RECORD GROUP: County Clerk
RECORD SERIES #: 4800.01
SERIES: Archives Week
VOLUME: 5 cubic feet, plus posters
Archives Week is designated the second week in October by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), which later expanded it to Archives Month. Under the direction of the County Clerk, the Monmouth County Archives has organized Archives Week public events each October since 1996. Events conducted in the meeting rooms of the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan have included Archives and History Day, featuring exhibit tables by archives and history organizations, speeches, award presentations, and videos; Archives Week seminars; and history-related exhibits curated by the Archives and installed in the Library. Records of Archives Week include programs, reports, evaluations, schedules, photographs, and related documents. Also available are the Archives Week posters produced each year by the Library’s Art Department and, for some years, videos of portions of the events.
The Monmouth County Archives began hosting Archives and History Day, in recognition of Archives Week, at the Monmouth County Library in Manalapan on Saturday, October 12, 1996.
In the late 1970s, the International Council on Archives (ICA) began calling for Archives Week celebrations to publicize the work of archivists and, by 1979, events were held in Great Britain and India. In 1988, prompted by the New York State Archives (SARA), Governor Mario Cuomo of New York declared the first week in October to be Archives Week and many events were held, including those scheduled by SARA and the Archivists Round Table of New York.
In January 1995, the MARAC Steering Committee designated Archives Week as the second week in October, the first regional archival professional association to formally embrace the idea. The MARAC Outreach Committee, then chaired by Seton Hall history professor Maxine Lurie, began promoting Archives Week in the Mid-Atlantic Archivist and at conferences. At the Fall 1995 MARAC Conference, Lurie chaired a session called, “Archives Week: A Primer,” at which various archivists summarized their Archives Week activities.
At the March 22, 1995, New Jersey MARAC Caucus meeting, held at the Monmouth County Archives and chaired by Ben Primer, attending archivists discussed a celebration in New Jersey. It was then believed that a statewide event could be coordinated by the New Jersey State Archives and the New Jersey Historical Commission. At the January 4, 1996, Caucus meeting at Princeton University, Gary Saretzky reported that Jim Raleigh, who was involved in history organizations, had offered to coordinate an educational program on preservation on the Saturday of Archives Week. At his request, the Monmouth County Archives reserved meeting space at the Monmouth County Library on October 12, 1996. The Library, upstairs from the Monmouth County Archives, has a large meeting hall that can be divided up into five rooms, as well as another smaller meeting room.
Karl Niederer stepped down as Archives Week coordinator at the May 1996 NJ Caucus meeting held at the MARAC Spring Conference in College Park and was not replaced. The New Jersey Historical Commission also withdrew from active involvement since at that time, the State of New Jersey planned to abolish it.
Monmouth County Clerk Jane Clayton gave Gary Saretzky, the Monmouth County Archivist, the go-ahead to assume responsibility and organize an event on October 12 that would primarily involve Monmouth County organizations. He formed a Steering Committee composed of Jim Raleigh and Monmouth County NJ MARAC Caucus members Mary Ann Kiernan, Fred Pachman, Elsalyn Palmisano, Bob Stewart, and Carla Tobias, with Lois Densky-Wolff, the new Caucus Chair, serving ex-officio.
At the first Steering Committee meeting on May 24, 1996, the committee decided that Archives Day would consist of the following elements:
1) Exhibiting organizations at tables.
2) Lectures and seminars. In the first year, there were ten lectures, including concurrent programs in different rooms. Subsequently, as the number of exhibitors increased and more space was needed, the lecture programs were reduced in number. Instead, we scheduled educational lectures and other programs on a weekday during Archives Week.
3) Videos. In 1996, videos on archival preservation and conservation were shown. Videos have continued to be screened, including selections of old news programs from the Monmouth County Archives’ TV-34 cable news collection and videos of past keynote addresses.
4) Greetings from the podium from Monmouth County VIPs, including the County Clerk, members of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the Chair of the Board of Library Commissioners. Also included is a flag salute, featuring military re-enactors carrying in the American and New Jersey flags.
5) Awards. At the first event, there was a surprise award presentation when the Freeholders proclaimed that the Archives reading room would be named after retiring County Clerk Jane Clayton. Beginning the following year, County Clerk M. Claire French began giving out an annual Jane Clayton Award for contributions to the field of Monmouth County history. Since 1996, the event has featured several other annual awards presentations from the MARAC/NJ Caucus, the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance, and the Monmouth County Genealogy Society.
In the second year, 1997, the Steering Committee met only once as the framework had been established. Eventually, the Steering Committee no longer had to meet. Programs and exhibits now are mostly the responsibility of Archives staff.
In the second year, the Monmouth County Archives began to have a month-long exhibit in the Library of brochures from history organizations and historic sites from around the state. In 1998, the third year, the exhibit space in the Library’s lobby became much larger and in 2000 the brochure display was discontinued and the Archives instead began having themed exhibits on New Jersey history on topics such as Molly Pitcher, Revolutionary War, Civil War, the history of sports, Great Depression, and World War II. Since 2011, the Archives has displayed the main exhibit in the Library’s art gallery.
In 1998, the Archives introduced a New Jersey History Game as a kind of raffle with prizes to give out near the end of Archives Day. The Game is a quiz, usually related to the theme of our annual exhibit, for which a copy of the exhibit catalog is provided to all the organizations with tables. After the event, the game is posted to the Monmouth County Archives website, which also includes the exhibition catalogs.
Since 1998, the format for Archives Day has remained basically the same with some tweaks. In 1999, the name was changed to Archives and History Day to acknowledge the many exhibiting history organizations. Each year there is a keynote speaker, either a historian or an historical personage, such as Molly Pitcher, Benjamin Franklin, or Eleanor Roosevelt. Usually, the speaker’s topic relates to the annual exhibit.
In addition to the tasks performed by the Archives, the County Library’s Art Department produces posters and flyers in the form of bookmarks. The County’s Public Information Department puts the finishing touches on media releases and distributes them, and its graphic designer does the cover design for the exhibit catalog.
 George W. Bain, “Archives Week and the Power of Intersecting Ripples,” Archival Issues 23:1 (1998), Note 1, p. 15.
 A committee, normally consisting of the County Clerk, County Archivist, County Historian, and director of the Monmouth County Historical Association, selects the winner from nominations received.
The records were created by Monmouth County Archives staff to plan and implement the events. Included are such documents as programs, registration forms, evaluations, grant proposals, history games for Archives and History Day, promotional materials, and final reports. Some photographs are stored with the textual material but others are only available in digital form. Included are posters prepared each year by the Monmouth County Library Art Department. The artists have been Shelda Levine (1996-2007); Robert Ohliger (2008-2009); and Valeria Pasko (2010-present). Videos and posters are stored separately.
This collection is open to researchers.
Researchers may request access to the records at the Monmouth County Archives. Appointments to view videos should be made in at least 24 hours in advance. The posters and history games have been digitized and are available on the Archives’ website. (See links below.)
The records are arranged in folders grouped chronologically by year. The posters, stored separately, are also chronologically arranged.
Monmouth County Archives
125 Symmes Drive
Manalapan, NJ 07726
Phone: (732) 308-3771
The records were created or collected by the Monmouth County Archives.
Finding aid created by Gary D. Saretzky, November 4, 2013.
The Archives also holds records related to exhibits developed to coincide with Archives Week. Those records, as well as exhibit items, are kept separately.
A container list is not yet available for this record series.