Blogs

Anna Clutterbuck-CookLydia Tang In this episode of a special Archives in Context season on how the events of 2020 have affected archivists, we meet two of the driving forces behind the Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWEF): Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, reference librarian at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Lydia Tang, special collections archivist-librarian at Michigan State University. Anna and Lydia tell us about the origin of AWEF, its impact during the COVID-19 crisis, and how...
Nov 25, 2020   Archives In Context
The College of Charleston Special Collections in Charleston, South Carolina has found a new way to connect its archival collections with their audience through a popular internet forum: reddit. Reddit is a forum where communities can form to discuss a person, topic, or event; share cute animal photos, and ask or answer question from the communities that gather there. Committee of Public Awareness member Rachael Woody sits down with Charelston’s research and outreach specialist Catherine...
Nov 17, 2020   Archives AWARE!
Archives in Context wants to hear from you! In this special episode focused on archivists and archival work during COVID-19, we want to encourage you to share advice and reflections with archivists during this difficult time. Do you have advice for finding joy or practicing self-care? What are you thankful for? You can respond to any of the following prompts: What have you done to practice self-care this year?How have you found joy in 2020?In this difficult time, what advice do you have for...
Nov 9, 2020   Archives AWARE!
In this special episode focused on archivists and archival work during COVID-19, we encourage you to share your advice and reflections with archivists during this difficult time. Do you have advice for finding joy or practicing self-care? What are you thankful for? You can respond to any of the following prompts: What have you done to practice self-care this year?How have you found joy in 2020?In this difficult time, what advice do you have for your fellow archivists?What are you thankful...
Nov 9, 2020   Archives In Context
https://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/redlining/#loc=5/39.1/-94.58 Reviewed by Carli V. Lowe, San José State University [PDF Full Text] Mapping Inequality is a digital humanities project that allows users to explore the history of redlining in the United States through an aggregation of records from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). It uses the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation’s records, dating between 1935 and 1940, to create an interactive map that reveals the ways city...
Oct 28, 2020   AA Reviews
https://airtable.com/ Reviewed by Meaghan O’Riordan, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library, Emory University [PDF Full Text] Airtable is a web-based application that archivists can use to organize and clean data, as well as establish collaborative workflows. Airtable was founded in 2012 by Howie Liu, Andrew Ofstad, and Emmett Nicholas on the “…belief that software shouldn’t dictate how you work—you should dictate how it works.”[1] Airtable combines the...
Oct 27, 2020   AA Reviews
https://asana.com/home Reviewed by Becky Briggs Becker, Editor-at-large [PDF Full Text] Asana is one of the oldest task management web applications available, releasing as a free product in 2011 as the result of two former Facebook engineers coming together to create a productivity and collaboration tool to track multiple projects simultaneously.[1] The two engineers’ company introduced additional subscription-based premium content in 2012.[2] Debuting the same year as Trello and predating...
Sep 30, 2020   AA Reviews
This is the latest post in our new series Archival Innovators, which aims to raise awareness of the individuals, institutions, and collaborations that are helping to boldly chart the future of the the archives profession and set new precedents for the role of the archivist in society. Bridgett Kathryn Pride, the Reference Librarian of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Division and Art and Artifacts Division within the New York...
Sep 29, 2020   Archives AWARE!
Archives Month Kickoff Join SAA in celebrating the diversity and commonality of the archivist experience! Five storytellers—Kathy Marquis, Jessica Newell, Micaela Terronez, Melissa Barker, and Ethel Hazard—will share true stories about their unique, moving, serendipitous, mysterious, and often humorous encounters in the archives. This free event, sponsored by the Committee on Public Awareness, will be hosted by two-time Moth GrandSLAM winner (and former Moth director of education) Micaela Blei...
Sep 23, 2020   Archives AWARE!
This is the latest post in our series Responses and Retrospectives, which features archivists’ personal responses and perspectives concerning current or historical events/subjects with significant implications for the archives profession. Interested in contributing to Responses and Retrospectives?  Please email the editor at archivesaware@archivists.org with your ideas! In this installation of Responses & Retrospectives (COPA) member Rachael Woody of Rachael Cristine Consulting LLC...
Sep 16, 2020   Archives AWARE!
https://www.canva.com/ Reviewed by Colleen Hoelscher, Trinity University [PDF Full Text] Canva is a web-based application that provides tools and templates for non-designers to create attractive graphics. The company was founded in 2012 in Australia, and today has over 30 million registered users.[1] In addition to the browser interface, Canva offers Android, iOS, and Windows desktop apps. Free accounts include one gigabyte of cloud storage and access to over 8,000 templates. Canva Pro accounts...
Sep 15, 2020   AA Reviews
Ashton Wingate, Digital Archivist of the NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund, Inc. This is the newest post in our There’s an Archivist for That! series, which features examples of archivists working in places you might not expect. COPA member Rachael Woody, owner of Rachael Cristine Consulting LLC, brings you an interview with Ashton Wingate, the Digital Archivist of the NAACP Legal and Educational Defense Fund, Inc. (LDF). Ashton Wingate currently works for the NAACP Legal and...
Sep 14, 2020   Archives AWARE!
This is the latest post in our new series Archival Innovators, which aims to raise awareness of the individuals, institutions, and collaborations that are helping to boldly chart the future of the the archives profession and set new precedents for the role of the archivist in society. In this installation of Archival Innovators, SAA Committee on Public Awareness (COPA) member Rachael Woody of Rachael Cristine Consulting LLC interviews Miyamoto Loretta Jensen, “The Polynesian...
Sep 11, 2020   Archives AWARE!
This is the newest post in our There’s an Archivist for That! series, which features examples of archivists working in places you might not expect. Allison Termine, brings you an interview with Adam Jeffery, the Tattooer, Collector of The Baltimore Tattoo Museum (est. 1999) and Annette La Rue, Tattooer, Collector from Electromagnetic Tattoo in Chesapeake, Virginia. Interviewer: Allison Termine, I’m a trained Librarian, Archivist and Collections Manager, learning Taxonomy and Ontology....
Sep 2, 2020   Archives AWARE!
These remarks were presented at SAA’s Annual Membership (Business) Meeting, held virtually on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 2:00 to 3:30 pm CDT. Good afternoon, everyone. Like all of you, I practice a profession that is not broadly understood. My profession is association management. My professional association, the American Society of Association Executives, has 46,000 members. My profession has a body of knowledge and best practices. It has areas of specialization – like Finance and...
Aug 27, 2020   Off the Record
Arielle Petrovich at 2019 Storytelling Event. Submission deadline extended to August 31! When did you decide that you wanted to be an archivist? What was your first encounter with a particular archives? How did you handle a challenge in your work? What is a unique, serendipitous, moving, mysterious, special, or humorous experience you’ve had as an archivist? If you would like the chance to share your story, then pitch it to us! In 100 to 200 words, tell us about your archives story. (...
Aug 26, 2020   Archives AWARE!
These remarks were presented at SAA’s Annual Membership (Business) Meeting, held virtually on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 2:00 to 3:30 pm CDT. Thank you to everyone who is here at our member meeting today. As I have often said, this is the Society OF American Archivists, not FOR, and each one of you being here today is an affirmation of that. While our virtual platform is allowing us to do things in a new way, I bet most of you, like me, wish we were sitting in a ballroom in Chicago right...
Aug 25, 2020   Off the Record
Danielle Nowak. Image courtesy of Danielle Nowak. This is the newest post in our There’s an Archivist for That! series, which features examples of archivists working in places you might not expect.  COPA member Rachel Seale, Outreach Archivist at Iowa State University, brings you an interview with Danielle Nowak, the Digital Assets Librarian at the Morton Arboretum in the Sterling Morton Library in Lisle, Illinois. Danielle Nowak graduated from Purdue University Calumet with a Bachelor’s...
Aug 19, 2020   Archives AWARE!
Courtney DeanGrace Danico What do sex, awards, and the occult have in common? They are all themes that the Los Angeles Archivists Collective explored in its online publication Acid Free. In this episode, Courtney Dean, head of the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT) in UCLA Library Special Collections, and Grace Danico, an independent archivist and freelance designer, talk about labor issues, relationships between archives and design, and much more. Episode Extras...
Aug 11, 2020   Archives In Context
Finding ways to connect diverse audiences with archives is an art. It is also an important aspect of leadership. Jennifer Johnson, director of Corporate Archives at Cargill, Incorporated, discusses her essay “Cultivating Success: The Business of Archives” in volume one of SAA’s Archival Fundamentals Series III, Leading and Managing Archives and Manuscripts Programs. Jennifer describes working in a corporate setting and the importance of outreach, building relationships, and storytelling...
Aug 11, 2020   Archives In Context
“The stories in between” are what drive Liza Posas, head of Research Services and Archives at the Autry Museum of the American West, and her work on the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials. The Protocols were created by the First Archivist Circle in 2006 and endorsed by SAA in 2018. Liza discusses the workbook she is developing for the Protocols and the ways that archivists can put the Protocols into practice to care for culturally sensitive materials and better understand...
Aug 11, 2020   Archives In Context
Dr. Trevor Owens, head of digital content management at the Library of Congress, thinks about the intersection of history and digital media—a lot. He discusses his award-winning book, The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation, providing encouragement to under-resourced archivists who need to add digital preservation to their very full professional plates. Trevor also muses on the digital equivalent of lamination and why he considers digital preservation more craft than science....
Aug 11, 2020   Archives In Context
What does “Archiving While Black” feel like? Dr. Ashley Farmer, assistant professor in the Departments of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, follows up with us on her Chronicle of Higher Education article and her talk at the 2019 SAA Annual Meeting. She also discusses the role of scholars of color in stewarding historical records and shares her thoughts on interprofessional engagement between historians and archivists. Episode Extras...
Aug 11, 2020   Archives In Context
Dr. Lydia Tang is working to make archives more accessible and break down access barriers for people with disabilities. Lydia, who is the special collections archivist at Michigan State University, talks about her work on the SAA Task Force to Revise Best Practices on Accessibility and the SAA-ACRL/RBMS Task Force to Revise the Joint Statement on Access to Research Materials in Archives and Special Collections Libraries. Lydia underscores the importance of putting people first in all archival...
Aug 11, 2020   Archives In Context
Lae’l Hughes-WatkinsTamar Chute How do you document a student movement? Student activists organize and mobilize within ephemeral spaces that need to be documented ethically and with care. Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, university archivist at the University of Maryland, and Tamar Chute, university archivist and head of Archives at the Ohio State University, discuss the impetus behind Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented) to create an online space for primary sources on student...
Aug 11, 2020   Archives In Context
The Society of American Archivists (SAA) is delighted to present Season 4 of Archives in Context, a podcast highlighting archival literature and technologies, and most importantly, the people behind them. Cosponsored by SAA’s Publications Board, American Archivist Editorial Board, and Committee on Public Awareness, the podcast explores the often moving and important work of memory-keeping. In Season 4, released August 2020, hosts Chris Burns, Ashley Levine, Nicole Milano, and Anna...
Aug 11, 2020   Archives In Context
https://www.ubisoft.com/en-us/game/the-division/the-division-2 Reviewed by Becky Briggs Becker, Editor-at-large [PDF Full Text] Exterior shot of the National Archives and Records Administration building in Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. When I began writing this review, I thought it was amazing that the video game Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 included a mission to recover the Declaration of Independence from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) building in a virtual...
Jul 21, 2020   AA Reviews
As noted in the Society of American Archivists’ June 2 Statement on Black Lives and Archives, the vitality of American archives depends on the safety of archives workers and an explicit commitment to social responsibility, justice, and anti-racism in the work that we do and the organizations we work within.  The SAA Council is convening a forum of reflection to move toward healing and understanding. We invite the archives community to participate in a reflection on the continuation of anti-...
Jun 8, 2020   Off the Record
We, the Council of the Society of American Archivists, unanimously condemn harassment and violence against the Black community. As archivists, we learn from history that this country was founded on genocide and slavery. We continue to witness the legacy of this history with systemic and structural racism that lead to marginalization, disenfranchisement, and death. The murder of George Floyd, and countless others, at the hands of the police manifest the continuing atrocities faced by Black...
Jun 2, 2020   Off the Record
This article originally appeared as the Executive Director’s Message in the May/June 2020 issue of Archival Outlook, available soon. Zoom is our new and ubiquitous reality. We use it daily—some days, hourly—to connect as a staff, to facilitate the work of SAA groups, and to provide free webcasts. But SAA has been “zooming” in more ways than one since our world and work changed in early March. To wit: March 10: As COVID-19 interrupted the best-laid plans of SAA’s Committee on...
May 26, 2020   Off the Record
This article originally appeared as the President’s Message in the May/June 2020 issue of Archival Outlook. Nothing connects people more immediately and universally than a shared emotional event. Over the last year we have been through a lot, but nothing like this global pandemic. Our societal, organizational, and individual value systems have been challenged recently, but even more so by COVID-19. This shared situation puts everything in a new light. In some ways it may highlight...
May 21, 2020   Off the Record