Whenever a society or civilization perishes there is always one condition present; they forgot where they came from.
The mission of the District 43 Archives is to document permanently the work of Alcoholics Anonymous, to make the history of the organization accessible to A.A. members and other researchers, and to provide a context for understanding A.A.’s progression, principles and traditions.
Consistent with A.A.’s primary purpose of maintaining our sobriety and helping other alcoholics achieve recovery, the Archives of Alcoholics Anonymous will:
- Receive, classify and index all relevant material, such as administrative files and records, correspondence, and literary works and artifacts considered to have historical importance to Alcoholics Anonymous;
- Hold and preserve such material;
- Provide access to these materials, as determined by the archivist in consultation with the Archives Committee, to members of Alcoholics Anonymous and to others who may have a valid need to review such material, contingent upon a commitment to preserve the anonymity of our members;
- Serve as a resource and laboratory to stimulate and nourish learning;
- Provide information services to assist the operations of Alcoholics Anonymous;
- Promote knowledge and understanding of the origins, goals and program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Through archives we are able to express A.A.’s collective experience, strength, and hope, gained through its rich heritage, and renew our own sense of purpose.
Role of the Archivist
The archivist is the focal point of the collection, determining on one hand what to include
in the collection, and on the other hand working towards making the collected
material available to the greatest extent possible to members of our Fellowship and
those in the public realm with a valid interest in A.A.
- The archivist collects, organizes and preserves material of historical interest.
Typically, the archivist selects a representative sample of the collection and arranges
those into a traveling display.
- The archivist is responsible for both the physical and the intellectual integrity of
the collection. It is important to ensure the privacy and protect the anonymity of
members whose names are included in the collected documents.
- The archivist is also responsible to report regularly to the District Committee about new material received and to give updates about ongoing projects at the archives.
Role of the Archives Committee
The archives committee is responsible for establishing policies, budgets, and procedures. It undertakes and maintains final responsibility and authority for the use of the archives, and exercises its group conscience in regard to matters of general policy. In all of its actions, the archives committee needs to be mindful of and guided by A.A.’s primary purpose. Thus, if non-A.A. friends are asked to serve on the committee, which is possible because of interest, special knowledge and/or expertise, they ought to be people who are thoroughly familiar with our primary purpose, as well as all of our A.A. Traditions.
One of the most important functions of the archives committee is to establish creative parameters for the selection of material to be collected. These parameters will guide the archivist in gathering material of historical significance and will reduce the time and space of preserving random bits and pieces of dubious value.
The District 43 Archives Committee is comprised of an Archivist; Alternate-Archivist; and individual A.A. members – whomever wishes to participate. In the spirit of rotation, the Archivist and Archives Committee members serve two-year terms.
In keeping with Tradition Seven, the archives ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. The District 43 Archives funding is derived from the District 43 Operating Fund rather than through separate A.A. contributions. In this way, archival activity can better reflect the support of the membership, and maintain the perspective of the entire range of Twelfth Step activity.
The District 43 Archives in hard-copy format reside at the Langley Intergroup Office, 20449 Douglas Crescent. The District 43 Archives are available for events in Aldergrove, Cloverdale, Fort Langley, and Langley.
The Archives Committee meets at the Langley Intergroup Office, 20449 Douglas Crescent, on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm.