Take Steps To Organize, Save Branch History
Does your branch have boxes of materials stored in someone’s garage or storage unit? Does anyone know what’s there? What can be thrown away? And what about the electronic records saved on a member’s computer? How are they supposed to be saved?
Branch officers typically pass on their files to their successors, and, eventually, when the files grow too big, they are boxed and deposited in a garage, or, even destroyed. When that happens, you lose not only the documents, but information that tells the story of your branch.
Make sure that doesn’t happen to your branch. Learn how to decide what to save and how to save it.
It may seem daunting, but organizing what’s in all those paper and electronic files is essential. You need to know what’s there and whether it is a record that should be retained. That’s where AAUW can help, with “Records Management Guidelines for States and Branches” developed by AAUW’s Archive Task Force. Download the document to find step-by-step directions for establishing and maintaining a records management system in your branch.
Find an archive
Once branch records are organized, your county library or historical society may be willing to accept them. In addition, five higher educational institutions in north, central and southern Florida are ready to accept your material. Depending on your location, one of these will be able to help.
- Florida State University, Special Collections Library, Tallahassee: Rory Grennan, (850-645-7962) email@example.com. Holds state archives and those of the Tallahassee branch only.
- University of Florida, George A. Smathers Library, Gainesville: Matt Kruse (352-273-2513) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- University of Central Florida, Special Collections & Archives, Orlando: David Benjamin (407-823-2788) or David.email@example.com.
- Florida Gulf Coast University, Archives & Special Collections, Fort Myers: contact Melissa Minds VandeBurgt or Natalie Snyder (239-590-1000x 2 x 6) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Nova Southeastern University, Archives, Fort Lauderdale: Gena Meroth, Archivist, (954-262-4641) or email@example.com. ■