June 9th is International Archives Day, and celebrates the 69th anniversary of the founding of the International Council on Archives (ICA), a formal associate of UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). The ICA’s aim is ‘to promote the management and use of records and archives, and the preservation of the archival heritage of humanity around the world…’
While the Bellevue University Library is not a member of the ICA and hence will not be formally celebrating International Archives Day, the driving themes behind the day are nonetheless relevant to the University’s own archives, as the day serves to celebrate the preservation of institutional memory, cultural heritage, and organizational continuity; all points which our archives emphasize and seek to better strengthen with every passing month.
The last year has been a particularly good year for the University’s archives. Usage of both the physical and digital archives has exploded, content from the archives has been featured around the campus in various 50th Anniversary displays, and the archives as a whole has never been in better organizational shape. Outside interest in unique collections that we hold has grown by leaps and bounds, as well. Of particular interest to researchers from around the country in recent months have been items from the original late 19th-early 20th century Bellevue College and the collection of materials we have related to Richard McDonald, one of the original founders of the McDonald’s fast food restaurant chain. These items are available for in-library viewing by appointment, though the centerpiece of our McDonald’s collection can be viewed in its entirety online.
Many exciting things are coming in the near future for the archives as well, the nearest of which are a significant face lift for the digital archives and the digitization of some of our most unique and highly-sought after material.