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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

#ArchivesRock on International Archives Day 2016

Parade of ‘Rederijkers’ making music in Middelburg (province Zeeland, The Netherlands). Engraving by DaniĆ«l Veelwaard and Jan Arends, ca 1784/1785. Zeeuws Archief/Zeeland Archives, Zeeuws Genootschap, Zelandia Illustrata, dl III, nr 988.

Let's celebrate June 9

International Archives Day 2016 #IAD16 is coming up! Like every year Ask Archivists and Follow An Archive organize a celebration event on Twitter.
With the celebration event we join the June 9 theme ‘Archives, Harmony and Friendship‘ of the International Council on Archives (ICA).
The theme of the annual Twitter event will be #archivesrock. It’s about music in archives.

Archives rock

Music makes a perfect match with the ICA theme ‘Archives, Harmony and Friendship’!
Remember the song ‘Ebony and Ivory’, a 1982 number-one single by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder?
“Ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony | Side by side on my piano…”.
It contains music and lyrics worth to keep in an archive, performed by two friends singing and playing together in perfect harmony!
So let archives rock on June 9, International Archives Day, and contribute to Friendship and Harmony!

How can you let archives rock?

  • Music performances and/or instruments on photographs, engravings, paintings, etc.
  • Music scores and/or sheet music
  • Books about music
  • Soundtracks, video, film, etc.
  • List of archives and collections about music
  • Portraits of composers and musicians
  • Records, which that tell about composers, musicians and “musical” institutions


The sound of archives

  • Make any kind of noise in an archive depot
  • Rustle with paper
  • Close the heavy door of the archive depot
  • Turn the wheels of the shelves
  • Put an archival document in/out an archives box
  • Type an inventory list
  • Record the silence of the reading room


Be a musician yourself and/or with others

  • Sing and/or play music in harmony with your colleagues and/or visitors
  • Invite children/adults to sing with you in the archive
  • Organize a musical event, tape it and put it on Twitter
  • ….or do a flashmob?

Music in archives, sounds in archives, it’s all possible to make #Archivesrock on June 9!


Your contribution, your choice

And finally – your contribution could naturally also be musical documents of huge importance and great archival beauty.
It is your choice, and we look forward to your contribution.


Join International Archives Day on Twitter!

We hope lots of archives, archivists and all people who love archives will join.
Let us show together how music can make the world a harmonious place to live together in friendship and how archives play a vital part in documenting the history of music.


Other platforms

Twitter is the main platform for the event, but you can do #archivesrock on most other platforms too. Show of your sheetmusic on Instagram, take the opportunity to test the new Facebook Live video featuring archival sound, write a blogpost… but be sure to to tweet about it ;-)



This Twitter event #IAD16 #archivesrock is organized by Follow An Archive and Ask Archivists, managed by Anneke van Waarden-Koets (The Netherlands) and Charlotte Jensen (Denmark).
The idea for the theme ‘the sound of archives’ came from the German archivist Thomas Wolf. We added music, mixed it with the sound of archives, and here it is, especially for all our archives friends: a harmonious theme to celebrate International Archives Day: #archivesrock!

Entry of baptism for the world-famous Danish composer Niels Wilhelm Gade, 1817. He was co-founder of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, where he became the first Director General. In 1854 he wrote a “weddingwaltz” for a play and didn´t think much of it. But even today, it is used at almost every Danish wedding and silver/gold wedding aniversary.

Texts about #archivesrock on #IAD16 in several languages

Archivists from several countries in the world wrote blogposts about the Twitter event #archivesrock on #IAD16 in their own languages. Thank you very much for your great translation work, colleagues! Much appreciated!

Blogpost in German
Blogpost in Dutch
Blogpost in Danish
Blogpost in French
Blogpost in Polish

Friday, May 15, 2015

Let’s celebrate democracy and rights on June 9th. 2015

Cartoon on the friction between tw political parties in Dutch elections (Scale based on the balance in Middelburg, province of Zeeland. Lithography by Joh. Braakensiek, 1897
Source: Zeeuws Archief-Zeeland Archives, Zeeuws Genootschap, Zelandia Illustrata III, no. 362

Celebrating International Archives Day 2015
June 9th. and International Archives Day is almost here again. There are so many topics to choose from! But we propose, that this years activities concentrate on democracy in many ways.

Topic: democracy
The National Archives of the United Kingdom has come up with this topic, suggesting that we make June 9th. a "Twitter day where archives share stories and records within their collection showcasing democracy and rights in different ways".

It is a subject, that most archives can relate to and tell stories about. No matter if you are a large, national archive, a municipal institution or a community archive, we all have records and other material, that can be used to tell the story of democratic development, and people who have stood up for their rights.

Ideas about what to share, could be records that
  • have established fundamental rights in your country 
  • tell the story of individuals, who played a part in establishing democratic conditions 
  • relate to rights of specific groups ( indigenous, ethnic, LGBT, women, children...) 
  • show the history of the right to form trade unions and political or religious communities 
  • picture election and election days, both national and local
  • sound archives with important speaches, interviews etc. 

Your contribution, your choice
And finally your contribution could naturally also be constitutional documents of huge importance and great archival beauty. It is your choice, and we look forward to your contribution.

#IAD15 #democracy : register on blog Ask Archivists
If you wish to join, make a comment on the same blogpost on the weblog of Ask Archivists. And on June 9th. post your content to relevant platforms - blogs, flickr, instagram, your website, etc. - and tweet about it using the combination of two tags: #IAD15 #democracy.

Join International Archives Day on Twitter!
We hope a lot of archives will join, and help show the world, how archives play a vital part in documenting the history of democracy.

This Twitter event #IAD15 #democracy is organized by Ask Archivists and Follow An Archive.

Detail from the first page on the first democratic constitution in the kingdom of Denmark. The original is kept at The National Achives of Denmark. (Original photo: Karsten Bundgaard, Det Kongelige Bibliotek – original is found here:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Results #WW1archives June 10 2014


Great day June 10

What a great day we had on June 10, 2014, celebrating International Archives Day with the Twitter event #WW1archives! Lots of archives, liraries, museums, other heritage organisations and tweeps participated, tweeting about the First World War in their archives or private collections.

#WW1archives Day started in New Zealand and Australia with at least seven organisations and tweeps tweeting about the Great War in their archives and collections. Other participating countries followed, most of them in Europe (we counted 14 twittering organisations in The Netherlands, but the UK and France were leading on tweets), but also in South-Africa and the Middle-East. And the last countries that joined #WW1archives were the America's and Canada, who also did a great job.

Almost 1,000 users did more than 2,000 tweets and retweets with a potential reach of almost 1,600,000 and over 5,300,000 impressions.

We enjoyed the documents, pictures, objects and all kinds of resources. It's amazing to see what a treasures we keep in our archives and collections! And we saw a lot of data bases to search for soldiers and refugees. Good work!

We also saw private persons who made wonderful projects or stories of their search for ancestors who were soldier of refugee in the Great War, and persons who shared their privat collections of, for instance, magazines or postcards. Thanks for your special contributions!


We made some statistic reviews on the use of the hashtag #WW1archives using the tool Keyhole:
1. 2014-06-11 Social Monitor #ww1archives - Keyhole - overview
2. 2014-06-11 Social Monitor #ww1archives - Keyhole -media  

Archiving tweets

We archived tweets in three Storify's:
1. Documentes about the Great War 1914-1918
2. Pictures of the Great War 1914-1918
3. Online resources about the Great War 1914-1918  

Next event

We hope you enjoyed participating #WW1archives! The idea to tweet about the First World War in archives and collections came from Thomas Wolf from SIWI-archives in Germany. Do you have an idea for a next international Twitter event on @FollowAnArchive and @AskArchivists? Please let us know. Thanks to you all for making #WW1archives Day such a great archives event, to show all the resources we keep for people to investigate and make the discovery of their live!

Charlotte and Anneke

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Join #WW1archives on June 10, 2014

Twitter event on June 10, 2014
In 2014 International Archives Day (June 9) falls on Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday. Most archives are closed that day. So we decided to organize the annual Twitter event on Tuesday, June 10.

World War I – 1914-2014
The German archivist Thomas Wolf from SIWI-archives came up with a good idea: let’s pay attention to the beginning of the First World War or The Great War, that began 100 years ago in 1914.

The Great War in archives
We ask all archives and other heritage organizations to search their collections for documents related to the First World War 1914-1918. Even countries that were neutral during the Great War, can perhaps find some records about, for instance, aid to refugees, or military or financial support to soldiers, families, countries in need.

Subjects to look for and tweet about
Archival documents, records, newspapers, pictures, drawings, postcards, paintings, etc. about:
- Soldiers
- Families and loved ones of soldiers
- Battlefields
- Refugees
- Aid / Support
- Governments
- Weapons
- Mobilisation
- Diseases
- War cemeteries
- History before, during, after 1914-1918, all related to the First World War

Join @AskArchivists and @FollowAnArchive on #WW1archives Day on Twitter, June 10, 2014.
In due time you will find more information on the two blogs and .


Saturday, March 1, 2014


Selfie? Shelfie? #Archiveshelfie!

Tweet: Hey, #archives all over the world, want to participate with #ArchiveShelfie? Be creative with your shelves! #shelfie

This tweet was the beginning of great fun in archives! Archivists of the Dutch Regionaal Archief Tilburg came up with this fantastic idea as a follow up of #shelfie (a picture or portrait of your bookshelf). They thought: “Why not a picture or portrait of your favorite archive shelf?” And so #ArchiveShelfie was born.

Archivists and visitors of archives came up with awesome pictures. Not only shelves with boxes, papers and all other kinds of archival stuff were recorded on camera, but also minuature archivists made of paper or Lego, and even an archive dwarf, showed up.

And of course archivists photographed them selves in, near, over, between, behind, in front of and on top of shelves and even under or on top of archives :-)

You can see all this amazing pictures in the Storify of #ArchiveShelfie.

The event #ArchiveShelfie is still going on and will be for as long as it takes. So… join the event and be creative with yourselve, your shelves and your archives!

Thanks to the collegues of the Regionaal Archief Tilburg, who started this event on Twitter, for coming up with such a great idea!

Have lots of fun making your own #ArchiveShelfie!

Articles about the Twitter event #ArchiveShelfie

Weblog RA Tilburg
Archief 2.0
Jojanneke on Storify
Karen on Storify
Ask Archivists
SABC Media Libraries

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year - 2014

 We wish you all the best in 2014!

May all your archives wishes come true in the New Year!

Monday, June 3, 2013

International Archives Day 2013 dedicated to archives in need
On of the first pictures of the destroyed city archives of Cologne. Author: F. Domahs, 2009.

Archives are a fantastic resource for us all. They help us grow in knowledge and understanding of past and present. They empower us to investigate the history we need and the stories we care about. Archives are necessary.

But not all archives are well

On March 3 2009, the city archives of Cologne in Germany collapsed and with it thousands of documents belonging to one of the oldest city archives in Europe. Holdings reached back to 1408/09 and the oldest document stored was from 922. A huge part of the archives was buried by the collaps. About 40.000 charters, collection of photo and film as well as some of the iconic medieval documents and a collection of seals were saved.

To rebuild or not to rebuild?

But although part of the collections have been saved, the municipality has recently decided to freeze the build of a new city archives. A decision, which has been critized by both the German Association of Archivists (VdA) as well as ICA, the International Council on Archives.

The archives in Cologne can be supported in different ways, among others this petition.

Let's support all archives in need

But we are almost certain, that there are a lot of archives in the world, which also need attention. Archives threatened by for instance consequences of climate change, lack of appropriate facilities or other negative influences.

#savearchives on June 9th

So, on June 9th support the archives in Cologne - and all other archives in need. Tweet about them, using the hashtag #savearchives, include blogposts, articles and petitions. We will gather links on the weblog of Ask Archivists and summarize.

Hopefully our attention and support can help #savearchives!

Storify #IAD13 and #savearchives made by Karen du Toit, senior archivist at SABC in South Africa.