Let’s resurrect Raiders of the Lost Archives

Before there was Derangement and Description–in fact, before there was me–there was Raiders of the Lost Archives. Intrepid archivists got together at SAA and MAC to put on live shows, with singing, sketches, and oh-so-many archives jokes. A few scripts are preserved as part of the Midwest Archives Conference records, and UWM Archives was kind enough to scan one of them for me. You can read the whole thing here (PDF link). Many thanks to Marion Matters and the other original authors for their fantastic script, and to UWM Archives for preserving it for future generations to enjoy. (I’m hoping none of you authors are the litigious type, but if you really want to sue someone for copyright infringement, leave MAC and UWM alone–I’m the one you’re after.)

A page from the 1983 script for Raiders of the Lost Archives

A page from the 1983 script for Raiders of the Lost Archives

Derangers, I think it’s time we resurrect Raiders of the Lost Archives. And there are a few ways to do this. We could take one of the original scripts and update it; archives have changed just a little bit since the ‘80s. We could write an entirely new script, in the style of the old ones. Or we could do something completely different, taking RotLA as our inspiration.

SAA is open to the idea, but we need to submit it as part of the education session proposal process, which ends on September 30th. That gives us just about 2 weeks to get this going. And I need your help!

Can you write? We need to write a proposal, to get this thing off the ground, and then write scenes and songs.

Can you act, sing, direct, or play music? We need people to perform this thing.

Can you tell us about the good old days? We need people who participated in the original Raiders of the Lost Archives, as performers, writers, or audience members, to help us remain true to the spirit of the original.

Can you herd cats? We need a few people to help organize this thing, and to put their names on the proposal.

If you’re interested in helping out with this project–even if you’re not sure about going to SAA14–please join this Google group. If you have ideas, you can also comment here.

Let’s make this happen!

3 Responses to “Let’s resurrect Raiders of the Lost Archives”

  1. C in DC Says:

    You should also talk with the MARAC archivist about the old resolutions that were given at the business meetings. Terribly funny.

  2. Michele Says:

    “…Archivists measure distance in Schellenbergs. A Schellenberg is the distance that light travels between the time a collection is acquired and the time it is ready for use — an awesome, inconceivable, preposterous distance completely beyond the understanding of a non-archivist…”


  3. Michele Says:

    “Oh Danny Boy, the manuscripts are calling,
    From shelf to shelf, across the backlog sea,
    The summer’s gone, and all I’ve done is folder…
    Oh Danny Boy, please process this for me.

    And if ye come and find additions waiting
    when paper-cuts have done their worst to me
    You’ll start right in where processing was halted
    And update the EAD for me.”

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