Editor’s Note

Outreach and Advocacy during Economic Recession

Having worked with the Society of Mississippi Archivists in various capacities for the last few years, it was an honor to be selected to serve as the new editor of The Primary Source online journal.  The Primary Source has been an avenue of sharing ideas, innovations, and strategies for fellow professionals throughout the state of Mississippi and beyond. Although we all work in different repositories of various sizes and missions, we are all entrusted with the invaluable goal of preserving memory and sharing that memory with others. 

This issue’s articles focus on the struggle we are all facing in the archival profession, shrinking budgets in the face of retaining or increasing outreach and advocacy. How have institutions dealt with ever decreasing resources while still fulfilling our obligation to share our holdings with researchers and our communities? What innovative ways have archivists been able to utilize partnerships to promote their institutions? How do you plan events with no money? How can we advocate for our profession in such difficult economic times? The following articles touch on aspects of all of these vital questions. 

No matter what the institution, marketing and advocacy are more important than ever with organizations fighting for a smaller pot of funds from which to pull. Some have decided to use digitization as a form of outreach while others created inventive and entertaining programs to teach the public about archival repositories in their area. The hope is that by reading about how other organizations have either succeeded or failed, we too may learn ways to incorporate or transform the services we provide as a way to adapt to our current financial situations. 

I look forward to continuing the exceptional record that those before me forged for The Primary Source. Thank you for this opportunity. 


Mona K. Vance

Mona K. Vance is the Archivist for the Local History Department at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library in Columbus, Mississippi. She received her BS in Communications from Mississippi University for Women before earning her masters in History from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. In 2008, she won the Glover Moore Prize from the Mississippi Historical Society for her thesis “Fighting the Wave of Change: Cultural Transformation and Coeducation at Mississippi University for Women, 1884-1982”. She currently serves as Vice-President and Editor of The Primary Source Journal for the Society of Mississippi Archivists as well as President of the Columbus-Lowndes Historical Society.