Blogs

What About Denver? Or Minneapolis? Discussion of SAA Annual Meeting sites is cyclical and generally heats up in the spring, just as we begin registration for the upcoming conference. Members begin thinking about whether they’ll attend this year—and, inevitably, where they’d rather be going. In a recent Twitter exchange, tweeters calculated the number of times the Annual Meeting has been held in each region of the country, commented about a return to the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel, and...
Jun 18, 2018   Off the Record
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. Anna Shternshis. Photograph by Roman Boldyrev. In this Archives + Audiences entry, we bring you an interview with Anna Shternshis, Associate Professor of Yiddish and Diaspora Studies at the University of Toronto, on her experience...
Jun 14, 2018   Archives AWARE!
This is the fifth post in our new There’s an Archivist for That! series, which features 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 Steve Hausfeld, manager of the Nationwide Library and History & Archives Center. Photograph of Steve Hausfeld (courtesy Nationwide History & Archives Center). Steve Hausfeld is Manager of the Nationwide...
Jun 7, 2018   Archives AWARE!
At our most recent SAA Council meeting, we discussed potential changes for participating in the Directory of Archives Consultants.  In response to feedback received from their members, the Independent Archivists Section recommended that SAA reconsider the current pricing structure of the Archival Consultants Directory. The section leaders believe that reduced pricing would stimulate greater participation by section members and result in a more robust resource for those seeking a consultant. The...
Jun 4, 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 is the third 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...
May 16, 2018   Archives AWARE!
Last fall, after the white supremacist march in Charlottesville, I wrote a post concerning memorials and monuments of oppression and how we, as archivists, could help communities grappling with these difficult issues. I also promised that the SAA Council’s Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion would begin working on a toolkit for archivists that would provide these kinds of resources for archivists working with their communities. This work is continuing, and if you have any resources you...
May 7, 2018   Off the Record
Guest Post: Barbara Teague, Executive Director of the Council of State Archivists (CoSA): In my new position as Executive Director, I joined the Society of American Archivists delegation (Executive Director Nancy Beaumont, Committee on Public Policy chair Dennis Riley, and COPP members Kathleen Roe and Samantha Winn) for the National Humanities Alliance Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day, March 11-13 in Washington DC.  NHA’s Advocacy Day continues to grow, attracting more attendees each year to...
May 3, 2018   Off the Record
  This post was authored by guest contributor Jeannine Roe, Electronic Records Specialist, Indiana Archives and Records Administration and Communications Committee Member, Society of Indiana Archivists.   For Preservation Week 2018, the Society of Indiana Archivists (SIA) Communications Committee members tested the boundaries of archival humor and good taste with the #WeRateArchives initiative. The committee is made up of six professionals from different institutions around the state...
May 2, 2018   Archives AWARE!
The Task Force on Research/Data and Evaluation will present its preliminary findings to the SAA Council at its upcoming May meeting. Some of their initial findings include the following needs: standardized tools for gathering and analyzing data; a centralized repository of data, tools, and other authoritative aids; training on gathering, analyzing, interpreting, and using data; up-to-date, basic facts and figures about archives and archivists; and a clearinghouse to support archival surveys and...
Apr 23, 2018   Off the Record
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!