Celebrating Partnerships During International Archives Week
By Victoria Blue | National Archives News
Every year, the International Council of Archives sponsors International Archives Week (June 3–9) to bring archives around the world together to share the value of their work and the importance of international collaboration. The National Archives has a long history of cooperation and partnership with many archives around the world.
One example brought together the National Archives and the State Records Management and Archives Department of Vietnam in the creation of the exhibit Paris Peace Accords: The Way to Peace. The exhibit opened in Hanoi in July 2018.
Archivist David Ferriero has a personal connection to the Paris Peace Accords, as he is a Vietnam War veteran. The exhibit opening was the first time he had been back to Vietnam since early 1971, when he left Da Nang as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman.
"After almost 50 years I am tremendously proud of our new friends in Vietnam as we explore collaborative opportunities beyond this exhibit," Ferriero said. "We have much to learn from each other as we share access to our records; we are in the same business–collecting and protecting the records of our countries and, most importantly, encouraging the use of those records to learn from our past."
Read Ferriero's full account of the exhibit opening at the Vietnam archives in his blog post "The Way to Peace."
NARA contributed facsimiles from the records of the State and Defense Departments, Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, Richard Nixon Presidential Library, and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. The exhibit uses textual records, film, photographs, and artifacts to tell the story of the events leading to the negotiations that ended the United States' participation in the Vietnam War.
Curator Alice Kamps, who worked on the Remembering Vietnam exhibit and provided records, photographs, and films of the Paris Peace Accords, recalled that the Vietnam archives director was very open and eager to collaboration. "The Vietnam archives was very eager to learn from us. They really wanted to digitize and modernize their record-keeping, and make records accessible to the public," she said. "I think they were very excited about our social media outreach and the ways we interacted with the public. As a leader in our field, the National Archives is able to provide a lot of guidance and leadership to developing countries who want to modernize their archives and record-keeping."
For more on International Archives Week, see "Designing a 21st-Century National Archives: International Archives Week 2019" by External Affairs Liaison Meg Phillips.
Related stories: Combat Photographers Talk about ‘Shooting’ the War in Vietnam, Veteran Pilots Display Vietnam-Era Helicopters at National Archives, Visitor Makes Last-Minute Trek Across Country to See ‘Remembering Vietnam‘Exhibit