On Powell: Got Archives?

Several weeks back, I came across a Tweet regarding someone named “Powell” who’d advertised his email address on a billboard in the UK.


I have no idea who this person was, but I was in a rare social mood and it immediately popped into my head to go into archivist mode and pimp the profession, so to speak.

And I emailed him.

Not the most professional pitch, but I think if we started introducing the field in layman-friendly terms — be hip with the youth, ya know — we might stop being called librarians or people who just handle old stuff.

I emailed a stranger, someone I had never heard of or knew existed, to spread the archives gospel.

And I got a response!

Which in and of itself is amazing. He didn’t know what an archives was, of course (because, let’s be honest, we just don’t fucking rank in the eyes of the mainstream) but he had an inkling of an idea.

Yes! Yes, it does have to do with old stuff!!! The seed’s already. been planted! It’s just been laying dormant! Let me water it a bit.

Yes yes yes yes yes. Yes. That’s not the best definition. No time to bring up the heavy stuff. Just tried to put it in a familiar context (hopefully).

Fastforward to earlier this week. I see an email with a subject heading “Got Archives?” from some dude I don’t know. I assume SAA is trying to solicit funds. But, no!

It’s Powell! And since I sent him an email, he sent one back to me with a link to a song off his new album. 

Yes, I do know the whole thing was a publicity stunt for an album release. And I volleyed back a mini-PR campaign on behalf of the archives field. Win-win!!

So, folks, go and click on a British techno guy’s music video (linked below) because he kinda had an idea about what an archivist was. That’s good enough for me.

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