Thank you for your interest in the Wisconsin Archives Mentoring Service (WAMS).


General Information on the Wisconsin Archives Mentoring Service


WHAT: The mentoring service connects volunteer professional archivists with institutions that need assistance with their historical collections. Archivists serve as volunteer mentors to answer questions, provide referrals, suggest information sources, give advice, or make on-site visits to inspect an institution's collections and facilities. Modeled on Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board (WHRAB) successful 2000-02 grant-funded project, the mentoring service helps Wisconsin institutions that have historical collections of newspapers, maps, photographs, manuscripts, posters, and similar material but that cannot employ professionally trained staff to care for them.

HOW: By maintaining lists of both archivists and institutions seeking help, the mentoring service links mentors with institutions needing help. Archivists who want to volunteer and institutions that need help register their interest in participating in the program, and the mentoring service acts as a clearinghouse for this information and puts individual mentors in touch with institutions. Once the mentor /requesting institution link is made, the two parties work out the details for the mentoring relationship. The Wisconsin Archives Mentoring Service offers guidelines and informational resources of several kinds for mentoring projects. It also seeks but does not require brief, informal reports from mentors and institutions about completed projects.

WHEN : Using forms available on this website, institutions and professional archivists may submit their registration information to the Wisconsin Archives Mentoring Service at any time. In addition to registering particular skills or needs, archivists and institutions may note any timing considerations for their participation in the service. An institution might indicate that it needs immediate help or, alternatively, that it can best use assistance during an off-season period. An archivist might specify that s/he has time to serve as a mentor only on weekends or during the summer months. The Wisconsin Archives Mentoring Service continuously updates lists of institutions and volunteers and contacts registrants on both lists to find mentors for institutions.