Archivy etc.

opinions, occasional rants, and sometimes things that have nothing to do with archives at all. Nothing here should be assumed to be reflective of my employer's opinion(s) nor should it be assumed that at anytime afterward, this is what I still think.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Put on your glad rags

1998 was the first time I attended a SAA conference. Held in Orlando, the conference organizers did a great deal of work to convince attendees to dress down. You know, casual. Befitting the venue, I suppose.

It's now 13 years later. And I have a proposition for all of you. See, I don't know what it was like before Orlando. For all I know, there was no actual change in what the average archivist wore to one of these things. But a few years ago at one of the receptions I was looking around and just observing archivists in their natural habitat (museums, apparently, with lots of alcohol available) and I realized that the best-dressed people in the room were all the international attendees. Some of the 20-early 30-something domestic archivists had some style going too. But for the most part, casual ruled the day. 

I don't want to change that. Heaven knows, enough of us can't afford much in the way of fancy raiment given the average wage of the average archivist and what conferences cost these days. But wouldn't it be fun--even a little--to see if a few of us could take it up a few notches? Maybe see if we could give some of the international types a little competition? 

So this is my proposal. The Friday evening All-Attendees Reception. It's at the Field Museum this year. Let's make Sue feel a little dowdy, shall we?  I've got just the right floor length black chiffon skirt & I'm betting a bunch of you have more stylin' duds hanging out in your closet too once you dig beyond the boxes of white athletic socks. Bring it on. 

Who's with me?


  1. I went to DC in 95 or 96 and never saw so many 70s leisure suits and other offenses to fashion! Casual is far preferable. And I agree there seems to be a cadre of new hipster archivists redefining our image for the next generation--thank the gods!

  2. I'd even settle for a few leisure suits, if they were worn with an air of insouciance.

    And for some casual is a style that fits them quite well. But maybe that's what I'm after. Some greater vision of style: whether it be casual or dressy or professional or hipster or traditional or just wearing a really flash tie with that 3 piece suit or what-have-you. Not just attire that a day later nobody can remember. It's a party! Let's treat it like something more than just an average day in the office or back yard.