Blogs

Gearing up for the SAA Annual Meeting next week in DC? If you’re looking for opportunities to raise awareness about and advocate for archives, or to learn about innovative outreach initiatives to spark your own outreach efforts, then the annual meeting is definitely the place to be. For the second year, SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness (COPA) has put together a custom schedule to highlight the wide variety of sessions, meetings, and events that feature outreach- and advocacy-...
Aug 8, 2018   Archives AWARE!
Invisible labor has been a hot topic in the archives profession over the last couple of years. The invisible labor of archivists, so often unseen and underappreciated, is a constant theme on Twitter and a source of real angst. It is difficult to do work you believe in when that work remains discounted. The increasing presence of temporary positions—full time, part time, project archivist, and unpaid internship—has resulted in a growing sense of frustration in the profession, as indicated by the...
Aug 7, 2018   Off the Record
http://scalar.usc.edu/works/prague-spring-archive/index Reviewed by Nora Dolliver, Archives Assistant, Special Collections Research Center, University of Michigan Library [PDF Full Text] In early 1968, Communist Party leader Alexander Dubček introduced a series of liberalizing reforms in Czechoslovakia under the slogan of “socialism with a human face.”[1] In August that same year, the countries of the Warsaw Pact, led by the Soviet Union, invaded Czechoslovakia. By year’s end, the “Prague...
Aug 1, 2018   AA Reviews
The Committee on Public Awareness (COPA) presents “A Finding Aid To My Soul,” an open-mic storytelling session celebrating the diversity and commonality of the archivist experience. Storytellers will have five minutes to share true stories about their unique, moving, serendipitous, mysterious, special, and often humorous encounters in the archives (no props, please). Featured Storytellers Terry Baxter, Multnomah County Archives – Encountering ghosts in the archives. Krista Ferrante,...
Aug 1, 2018   Archives AWARE!
At its November 2017 meeting, the SAA Council approved the formation of the Tragedy Response Initiative Task Force. This initiative, proposed by the Diverse Sexuality and Gender Section, grew out of discussions held at the 2016 Annual Meeting surrounding the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL, and the need for resources and assistance to help local archivists who are personally affected by disasters/tragedies collect and preserve materials. Since January 2018, the Tragedy Response...
Jul 30, 2018   Off the Record
The “Archives on the Hill” initiative, sponsored by SAA-CoSA-NAGARA-RAAC, is fast approaching and scheduled for August 14th as part of this year’s annual meeting in Washington, DC. For some background and context, please see previous posts by CoSA Executive Director Barbara Teague and Committee on Public Policy member Samantha Winn, or this recent article in the May/June issue Archival Outlook by yours truly. To keep this advocacy event manageable, the coordinating committee,...
Jul 23, 2018   Off the Record
This post is the latest entry in our Archives + Audiences series, which features the perspectives of archival audiences – scholars, journalists, filmmakers, artists, activists, and more – for whom archives have been an important part of their life and work. Wendy MacNaughton. Photo by John Keatley. In this Archives + Audiences entry, we bring you an interview with artist, illustrator, and graphic journalist Wendy MacNaughton on her experience researching  Cipe (C.P.) Pineles, Conde Nast’s...
Jul 19, 2018   Archives AWARE!
At the 2013 SAA Annual Meeting, I (as the Council liaison, 2013-2016) attended a meeting of the Government Affairs Working Group (GAWG) with myself, Past President Frank Boles, soon-to-be President Kathleen Roe, and SAA Executive Director, Nancy Beaumont. A topic of our discussion was how to reconfigure this moribund group, which eventually became the Committee on Public Policy (Originally named the Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy). I also chaired COPP, 2016-2017. Over the past 5 years...
Jul 16, 2018   Off the Record
This is the sixth post in our There’s an Archivist for That! series, which features examples of archivists working in places you might not expect. COPA member Anna Trammell, University Archivist and Special Collections Librarian at Pacific Lutheran University, brings you an interview with May Haduong, Public Access Manager of the Academy Film Archive.  Courtesy of Nate Christenson / ©A.M.P.A.S. May Haduong is the Public Access Manager at the Academy Film Archive, where she oversees access to...
Jul 12, 2018   Archives AWARE!
Samantha Cross is a geek and scholar, so luckily she found a way to combine the two in the form of the POP Archives blog and That Girl with the Curls podcast. Whether it’s interviewing writers and artists about the latest comic book, critiquing box office blockbusters, or examining how archives and archivists are depicted in pop culture, Sam lets her passion for geekdom run rampant. Currently, she works as the Assistant Archivist for CallisonRTKL in Seattle. You can follow her @...
Jul 6, 2018   AA Reviews
COPA member Lindsay Anderberg, Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Librarian and Poly Archivist at New York University, interviews Cindy Slater, Assistant Director for Library Services at The H.J. Lutcher Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports.  Slater explains how the Stark Center came to be and why sports and physical culture collections are relevant to just about everyone. ArchivesAWARE: We’ll get this out of the way first: you are not an archivist.  But, here you are on an...
Jul 5, 2018   Archives AWARE!
Public communication has perhaps never been more important for the archives profession as it is today.  That’s why we wanted to talk with Jason Steinhauer, public historian, director of the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest at Villanova University, and creator of the field of history communication.  In this interview with ArchivesAWARE!, Steinhauer discusses his entry into the historical profession as a curator and archivist, his work as a public historian and the creator...
Jun 28, 2018   Archives AWARE!
In April, SAA fielded a pop-up survey focused on mid-career archivists. “Mid-career” was defined as more than five years in the profession and more than 10 years until retirement. The goal of the survey was not necessarily statistical, but to collect ideas and issues for education programming and to ensure that we are considering the concerns and needs of this group in SAA’s strategic planning. Here are some preliminary results. How long have you been working in the archives field? There were...
Jun 25, 2018   Off the Record
What About Denver? Or Minneapolis? Discussion of SAA Annual Meeting sites is cyclical and generally heats up in the spring, just as we begin registration for the upcoming conference. Members begin thinking about whether they’ll attend this year—and, inevitably, where they’d rather be going. In a recent Twitter exchange, tweeters calculated the number of times the Annual Meeting has been held in each region of the country, commented about a return to the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, and...
Jun 18, 2018   Off the Record
This post is part of our new Archives + Audiences series, which features the perspectives of archival audiences – scholars, journalists, filmmakers, artists, activists, and more – for whom archives have been an important part of their life and work. Anna Shternshis. Photograph by Roman Boldyrev. In this Archives + Audiences entry, we bring you an interview with Anna Shternshis, Associate Professor of Yiddish and Diaspora Studies at the University of Toronto, on her experience...
Jun 14, 2018   Archives AWARE!
This is the fifth post in our new There’s an Archivist for That! series, which features examples of archivists working in places you might not expect.  To continue this new series, COPA member Rachel Seale, Outreach Archivist at Iowa State University, brings you an interview with Steve Hausfeld, manager of the Nationwide Library and History & Archives Center. Photograph of Steve Hausfeld (courtesy Nationwide History & Archives Center). Steve Hausfeld is Manager of the Nationwide...
Jun 7, 2018   Archives AWARE!
At our most recent SAA Council meeting, we discussed potential changes for participating in the Directory of Archives Consultants.  In response to feedback received from their members, the Independent Archivists Section recommended that SAA reconsider the current pricing structure of the Archival Consultants Directory. The section leaders believe that reduced pricing would stimulate greater participation by section members and result in a more robust resource for those seeking a consultant. The...
Jun 4, 2018   Off the Record
This post was authored by guest contributor Samantha Norling, Digital Collections Manager at Newfields and member of SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness (COPA).  This is the third post in our “Asserting the Archivist” series on the importance of highlighting archivists and archival work in outreach efforts, rather than just focusing on the collections themselves. Too often, archivists and archival repositories can get stuck in the loop of sharing only THE STUFF, especially as those posts get a...
May 16, 2018   Archives AWARE!
Last fall, after the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, I wrote a post concerning memorials and monuments of oppression and how we, as archivists, could help communities grappling with these difficult issues. I also promised that the SAA Council’s Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion would begin working on a toolkit for archivists that would provide these kinds of resources for archivists working with their communities. This work is continuing, and if you have any resources you...
May 7, 2018   Off the Record
Guest Post: Barbara Teague, Executive Director of the Council of State Archivists (CoSA): In my new position as Executive Director, I joined the Society of American Archivists delegation (Executive Director Nancy Beaumont, Committee on Public Policy chair Dennis Riley, and COPP members Kathleen Roe and Samantha Winn) for the National Humanities Alliance Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day, March 11-13 in Washington DC.  NHA’s Advocacy Day continues to grow, attracting more attendees each year to...
May 3, 2018   Off the Record
  This post was authored by guest contributor Jeannine Roe, Electronic Records Specialist, Indiana Archives and Records Administration and Communications Committee Member, Society of Indiana Archivists.   For Preservation Week 2018, the Society of Indiana Archivists (SIA) Communications Committee members tested the boundaries of archival humor and good taste with the #WeRateArchives initiative. The committee is made up of six professionals from different institutions around the state...
May 2, 2018   Archives AWARE!
The Task Force on Research/Data and Evaluation will present its preliminary findings to the SAA Council at its upcoming May meeting. Some of their initial findings include the following needs: standardized tools for gathering and analyzing data; a centralized repository of data, tools, and other authoritative aids; training on gathering, analyzing, interpreting, and using data; up-to-date, basic facts and figures about archives and archivists; and a clearinghouse to support archival surveys and...
Apr 23, 2018   Off the Record