ID: 21



Curriculum Professor Kim Allen Scott is the University Archivist for Montana State University, Bozeman. The author of numerous scholarly articles and three books, Scott received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society Southwest Archivists in 2001. He has regularly attended continuing education workshops sponsored by the Society of American Archivists and the 34th Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents. In August 2012 he delivered his paper, “Yes, We Have Books,” to the International Council on Archives Congress in Brisbane, Australia.



Archivists to the Rescue: Building Support Communities for Artifact Preservation

Brief summary:

This presentation will use humorous altered pulp magazine and comic book images created by the author for social media distribution to promote public support of archival preservation work.


 Using social media to promote the role of archives in preserving artifacts from the past will help underscore our role as keepers of physical objects.  The jettisoning of books and documents by libraries and records keepers continues to accelerate in the twenty-first century and seems poised to merge the role of archives with other facets of information technology.  However, archivists still have a duty akin to museums in their preservation of three-dimensional information-bearing objects, a duty that necessarily takes precedence over the creation and maintenance of digital surrogates.  Building public support for this role will become increasingly difficult in a world that prefers the virtual to the actual, but archivists can use the former to promote their responsibility to the latter.  This lighthearted look at the use of classic pulp and comic book images to advance public support for the preservation of the printed record can help recruit advocates from the “Twitter’ and “Facebook” generation.  By creating a "straw man" villian, the dreaded "information scientist," archivists can cast themselves into the heroic role of artifact rescuers.

Scientific contribution:

The various examples of altered classic pulp magazine and comic book covers demonstrates the innovation possible in using new technologies to recruit support for traditional archival responsibilities.


social media; artifactual value; pulp magazines; comic books