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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Outreach in community archives in British Columbia: four case studies O’Donnell, Christine Ann


In the past, little has been written about the practical aspects of outreach. This thesis investigates the value of outreach and how it is put into practice in British Columbia's community archives. Interviews with managers of four community archives were conducted. The findings reveal that three of the interviewees regard outreach as a high priority and a fundamental part of regular activity. For these respondents, outreach activities have been positive and beneficial. They have successfully used outreach to augment and assist with acquisition, preservation and use of archival records. Only one interviewee presented a passive and cautious approach towards outreach. Results of this study indicate that outreach activities are not influenced by the administrative setting or the budget of the archives. This study identified the essential components necessary for the implementation and delivery of successful outreach initiatives as: a regular source of funding, incorporation into an annual work plan, district goals and objectives that are relevant to the mandate of the institution, attention to the target audience, community co-operation and support, and evaluation of results. This study reaffirms the value of archivists practising outreach, and provides encouragement to those who are looking for concrete methods of approaching outreach.

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