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Many Happy Returns: Advocacy and the Development of Archives

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Many Happy Returns: Advocacy and the Development of Archives

Edited by Larry J. Hackman

Twenty-three well-versed archivists and allied professionals provide sound advice and teach you how to advocate effectively for your archives in Many Happy Returns: Advocacy and the Development of Archives.

Editor Larry Hackman's opening essay is a tutorial on advocacy principles and application, including practical techniques and tactics. Hackman asserts that "advocacy is an investment that we make when we intentionally and strategically educate and engage individuals and organizations so that they in turn will support our archival work."

Thirteen case studies address a variety of advocacy experiences and methods. For example, the New York Philharmonic archivist has spent more than 25 years building a strong and highly visible archives by finding and using allies within the Philharmonic's own internal family. One vital strategy has been to link the archives to the interests and needs of the symphony's very prominent music directors.

Other examples include major breakthroughs, such as passage of a $7 million bond issue for the Butte, Montana, archives and creation of a significant preservation endowment for the Oberlin College Archives, as well as more typical incremental advances made over longer periods by matching an archives advocacy methods to the culture, structures, and processes of the parent organization.

A highly instructive chapter describes seven categories of advocacy lessons learned from the case studies and suggests areas that archivists should give higher priority, particularly in finding and using external advocates. The book concludes with essays on advocacy and archival education, the use of new technologies to build support for archives, and advocacy at the federal level. Also included are suggested further readings.

This book ably demonstrates that archivists can (and should!) invest time in advocacy efforts to produce "many happy returns" for themselves and their archives. And now, so can you!  


"The subject could be overwhelming, but this book makes it seem manageable both as a topic and a practice. It could be the beginning of more serious and in-depth conversation about the role of advocacy in keeping archives vital."

—GENYA O'GARA, North Carolina State University, Journal for the Society of North Carolina Archivists, Fall 2011


"Turn to this book for a wealth of ideas and inspiration, great examples from an assortment of archivists and archives, and practice-based recommendations for garnering support from internal and external supporters."

—TIAH EDMUNSON-MORTON, Oregon State University, Journal of Western Archives, October 2011


"...A long overdue and welcome addition to the archival literature...Many Happy Returns will undoubtedly be an important reference for archival leaders, practitioners, students, and anyone interested in advocating for archives' successful future."

—LORYL MACDONALD, University of Toronto Archives, Journal of Archival Organization, February 2012


"Many Happy Returns is a comprehensive, provocative, and interesting look at the issue of archival advocacy."

—JULIA HENDRY, Wilfrid Laurier University, Archivaria, Fall 2012


Many Happy Returns absolutely succeeds in its desire to be a starting point for discussions on advocacy and to encourage further writing on the subject. There are also many tips, tools, and lessons in the book that can be used by almost every archivist on an immediate basis. Most importantly, Hackman inculcates the mindset of making advocacy part and parcel of all archivists’ daily work, something that is not as difficult as it seems.”

—JASON G. SPECK, University of Maryland, Provenance, Volume 31, Issue 1

Society of American Archivists (2011)
424 pp., soft cover

Product Code: BOOKSAA-0568
ISBN: 1-931666-37-7
Qty Available: 82



List Price: $56.00
Member Price: $39.95