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Does your OLLI have a volunteer historian or archivist?

Posted on October 6th, 2011 by Anne Cardale, OLLI National Resource Center

Doug Fairbanks, OLLI at University of South Florida, Asks OLLI:

Does your OLLI have a volunteer historian or archivist who keeps track of the history of your OLLI? If so, and if you have a job description for that role that you are willing to share, please email it to Kyle Allen, kallen@usm.maine.edu.

What records are you keeping? Does the historian/archivist produce a periodic historical summary kept in the OLLI’s permanent files?

3 Responses to “Does your OLLI have a volunteer historian or archivist?”


  1. The history is in our databases and files on our server. We have been fortunate to have the same director for the past 6 of our 7 years so it is realtively easy to pull out specific bits of information when needed. We have records of all classes: term offered, class capacity and enrollment, instructor, location, etc. We also have records of every member including the classes and special events they attended and their membership history. We keep copies of all past catalogs on file too.

    We have less complete records of our promotion efforts but it is on my list of things to do in a slower period but of course that slower period never comes.

    I am wondering what else you are consider recording.


  2. Hello Doug,

    OLLI at UNLV does have a historian, she keeps a scrapbook of events, newspaper clippings, etc. We recently developed job descritions for all of our volunteers, and we have expanded the job description of the historian. I am copying and pasting our current description. We also recently video-taped our charter members to discuss their memories of the beginning. We will include this in our archives. I hope this helps!

    Historical Archives Committee Guidelines

    Mission: To archive and celebrate the history of OLLI at UNLV (formally EXCELL) through files,
    photographs, souvenirs, and other media to document all pertinent OLLI at UNLV activities.

    Committee Duties:

    􏰀 Capture, document, and preserve ongoing OLLI at UNLV activities during the appointed term.
    􏰀 Maintain and preserve previous archives.
    􏰀 Retrieve and supplement previously collected archives to ensure a complete historical history of the
    organization.
    􏰀 Retrieve historical data as requested for Annual Reports, publicity, special events, etc.
    􏰀 Work with other committee representatives, administrators and OLLI at UNLV members to ensure
    effective communication and sharing of the OLLI at UNLV history.
    􏰀 Assign designees to attend and document all pertinent events and activities.

    Committee Assignments:

    􏰀 Historical Archives Committee Chair -
    The Chair may appoint committee member(s) or assume the following role(s):
    􏰀 Photographer to capture and preserve event highlights.
    􏰀 Archivist to collect and preserve archives.
    􏰀 Event Representatives (as needed) to attend each event or activity and forward materials to
    Archivist.
    􏰀 Other positions as assigned by the committee chair, based on committee needs.
    Special Instructions:
    􏰀 Archives may be preserved physically or electronically, or both.
    􏰀 Photo releases must be obtained, ONLY if specifically required by OLLI at UNLV policy.
    􏰀 Photos will be labeled to include event, time and participant names (whenever possible).
    􏰀 Non-committee members may submit records to Archivist.
    􏰀 Archives will be centrally located at the OLLI at UNLV office.
    􏰀 There is a current need to document the past history of the evolution of EXCELL to the OLLI at UNLV
    program.


  3. At SOU, we have archive binders which contain all of our class schedules and our newsletter, the LINK. All of the archives are kept in the same location so that our members can go back and research something that they have a question about. We do not have a formal archivist at this point.

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