May 1st is May Day – traditionally a day for children to surprise friends with special little baskets of flowers, popcorn and treats. The phrase MayDay also is recognized as a cry for help (from the French term m’aidez), which is precisely the call to action sent out by the Society of American Archivists .
In a grassroots effort to save our public and personal archives from disasters such as flood and fire, the group would like us all to consider doing a few simple things to protect our treasured documents, photographs, and mementos. For example, the SAA is encouraging repositories like the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center to update the information in our emergency preparedness plan, or quickly survey collections areas to ensure nothing is stored directly on the floor where it would be especially vulnerable to water damage.
The SAA has some MayDay Quick Tips that are appropriate for the public in general, too. Contact our staff archivists with your questions or follow these links and give your loved ones a legacy – save your family archives!