23 Things gets started with an easy peasy one: BLOG! I’ve been writing blogs since 2008 or so. I have seven now, all on lovely WordPress: easy, intuitive, fun … especially like the statistics, which are addictive, and the widgets (that’s the bits down the sides that do cool things).
Seven seems a lot, but I have something to say on all of them:
(1) Special Collections at Bradford. News, stories, exhibitions, events … Blogs are perfect for marketing special collections: we can tell stories, share news, highlight images and videos in a friendly and informal way. The build-up week by week of Pacesetter Project (2) 100 Objects has helped make my University colleagues and local people more aware of collections. There’s also (3) PaxCat Project, which centres on our peace-related archives, and (4) Celebrating Jacquetta Hawkes: tales of an amazing author, archaeologist, film-maker, fashionista …
(5) This blog, Collections in a Cold Climate: opinions, issues, ideas, meetings, new stuff and progress reports.
(6) The Special Collections Handbook site updates the printed book with new publications recommended for special collections librarians.
(7) RLUK Unique and Distinctive Collections project blog – does what it says on the tin.
The message underlying all these seemingly disparate blogs is something I really believe. Special collections (archives, libraries) have so much to offer – to individuals, to their host organisations, to society. I am trying to encourage people to recognise this and to make the case for collections and the staff and resources to do them justice so they can fulfil their potential. Blogs can help do these things by showing rather than telling, in a friendly and engaging way.
In Thing 2 I’ll share some of my fave special collections blogs which do just that. There will be pictures. Oh yes, lots of pictures. Looking forward to meeting lots of new bloggers and finding new blogs to enjoy.