Blogs

Danna BellGuha Shankar Cohosts Nicole Milano and JoyEllen Williams interview Educational Resource Specialist Danna Bell and Folklife Specialist Guha Shankar from the Library of Congress. During this conversation, Bell and Shankar discuss the intersection of archives, community, and education, specifically addressing how the country’s renewed focus on social justice impacts their work at the Library of Congress.  Episode Extras Check out some of the resources that Bell and Shankar...
Sep 7, 2021   Archives In Context
Jennifer Olguin Jennifer Olguin, MLS, is the Rio Grande Historical Collections Archivist at New Mexico State University Library, Archives, and Special Collections. Jennifer, what are your main responsibilities as an archivist? As a tenure-track archivist at a university archive, my main responsibilities include the following:  Assist the campus community along with the public with their research needsProcess, arrange and make archival collections accessible for researchTeach...
Sep 1, 2021   Membership Blog
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. The Historic Village at Allaire is a living history museum named posthumously for its founder James P. Allaire. The museum interprets an iron-producing factory town during its peak year, 1836. The village offers a variety of...
Aug 25, 2021   Archives AWARE!
The below remarks were delivered by SAA President Courtney Chartier at the annual SAA Membership Business Meeting on August 3, 2021. Chartier was responding to an open letter to NARA published by the American Historical Association. You can read the letter here (scroll down); AHA has since published an apology to NARA available on the same webpage, and SAA has responded. Thank you everybody for being here today. I actually rewrote my remarks for this afternoon in light of the American...
Aug 22, 2021   Off the Record
Nora Plant Nora Plant is an Audio-Visual Archivist at the University of Wyoming. She will be serving on the SAA Membership Committee as Key Contact for Wyoming beginning in August. Jennifer Motszko Jennifer Motszko works at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She is the current Chair of the SAA Membership Committee, and Chair-elect for the Manuscripts Repository Section. Motszko volunteered as a mentor and has been working with Plant since August of 2020. The Society of...
Aug 14, 2021   Membership Blog
The Committee on Public Awareness (COPA) is collaborating again with our favorite professional storyteller, Micaela Blei, for our archivist and archives-centric storytelling event, A Finding Aid to My Soul, on October 6, 12:00 pm — 1:00 PM CT. Micaela Blei, PhD, is a storyteller, educator and editor based in Brooklyn, NY. She’s a two-time Moth GrandSLAM winner, former Director of Education for The Moth and former third grade teacher who has told stories, taught storytelling workshops...
Aug 11, 2021   Archives AWARE!
“Storytelling provides safe conditions for daring decisions.”—Micaela Blei Pitch Your Story! Call for your unique, moving, or humorous archival stories for “A Finding Aid to My Soul” Deadline: August 31, HTTPS://SMR.TO/P67427 When did you decide that you wanted to be an archivist? What was your first encounter with an archives? How did you handle a challenge in your work? What is a unique, serendipitous, moving, mysterious, special, or humorous experience you...
Aug 5, 2021   Archives AWARE!
This article originally appeared as the President’s Message in the July/August 2021 issue of Archival Outlook. When I was asked to run for SAA president/vice president-elect in early 2019, I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I certainly didn’t expect the year and a half that we’ve had! With a public health crisis, significant social and political unrest, extreme budget uncertainty, and oh, yes, a transition in our staff leadership. It has been a steep learning curve, but I’m very...
Aug 5, 2021   Off the Record
This article originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of Archival Outlook. Jacqualine Price Osafo, a Certified Association Executive with a master of business administration in entrepreneurship and strategic innovation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, brings thirty years of association management experience at multiple individual membership and trade company organizations in key areas such as membership, education programs, products, budget, and staffing. She...
Aug 2, 2021   Off the Record
Erik R. Bauer This post is from Erik R. Bauer. Erik is chair of the Local History Roundtable (New England Archivists) and has served as an SAA mentor. Before leaving New England, Erik worked at the Peabody Institute Library in Peabody, MA; Haverhill Public Library (Haverhill, MA) as their archives manager; and as project archivist for the Peabody City Clerk’s Office (Peabody, MA). Erik is still a visiting lecturer of history at Salem State University in Salem, MA, teaching remotely....
Aug 1, 2021   Membership Blog
Nicole Diehm, M.A. and M.S.I., is Digital Collections Librarian at the St. Augustine Historical Society Research Library. Nicole is also Co-Chair of the Conference Committee of the Florida Digital Humanities Consortium. What are your main responsibilities as an archivist? While not an archivist by title, my main responsibilities are digital preservation and access. We’ve established a digital framework and built a multi-year plan to help the SAHS Research Library digitize analog materials...
Aug 1, 2021   Membership Blog
The SAA Annual meeting begins next week, though on-demand sessions were available starting Monday, July 26, and SAA section meetings have already started earlier in the month. Below is a list of sessions about awareness, advocacy, and outreach. Please note, there is a mix of live, recorded, and on-demand opportunities. Make sure to visit the schedule for specific times for live sessions and to view session descriptions to see which category a session or meeting falls and whether you need to...
Jul 28, 2021   Archives AWARE!
by Makala Skinner Next month, archivists from across the country will convene virtually to discuss emerging and ongoing issues in the field at the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Annual Meeting, ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2021: Together/Apart. This year’s meeting will take place from August 4 to 6 (with some pre-conference activities earlier in the week) and will showcase 10 live sessions and 20 pre-recorded sessions with live Q&As. The conference will feature keynote speakers, general...
Jul 26, 2021   Off the Record
Curated by Ashley James. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City.April 2 to September 27, 2021. Reviewed by James Lowry, Queens College, City University of New York [PDF Full Text] Records manifest and manufacture power, project authority, and lay claim to evidentiality: a new exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum surfaces how constructed and contingent are these properties and effects of records. Off the Record puts the complexities and caveats, already well known to...
Jul 19, 2021   AA Reviews
The Committee on Public Awareness (COPA) invites you to our Open House during our annual business meeting on Thursday, July 22nd, 3:30-4:30 pm CST. Want to learn more about COPA  and what we do? This is your chance! Meet our committee members and ask questions. This is your opportunity to let us know what’s on your mind. Are there particular stories or issues that you would like COPA to bring increased awareness to through our channels? What would you like COPA to focus on in the...
Jul 15, 2021   Archives AWARE!
Many archivists are reevaluating workflows and practices in order to create more equitable, anti-oppressive, and anti-racist metadata in their repositories. This important work is foregrounded by the Anti-Racist Description Resources, authored by the Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia’s (A4BLiP) Anti-Racist Description Working Group. Archives in Context spoke with A4BLiP’s Anti-Racist Description Working Group members Alexis A. Antracoli, Annalise Berdini, Faith Charlton,...
Jul 13, 2021   Archives In Context
Many archivists are reevaluating workflows and practices in order to create more equitable, anti-oppressive, and anti-racist metadata in their repositories. This important work is foregrounded by the Anti-Racist Description Resources, authored by the Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia’s (A4BLiP) Anti-Racist Description Working Group. Archives in Context spoke with A4BLiP’s Anti-Racist Description Working Group members Alexis A. Antracoli, Annalise Berdini, Faith Charlton,...
Jul 13, 2021   Archives In Context
by Biz Gallo Biz Gallo has served as the Manager of Audiovisual Preservation at George Blood, L.P. since 2013 and recently accepted the position of Statewide Digitization Initiatives Coordinator at the Library of Michigan. She received her Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan School of Information and has since been helping cultural heritage institutions preserve their audiovisual collections through archival reformatting. She serves on SAA’s Oliver Wendell Holmes...
Jul 1, 2021   Membership Blog
Making contact with new SAA members from Canada and all other international locations is the responsibility of the District 11 Key Contact group. At the moment, the District 11 group consists of three Key Contacts: Kira Baker, Sara Griffiths, and Scott Schwartz. This blog post is a combined post from all three of us and together we hope to convey the experience of being a Key Contact for SAA’s international members.  Sara Griffiths SG: My name is Sara Griffiths, and I serve the SAA Key...
Jul 1, 2021   Membership Blog
Caroline J. White. This post is from Caroline J. White, Archives and Manuscript Librarian at Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), UMass Amherst Libraries. Caroline was first hired in 2012 in a three-year position. She has also held several short-term archives positions at Mount Holyoke College. She is a graduate of Simmons School of Library and Information Science and of Princeton University, where she majored in English. An editor for the Viking and Penguin imprints from...
Jul 1, 2021   Membership Blog
Heather Bidzinski, in the stacks. This post is from Heather Bidzinski, Head of Archives at Special Collections at University of Manitoba. Heather is an active member of SAA and is a member of the ACACKRN (Canadian Research Knowledge Network) Conference Planning Committee; the CKRN NATIONAL HERITAGE DIGITIZATION STRATEGY Advisory Committee; and the ACA Governance Committee. Heather, what are your main responsibilities as an archivist? My current role is managing a medium-sized Canadian...
Jul 1, 2021   Membership Blog
Welcome to another entry in the new ArchivesAWARE series, “Archival Authors” where we feature archivists who have used their professional experience to inform books they have written for the general public. What inspired them? How did archivistics affect the tone or direction of their book? What did they want readers to take away? In this post, Kaye Lanning Minchew talks about her new book, “Jimmy Carter: Citizen of the South.” Minchew recently retired as Executive...
Jun 2, 2021   Archives AWARE!
This post is from Devhra BennettJones. Devhra is a member of the SAA Membership Committee; the Society of American Archivists Navigator Program Subcommittee; the Society of American Archivists Mentoring Subcommittee; the Society of Ohio Archivists Membership & Awards Committee; and the Society of Ohio Archivists Social Justice and Black Lives Matter Task Force. Devhra, what drew you to archives?A love of history embedded in childhood drew me to the field of archives. Growing up in rural...
Jun 1, 2021   Membership Blog
Archivist Jenn Parent next to in-progress processing of the Lear papers. This post is from Jenn Parent, Project Archivist, at The Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA. She is the Key Contact for the State of Washington (District 9). What do you most enjoy about being a Key Contact? Interacting with students, even if it’s just an email or two. They reply most often to my initial email and are so excited and have great questions. It really reminds me of my own enthusiasm for the field....
Jun 1, 2021   Membership Blog
Julie Rockwell Julie Rockwell is a part-time collections specialist at the Frost Entomological Museum of the Penn State University, Main Campus. She recently accepted a part-time position as an independent contractor archivist with the East Broad Top Railroad Foundation located in Rockhill Furnace, PA.  Julie graduated in December 2020 from the Johns Hopkins University Advanced Academic Programs with a Master of Arts in Museum Studies and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Digital...
Jun 1, 2021   Membership Blog
This article originally appeared as the Executive Director’s Message in the May/June 2021 issue of Archival Outlook. Too much screen time and eye strain in the past year has led me to Audible and, at long last, to Angela Duckworth’s narration of her 2016 book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. A teacher, psychologist, neuroscientist, researcher, mother, and general overachiever, she explores the predictability of success—graduating from West Point (when one in five cadets...
May 20, 2021   Off the Record
This article originally appeared as the President’s Message in the May/June 2021 issue of Archival Outlook. At its March virtual meeting, much of the SAA Council’s agenda was related to the Society’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA). Addressing diversity issues and moving intentionally to a culture of inclu­sion has been a part of SAA’s Strategic Plan for many years, and in recent years we have moved this work to our highest priority. Now...
May 18, 2021   Off the Record