Beggars can’t be choosers (An Outreach Case Study)

Learning Objectives

  • Students will plan appropriate archival outreach programing given a particular scenario.


You’re a new employee at a large and well-respected archive that has many types of collections from author personal paper collections, business collections and local community organizational records. This institution has a moderately successful lecture series that it host in the fall and spring, and a few research workshops throughout the year. It’s been noticed that participation has been trailing off over the last few events. Participants tend be older for lecture series or research workshops, but an English professor at a local college gives extra credit to his students for lectures that focus on your author collections. Those lectures tend to be well attended. Occasionally but not regularly, you conduct special tours and talks for local high schools.


  • What would you do to improve the events and programing that already exist?
  • How would you approach creating new programing that would bring in newer groups or reinvigorate previous participants?


  • Rettig, Patricia J. “An Integrative Approach to Archival Outreach: A Case study of becoming part of the constituents’ community.” Journal of Archival Organization 5, no. 3 (2008): 31-46.

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