Blogs

This is a guest post from Andrew Harman, Archivist at the Center for American War Letters Archives at Chapman University. Archives have two main functions: to preserve and to make available materials of historical value.  This is the purpose of an archives and its archivist – the “why” of what we do.  Each are equally important foundations of the profession as well as functions of individual archivists’ daily work. Without preserving materials, there is nothing to make...
Apr 18, 2019   Archives AWARE!
This is the latest entry in our series Keeping ArchivesAWARE: News and Highlights, a recurring roundup of some of the latest archives-related news stories, features, commentaries, announcements, and projects that have caught our eye, with links to the original sources. On Al Jazeera, Patrick Gathara argues that the path to colonial reckoning in Africa lies in the return of colonial archives – the “thousands of official records and documents that trace the history of subjugation,...
Apr 11, 2019   Archives AWARE!
This is the latest post in our There’s an Archivist for That! series, which features examples of archivists working in places you might not expect.  In this post, COPA member Vince Lee brings you an interview with Lilly Carrel, Archivist at the Menil Archives, part of the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. Archivist Lilly Carrel outside of the Menil Archives. Courtesy of The Menil Collection, Houston. Photo: Anthony Flores. VL: How did you get your gig? LC: I joined the Menil Archives in July...
Apr 4, 2019   Archives AWARE!
In January 2019, the Society of American Archivists launched Season 1 of its new podcast, Archives In Context.  Created primarily by members of SAA’s Publications Board and American Archivist Editorial Board, Archives In Context offers “in-depth and dynamic conversations about archives and the people behind them.”  Naturally, we on SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness were very excited for the release of this podcast — as it dovetails quite nicely with our goal of...
Mar 28, 2019   Archives AWARE!
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, ArchivesAWARE brings you an interview with Washington Post journalist Dan Lamothe on his work on WaPo‘s  Letters from War, a podcast about the World War II combat experiences of the Eyde brothers of Rockford, Illinois.  The...
Mar 20, 2019   Archives AWARE!
This is the latest post in our new series Archival Innovators, which aims to raise awareness of the individuals, institutions, and collaborations that are helping to boldly chart the future of the the archives profession and set new precedents for the role of the archivist in society. Valerie Metzler In this installation of Archival Innovators, SAA Committee on Public Awareness (COPA) member Sami Norling interviews Valerie A. Metzler, independent Archivist/Historian. On hearing from Valerie...
Mar 14, 2019   Archives AWARE!
Since September 2018, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva of The Kitchen Sisters have featured archivists in their series The Keepers. In December, Committee on Public Awareness chair Caryn Radick spoke with Davia Nelson. This post shares the final Part 3 of that conversation (see Part 1 here and Part 2 here). Remarks have been edited for length and clarity from a transcript of the original telephone interview. CR: Recently, archivists have started doing podcasts. What advice would you give them about...
Mar 7, 2019   Archives AWARE!
by Michelle Light, SAA Vice President / President-Elect Dear Members of the Society of American Archivists, Recently I accepted an incredible opportunity to serve as the Director of the Special Collections Directorate at the Library of Congress beginning May 28, 2019. I’ll lead seven organizational units responsible for the Library’s unparalleled collections of unique or rare, unpublished and published items: the Geography and Map Division, Manuscript Division, Music Division, Prints and...
Mar 4, 2019   Off the Record
Since September 2018, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva of The Kitchen Sisters have featured archivists in their series The Keepers. In December, Committee on Public Awareness chair Caryn Radick spoke with Davia Nelson. This post shares Part 2 of that conversation (see Part 1 here, final Part 3 forthcoming). Remarks have been edited for length and clarity from a transcript of the original telephone interview. CR: Could you describe the research process when you put together an episode of The Keepers...
Feb 27, 2019   Archives AWARE!
Since September 2018, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva of The Kitchen Sisters have featured archivists in their series The Keepers. In December, Committee on Public Awareness chair Caryn Radick spoke with Davia Nelson. This post shares Part 1 of that conversation, which will be published in three parts. Remarks have been edited for length and clarity from a transcript of the original telephone interview. The Kitchen Sisters. Photo by Patrick Bolger CR: Why did you decide to do a series featuring...
Feb 21, 2019   Archives AWARE!
This is the latest 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 Rich Schmidt, Director of Archives and Resource Sharing at the Nicholson Library/Oregon Wine History Archive at Linfield College. Rich Schmidt, Linfield College director of archives and resource sharing,...
Feb 14, 2019   Archives AWARE!
The news cycle moves at such a rapid pace these days that it can be easy to miss the media’s increasing coverage of archives and archivists.  That’s why we’re launching our new series Keeping ArchivesAWARE: News and Highlights, a recurring roundup summarizing the latest archives-related news stories, features, commentaries, announcements, and projects that have caught our eye, with links to the original sources.  Such media coverage can be an invaluable tool with which to communicate the power...
Feb 6, 2019   Archives AWARE!
This is the latest post in our series Responses and Retrospectives, which features archivists’ personal responses and perspectives concerning current or historical events/subjects with significant implications for the archives profession. In January, Netflix launched its new reality show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, based on the bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. The show is just the most recent iteration of Marie Kondo...
Jan 30, 2019   Archives AWARE!
Geof Huth and Karen Trivette are the husband and wife team behind An Archivist’s Tale, a podcast featuring “archivists in conversation with archivists, discussing their work and passions and how they care for the historical record and present the storied past.” Geof and Karen have had a remarkably productive year since releasing their first episode on February 10, 2018, with 47 episodes available as of this writing and more on the way. In this post, COPA member Chris Burns...
Jan 16, 2019   Archives AWARE!
Here is another piece in our 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 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...
Dec 19, 2018   AA Reviews