Seeing as how October is American Archives Month, it seems like the right time to wayback a bit about the Parkland Archives.
In the Spring of 1972, President Staerkel authorized the establishment of a College Archives. William Gaines was appointed as College Archivist. (Mr. Gaines passed away recently; his obituary is here.)
In the early summer of 1979, President Staerkel, in response on an informal proposal by the College Archivist, requested a formal proposal for the establishing of a records management program. This program was authorized in October 1979. At this time, the function of records management was amalgamated with the Archives to form a new college office, The Archives and Records Management Office (ARMO). What a great name: ARMO. Gets me every time. “Hey, do you have those statistics from 1982?” “No, but have you checked with ARMO?”
Think of the forethought that must have gone into establishing an archives at Parkland. Not all community colleges took this route, and some are now scrambling to arrange many, many years of records into a useable resource. Now, fast forward to 2002: Things were looking bleak for poor old ARMO. The Parkland Archives was to lay dormant for the next 10 years.
Thankfully, in 2012, an Archives Task Force was created to bring the Parkland Archives back to life. While individual departments remain responsible for maintaining and disposing their own records according to State of Illinois requirements, the Parkland Archives is the central repository for records of permanent importance. New space, new walls, new arrangement – things have shaped up. Your friendly neighborhood archivist has been busy accessioning (that’s a fancy archives word) and processing records that have been transferred from various departments that have begun to fill in blanks from those missing ten years.
Here’s something not often considered in our Wayback posts: the FUTURE... future… future…. There are many important documents that are born digital and will stay that way that need to be collected, preserved (it’s harder than you might think… cough…floppy disk…cough), and cataloged for future access. The Parkland Archives will work to ensure that Parkland’s history is captured in whatever format in which it is presented.
So consider stopping by the Parkland Archives. Located in R212 of the Library, and usually available in the mornings Monday thru Friday, or by appointment, we’re happy to show you around, accept your transfers, assist in your research, and help you create course content. Some of our most research-worthy records include those from the President’s office, minutes from the Board of Trustees meetings, records from Parkland College Association, a near full run of Prospectus. If you’re feeling nostalgic, consider the Sprinkler newsletter (1967-1988), the yearbooks (1970-1974) or the photo files.
Wayback Wednesday is a feature of the Parkland College Archives. If you have ideas you'd like to see in future posts, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Archives is open to faculty, staff, students and the public by appointment.