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American Archives Month: What Is an Archive?

A small collection box with its contents displayed on the table. The Collection consists of Washington University items from the past - there is an older flag and sports cap in the WashU colors; a text open to a highly stylized bookplate with a placeholder ribbon; a thicker, leather-bound text; some photographs; a glossy pamphlet; and a smaller collection box that typically holds papers or lose documents.

Have you ever asked yourself, “What is an Archive?”

This is a great time to ask that question, because October is American Archives Month!

We invite you to watch the short video “What Is an Archive?”, which gives a brief overview of archives, including:

  • what kinds of things archives hold (and don’t hold)
  • what archival collections are and how they’re assembled
  • what archivists do
  • how you can use archives

For more information about archives at Washington University in St. Louis, contact the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections.

For more information about American Archives Month, visit the National Archives.