2002 Annual Report (UW-Madison Student Chapter)

2002-2003 Student Members:
Jonathan Nelson
Keri Johnson
Heather Olson
Pamela O'Donnell
Christy Dent
Melissa Janz
Anna Uremovich
Susan Davis
Mark Berner
Lara Michels
Anna Dahlstein
Anna Uremovich, Coordinators
Ian Stade, Coordinators

Rick Pifer, Faculty Liaison
Peter Gottlieb, Faculty Liaison


The 2001-2002 academic year will be remembered as both rewarding and challenging by the elected officers of the UW-Madison chapter of the Society of American Archivists. While continuing many established events and traditions, the student chapter also attempted to broaden its horizons through the implementation of a lecture series, the sponsorship of a School of Library and Information Studies Colloquium and a workshop in résumé-writing. Some of these opportunities were embraced by student members; others, however, met with less spectacular results. The following narrative summary of the year's events will attempt to describe the SAA-SC highlights of 2001-2002.

September 10, 2001
Election of Pamela O'Donnell as Chapter Coordinator and Amy Rommel as Co-Coordinator at the first meeting of SAA-SC.

October 6, 2001
Date of the annual Pot Luck hosted by Rick Pifer of the Wisconsin Historical Society. In addition to good food and convivial conversation, the dozen students who gathered had the opportunity to quiz Rick about the archive profession, job-hunting, and career expectations.

October 22, 2001
Seven members of SAA-SC joined Rick Pifer and SLIS staff member, Barbara Arnold, for a résumé-writing workshop in the SLIS Commons. Three volunteers had their efforts critiqued by Barbara who emphasized the importance of active verbs and listing specific accomplishments. Rick noted that job seekers do well to neither over-state, nor under-state, their experience and/or accomplishments.

October 24, 2001
As part of its celebration of "Archives Week," the SAA-SC arranged a tour of the Wisconsin Historical Society led by Rick Pifer and student members working in various departments. Christy Dent provided background information on several Conservation Dept. projects and demonstrated some of the work done in restoring and housing specific artifacts. Sarah Roberts explained the duties of the State Records Dept., describing some of her responsibilities and the types of documents normally encountered. Heather Olson led the portion of the tour concerning the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theatre Research. She demonstrated how the film viewing stations operated and provided examples of some of the supplemental material collected by WCFTR. Rick Pifer expanded upon this information with a tour of the Society's film vaults. Unfortunately, only two chapter members were able to take advantage of this educational and entertaining opportunity.

October 26, 2001
Archives Week concluded with an invitation to spend Happy Hour in the company of fellow archives students at the Rathskellar in the Memorial Union. Four students and a spouse joined in the festivities.

November 5-6, 2001
A "Celebration of Sweets," the SAA-SC's annual fundraising event was held in the SLIS Commons. Fifteen archives students donated baked goods that were then made available for a 75-cent donation. Volunteers also manned the table throughout the day, restocking as needed and cleaning up at the end of each day. The event was very successful, raising $91.02 for the organization's travel fund.

November 26, 2001
The newly established SAA-SC Lecture Series began with a presentation entitled, "An Adventure in Cataloging Photographs," by David Benjamin, an archivist at the Wisconsin Historical Society. Ten people, including three student members of SAA, joined David to hear about his experience cataloging the Society's backlog of visual materials, an effort made possible under the auspices of a grant funded by the NHPRC. SAA-SC provided refreshments afterward.

January 27, 2002
Four members of SAA-SC -- Lisa Johnson, Jonathan Nelson, Pamela O'Donnell, and Amy Rommel -- faced off against student members of ALA and Friends of SLIS for the right to claim the title of "Trivial Pursuit Champion." After the frustrating inability of SAA to land in the center square for a chance at the winning question, ALA came from behind to take the first game. The tide quickly turned however, with SAA-SC claiming decisive victory in the second game.

January 30, 2002
Lara Michels of SAA-SC provided the introduction for a SLIS Colloquium entitled "On Wisconsin" given by the staff of the UW-Archives.

February 12, 2002
SAA-SC members were encouraged to attend a brown-bag Colloquium featuring a candidate presentation by Peter Gottlieb, State Archivist. Mr. Gottlieb took the opportunity to discuss his vision for the future of archives education and research at SLIS.

March 2, 2002
Tour to Milwaukee archives SNOWED OUT. The eleven people who registered for the event were notified of the cancellation on Friday, March 1, (after the dire weather predictions) and the tour was rescheduled for the following month.

April 6, 2002
Six students, four of whom were members of SAA-SC, took advantage of the lovely spring weather for a trip to Milwaukee. First on the itinerary was a tour of the UW-Milwaukee Archives and Area Research Center hosted by Tim Erickson. Mr. Erickson met with students in the Golda Meir Library and gave them an in-depth tour of the facility's reading room, offices, storage area, etc. After providing refreshments in an adjacent conference room, he sat down with tour attendees for a candid discussion about archival education. He gave details about the program at UW-Milwaukee, particularly noting their success in placing students in area corporate archives. After lunch at an Italian pizzeria recommended by Mr. Erickson, the students met with Matt Blessing, archivist for Marquette University. Participants were again given a brief tour of the reading room and a description of the planned expansion currently under construction. Mr. Blessing gave a short presentation on some of the archive's most notable holdings, particularly the manuscripts for J. R. R. Tolkein's masterpiece, Lord of the Rings.

April 8, 2002
Final meeting of the SAA-SC for the 2001-2002 academic year. Nominations were held for the position of Chapter Coordinator and Amy Rommel, the members' unanimous choice, accepted the responsibility for 2002-2003.

April 12, 2002
Kathy Borkowski and Sally Jacobs of The Pleasant Company in Middleton, Wis., gave an informal presentation to those in attendance (David Benjamin, Rick Pifer, and Pamela O'Donnell) on the role and use of archives in their work with the American Girl series.

April 20, 2002
SAA-SC tour to Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. Students met with "lone arranger" and SLIS alumnus Rachel Vagts. Students became acquainted how a single archivist manages a small college archives and were given tours of the reading room, processing area and stacks. The tour ended with an informal question and answer lunch with Rachel Vagts.

May 17, 2002
Ten archives students met for a final Happy Hour celebration at the Memorial Union terrace. The participants included: David Benjamin, Anna Dahlstein, Christy Dent, Maureen Drennan, Keri Johnson, Pamela O'Donnell, Heather Olson, Sarah Roberts, Amy Rommel, and Elizabeth Stephan.