and publicize the day as part of its mission to support and advocate for the role of archives in society. You can see all the activities going on in archives all over the world for International Archives Day, including ours, on ICA’s interactive map.


The theme “Archives: Governance, Memory, and Heritage” and the vibrant graphic for 2018’s International Archives Day references the theme and logo of the International Council on Archives 2018 Conference, to be held in Yaounde, Cameroon, from November 24 to 30. This conference is a particularly important one because it is the first time the ICA Annual Conference is being held in Africa. The meeting’s location and the program are geared to strengthening political and technical support for archives in Africa as part of ICA’s Africa Programme.

The government of Cameroon actively welcomes the ICA conference and is using the opportunity to garner additional support and attention to bring needed resources to the host institution, the National Archives of Cameroon. Archivists from other parts of the world are eager to visit our colleagues in Cameroon to share ideas, show our support, and learn more about the opportunities and challenges of records and archives in Africa. The National Archives of the United States is an active participant in the ICA, and in my role as NARA’s external affairs liaison, I will attend the meeting to share information about our programs, learn about others, and demonstrate NARA’s interest in strengthening archives all around the world.

We hope this brief introduction to the worldwide meaning of International Archives Day makes you want to celebrate with us!  We look forward to welcoming you at the National Archives Museum on June 9.

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