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The Friends of Kentucky Public Archives, Inc., is a group of private citizens concerned with helping the Archives and Records Management Division of Kentucky's Department for Libraries and Archives fulfill its role as a vital information link between people and government. The Friends organization supports the management, preservation, and responsible use of Kentucky's public records and serves as an advocate for the Kentucky State Archives, which the division manages.
When the Friends organization was founded in 1983, it was with the idea of helping the division more effectively carry out its goals and to help with things the division couldn't do with limited government funds alone. A special goal was to carry to a broader public the message about the remarkable wealth of our public archives, the variety of our State Archives' holdings, and their exciting potential for research use. Over the past decade, Friends members have carried out this mission in a variety of ways, by:
- creating the Thomas D. Clark Endowment Fund to provide internships in archival administration at the State Archives and, through this program, to assure the education and training of those who will protect and preserve Kentucky's extensive archival and manuscript holdings in future years;
- sponsoring the annual Kentucky Archives Institute, to introduce citizens to Kentucky's historical records and their research use;
- securing grant funds for the State Archives for needed equipment and special program support; conducting more than twenty regional workshops held throughout the state, to help communities and individuals discover and celebrate their own pasts;
- sponsoring special lectures and exhibits to acquaint the public at first hand with this remarkable documentary legacy;
- working jointly with other organizations to encourage teachers to make imaginative use of archival resources in the classroom, through the KERA reforms; and by
- creating an annual Public Archives Symposium where scholars share the fruits of their research and the general public and discuss the way they use archival records in their work.
The Friends have also created a program to recognize outstanding contributions by government officials to the management and preservation of public records in the Commonwealth, knowing that there is a vital link between officials who create and manage public records in government offices and archivists who subsequently preserve and make these records available for research.
The Friends need you to join with them in this important work, as stewards of Kentucky's irreplaceable documentary heritage. You can support the preservation, wider use, and sound management of our Kentucky archives. Please join and ask your Friends who love Kentucky history to join, too!
For further information about the Friends, please write to P.O. Box 4224, Frankfort, KY 40604, or through the department, call: 502-564-1722.