Blogs

As we gather this week for our annual meeting in Boston, the Key Contacts Subcommittee would like to express a special round of thanks to all SAA members who served as District Reps and Key Contacts this past year to engage and onboard new SAA members.  Those who served as District Reps include: Alicia Detelich (District 1: CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) Patrice Kane (District 2: NJ, NY, PA) Jane LaBarbara and Sarah Denison (District 3: DC, MD, VA, WV) Beth Ann Koelsch (District...
Aug 22, 2022   Membership Blog
The Mentoring Subcommittee would like to express a special round of thanks to all SAA members who served as mentors this past year, sharing their expertise and uplifting colleagues. The 100+ members who served as mentors include: Emily Ahlin April K. Anderson-Zorn Ray Barker Erik Bauer Susan Beamer Danna Bell Theresa Berger Jennifer Betts Rachel Brazeale Aimee Brown Ellizabeth Caringola Elizabeth Cathcart Josh Cochran Jennifer Coggins Veronica...
Aug 22, 2022   Membership Blog
By Rachel L. Frick and Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC Research (April 2022). https://doi.org/10.25333/wd4b-bs51 Reviewed by Noah Lasley, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga [PDF Full Text] Reimagine Descriptive Workflows: A Community-informed Agenda for Reparative and Inclusive Descriptive Practice is a research report published by OCLC as one of the deliverables for a project supported in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Aimed at addressing harm caused by cultural institutions’...
Aug 21, 2022   AA Reviews
https://archives2026.com/response-to-the-report-of-the-truth-and-reconciliation-commission-taskforce/ Reviewed by Jonathan Pringle, Scholarly Communications and Digital Librarian, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center [PDF Full Text] Released in February 2022, the Reconciliation Framework is designed for non-Indigenous archivists in Canada who manage Indigenous holdings in their repositories, from acquisitions to outreach and all processes in-between. The...
Aug 16, 2022   AA Reviews
Compiled by Danielle Sangalang and Moira O’Connell There are many daytrips that can be taken from Boston using the public transit network. Visit seaside towns, historic sites, and arts destinations using the commuter rail network or the MBTA ferries. The Pequod II by Michael C. McMillen as seen at the Peabody Essex Museum Salem  Peabody Essex Museum – Transit Directions The House of the Seven Gables – Transit Directions Hingham & Hull World’s...
Aug 16, 2022   AM2022 Host Committee Blog
Compiled by Danielle Sangalang and Moira O’Connell If you have an hour or two free while you’re in Boston and want to check out something close to the Sheraton Boston Hotel, we have a few suggestions for you! Boston Public Garden Credit: Eve Neiger Mapparium  – Walking Directions Boston Common & Boston Public Garden – Walking Directions Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum – Walking Directions MassArt Art Museum – Walking Directions...
Aug 16, 2022   AM2022 Host Committee Blog
Compiled by Danielle Sangalang and Moira O’Connell There are several beaches in the immediate Boston area that can be easily accessed by train and can be enjoyed even if you only have a few hours to spare. There are even more that are worth a visit if you are looking for a daytrip! A view of the Atlantic Ocean Close by: Revere Beach, Revere MA –  Transit Directions View from the MBTA Wonderland Station bridge toward Revere Beach Credit: Rachel Van Unen Carson...
Aug 16, 2022   AM2022 Host Committee Blog
Compiled by Danielle Sangalang and Moira O’Connell Boston has no shortage of history including presidents, revolutions and industry. These are just a few of the places you might see while visiting – there are many many more! A view of Acorn Street on Beacon Hill Credit: Rachel Van Unen JFK Library – Transit Directions Museum of African American History – Transit Directions Paul Revere House – Transit Directions The USS Constitution as seen from...
Aug 16, 2022   AM2022 Host Committee Blog
Compiled by Danielle Sangalang and Moira O’Connell Are you thinking of bringing your family along with you to Boston? There are so many great kid’s activities to choose from. Here are a few but there are many more! Boston Children’s’ Museum Credit: Branden Etheridge Boston Children’s Museum – Transit Directions Legoland Discovery Center – Transit Directions Legoland at Assembly Square Credit: Branden Etheridge Museum of Science –...
Aug 16, 2022   AM2022 Host Committee Blog
Compiled by Danielle Sangalang and Moira O’Connell After a day of frenzied conferencing, wouldn’t it be nice to get outside? Boston has so many great places to go from parks to islands, and activities from kayaking to exploring the city and our waterfront. George’s Island Credit: Rachel Van Unen Boston Harbor Islands – Transit Directions to Long Wharf Ferries Charles River Canoe and Kayak – Transit Directions Kayaking on the Charles River Credit: Eve...
Aug 16, 2022   AM2022 Host Committee Blog
North End streets decorated for St. Anthony’s Feast. Credit: Kim Reynolds From Paul Revere to Sacco-Vanzetti to St. Anthony’s Feast . . . Some things to do in Boston’s North End while you’re in Boston for the Society of American Archivists 2022 Annual Meeting Written By Kim Reynolds The North End Branch of the Boston Public Library Boston Public Library’s North End Branch is a great way to get oriented to the neighborhood. Located on Parmenter Street between Hanover and Salem...
Aug 16, 2022   AM2022 Host Committee Blog
ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2022 marks SAA’s first hybrid conference, with many of us coming together in-person for the first time in several years while others are tuning in virtually from around the country. Archives in Context wants to hear from you—what are your reflections on our evolving hybrid work environments during the pandemic and how are we moving forward? You can respond to any or all of the following prompts: How does it feel attending SAA’s hybrid Annual Meeting? What’s exciting...
Aug 15, 2022   Archives In Context
Director of Archives, Dominican Sisters of Peace;Regent for Member Service for the Academy of Certified Archivists;Past Chair of the Lone Arrangers, Independent Archivists and Accessibility & Disability Sections of SAA;Regular Speaker on DEI / Disability topics What are some aspects that you most enjoy about working with mentees? Answering questions is one of my favorite things to do, and mentees have the best questions. I love seeing how mentees grow and gain confidence as time...
Aug 15, 2022   Membership Blog
This 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. In this post, COPA Career Member Kristi Chanda interviews Susan Smith. Dr.  Smith, Winton M. Blount Research Chair for the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum, discusses the museum’s archival holdings and her role in supporting research in...
Aug 4, 2022   Archives AWARE!
Bob Clark Beth Myers “Archivists helping archivists”—in this episode, cohosts Nicole Milano and JoyEllen Williams speak with Bob Clark and Beth Myers, members of the Society of American Archivists Foundation Board. Myers and Clark discuss the Foundation’s purpose, goals, and opportunities for engagement. Listen to learn how the Foundation supports SAA, archivists, and the profession. Bob Clark is director of Archives at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC), a historical research...
Jul 28, 2022   Archives In Context
By Eva Jurczyk. Naperville, IL.: Poisoned Pen Press, 2022. 336 pp. Softcover [also hardcover]. $16.99 ISBN-13 978-1-7282-3859-3. Reviewed by Caryn Radick, Rutgers University [PDF Full Text] Eva Jurczyk’s debut novel, The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, is the second mystery I’ve read in the last year that takes place in the world of rare books and archives. (The other is Rex Pickett’s The Archivist,[1] which—full disclosure—I wrote a jacket blurb for.) The question...
Jul 22, 2022   AA Reviews
Glittering horse statue as seen at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Boston Compiled by Danielle Sangalang and Moira O’Connell Boston has an excellent arts scene with many museums, public installations, and events going on throughout the year but especially in the summer. ICA & ICA Watershed – Transit Directions Harvard Art Museum – Transit Directions MIT List Visual Arts Center – Transit Directions Museum of Fine Arts – Transit...
Jul 20, 2022   AM2022 Host Committee Blog
Somerville is self aware – The Boston Globe August 22 2013 Written by Danielle Sangalang If you are already planning on crossing the river to visit Cambridge, why not journey a bit further to explore Somerville?  The Boston Globe once described Somerville as “so hip that it worries itself…”  For the purposes of this blog I am focusing on three neighborhoods that are accessible by public transportation, Union Square, Davis Square and Assembly Row.  Just be sure...
Jul 11, 2022   AM2022 Host Committee Blog
Written by Moira O’Connell Maverick T Station, gateway to East Boston The area now known as East Boston has a long history stretching back through the earliest years of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and long before that as part of the ancestral lands of the Massachusetts people. Prior to the 1830s the land was made up of five islands. Over time the land between the islands was filled in and used as a trade hub, dotted with wharves and railroad terminals. The land was officially annexed by...
https://www.daacs.org Reviewed by Noah Safari, University of South Carolina [PDF Full Text] Among the tragedies of slavery was the forced removal of people from their homes, causing them to lose touch with much of their cultural heritage. Despite enslavers’ efforts to suppress the cultures of enslaved peoples, enslaved people persevered and created their own unique cultural heritage by bringing aspects of home to their new environs. Those who were enslaved were marginalized and their...
Jul 2, 2022   AA Reviews
Reviewed by Burkely Hermann, Metadata Librarian, National Security Archive, Washington, DC [PDF Full Text] Note: This review contains some spoilers for the film The Watermelon Woman. An archivist speaks to the film’s protagonist about having a “great system” to organize archival records within the community archive. The Core Values Statement of the Society of American Archivists says that archivists should expand access, respect diversity found in humanity, and advocate for archival...
Jun 28, 2022   AA Reviews
https://www.netflix.com/title/80222802 Interview with Camila Zorrilla Tessler, Yale University; Karlie Herndon, University of Mississippi; and Sally Blanchard-O’Brien, Vermont Historical Records [PDF Full Text] In January 2022, Netflix released a new series Archive 81. The streaming television show, based on the horror podcast of the same name, centers on audiovisual archivist Dan as he begins a project restoring video footage that was damaged in a fire nearly thirty years earlier. This...
Jun 22, 2022   AA Reviews
https://communityarchiving.org Reviewed by CJ Garcia, Liaison and Communications Librarian, A.T. Still Memorial Library [PDF Full Text] The Community Archiving Workshop (CAW) Handbook is an online resource designed to help audiovisual archivists, preservation specialists, and cultural heritage workers plan workshops to leverage their expertise in support of local communities. The handbook reflects the CAW model, which has its roots in the Activist Archiving workshops organized by Mona...
Jun 4, 2022   AA Reviews
Sarah Quigley and Natalie Baur, 2022 SAA Program Committee Co-Chairs The Program Committee is excited to invite you to the 86th annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA)—our first hybrid conference—to be held August 25–27, 2022. We’re planning an exciting program for ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2022 with educational sessions, keynotes, and activities offered both onsite and virtually. There will be something of interest for every attendee, and we are thrilled to have the...
May 31, 2022   Off the Record
Rakashi Chand, 2022 Host Committee Chair We are so excited to welcome our archival colleagues to Boston for ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2022! For those attending the hybrid conference in-person, the city’s rich history, museums and universities, and river and ocean walks offer something for everyone. At the moment, Boston (properly pronounced “Bawst’n”) is coming alive as the weather warms: flowers bloom, Berklee College of Music students fill the streets with spontaneous concerts, the Red Sox...
May 25, 2022   Off the Record
https://transcription.si.edu/ Reviewed by Katherine Herrick, University of Missouri [PDF Full Text] Preserving archives has always been a battle against time. The delicate cursive penmanship found in historical collections of letters and the ink-stamped correspondences punched out on typewriters inevitably fade. It can take years for archivists to collect, appraise, arrange, describe, and digitize these documents, yet even after all that work, access can still be a challenge. While...
May 23, 2022   AA Reviews
This is the latest post in our series Archival Innovators, which aims to raise awareness of individuals, institutions, and collaborations that are helping to boldly chart the future of the archives profession and set new precedents for the role of archivists in society. In this installment, COPA member Kristi Chanda interviews Julie Rockwell, archivist and “lone arranger” from Pennsylvania’s East Broad Top Railroad. KC: What are your responsibilities at East Broad Top...
May 11, 2022   Archives AWARE!
This is the latest post in our series Archival Innovators, which aims to raise awareness of individuals, institutions, and collaborations that are helping to boldly chart the future of the archives profession and set new precedents for the role of archivists in society. In this installment, COPA member Claudia Willett interviews four members of SAA’s newest committee, the Committee on Research, Data and Assessment (CORDA), who provide an update on the Committee and one of its newest initiatives...
May 6, 2022   Archives AWARE!
Dear colleagues,  SAA’s Mentoring Subcommittee is pleased to open mentee applications for a second round of mentoring cohorts – a group mentoring model intended to complement the traditional one-to-one mentoring of the Mentoring Program. For this second round of cohorts, the Subcommittee is building mentoring cohorts supporting the following communities:  Accessibility & Disability (co-led by Gracen Brilmyer and Gayle Schechter) BIPOC (co-led by Michelle Ganz...
May 5, 2022   Membership Blog
Project: Archives, Astoria Public Library This post is the 11th in the series “Federal Funding Impact Stories,” as published on the ArchivesAWARE blog. As archivists, librarians, and museum professionals, we know how our collections, institutions, and local communities have benefited from grant funding from federal agencies, such as: Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Historical Publications and...
May 4, 2022   Archives AWARE!
By Jacqualine Price Osafo This column originally appeared as the Executive Director’s message in the March/April 2022 issue of Archival Outlook. The first eight months of my tenure as SAA executive director have unsurprisingly been filled with learning about archival work. It’s also included a deep dive into archival advocacy! A significant project has been SAA’s response to recent media reports about former-president Trump’s regular practice of tearing up documents required to...
May 3, 2022   Off the Record
This is the newest post in our There’s an Archivist for That! series. In this post, Harold Housley, Archivist for Architecture, Arts and Design at Arizona State University Library, describes the uniqueness and challenges of Design and Architecture Collections and offers his interpretation of the International Design Day theme, Suspended in Transition. This interview was conducted by Committee on Public Awareness (COPA) member Claudia Willett. Claudia Willett: Let’s start with a brief...
Apr 27, 2022   Archives AWARE!
This article originally appeared as the President’s Message in the March/April 2022 issue of Archival Outlook. In my last column, I referenced the “beloved community” as coined by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. What a fraught word, community. In the new version of SAA’s strategic plan, you’ll see multiple references to “community,” a word that means everything or nothing. If I were to draw you a map of all of the communities I belong to (an exercise I had to do once in a workshop—I challenge...
Apr 5, 2022   Off the Record
The Society of American Archivists stands in solidarity with Ukrainian memory workers in this dark time. We also stand with our colleagues of Ukrainian and Russian heritage who live in the United States; we recognize their fear and anger as they protest the actions of Russia, and demonstrate concern for their loved ones either facing armed conflict, or protesting in their home countries. We join the International Council on Archives to provide assistance to those working in neighboring...
Feb 25, 2022   Off the Record