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Tumblr sparks interest in National Archive documents

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richard nixon child (nara)
richard nixon child (nara)

The US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has figured out how to get people interested in historical and government documents: put them on Tumblr. In an interview featured on the site’s Storyboard hub, NARA archivist Darren Cole talks about how Tumblr’s visual presentation helped to drive interest in its Today's Document project, and how the team decides what to share on a given day when it has some 600,000 pieces of digital content, like the above photo of a 9-year-old Richard Nixon.

In the two years since the project started, NARA's presence on the site has grown to 10 different feeds, ranging from What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?, which documents the government’s effect on the nation’s diet, to a Tumblr personally curated by NARA boss David S. Ferriero. The most popular post so far? A worried letter from second-grader Kelli Middlestead about the fate of sea otters following 1989's Exxon Valdez oil spill.