Take a look into the past at UO Libraries’ Archives Fest

African-Americans working in a bean field, 1947

When thinking of archives, “celebration” might not be the first word that comes to mind. But when it comes to the University of Oregon’s archives, it’s easy to see why they’re worth celebrating.

On Saturday, Oct. 1 — the start of American Archives Month — UO’s Special Collections and University Archives will host Archives Fest, an exhibition of the university’s most prestigious collections. Archives Month is being celebrated all around the country at museums and libraries, but the UO’s Knight Library is the only local event.

The celebration will start with an open house from 10 a.m. to noon. Visitors can see original art, rare books and photography documenting indigenous and rural communities or exploring sexuality from photographers such as Tee Corinne, zines from UO’s LGBT community and documents from writers such as Ursula K. Le Guin and Ken Kesey. The showing will be in the Paulson Reading Room on the second floor of the library

From noon to 2 p.m., visitors can take a tour of the Eugene Pioneer Cemetery led by local historians or enjoy large-scale, high-resolution images of art and archival materials at the Robert DeArmond MakerSpace in the new Price Science Commons and Research Library. The Elements Ca-Fe will be open as well.

For those interested in learning how to preserve photographs, sound recordings, digital media and home movies, UO Libraries curators will share tips from 2-4 p.m. in the Browsing Room on the first floor of Knight Library.

From 4-6 p.m., visitors will be treated to a screening from the historic film collection, including interviews with Malcolm X shortly before his assassination, and a time capsule of local African-American speakers, Black Student Union members, Black Panthers and students on campus speaking about race issues. The screening will have snacks and refreshments.

The archives run from high-profile to obscure, but Tatiana Bryant, special collections librarian, believes anyone can find something to connect to in the pieces of history at the Knight Library.

“Find yourself here,” Bryant said. “You may not feel a connection at first. … But I promise you, it is here.”

All events are free and open to the public. Visitors are encouraged to RSVP at researchguides.uoregon.edu/archivesfest.

—By Scott Greenstone, UO Libraries