Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Social Media, Outreach, and SCUA

Through blogs, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, and other outreach activities, University Archives spreads stories from the records of the University's past and promotes our work to preserve and provide access to these important records in new and exciting venues.

In addition to this blog, staff write weekly posts on the Spartan Stories blog, published each Monday morning. These posts, typically about 500 words in length, detail one specific person, place, event, or action in the University's history, from its founding through today. Recent posts have focused on the Darlinettes and Rhythmettes big bands of the 1940s and 1950s, the 1932 Carnegie Library fire, the founding and growth of campus radio station WUAG, and the move of the Chancellor's House in 2003. On the Spartan Stories site, readers can subscribe to receive updates on new postings via RSS feed or email. Since its creation in October 2012, Spartan Stories has been viewed over 14,000 times by more than 6,000 individual readers.

Many of the Spartan Stories readers come to the blog from one of the two social media accounts focused on University Archives. The University Archives Twitter account (@UNCGArchives) has nearly 300 followers. The account is used to highlight collections, anniversaries, events, and resources in SCUA. A recurring trend is participation in the popular Throwback Thursday (#tbt) hashtag, where a photo from the University's past is posted. You can follow University Archives if you have a Twitter account. But if you don't, you can view new tweets by visiting the Spartan Stories site and scrolling through the Twitter box on the right side of the screen (just below the Past Posts).

Below the Twitter blog is a way for folks to keep up with the University Archives Tumblr, the most recent addition to the social media outlets for learning more about University Archives and University history. You can also follow the Tumblr directly if you have Tumblr account. Although we only started the Tumblr in July, we're already up to almost 100 followers -- a large number of whom are current UNCG students. The Tumblr is updated on an almost daily basis, and often focuses on photos, important quotes, or other short highlights from the University's past.

We have also begun posting a number of film clips from University Archives to YouTube. These include some promotional videos for the University from the mid-1970s as well as some shorter clips from events and activities in the 1940s and 1950s. Since posting began in July, the videos have had nearly 1000 views total. The most popular has been a video showing various buildings on campus in the 1950s. This video has been seen by over 300 people.


SCUA staff are also teaching classes, conducting campus tours, developing lectures and other special events, and creating exhibits in the library and around campus in an effort to ensure that the history of the University is known by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others. If there are people or events in the University's past that you would like us to focus on in future blog posts or social media activity, please let us know!

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October is Archives Month, an annual observance of the agencies and people responsible for maintaining and making available the archival and historical records of our nation, state, communities and people. As part of the month-long celebration, this blog is highlighting some of the innovative and exciting work being done in Special Collections and University Archives.