"A Finding Aid To My Soul" Storytelling Event Now Available to Watch

If you did not get to attend the fourth annual "A Finding Aid To My Soul" on October 6, 2021, now's your chance to get acquainted with five amazing storytellers who share the ways in which their archives work intersects with their real lives. Sponsored by SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness and introduced by past chair Chris Burns, this virtual storytelling event was held in celebration of American Archives Month. Returning to host the event for the third year in a row was the talented Micaela Blei.

"I have made no secret to SAA or to anyone else who's not an archivist that archivists are my favorite storytellers—they just are," admitted Blei, an award-winning storyteller and educator, who was formerly with The Moth and Risk.

Enjoy the unique, moving, and humorous experiences shared by these first-time storytellers:

  • Hannah Palin, "Artists and Archivists: A Daughter's Tale" 
  • kYmberly Keeton, "Reflections on a Word, Realization of a Life"
  • April Anderson-Zorn, "Archival Amber"
  • Tricia Campbell Bailey, "'Nun of This': Annals of Forbidden Love"
  • Sasha Griffin, "Peace in the Process: Tracing My Roots"

The storytellers were selected by Blei and COPA members from a pool of nearly thirty story pitches. "I want to thank everyone who pitched a story," added Blei. "The pitches were incredible—it was really hard to choose just five." The criteria was that the stories had to be true—something that actually happened to the teller—and that they address the speaker's connection to archives, such as when they decided they wanted to be an archivist, their first encounter with an archives, or how they handled a challenge at work. The stories are each five to seven minutes.

"A special thank you to Hanna, kYmberly, April, Tricia, and Sasha for their vulnerability and their hilariousness and their thoughtfulness," said Blei. "And thank you to the Committee on Public Awareness for creating this event—what an amazing connecting event for archivists all over the country and world."

Watch "A Finding Aid To My Soul" at https://www.pathlms.com/saa/courses/36576.