Winners: Most Whimsical Archives-Related Website — and a World Wide Exclusive!

Why a category for “Most Whimsical Archives-Related Website”? Because not everything has to be serious. So, who was selected as the best of the not-so-serious?

Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century

This blog is a masterful re-purposing of something almost every archives has a lot of–unidentified photographs. As I understand it, the blog was inspired by the kind of thing that happens to most of us when we’re processing–noticing some amusing quirks in the materials, and then starting to “collect” them. In this case, people working in the University of Kentucky’s Audio-Visual Archives started to “collect” their favorite images of men in mustaches. And as we all know, the nineteenth century was the golden age of mustaches!

But it took dedication, creativity, and a peculiar kind of attention to detail to go from a group of images of mustachioed gentlemen to the quasi-scholarly wonder that is the “Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century.” Complete with a glossary of technical terms, a complex system of classification, and a dedicated following of mustache fans, this blog has attracted a wide and varied following and certainly brought attention and value to many photographs that would otherwise perhaps never have had an audience. Combining humor with a unique form of outreach, “Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century” provides a model for finding a new way to highlight some of our perhaps under-appreciated collections.

Derangement and Description

Our next winner, a self-described “crazy little archives webcomic,” mocks the foibles of the archival profession, with a special penchant for esoteric EAD jokes. The EAD comics certainly guarantee that she won’t break out and become a web phenomenon. ;) One judge observed that DnD is:

“A funny little blog right on topic. Not a great cartoonist, though funny despite it.”

Hmm….who says she’s not a great cartoonist? I think I can safely say that “DeeDee” is the greatest archives cartoonist on the web today. But, what talented archivist is responsible for this comic masterpiece? Ladies and gentlemen, it is none other than Rebecca Goldman, the Digital Archives Technician at the Drexel University Archives. [applause, applause!]

Thank you, Rebecca, for giving archivists everywhere something to laugh at at least once a week. And congrats on having Harper’s link to one of your comics (look under the paragraph on RFID, then click on “Library books comics”) And for making some people look at their EAD tags in a whole new way!

The Fictional World of Archives, Museums & Art Galleries

Winner of an Honorable Mention, this site is dedicated to cataloging references to archives, museums and art galleries in fiction. Perhaps more methodical than whimsical, this site is the work of David Mattison, an archivist for the British Columbia Archives (which is part of the Royal BC Museum). David has spent much of his own time creating this site, although he was quick to note that he has relied on the contributions of several individuals over the years. (You may also know David from his popular Ten Thousand Year Blog.)

Congratulations to David for creating a valuable resource for everyone in the cultural heritage community!

Coming up next–more information about the Winners of the Best Archives Website Awards!

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