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The Whole of Her Sermon: Connecting People To Archives In The Age of Covid-19
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to review and share the challenges and successes associated with efforts to bridge the distance between archives user populations and the digital surrogates of archives materials themselves while in a state of remote operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-2021. Method / Approach: I will examine various online outlets and platforms that allow archival repositories to connect with existing and new user populations and, based on visitor or user statistics, gauge the success or failure of a given vehicle. Approaches will include various social media platforms, web-based technologies, and augmented reality. I will examine in detail the visitorship before and during the pandemic for a singular platform, that being Omeka. Results: The analysis of various online outreach platforms demonstrates that when planned and executed effectively, digital or virtual archives outreach can increase user engagement by nearly fifty percent. Conclusion / Findings: Even during a global pandemic, archivists can successfully reach a host of archives users, existing and new, and can not only meet their expectations but also exceed them in new and innovative ways.