Inspired by Archivists

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I had the great honor of spending a day at the Society of American Archivists annual meeting in San Diego on August 9, 2012.  They had invited me to give one of the opening keynotes (the audio and slides for which are embedded here), which gave me the opportunity to thank so many of the amazing archivists who have inspired me over the last few years, and to show some of the many examples of how archives are opening their collections for greater access, and demonstrate how people are interacting with content in new ways.  Of course I also talked about the potential of Linked Open Data and the importance of using WWW protocols and open licenses to share metadata, and how the archives, library and museum communities are beginning to play a leading role in this next internet revolution.

Just a note on the inside joke about the Green Bay Packers… they were actually staying in the hotel that the conference was held at, so there were a lot of Packers fans trolling the lobby in search of players/autographs. I thought that was a fun way to reflect on the importance of archivists, and how people really should be seeking autographs from the heroes who are doing so much to preserve cultural memory for future generations!

Special thanks to Nancy Beaumont, SAA Executive Director, and Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, 2011-12 SAA President, for inviting me to speak.  I also want to thank all of the archivists and friends who overwhelmed me with such a warm welcome. It was a truly inspiring experience for me.