UT Baker Center Hosts Reception, Exhibit on Oct. 20 to Celebrate Archives Month

 

KNOXVILLE — In celebration of American Archives Month, the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy’s Modern Political Archives (MPA) will host a special exhibit and reception on Oct. 20 in the rotunda of the Baker Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Free and open to the public, the reception begins at 4 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

The reception will unveil three “case studies” of proprietary artifacts and documents from the MPA — one that illustrate contemporary international issues, one that illustrates participation in local government and one that illustrates the fight against organized crime. These three cases studies will be exhibited in the Baker Center until the end of the year.

The first case study, titled “Our World in Need: Public Policy’s Role in Worldwide Issues,” was inspired by Ready for the World’s semester theme of poverty and the world in need. The case study focuses on diverse issues facing our world today, from conflict resolution to environmental protection to health care reform. It features two presidential letters and several speeches and reports by various authors.

The second case study, titled “Public Participation: 10 Ways to Engage with Society and Government” expands on the 10 ways that citizens can become involved in their local government and displays artifacts from the archives relevant to each step in the process.

The third case, “Fighting Organized Crime: Highlights from the Estes Kefauver and Frank Wilson Collections,” features exciting papers, photos and articles from two Tennesseans’ campaigns to end organized crime in the 1950s and ’60s.

Archivists from the MPA will be on hand at the reception to discuss the materials in the cases and speak about how the public and the university can use the archives for research.

The MPA preserves the documents and ephemera of 20th-century Tennessee politicians from the local, state and federal levels. The case studies exhibited are meant to show the accessible nature of archives, as well as emphasize the historical importance of preservation.

“Archives and the work of archivists help bring history alive and make it relevant for generations to come,” said Morgan Gibson, a student archivist at the MPA.

American Archives Month is a collaborative effort by professional organizations and repositories around the nation to highlight the importance of records of enduring value. Archivists are professionals who assess, collect, organize, preserve, maintain control of and provide access to information that has lasting value. Archivists also help people find and understand the information they need in those records.

The MPA, in cooperation with the UT Libraries, houses more than 200 collections and constantly works to acquire more collections.

The Baker Center, which opened at UT in 2003, develops programs and promotes research to further the public’s knowledge of our system of governance, and to highlight the critical importance of public service, a hallmark of Sen. Baker’s career.

In addition to the MPA, the Baker Center’s facility includes a museum that tells the story of how government works using Sen. Baker’s life as a backdrop.

For more about the Baker Center, see http://www.bakercenter.utk.edu.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely, (865-974-5034, ablakely@tennessee.edu)

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