Focus Story – Archives

Archives, “Tell them a story. It is our job to bring that history to life so they might feel, see, and maybe even remember”.

Every single one of the new and unexpected developments (in AA) has – lying just underneath – an enormous amount of dramatic incident and experience — stories galore… It isn’t hard to prepare a fact sheet of what happened—that is, dates when people came in, groups started and so forth. The hard thing to lay hold of is, the atmosphere of the whole proceedings, and anecdotal material that will make the early experiences come alive.

Reprint from Archives workbook with permission of AA World Services Inc.

It seems of late I have noticed there is a lack of respect and awareness as to the importance of the Archives of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Is this due to lack of information? Is it due to lack of reporting? Lack of connecting to our storied past?

Archives is, with a doubt, an all-encompassing effort. We, who are involved in this labour of love and service to AA would love to be able to convey to you in words, how and why we caught the archive bug (pardon the analogy).

It started for me with a longtimer that has since passed on. Pat B. Of the Whiteoaks Group in Oakville where I lived and came to AA in 1987. Pat had a display at the Ontario Regional Conference (ORC) in Toronto early in my journey in AA. Maybe my first year or two. His love and enthusiasm for Archives had an impact on me.

I heard the phrase “Love and Service” early on and I knew it meant something. However, I had no idea the rest of my days up to today as a member of AA would be dedicated to just that “Love and Service.”

At two years of sobriety, I moved from that city where my membership in AA began to another city, where I joined a group that was involved in all areas of service including Archives. God was certainly guiding me. I know this today. That was some time ago. I have been privileged to serve in Archives ever since, along with many other service positions in AA.

Please take some time to investigate your local Archives committee. If your District doesn’t have one, maybe it will be you that starts one. There is lots of guidance in the Archive workbook from AAWS or contact me at I’d be privileged to assist in any way I can.

In Love and Service

Marlene S.

DCM District 10 Hamilton Central Area 86

Hamilton Archivist