Archives Blitz

                                                                                                      ~Kelsey Archaeology Museum blitz

What is an Archives Blitz?

An archives blitz is a half day to full day event in which UMSI archives students work with a local repository/archive/library or what-have-you to gain hands-on archival experience. The goal is to offer a real, concrete archival experience for students while simultaneously assisting an organization with a project.

Generally, blitzes last from 3-6 hours, with varying numbers of students. The host organization explains the collection as well as any necessary guidelines and procedures for working with the collection. Students then go to work, either in teams or individually, depending upon the collection and goal of the blitz. Lunch is often served after the blitz when both students and archivists can further engage about professional development.

Archives blitzes are coordinated by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Student Chapter at the University of Michigan.

Previous blitz host sites include:

  • William L. Clements Library
  • Bentley Historical Library
  • Leo Sarkisian Archive project with Professor Paul Conway
  • The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

Goals for organizations:

  • Complete an urgent or overdue project or get a fresh perspective on a “stalled” project
  • Engage and network with student archivists from UMSI
  • Learn about and experience the latest cutting edge collections practice from students
  • See first-hand, UMSI students’ skills in action!
  • Identify and evaluate future interns or employees
  • Spread the word about a collection

Goals for students:

  • Gain hands-on experience applying skills to a real collection
  • Apply course concepts from archives, records management and preservation classes
  • Learn about archival methods from host organization archivists and collections managers
  • Apply problem-solving skills when confronting an unprocessed collection
  • Use teamwork to complete a task
  • Engage and network with a potential employer
  • Engage in community service at a local repository, especially those with limited resources

How to submit an Archives Blitz proposal:

Submit your proposal by completing this form.

If you have questions or would like more information about an Archives Blitz, contact the SAA student group,