Blogs

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
https://www.springshare.com/libwizard/ Reviewed by Kayla Harris, Marian Library, University of Dayton [PDF Full Text] LibWizard is a multipurpose tool by SpringShare that includes four components: forms, surveys, quizzes, and tutorials/assessments. Although each of these features presents an opportunity to be used in primary source instruction, this review will focus specifically on the tutorials and the ways in which they can be used for archival instruction. Some instruction...
May 25, 2021   AA Reviews
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
dp.la/primary-source-sets/women-and-the-temperance-movement Reviewed by John Henry Adams, University of Missouri Libraries [PDF Full Text] One of the challenges of primary source instruction is identifying a set of compelling and varied primary sources around a single theme. In this review, I will discuss the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) as a general resource for primary source sets and then focus on Melissa Strong’s “Women and the Temperance Movement” as an excellent example for...
May 19, 2021   AA Reviews
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
https://tpscollective.org/ Reviewed by Beth South, Indiana University East [PDF Full Text] The Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Collective “is an online hub that brings together resources, professional development and support for those who teach with primary sources, including librarians, archivists, teachers, cultural heritage professionals, and anyone who has an interest in using primary sources in an educational setting.” The collective community is made up of “learners, lurkers,...
May 5, 2021   AA Reviews
This post is from Brittany Newberry (she/her), Processing Archivist at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library in Atlanta, GA, current advisor and past chair of the Career Development Subcommittee. Brittany is also a steering committee member for the Archivists and Archives of Color section. Brittany, what drew you to archives?  My first year of undergrad I had to choose a place to work for my work study. At the time, the Special Collections department in the...
May 3, 2021   Membership Blog
Mary Jackson is currently working on a cataloging project at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive and a community preservation project, African Americans in Berkeley’s History and Legacy. She was a member of the SAA Host Committee in 2008 and has been an SAA member since 2018. Steven D. Booth is the Archivist/Project Manager for the Johnson Publishing Co. Archive at the Getty Research Institute. He has been an SAA member since 2008; served on the SAA Council from 2017 to 2020, co...
May 3, 2021   Membership Blog
This post is from Jennifer Motszko of the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. Jennifer is the chair of the SAA Membership Committee, 2020-2021. Jennifer, what drew you to archives?I have always been interested in history and planned to make that my career in some way. As I was working towards my masters degree in History at UW-Milwaukee, I was hired for a work-study position in the Archives. That’s what did it for me! Doing research, answering reference requests, processing...
May 3, 2021   Membership Blog
What made you fall in love with archives? What do you love about your work? Here, Julie Kerssen, Processing Archivist, Seattle Municipal Archives, Seattle, WA, shares her love of archival work. An archivist for over 20 years, Julie Kerssen enjoys providing access to collections and bringing hidden gems to light. What do you love about being an archivist? Let us know at lmiller@tulane.edu.
Apr 27, 2021   Archives AWARE!
Bryan Whitledge is Archivist / Manager for University Digital Records for the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University. He currently serves as vice-chair of the Society of American Archivist’s Committee on Public Policy (SAA-COPP). Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, and Bryan Whitledge, SAA Committee on Public Policy, at the 2020 National Humanities Advocacy Day events. Have you ever considered how archives are funded? – we are talking about a true assessment of...
Apr 13, 2021   Archives AWARE!
On October 22, 2020, Ryan Anthony Donaldson & Rachael Cristine Woody presented the webinar “Archives Are Always Essential” to 280 attendees. Below is a summary of the webinar complete with key takeaways, a summary of questions and answers, and a list of resources. Many of us in the field know that archives are essential, but sometimes it feels like a best-kept secret. It’s challenging to convey the true value of our collections despite our best efforts with digital content,...
Apr 6, 2021   Archives AWARE!
What made you fall in love with archives? What do you love about your work? Here, Jeanie Fisher, Reference Archivist, Seattle Municipal Archives, Seattle, WA, shares her love of archival work. Jeanie Fisher is a Certified Archivist and has over 15 years of experience helping users in both libraries and archives find and access the information they need. What do you love about being an archivist? Let us know at lmiller@tulane.edu. We want to hear from you! Share your stories,...
Mar 31, 2021   Archives AWARE!
This article originally appeared as the Executive Director’s Message in the March/April 2021 issue of Archival Outlook. We’ve slipped into another March, and the “before times” seem so remote. I’m both exhausted and exhilarated by our transition to a new way of doing things. Our need to connect—and the relative ease of doing so virtually—has meant more frequent meetings of SAA’s volunteer groups and a resultant uptick in activity. The SAA Council and the Foundation Board now meet every...
Mar 23, 2021   Off the Record
https://zoom.us/ Reviewed by Lauren Kata, CA, New York University Abu Dhabi Library [PDF Full Text] Zoom Wordmark, from https://zoom.us/brandguidelines Many of us do not need headlines such as “Why Zoom Rose to the Top during the Coronavirus Pandemic,”[1] or “Zooming Ahead: The Explosive Growth of Zoom during the Pandemic,”[2] to understand the video conferencing software’s impact on a variety of industries and workflows throughout 2020. While Zoom’s effect on the archival profession...
Mar 19, 2021   AA Reviews
This article originally appeared as the President’s Message in the March/April 2021 issue of Archival Outlook. It’s with bittersweetness that I share that our long-serving executive director, Nancy Beaumont, will step down from her position once a successor has joined the association. During her eighteen-year tenure, Nancy has guided us through periods of both growth and challenge. She will be greatly missed, as she has become a friend to so many of us during her tenure. We’re...
Mar 17, 2021   Off the Record
https://whowillwriteourhistory.com Reviewed by Sister Grace Marie Del Priore, Felician Sisters of North America Provincial Archive [PDF Full Text] The 2018 documentary Who Will Write Our History tells the story of Oyneg Shabes, the secret archives of the Warsaw Ghetto. Directed by Roberta Grossman and distributed by Abramorama, it is a moving and thought-provoking documentary and one of the first major films about this archives. The film had a limited release run in theaters in 2018 and...
Mar 16, 2021   AA Reviews
On February 22, 2021 Katherine Barbera, Archivist & Oral Historian at Carnegie Mellon University and member of the Committee on Public Awareness (COPA), talked with Clint Pumphrey and Chase Anderson about their remarkable work on the Outdoor Recreation Archive. The Archive is a unique collaboration between Utah State University’s Special Collections and its Outdoor Product Design & Development program and boasts over 2,000 items from 200 outdoor companies, from REI to Patagonia...
Mar 16, 2021   Archives AWARE!
Welcome to the first entry in the new ArchivesAWARE series, “Archival Authors.” Here we will feature archivists who have used their professional experience to inform books they have written for the general public. What inspired them? How does one write a proposal for a publisher? How did archivistics affect the tone or direction of their book? What did they want readers to take away? In this first series post, Deirdre A. Scaggs, Associate Dean, Special Collections Research Center, and...
Mar 12, 2021   Archives AWARE!
Dear Reader, The SAA journal American Archivist is going completely digital! Volume 83, no.2 (Fall/Winter 2020) is the last issue published in a paper format.  Last summer the Council of the Society of American Archivists made the decision to publish the journal in an entirely digital format beginning with Volume 84:1 (Spring/Summer 2021)—a decision made in support of the responsible stewardship of SAA resources. Ever-increasing...
Mar 11, 2021   Off the Record
Petrina JacksonVeronica Reyes-Escudero As American society reckons with racial injustice, many archivists wonder how they can combat systemic racism in the workplace and the profession. Archives in Context reached out for guidance from Petrina Jackson, director of the Special Collections Research Center, Bird Library, Syracuse University; and Verónica Reyes-Escudero, Katheryne B. Willock head of special collections, University of Arizona Libraries. As chair and incoming chair of the Rare...
Mar 9, 2021   Archives In Context
What made you fall in love with archives? What do you love about your work? During February, we asked SAA members to tell us why they love what they do! Here are some of the responses we received: “It gives me the opportunity to interact with the people who have created such vast and interesting materials in the course of their work. Being given the responsibility to select what is remembered and forgotten gives me an opportunity to intimately learn so much about a person or entity to...
Mar 8, 2021   Archives AWARE!
Archives + Audiences: Michelle S. Koo on the Museum of Vertebrate and Zoology Collections at University of California Berkeley. 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 Early Career Member and Archivist, Kristianna Chanda interviews Michelle Koo, manager of the...
Feb 24, 2021   Archives AWARE!
Alan VelasquezUnit Coordinator, Digital Scholarship & InitiativesTulane University Libraries In this article, Alan Velasquez reveals his creation of short videos promoting the digital holdings of Tulane University Special Collections. Since May of 2020 Tulane University Libraries has been producing a video series, Collection Connection, released on the library’s YouTube channel. This series has been a collaboration between two library departments: Tulane University Special...
Feb 17, 2021   Archives AWARE!
https://toolkit.dobetterlabor.com/ Reviewed by Erin Passehl-Stoddart, University of Oregon [PDF Full Text] One of the most pressing issues raised within libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) in the last few years is ethical labor practices for contingent workers, including term-limited, grant-funded, and unpaid positions. One website that weaves together materials that explore issues and outcomes on LAM’s contingent labor is the Collective Responsibility Labor Advocacy Toolkit.[1] This...
Feb 15, 2021   AA Reviews
https://syrianarchive.org Reviewed by Laila Hussein Moustafa, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [PDF Full Text] In 2011, a group of Syrian citizens took to the streets calling on the Syrian government for democratic reforms. This was the beginning of a civil war that has lasted for almost ten years. Originally a regional war, today it is an international war.[1] The war has taken the lives of over half a million Syrians; an additional 5.6 million are refugees and 6.2 million are...
Feb 3, 2021   AA Reviews