Blogs

This post was authored by guest contributors Danielle Emerling, Assistant Curator, Congressional and Political Papers Archivist, West Virginia University Libraries, and Jay Wyatt, Director of Programs and Research, Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education.   Introduction Congressional records are held in repositories around the country. Here, records from three repositories document the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 1. Petition for Cloture Motion, May, 21, 1965, “...
Apr 18, 2018   Archives AWARE!
Guest post by Samantha Winn (Virginia Tech), member of SAA’s Committee on Public Policy (COPP): In 2018, the Society of American Archivists (SAA), Council of State Archivists (CoSA), and National Association of Government Archives & Records Administrators (NAGARA) will meet together in Washington, DC. This gathering represents a unique advocacy opportunity for archives and records workers. To learn more about advocating for archives on Capitol Hill, the Committee on Public Policy...
Apr 16, 2018   Off the Record
The There’s an Archivist for That! series features examples of archivists working in places you might not expect. COPA member Anna Trammell, Archival Operations and Reference Specialist at the University of Illinois Archives Research Center/Student Life and Culture Archives, brings you an interview with Colleen McFarland Rademaker, Associate Librarian, Special Collections at the Corning Museum of Glass Rakow Research Library. Colleen McFarland Rademaker in her office at the Rakow Research...
Apr 11, 2018   Archives AWARE!
David Grann, author, Lost City of Z 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. In this Archives + Audiences entry, we bring you an interview with David Grann, author of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI (Doubleday, 2017), on the centrality of...
Apr 4, 2018   Archives AWARE!
This year we’re expanding the scope of The American Archivist Reviews Portal to include reviews of archives and archivists in movies, television, cartoons, comic books, video games, and other materials in popular culture with a guest series on archives and popular culture written by Samantha Cross. If you have any ideas for pop culture reviews, or if you’re interested in writing one, please contact the Reviews Portal Coordinator. Samantha Cross is a geek and scholar, so luckily she...
Apr 2, 2018   AA Reviews
This post was authored by guest contributor Anna Trammell, Archival Operations and Reference Specialist at the University of Illinois Archives Research Center/Student Life and Culture Archives, and current member of SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness (COPA). I’m at the airport waiting to board a plane when a fellow traveler strikes up a conversation. After we’ve commiserated about the shortcomings of the airlines and swapped details on destinations and reason for travel, I know what question...
Mar 28, 2018   Archives AWARE!
Tanya Zanish-Belcher: A key competency for any archivist starting out or moving up is the ability to negotiate a fair and equitable salary. Statistics show that accepting a smaller salary than you deserve can cost you thousands over the course of your career, so it is well worth investing the time to develop the skill of negotiating with a potential employer. To that end, Beth Myers, Director of Special Collections at Smith College, agreed to write a guest post focusing on this issue. Beth and...
Mar 27, 2018   Off the Record
Project: Collections and Facility Assessment and Planning “The Price We Paid: An Anthology of the Desegregation of Mississippi State College for Women” was created in 2016 as part of the Those Who Dared event series commemorating the 50th anniversary of desegregation. This project is the product of a significant collaboration between the MUW Archives and the History, Political Science, and Geography Department at MUW. Granting Agency: Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)...
Mar 15, 2018   Archives AWARE!
Solve the puzzles and celebrate your victory! Stay locked in and seethe (you were this close)! If you’ve ever tried your luck at an escape room, you know the thrill of working to make sense of clues that will let you unlock the door and make your escape. But the one thing that might have made your escape experience even better? Archives! What if you could bring this special thrill to your archives’ patrons,  while introducing them to your collections and resources?  How would you go...
Mar 8, 2018   Archives AWARE!
One final comment on the ICA meeting in Mexico City. I had the opportunity to hear Trudy Huskamp Peterson, SAA past president and former Acting Archivist of the United States, speak about the work of swisspeace. Trudy is chair of ICA’s Human Rights Working Group and also served as archivist of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She has worked with numerous governments, groups, and organizations on archives issues and was the advisor to the National Police Historical Archive of...
Mar 7, 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 the second 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...
Mar 1, 2018   Archives AWARE!
While this draft of the Guiding Principles for Safe Havens for Archives at Risk has been shared previously, the final deadline for public comments is coming up. Please review and share your thoughts by February 28: http://archivesproject.swisspeace.ch/news/current-singleview/article/draft-guiding-principles-for-safe-havens-for-archives-at-risk/ The draft Guiding Principles are a set of principles providing guidance on archival and ethical principles to be taken into account when planning the...
Feb 26, 2018   Off the Record
This is the third post in our new There’s an Archivist for That! series, which will feature 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 Teresa Hedgpeth, archivist and historical steward for the Crawford Family U.S. Olympic Archives. Teresa Hedgpeth (photograph courtesy of U.S. Olympic committee). Teresa Hedgpeth was named as Archivist and...
Feb 13, 2018   Archives AWARE!
Gerry Canavan This post is the first in our new Archives + Audiences series, which will share perspectives from archival audiences – including scholars, journalists, filmmakers, artists, the general public, and more – for whom archives have been an important part of their life and work.  For this inaugural post, ArchivesAWARE! brings you an interview with Gerry Canavan, Assistant Professor of English at Marquette University, on his work with the Octavia E. Butler Collection at the...
Feb 8, 2018   Archives AWARE!
I recently attended the International Council on Archives annual meeting in Mexico City, held jointly with the Asociación Latinoamericana de Archivos. The conference sessions were interesting (for the most part, conducted in English, Spanish, and French with translation), and Mexico City was a fascinating hubbub of 22 million people and their cars. The conference itself was held at Unidad de Congresos, the Centro Medico Nacional Siglo XXI and the theme was Archives, Citizenship, and...
Feb 5, 2018   Off the Record
2018 Program Committee Update: What Happens During the January Meeting? Following our meeting earlier this month—and building on the ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2018 theme of “Promoting Transparency,” the Program Committee is happy to share more information on our session selection process. Meg Tuomala, SAA Program Committee Co-chair Purpose and Process Every year in early January the program committee meets at the SAA offices in Chicago. This meeting is a three-day, in-person meeting where we make...
Jan 30, 2018   Off the Record
This post was authored by guest contributor Vince Lee, Archivist at the University of Houston, and current member of SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness (COPA). As archivists and information professionals we read a lot. Whether in school or coming up within the ranks, we read publications to learn and to keep abreast of what our colleagues are doing within the field. Through study groups, discussion groups, or on our own, we’ve run across certain books that have deeply affected us within...
Jan 30, 2018   Archives AWARE!
This Guest Post is authored by Chair Matt Gorzalski and Vice-Chair Michelle Sweetser of the SAA Membership Committee: The SAA Membership Committee recently surveyed the society’s membership to gain insight into the condition of professional development support provided by employers.  The survey was a continuation of the Committee’s efforts to learn more about SAA’s membership.  It follows the Barriers to Participation survey conducted between February and March 2017, which highlighted lack of...
Jan 16, 2018   Off the Record
This post was authored by COPA Chair Chris Burns, Manuscripts Curator and University Archivist at the University of Vermont. This is the second in a series of posts about the use of video as an archival awareness tool. Feel free to contact the editors of this blog at archivesaware@archivists.org if you have a video or topic you would like to see covered, or if you would like to contribute to this series. In 2016, we kicked off a new series designed to focus on the use of video in archival...
Jan 12, 2018   Archives AWARE!
Meg Phillips is the External Affairs Liaison for the National Archives and Records Administration and recently attended the ICA Meeting in Mexico City. This is a shortened version of the report she provided for her NARA colleagues: The International Council on Archives held a joint meeting with the Association of Latin American Archivists (ALA) in Mexico City from November 27 to 29.  I attended for NARA.  I sit on the ICA’s Programme Commission (PCOM), support the ICA New Professionals...
Jan 8, 2018   Off the Record
Project: The Cybernetics Thought Collective: A History of Science and Technology Portal Project Granting Agency: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Grant Program:  Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Institutions: University of Illinois Archives, British Library, American Philosophical Society, and MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections State: Illinois Congressional District: 13th Illinois Congressional District Grant Period: May 2017-2018 Award Amount: $49, 973...
Jan 3, 2018   Archives AWARE!
Dear all, here is a recent letter sent to USA Today by ALA President Jim Neal in response to libraries and archives being listed as a dying “industry.” As we enter 2018, please be reminded we are needed more than ever—to appraise, select, curate, and share our resources with those who need them. Happy New Year! Tanya Tanya Zanish-Belcher President, Society of American Archivists
Dec 31, 2017   Off the Record