Open Archives

Crossing our fingers for an in-person Cambridge Open Archives in 2022! Be well and safe.


What is Open Archives?

Cambridge Open Archives, sometimes called the Cambridge archives crawl, is an annual free event that offers members of the public the rare chance to visit a number of unique archives and collecting agencies in Cambridge. Cambridge Open Archives is organized by the Cambridge Historical Commission. 

What are archives?

Here's a good description. 

What kinds of things will I see at Open Archives?

This varies from place to place. Most archives set up displays of special collections materials - photographs, correspondence, documents, maps, art, and more - while archives staff are on hand to tell stories and answer questions.

In previous years, participating institutions have planned their tours and collection displays around a special theme. Past Open Archives themes have included Adventures in Gastronomy, Cambridge in the 1860s, Spaces: Profane and Sacred, Living and Dying in Cambridge, and New Acquisitions & Old Treasures, and Politics and Activism. Whatever each institution decides to display, you are guaranteed to see a wonderful variety of unique materials.

Does Open Archives cost anything?

Open Archives is completely free! Because this year's event is virtual and online, no prior registration is needed.

Do you take volunteers for Open Archives?

No volunteers are needed this year, but thank you! Stay home and stay well!

Anything else I should know?

Be sure to follow the Instagram hashtag #VirtualCambridgeOpenArchives and check out our Instagram account @cambridgehistoricalcommission for more info. Different participating archives post each day of Open Archives week, so keep checking the app for updates and new posts! 

Add likes, comments or questions on the posts so we know what you think!