October is American Archives Month. Since 2006, archivists have spent the month of October introducing or reminding people of the important work that archivists perform to collect, preserve, organize, and make accessible historical records.
For those readers who may be unfamiliar with the Marshall Foundation archives, it contains the papers of George C. Marshall and a number of his associates from the time Marshall was in the Army, as well as the period of his government service.
A complete list of the collections that reside in the archives can be found on the Marshall Foundation website. The types of records stored in the archives include documents, photographs, maps, films, and audio recordings. Varying numbers of digitized records for each of these formats can also be accessed on the foundation’s website.
Individuals who are visiting the museum, classes touring the archives, and even researchers working with a specific collection may not fully appreciate the various ways that the records in the archives are utilized. Some recent examples include:
- The loan of original lithographs of 18 of the finalists of the 1950 Marshall Plan poster contest for an exhibition.
- The sharing of an audio recording of an oral history interview with Admiral Chester W. Nimitz with the production crew for the film Midway who shared it with Woody Harrelson, who will be portraying Nimitz in the film.
- Providing numerous photographs depicting various stages of George C. Marshall’s career to an author who is in the final stages of preparing his new biography of Marshall for publication.
- Supporting the Marshall Foundation Scholars program, which provides undergraduate history students studying history at area institutions with the opportunity to conduct research and write about a topic using the foundation’s archival collections.
- Assisting family members in locating additional information about their relatives that served with the 100th Infantry Division during World War II.
As one can see, there is much more activity taking place in the Marshall Foundation archives than meets the eye. If you are interested in learning more about visiting the archives to conduct research or seeing a few of the most significant documents stored in the archives, contact the library staff.