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New England Archivists
Spring Conference and
40th Anniversary Celebration
College of the Holy Cross
March 21-23, 2013



StoryCorps is coming to NEA! With generous funding from MassHumanities, NEA is partnering with the Worcester community to invite StoryCorps to collect the oral histories of Worcester's vibrant and diverse immigrant community. As part of this project, NEA will offer a free community oral history workshop given by the Worcester Women's Oral History Project. StoryCorps will be on site on Saturday to capture our stories. Stay tuned for more information about this fantastic project.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

SAA Class

     Digital Forensics for Archivists #1365

Are you starting to receive disks as parts of collections or have you discovered disks in boxes of paper records? Caring for the records stored on removable storage media (e.g. floppy disks, hard drives, thumb drives, memory sticks, CDs) requires archivists to extract whatever useful information resides on the medium, while avoiding the accidental alteration of data or metadata. In this course, you'll learn how to apply existing digital forensics methods and tools in order to recover, preserve and ultimately provide access to born-digital records. We'll explore the layers of hardware and software that allow bitstreams on digital media to be read as files, the roles and relationships of these layers and tools and techniques for ensuring the completeness and evidential value of data. We'll apply digital forensics tools and methods to test data, in order to illustrate how and why they are used.

9:00 am to 5:00 pm


     Photographic Fitness: Basic Approaches toward Administering Photographic Material in Archival Collections
This workshop provides fundamental information and strategies for archivists, curators, librarians, records managers, and other professionals managing and caring for photographic materials in archival collections. Participants should have familiarity with basic archival practice.

     Basic Archives
Institutions such as archives, libraries, museums and town offices gather, preserve, and interpret historical records and papers of enduring value. Basic Archives gives an overview of the core functions and responsibilities of an archivist covering such topics acquisitions, appraisal, arrangement and description, preservation and outreach. The workshop is not intended to supplement graduate programs or as preparation for taking the ACA examination.

1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

NEA Board Meeting: Faculty room, Dinand Library

5:15 pm to 7:00 pm

Opening Reception

Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery Join us for a wine and cheese reception at the Cantor Art Gallery. Artist Anne Marie Kennedy will give a gallery talk at 5:15 p.m.

Friday, March 22, 2013

8:00 am to 9:00 pm


9:15 am to 10:45 am


Concurrent Sessions

NEA at 40: Reminiscence on a Profession
Session Participants:
  • Moderator: Elizabeth Slomba, University of New Hampshire
  • Connell Gallagher, Professor Emeritus, University of Vermont
  • Eva Moseley, formerly of Schlesinger Library, Harvard University
  • Nora Murphy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Nova Seals, Connecticut College
  • Amanda Strauss, Schlesinger Library, Harvard University
Brief Description:

2013 marks the 40th Anniversary of New England Archivists. During the past 40 years, the concept of archives has changed dramatically - what we collect and how. Archivist's skills have shifted to incorporate emerging trends in technology. The profession as always remains exciting, relevant, and intellectually challenging. Throughout these 40 years of change, NEA has met formally at 80 conferences and has offered many opportunities both professionally and socially throughout New England. Join us for a lively and intergenerational discussion about NEA, the state of archives as a profession, and our future as archivists.

Emergency Managers and Cultural Heritage Stewards: Collaborating to Protect Our Treasures
Program Committee Coordinator: Christina Zamon
Session Participants:
  • Moderator: Gwenn Stearn, RI State Archivist
  • Donna Longo DiMichele, RI Office of Library and Information Service
  • James Baker, Planning Coordinator, RI Emergency Management Agency
  • Joseph Arsenault, EMA Director, Town of Richmond, RI, and Program Coordinator, Emergency Disaster Management Program, Community College of RI
Brief Description:

Rhode Island's two Protecting the Past - RI projects, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services' Connecting to Collections program, have enjoyed tremendous statewide support from the emergency management community. The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency supports the current project with participation on the Steering Committee, the development of an Emergency Support Function #11 Annex for cultural heritage organizations, and a data about cultural heritage organizations on the state's WebEOC (Emergency Operations Center). Local emergency managers have participated in regional meetings with cultural heritage stewards to engage in discussions about how to work together in disaster planning and response. Panelists will talk about how these collaborations influence the outlook on disaster preparedness in Rhode Island for cultural heritage stewards and emergency managers.

Throwing A "Hail Mary": The Maryland Football Film Project Program Committee Coordinator: Alison Harris
Session Participants:
  • Jason Speck, Assistant University Archivist, University of Maryland
  • Anne Turkos, University Archivist, University of Maryland
  • John Walko, Media Archive Manager, Scene Savers
Brief Description:

Since 2008 the University of Maryland Archives worked diligently with several groups and individuals, both on-and off-campus, to digitize and make accessible over 1,000 reels of historic football film that were in an advanced state of chemical deterioration. During this process the Archives raised over $100,000 and almost all of the film has been cleaned, repaired, digitized, and placed online where anyone in the world can view it for free. The University Archives staff will discuss the challenges behind undertaking such a project, including outreach, fundraising and access issues. John Walko of Scene Savers will discuss the project from the vendor's point of view, outlining the technical challenges for a project of this magnitude.

Experimental Relations: Using Samuel Johnson to Learn EAC-CPF Program Committee Coordinator: Ashley Nary
Session Participants:
  • Ellen Doon, Head of the Manuscript Unit, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University
  • Susan Pyzynski, Associate Librarian of Houghton Library For Technical Services, Harvard University
  • Michael Rush, Accessioning Archivist, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University
  • Melanie Wisner, Accessioning Archivist, Houghton Library, Harvard University
Brief Description:

Archivists from the Houghton and Beinecke Libraries will report on a joint project to create Encoded Archival Context - Corporate bodies, Persons and Families (EAC-CPF) records for lexicographer Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) and members of his circle. They will summarize their collaboration on best practices for content-rich records; assess the challenges of working with EAC-CPF; and discuss the potential for archival authority records. As an exercise, and in honor of NEA's 40th anniversary, they will create an EAC-CPF record for New England Archivists with help from session participants.

11:00 am to 12:30pm


Plenary: DNA and the Future of Archival Storage

Dr. George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, is a proponent of archival storage using DNA, and author of Regenesis - the first book to be encoded into DNA. In this talk, Dr. Church will describe the process of using DNA for storing data and share new research on using organic matter to record data. An open discussion on the potential use and hazards of these methods will follow.

12:45 pm to 2:00 pm

Lunch and Business Meeting

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Concurrent Events

Roundtable Shopping

Come shop the Roundtables! Eight member-created Roundtables were approved at the January Board meeting from a Crafters table to a Academic Archivists table to one for Moving Image Archivists. Chat with the members of the existing Roundtables and sign up as a member. You can also pick up information on how to start your own Roundtable.

40-button.jpg Web Archiving: Birds of a Feather
Session led by Tessa Fallon, Outreach and Education Consultant for the Internet Archive. From 2009-2012, Ms. Fallon was a Web Collection Curator at Columbia University Libraries.

What do we talk about when we talk about web archiving? Find out at the Web Archiving Birds of a Feather meeting! After a brief introduction to web archiving basics, there will be an open discussion for those interested in web archiving and/or currently involved in web archiving projects or programs. Please bring your questions, comments, and web archiving quandaries for discussion.

The session leader has asked that interested participants complete a brief informational survey before the session so she will have a better idea of topics to cover. If you have any questions, please contact Tessa Fallon.

40-button.jpg Speed Networking

Come meet some fellow archivists at this fun, low-key networking event structured around the "speed-dating" concept. Whether you're an NEA veteran or newbie, an introvert or extrovert, Speed Networking offers a chance to make some new connections, spark new ideas, and extend your professional network at the Spring meeting. Don't forget your business cards!

3:00 pm to 5:00 pm


Oxford Style Debate

Resolution: This House believes archivists should attempt to collect everything.
  • Megan Sniffin-Marinoff - Moderator
  • Tom Rosko - Vice Moderator
  • Peter Carini - in opposition
  • Greg Colati - in opposition
  • Jamie Roth - in proposition
  • Kathy Wisser - in proposition
  • Colin Lukens - timekeeper

This debate will attempt, as closely as possible, to replicate the venerable formal Thursday debates that play out at the Oxford Union in Oxford, England. Our debate will contain the same serious argumentation, wit, and whimsy as the establishment we intend to imitate, albeit with a more casual rhetoric and a largely sober audience. The resolution presented will be argued by the speakers in the affirmative and negative with the assistance of a moderator, who will also call on you as members of the House to participate through providing points of information and points of order. At the conclusion of debate, the members of the House will vote; the final motion will be announced at the reception to follow.

5:00 pm to 7:00 pm


40th Anniversary Reception

Sponsored by University Products

Join us for drinks and hors d'oeuvres to celebrate this major milestone in NEA's history!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

8:00 am to 9:00 am


8:00 am to 9:15 am

Resume Review

Calling all members who are in search of a better resume! Experienced archivists will be available to offer one-on-one consultations about your resume content and design. This service is available for anyone who would like expert feedback on their resume, regardless of job status or experience in the profession. First come, first served.

9:15 am to 10:45 am

Keynote Address: Digital Humanities and Archives

Dr. Tom Scheinfeldt is the Director-at-Large of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and Research Assistant Professor of History in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University. Dr. Scheinfeldt's keynote address will focus on the emerging trend of digital humanities and archives.

11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions

40-button.jpg NEA, Diversity, and 21st Century colLABboration in Action
Brief Description:

NEA, Diversity, and 21st Century colLABboration in Action Brief Description: NEA's Strategic and Action Plans include organizational goals for diversity. Come and join members of the NEA Diversity Task Force as we break into small groups and explore the following questions: "What lessons from collaborative projects or activities in your day-to-day life can be brought to our efforts to meet NEA's diversity resolutions as charged in these plans? What are the benefits of a diverse and inclusive professional organization in the day-to-day experiences of its members? How can NEA members and leadership capitalize on such benefits?" Let's talk about the possibilities and challenges of collaboration around issues of diversity and inclusion in NEA, in our region, and the information sciences profession, overall. This session will use the World Café method to create an interactive setting for thoughtful dialogue. We will engage in three rounds of timed conversations in our dynamic "lab" and conclude with your observations. It's collaboration--in action! For more information on the World Café method, visit

The Newport Cultural Consortium: Creating a Regional Online Catalog Program Committee Coordinator: Kelli Bogan
Session Participants:
  • Maria Bernier, Assistant Director, Redwood Library & Athenaeum
  • Kristen Costa, Assistant Curator, Newport Restoration Foundation
  • Tara Ecenarro, Curatorial Associate and Registrar, Newport Art Museum
  • Matthew Keagle, Adjunct Curator, Newport Historical Society
  • Miranda Keagle, Collections Manager, Preservation Society of Newport County
  • Whitney Pape, Ezra Stiles Special Collections Librarian, Redwood Library & Athenaeum
  • Stacie Parillo, Registrar/Archivist, Newport Historical Society
Brief Description:

Five cultural institutions located in Newport, RI are creating NewPortal, an online collaborative collections catalog, despite having technologically disparate database systems.

Collaborating on a database to present a holistic view of the city's rich history may seem like a straightforward project in a small city; however institutional histories, personalities, and conflicting collecting policies have prevented such progress in the past. Without support of a large sponsoring institution or university, how do five small institutions without IT assistance begin a technological project? How does each institution maintain their brand while integrating with others? The aim of this project is to create an implementable model for small institutions with similar obstacles. This session will comprise of a short panel discussion of the processes, pitfalls, and challenges of collaboration for technologically and often financially challenged institutions struggling to maintain a presence in the digital age, ending with an open dialogue with the audience.

"Writing Outside the Lines": Partnerships in the Academic Environment Program Committee Coordinator: Karen Adler Abramson
Session Participants:
  • Arabeth Balasko, Graduate Student in M.A. History Archives Track, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Leslie Fields, Head of Archives and Special Collections, Mount Holyoke College
  • Stefanie Maclin, Archivist/Librarian, Bunker Hill Community College
Brief Description:

This session will explore creative collaborations within college and university environments. Learn how colleagues from a broad range of academic settings have partnered with others within their larger institutions to promote the archives, and to celebrate landmark institutional anniversaries. You'll hear from student interns who participated in these collaborations, as well as about overall strategies that worked, and others that proved challenging.

Archives & Community Collaborations: the TIARA / UMass Boston experience Program Committee Coordinator: Amanda Strauss
Session Participants:
  • Janis Duffy, Past President, TIARA and Library Assistant/Archivist, Mass Maritime Academy
  • Dale Freeman, Digital Resources Archivist, University Archives and Special Collections, UMass Boston
  • Joanne Riley, University Archivist, University Archives and Special Collections, UMass Boston
  • Susan Steele, Co-Recording Secretary and Foresters Project Volunteer Coordinator, TIARA; UASC Research Affiliate, UMass Boston
Brief Description:

In 2011 The Irish Ancestral Research Association (TIARA) contacted UMass Boston archivists about donating a large collection that TIARA had acquired from the Catholic Association of Foresters five years previously. The records consisted of 79,000 19th and 20th century life insurance policy applications for predominantly Irish immigrants and their families, 27,000 of which had been carefully processed and indexed by TIARA member volunteers. Negotiating the accession and transfer of the records, and creating an ongoing partnership that respects the priorities of each organization, has been an instructive experience all around. For this session, representatives from TIARA and from UMass Boston will describe their roles and perspectives in forging the collaboration, sharing both the delights and the anxieties of the process. We hope this elicits lively discussion of others' experiences in creating and sustaining archives / community collaborations.

12:45 pm to 1:45 pm


2:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions

40-button.jpg Mentoring Leaders in Libraries and Archives
Session led by Darla White, MA, MLIS, Archivist and Records Manager, Countway Library, Harvard Medical School

Mentoring relationships have long been opportunities to gain trusted insight into our careers, aspirations, and daily lives from those in more experienced positions. Successful mentoring may take a variety of forms, but all require the active participation of individuals to nurture and focus their aspirations towards tangible goals through mindful reciprocal relationship building. As leaders in our communities, we are often responsible for supporting the mentoring efforts of our colleagues while at the same time searching for mentoring resources ourselves. This session aims to provide information and ideas on a new way of thinking about mentoring for individuals in library and archival environments. Modern Mentoring can take place at any age, experience or career level, and across library job functions, by expanding our definition of mentoring relationships and encouraging the individual to seek the mentoring they want. Learn about new types of mentoring dynamics and participate in exercises to build and map individual mentoring networks.

A National Collaboration: Information Management at Federally Funded Research & Technology Centers Program Committee Coordinator: Christina Zamon
Session Participants:
  • Dan Horvath, Senior Archivist, Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute
  • Nora Zaldivar, Archivist, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
  • George Despres, Manager Corporate Records and Archives, The MITRE Corporation
Brief Description:

In 2006, Archivists and Records Managers from Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) across the nation formed a records and archives advisory committee to foster communication and collaboration among their specialized institutions. Now entering their 7th year of partnership, three members will explain the creation of this group, specific collaborations between member institutions, and other collaborations that have furthered institution goals and knowledge, despite government information security limitations.

Performing Artists, Meet Your Archivists: Collaborations Across Dance, Music, and Theatre for Documentation and Preservation Program Committee Coordinator: Amanda Strauss
Session Participants:
  • Elizabeth McGorty - Simmons College
  • Nicole Topich, Project Archivist at the Center for American Political Studies, Harvard University
  • Sofia Becerra-Licha, Archivist, Berklee College of Music - Stan Getz Library
  • Jessica Green, Boston Team, American Theatre Archive Project (ATAP)
  • Eugenia Kim, Webmaster/Archivist, Jeannette Neill Dance Studio, Specialist II, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Brief Description:

In this session, case studies and personal experiences are used to highlight special projects and general strategies for archivists working with performing arts records and archives.

Elizabeth McGorty argues that archives can be strengthened by collaboration with the performing arts, using both the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University and Signature Theatre Company as models. Nicole Topich describes using digitization to document and present the dance cultural heritage of Philadelphia and South Asian American Dance. Finally, Sofia Becerra-Licha, Jessica Green, and Eugenia Kim explain how they draw upon their performing arts backgrounds when collaborating with organizations in the documentation and preservation of performing arts collections.

Attendees should walk away with some strategies for use in their own environments.

LEADS The Way: A Collaborative EAD Project at Simmons Program Committee Coordinator: Peter Rawson
Session Participants:
  • Katherine M. Wisser, Assistant Professor, Simmons College GSLIS
  • Jason Wood, College Archivist & Head of Discovery Services, Simmons College Library
  • Justin Snow, Assistant Archivist, Simmons College Library
  • Brian Shetler, LEADS Project manager, Simmons College GSLIS
  • Aliza Leventhal and Meghann Wollitz, students, Simmons College GSLIS
Brief Description:

The LEADS (Leveraging EAD Skills) project is a collaboration between the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science and the Simmons College Archives that seeks to retrospectively convert analog finding aids to Encoded Archival Description. The project is designed to both implement EAD at a small institution while also providing students from the Archives Concentration at GSLIS an opportunity to enhance their EAD skill set through applied learning. The speakers will discuss the project's pedagogical underpinnings, its impact on the College Archives' collection management and access, the delivery of finding aids through stylesheets and publication considerations, and issues of project management and workflow. Students will discuss their motivations for participation and their experiences in working with the project.

40-button.jpg Protecting Collections from Disasters

  • Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, Preservation Specialist, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and Co-Chair of COSTEP MA
  • Gerry McGonagle, General Manager, BELFOR Property Restoration
  • Charlene Ohlen, Account Manager for Recovery Services, BELFOR Property Restoration

It's 10:00 p.m., Do You Know If Your Collections Are Protected From Disasters? Cultural heritage resources have unfortunately often been ignored or marginalized in major disasters. Several events in the past decade have begun to change this situation, not the least of which are an increased focus by certain vendors on recovering cultural resources and the creation of entities that emphasize risk assessment and mitigation and disaster preparedness and response for the cultural community. This panel discussion will focus on an institution's responsibility in preparing for disasters, their relations with vendors, and external resources that can play a role in assisting cultural institutions before, during, and after a disaster.

2:00 pm to 4:00 pm


Community Oral History Workshop: Learn the Basics

Workshop Instructors
Charlene L. Martin and Maureen Ryan Doyle (Co chairs of the Worcester Women's Oral History Project)
Brief Description:

The nonprofit Worcester Women's Oral History Project will offer a workshop designed to teach beginners how to conduct oral history interviews. Attendees will learn how to ask the right questions, use the proper equipment, and most significantly understand the importance of listening. The workshop will also include a section on preparing interviewers to conduct oral histories of immigrant communities, including offering solutions to the challenge of language barriers and giving guidance for gaining community trust and acceptance. The workshop is free and open to anyone in the community.

Registration for this workshop is separate from registration for the rest of the conference.

3:30 pm to 5:00 pm


Closing Reception with Roundtables

Stop by for coffee and cookies and join your fellow 'tablers whether you're a founding member or you just signed up on Friday! If you're still thinking about joining a table, this is a perfect chance to have more in-depth conversation with those already in place or talk to fellow members about creating something new.