Personal Archives

What is a personal archive?

A personal archive is one that contains your own documentary evidence (photos, papers, posters, buttons, etc) and is typically created by you, for you.

If you’re interested in creating a personal archive, consider…

Curation: As you consider your artifacts, what criteria will you use for keeping an item versus getting rid of it? What story do you want to tell? What items do you think would have greater historical or personal significance in the future?

Preservation: Where/how will you store the items in your archive? Do you have physical documents that need to be scanned? Are you interested in eventually donating your artifacts to a larger community or institutional archive?

Timeline: How much time to do you have to devote to your personal archiving project? How many items would you like to go through each day/week/month? When would you like your personal archive completed?

Resources for creating personal archives

Personal archives can take many forms, from the traditional to the creative. See additional resources for more tools and example personal archives.