NEA taking the past into the future

Spring 2014 Annual Meeting

March 20-22, 2014
sheraton portsmouth harborside hotel
portsmouth, new hampshire


Spring Meeting Schedule

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Workshop Registration

8:00am – 9:00am
12:30pm – 1:30pm

NEA Portsmouth Community Outreach Project: A Day of Service

9:00am – 4:00pm

Join fellow NEA members on Thursday, March 20th, in a volunteer outreach project to help Portsmouth Public Library preserve and describe one of their unique collections: the Henry Clay Barnabee Collection. Barnabee was a Portsmouth-born actor and singer, and the collection includes scrapbooks, correspondence, images, and assorted ephemera. Volunteers will complete basic description tasks and assist in scanning materials to enable the library to provide greater access to this whimsical collection. Some volunteers may also consult on preservation issues and digitization workflows as well, depending on experience. 
This volunteer outreach initiative follows in the tradition of the StoryCorps project, Why Worcester?, held at last year's 40th anniversary meeting. We plan to continue to engage in exciting ways with the community where we hold our meetings. 
Volunteer shifts will run from 10:00am-12:00pm, 1:30pm-3:30pm, and 3:30pm-5:00pm, and will take place in the beautiful Special Collections Room at the Portsmouth Public Library
The deadline to sign up is MARCH 15, 2014.



Digital Curation Planning and Sustainable Futures (DAS)
co-sponsored with the Society of American Archivists

9:00am – 5:00pm

Dr. Nancy McGovern and Dr. Helen Tibbo

Learn from the experts! In this course you’ll review the concepts, principles, and practices necessary for developing a digital curation program to effectively manage digital content - including archival records - across generations of technology. In addition, this course focuses on the advocacy, preservation planning, and policy development necessary to manage digital content far into the future.

Metrics for Special Collections

9:00am – 1:00pm

Kathryn Hammond Baker and Emily Novak Gustainis, Center for the History of Medicine, Countway  Library, Harvard Medical School
Adrienne Pruitt, John J. Burns Library, Boston College

What is the difference between an output and an outcome? What do granting agencies mean by demonstrating effective change through evaluation? How can we foster and embed a culture of assessment in our repositories, regardless of the types of collections we hold or number of staff? How can we demonstrate the effective use of project staffing and funds? And what kind of data should we be trying to capture anyway?

This half-day workshop is designed to introduce participants to the national metrics conversation: why archivists need to think beyond user statistics; how assessment can improve project management and practice; and the value of metrics not only as a reporting mechanism for management, but as a way to advocate for staff and dynamically change workflow and patron interaction. At the end of this course, you will understand key metrics-related terminology and avenues for evaluation, and discover what tools and models are available to archivists to facilitate data collection.

Note: Attendees are encouraged to bring laptops and project/processing plans to use during the workshop (not required).

Archives 101: Archival Exhibitions
co-sponsored with the New England Museum Association

1:30pm – 5:30pm

Anne Bentley, Curator of Art and Artifacts at the Massachusetts Historical Society,
Harrie Slootbeek, Collections and Exhibits Manager at the USS Constitution Museum 
Stephanie Cyr, Assistant Curator, Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Boston Public Library 

Join NEMA at the NEA conference for the next installment of the popular Archives 101 series: Archival Exhibitions. In this half-day workshop led by presenters in the museum, archival, and exhibition fields, participants will investigate some of the issues involved in exhibiting archival material: why advocate for archival inclusion in exhibitions? How can archivists and collections managers work together on exhibitions, and what can you learn from other departments in your institution? How can you connect with audiences? What are the guidelines for the safe handling and display of material (and when is it ok to say no)?  NEA members will also have the opportunity to learn more about the NEMA Library and Archives Professional Affinity Group.

NEA Board Meeting

1:00pm – 5:00pm

Group Dinner Out

5:00pm – 7:00pm

Spending the night in Portsmouth and not sure where to go and what to do? Gather in the Sheraton lobby at 5:30pm to spend a night out the town with fellow NEA members.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Breakfast with Vendors

8:00am – 9:00am

Meeting Registration

8:00am – 12:00pm

Vendor Showcase

8:00am – 4:00pm

AYA Training & Consulting
The Crowley Company
Gaylord Bros.
Hollinger Metal Edge
Hudson Archival
Northeast Document Conservation Center
Preservation Technologies
Servicestar Document Management
VT Boston

Friday Plenary  |  A Conversation with Ian MacKaye

9:00am – 10:30am

Join Ian MacKaye in a conversation about libraries, archives, documentation, and memory. MacKaye, currently the front man of The Evens and formerly of the influential D.C. punk bands Minor Threat and Fugazi, is the founder of his own music label, Dischord Records, and the mastermind behind the Fugazi Live Series online archive. Come ready to participate in an engaging dialogue about his work or anything else you feel like talking about. Check out this excerpt from a Library of Congress talk he gave last year.

Fugazi Live Series


Jeopardy Qualifier
This is NEA Jeopardy! – Be a Contestant

10:30am – 11:30am

For the Spring 2014 meeting, NEA will host its own version of the famous television game show Jeopardy. In order to participate, NEA members must complete a questionnaire, which will be distributed during the week of the conference and during Friday morning registration. All completed questionnaires must be handed in to the Jeopardy Committee on Friday, March 21 between 10:30 and 11:30 AM in the hotel ballroom.  The questionnaire will test your knowledge of NEA history, collections in local repositories, and the representation of archives and archivists in pop culture!  Participants with top questionnaire scores will be put onto teams to participate in the second, live round of Jeopardy, which will be played on Friday afternoon at 3:30 PM before the reception. The team that succeeds in the final round will win a free registration to NEA’s Fall 2014 Meeting and, of course, will have bragging rights among their colleagues!

Meet the Board

10:30am – 11:30am

Alyssa Pacy, President
Jill Snyder, Vice President/President Elect
Juliana Kuipers, Treasurer
Silvia Mejia, Secretary
Colin Lukens, Joanie Gearin, Erica Boudreau and Tessa Beers, Reps-at-large
Veronica Martzahl, Web Committee Coordinator
Emily Tordo, Registrar
Jim DaMico, Education Committee Chair
Heather Cristiano and Pamela Hopkins, Newsletter Senior Editors
Jessica Sedgwick, Membership Committee
Abigail Cramer, Fall 2014 Program Committee
Camille Torres Hoven, Spring 2015 Program Committee

Are you interested in running for an elected position? Curious about volunteering for NEA, looking to gain additional experience, or connecting with regional archivists?  Join members of New England Archivists' Executive Board for an informal discussion about the workings of NEA, present and future initiatives and programming, and how you can get involved.

Elevator Pitches to Declare Our Superpowers & Share Our Collections

10:30am – 11:30am

Nora Murphy, chair, Archivist for Reference, Outreach, and Instruction, MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections
Elizabeth Caplise, Archivist, National Library of Australia
Elise Dunham, Metadata Production Specialist, Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut
James Roth, Deputy Director, John F. Kennedy Library & Museum
Kari Smith, Digital Archivist,MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections
Jessica Tanny, NEA Communications Committee chair
Mary Richardson, Project Archivist, Yale Divinity Library

Regardless of your size, your institution or your holdings, you’ve had to make a pitch for something or explain something – funding, staffing, space, care of collections, use of collections, national issues, local issues, concerns at the repository or collection level, what you do, and the list goes on. We know how wonderful our collections are and the many benefits archives provide to society but how well do we explain ourselves to others? We talk about the need for elevator speeches, but how many of us have them? How many of us have heard a good one? What makes a good elevator speech? This lightening session is an opportunity to find out what goes into a good elevator speech and to listen to some that have been effective. Attendees will be encouraged to share their speeches. Hopefully, you’ll take away ideas for developing and using your elevator speech.

Student Paper Pitch

10:30am – 11:00am

Caitlin Birch, chair, Archives Assistant, Northeastern University Archives & Special Collections
Renée Elizabeth Neely, MS Candidate ’14, GSLIS - Archive Management Program, Simmons
Katy Sternberger,
Myles Crowley, Administrative Assistant & Reference Associate, Institute Archives and Special Collections, MIT Libraries

Students will present on a variety of topics including archival research from the student’s perspective, how archivists have shaped the public’s collective memory, and the difficulties of processing unique collections.

Neely PowerPoint (PDF)

A Miscellany of Short Talks

11:00am – 11:30 am

Crafty Outreach: Small Button, Big Impact
Leslie Fields, Head of Archives & Special Collections, Mount Holyoke College
Mary Alice Martin, Student Outreach Assistant, Archives & Special Collections, Mount Holyoke College Class of ‘15

Mount Holyoke College Archives & Special Collections has been using a button making machine to support our outreach initiatives over the past year. We have featured the button maker at a variety of events, from study break teas to student exhibit openings to a Founder's Day button blitz, distributing hundreds of Archives-related buttons across campus. Last May it became the focus of our reunion activities, drawing in over two hundred alumnae to make their own class buttons using Archives images. We’ll share how small creative efforts have led to significant gains; the button maker coupled with social media outreach fosters engagement, leading to conversations about the work that we do and donations of new collections.

Agile Archives
Chris Markman,Resource Library Coordinator, Visual & Performing Arts, Clark University

This talk bridges summer internships at ITA Software and the American Antiquarian Society, drawing parallels between Greene and Meissner's "More Product, Less Process" concept and agile software development methodology. Agile methods are a collection of practices that heavily rely on iteration and incremental progress within self-organized teams. Much like MPLP, it allow greater flexibility in planning and faster delivery through rapid response to change.

Lunch on Your Own

11:30am – 12:45pm

Roundtable Meeting  -  Digital Archives

11:30pm – 12:45pm

Interested in learning more about the Digital Archives Roundtable or looking for information on a different roundtable? Check out our full list of roundtables here.

Roundtable Meeting  -  Moving Image & Recorded Sound (MIRS)

11:30am – 12:45pm

Interested in learning more about MIRS or looking for information on a different roundtable? Check out our full list of roundtables here.

Resume Review Session

11:45am – 12:45pm

Roundtable Meeting - REPS

12:00pm – 12:45pm

Interested in learning more about REPS or looking for information on a different roundtable? Check out our full list of roundtables here.



Free Open Source Tools

1:00pm – 2:30pm

Chris Lacinak, chair, AVPreserve
Yvonne Ng, Archivist, WITNESS
Jane Mandelbaum, IT Project Manager at Library of Congress

Chris Lacinak of AVPreserve will present on four recently published free, open source tools for preservation: Fixity, MDQC, Interstitial, and AVCC.

Yvonne Ng of WITNESS will present on The Activists’ Guide to Archiving Video, a recently published resource that walks users through practical steps for managing, storing, sharing, and preserving their digital videos so that they stay intact, authentic, and accessible over time. The guide was specifically developed for human rights activists, small NGOs, media collectives, and citizen journalists, but is also applicable to other independent or small-scale videomakers and collectors.  Yvonne will demonstrate the guide and discuss some of the lessons learned from its production and initial release.
Jane Mandelbaum of the Library of Congress will present on the recently published resource titled Levels of Digital Preservation from the National Digital Stewardship Alliance. The Levels of Digital Preservation is a basic tool for helping organizations manage and mitigate digital preservation risks, and lays out a useful framework for organizations of all sizes and types to approach digital preservation in a practical way. In addition to demonstrating and discussing the resource Jane will provide case studies of different organizations that have used and applied the Levels of Digital Preservation.

Nostalgia, Art & the Archive

1:00pm – 2:30pm

John Campopiano, Project Archivist, Harvard Film Archive, Mellon Foundation Scholar, WGBH
Dana Keller, MSLIS Graduate, Simmons GSLIS, Digital Photo Restorationist/Colorist
Matt Spry, SharePoint/Library Catalog Analyst, Draper Laboratory; Data Curator, The Echo Nest

Unusual, creative, and networked uses of archival materials provide a framework for thinking about how restorative nostalgia is expressed through the intersection of technology and cultural heritage. When properly leveraged with emerging technologies, archival materials can take on interactive and networked dimensions not possible with traditional research uses. Projects that make new use of archival materials enable those materials to transcend their original forms as well as the unique institutions which hold them. This panel discussion will explore ideas such as HistoryPin and WhatWasThere, hauntological music, and colorizing photographs, all of which make use of archival materials, bringing new life and new meaning to them. Some questions this roundtable will address include: What do artistic uses of primary source materials (or re-contextualizations) mean for our understanding of neutrality in the archives? How do creative uses of archival materials complicate traditional notions of copyright? How can archives evolve to better accommodate a notion of “distributed creativity” (networked and dispersed creative collaboration) common to the Internet? What archival principles might be challenged by these changes? Come prepared to discuss these ideas and more.

DIY Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon

1:00pm – 2:30pm

Amanda Rust, Assistant Head of Research & Instruction, Northeastern University
Amanda Strauss, Research Librarian, Schlesinger Library, Harvard
Jenny Gotwals, Lead Cataloger, Schlesinger Library, Harvard

Wikipedia is a widely known resource and can often be a “first-stop” for researchers of all levels of expertise. Despite its ubiquity, cultural heritage institutions have been slow to participate in Wikipedia. As a consequence, many people, organizations, and events documented in our collections have a minimal, if any, presence on Wikipedia. The first half of this session will be dedicated to explaining and generating conversation among attendees about “why” and “how” to host a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at a library, archives, museum, or other cultural heritage site. Specific topics to be addressed in this part of the presentation include how to “sell” the idea of hosting an edit-a-thon to one’s home institution, how to get to know the local Wikipedia community, and how Wikipedia fits into emerging scholarly discourses in media studies, public history, and digital humanities.  Attendees will leave with a checklist plan that they can implement for hosting an edit-a-thon.

The second half of this session will focus on explaining the “nuts and bolts” of how to create and edit articles in Wikipedia, as well as the many different ways to contribute to Wikipedia. Please feel free to bring a computer or mobile device to the session, as well as ideas for Wikipedia entries you’d like to create. We’ll help you get started, discuss best practices, and answer questions. Our hope is for attendees to become familiar with Wikipedia and its editing culture, so that they will be more likely to host an edit-a-thon.

Perfecting the Process: Working with digital records, access restrictions, retention decisions, and evolving policies while processing manuscript and corporate archival collections

1:00pm – 2:30pm

Jennifer Betts, moderator, University Archivist, Brown University
Meghan Bannon and Amber LaFountain, Project Archivists, Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Sara Beneman, Project Archivist, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Krista Ferrante, Archivist, The MITRE Corporation

In graduate school, the idea of processing seems simple enough--arrange, describe, and provide points of access. However, in the workplace, processing can be more complex. Amber LaFountain will discuss the factors that influence the determination of access and privacy protections, including internal policies, donor agreements, institutional restrictions,  and legal requirements. Meghan Bannon will discuss how the Center for the History of Medicine adapted the tools used in digital forensics to process the various types of electronic records using the Center’s FRED (Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device) and will explain the Center’s approach to handling electronic records. Sara Beneman will discuss the process of identifying and making retention decisions for unlabeled scientific artifacts and minimally described research data sets found in corporate research collections, through consultations with donors and other researchers. Krista Ferrante will explain how project archivists’ positions can often require more than just performing physical processing, requiring the archivist to learn new skills on the job, including web application development and project management.

Afternoon Break with the Vendors

2:30pm – 3:00pm

Jeopardy Tournament

3:00pm – 4:30pm

Test your knowledge of the profession, repositories all over New England, and fun historical facts.  Players will compete for bragging rights and cool prizes by answering questions from NEA's own Alex Trebek, Gregor Trinkaus-Randall.  Participants will be decided from the Jeopardy Qualifier Earlier in the day.

Local Foods/Spirits Reception

4:30pm – 6:30pm

Saturday, March 22, 2014


Roundtable Meeting  -  Local History

8:00am – 9:00am

Roundtable Meeting  -  Records Management

8:00am – 9:00am

Roundtable Meeting  -  Moving Image & Recorded Sound (MIRS)

8:00am – 9:00am

Meeting Registration

8:00am – 12:00pm

Vendor Showcase

8:00am – 4:00pm

Backstage Library Works
The Crowley Company
Gaylord Bros.
Hollinger Metal Edge
Northeast Document Conservation Center
Preservation Technologies
Servicestar Document Management

Saturday Plenary | Vivek Bald

9:15am – 10:45am

In May, 1900, a reporter for the Biloxi Daily Herald described his near-collision with an East Indian man on a runaway bicycle on the streets of New Orleans.  The same week, a few hundred miles away, another reporter described several Indian seamen performing their observance of the end of Ramadan on the deck of a ship then in port in Baltimore. These Indian men were members of two of the first groups of Muslim migrants to move through and settle in the United States. Between the 1890s and 1920s, Indian Muslim peddlers from the region of Bengal became a regular presence at US tourist sites, from the boardwalks of Atlantic City and Asbury Park to New Orleans’s French Market and as far south as Cuba, Belize, and Panama. From the 1910s onward, Indian Muslim seamen jumped ship by the hundreds in New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia forming clandestine networks to circumvent the severe anti-Asian immigration laws of the day and access factory and restaurant jobs as far away as Detroit. Scores of these Indian men, both peddlers and seamen, married within African American and Puerto Rican communities and became part of the daily life of the United States’ most iconic neighborhoods of color: Tremé, Black Bottom, West Baltimore, Harlem. Yet they have disappeared from history. In this talk, writer, scholar and filmmaker Vivek Bald will trace out the histories of these early Muslim Americans and the multi-racial communities they formed and describe the process and the challenges of drawing their stories out of the scattered fragments of US and British archives.

Vivek Bald is a scholar and filmmaker whose documentary, In Search of Bengali Harlem has spurred a related book and website. The website is part of Bald's ongoing project to document the histories of two little-known groups of early South Asian migrants to the United States. Both were groups of Muslim men, predominantly from the region of Bengal, who entered the U.S. between the 1880s and the 1940s.



Archival Perspectives from Abroad: Conversations with members of the International Council on Archives Section on Professional Associations

11:00am – 12:30pm

Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, chair, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
Claude Roberto, Association of Canadian Archivists / Association des Archivistes du Québec
Cristina Bianchi, Association of Swiss Archives
Vilde Ronge, Norwegian Society of Records Managers and Archivists
Fred van Kan, Royal Association of Archivists in the Netherlands
Bernhard Post, Association of German Archivists

The International Council on Archives Section on Professional Associations (ICA SPA) Steering Committee’s members come from the four corners of the world. In some countries archives and records management are closely aligned. In others, they are quite separate. National associations around the world are fighting some of the same battles and facing many of the same issues that associations do in the United States, but at times are much more apt to collaborate on larger issues. The American archival associations and members have been quite insular in many ways. Yet, activities are occurring elsewhere from which we can learn, and we can impart our lessons learned to others. This session will allow each of the ICA SPA members to present briefly an overview of activities in their countries and then to respond to questions from the NEA membership.

National History Day & the Archives

11:00am – 12:30pm

Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, chair, Reference Librarian, Massachusetts Historical Society
Andrea Cronin, Assistant Reference Librarian, Massachusetts Historical Society
Kerin Shea, Judges Coordinator, Massachusetts History Day

Do middle and high school students contact you with research questions for their National History Day projects? Interested in volunteering as a History Day judge? Just want to learn more about what National History Day is and how archivists can support young peoples’ engagement with history and primary source materials? This session is designed to introduce National History Day to interested archives professionals and encourage archivists to become involved with their local NHD competitions. During the first half of the session we will introduce National History Day and discuss how we work with student researchers at the Massachusetts Historical Society. In the second half of the session, we will showcase completed student projects in several different competition categories to explore how students make use of their archival research.
National History Day PowerPoint

"Monster Lake Trout:" Landing the Big One with Social Media

11:00am – 12:30pm

VivianLea Solek, moderator, Collections Management & Archival Consultant
Dan Bullman, Simmons, GSLIS West, Graduate Student – Demographics of Social Media
Erik R. Bauer, Archivist, Peabody Institute Library, Peabody, MA– Facebook
Barbara Austen, Florence C. Crofut Archivist, Connecticut Historical Society – Blog
Dani Fazio, Creative Manager, Maine Historical Society – Pinterest

How might the use of social media increase the use of your collection? How will it raise your public profile?  Should you Blog, Tweet, Facebook or Pin? Learn about the audiences to which different applications appeal and learn how three different collections are using social media to increase awareness and usage of their collections.

Sharing Stories: The NEA/StoryCorps Project
World Café

11:00 am – 12:30pm

Donna Webber, Associate Professor of Practice, Simmons College
Jeannette Bastian, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor, and Director, Archives Management Concentration, Simmons College
Elizabeth Andrews, Archivist for Collections and Associate Head, MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections
Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, University Archivist, Harvard University Archives
Lisa Long Feldmann, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Dr. Anita Fábos, Associate Professor, Department of International Development, Community & Environment, Clark University

As part of the NEA 40th Anniversary celebration last year, the organization partnered with StoryCorps to record oral history interviews with both Worcester immigrants and NEA members. This project had a dual purpose: first, to reach outside NEA’s immediate constituency to engage with the Worcester community where the meeting was held; and second, to capture NEA’s history by inviting members to have conversations about the growth of the organization as well as the archival profession. Eight institutions and eighteen volunteers, most of whom were not affiliated with NEA, worked together for nine months to realize these goals and see this complex collaboration to fruition.

This session, in world cafe format, will allow NEA members to explore the NEA/StoryCorps 2013 project from several angles through four concurrent stations. The structure for this 90-minute session includes a 5-minute "Café Overview and Introduction" by the moderators and four 20-minute panel sessions. Three of these panels will be 15-minute discussions with a 5-minute question and answer period, and the fourth panel will be a listening station. After the 20 minutes is complete, participants will have a 1-minute station-change time between panels.  This more intimate grouping will allow for better dialogue between all participants.
The first station will host two archivists who will discuss their role in the project, different pedagogies for oral histories and their place in the archives, and what it is like for archivists to capture oral histories and also participate in the oral history process undefined both as the person giving their history and as the interviewer. Participants who visit this table will hear from Simmons College professor Donna Webber and her StoryCorps interview partner, Liz Andrews, from MIT Institute Archives and Special Collections.

The second station will host Jeannette Bastian and Megan Sniffin-Marinoff. Professor Bastian, a professor and the Director of Archives Management Concentration at Simmons College,will discuss the role memory plays in oral histories. Sniffin-Marinoff, University Archivist at Harvard University and the former head of the Archives Management program at Simmons College, and Professor Bastian will discuss why they participated in the StoryCorps project, and how and why they decided to discuss archival education in their interview.
The third station will host Lisa Long Feldmann, the NEA/StoryCorps Program Director, and Dr. Anita Fábos from Clark University. Long Feldmann will discuss the challenges involved with large collaboration projects along with strategies on how to overcome those challenges and make a project successful. Dr. Fábos will discuss her new project at Clark University in which she will continue to capture oral histories of immigrants and refugees in Worcester.
The last station will be listening stations where participants can listen to some of the NEA/StoryCorps interviews from both the NEA and Worcester participants.

Lunch/Business Meeting

12:30pm – 1:30pm



Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archives Roundtable & discussion

1:45pm – 3:15pm

Giordana Mecagni, Head of Special Collections and University Archivist, Northeastern University
Jim McGrath, Project Co-Director, Our Marathon; English PhD, Northeastern University
Alicia Peaker, Project Co-Director, Our Marathon; English PhD, Northeastern University
Andrew Begley, History & Archive Management Graduate Student, Simmons
Elise Dunham, Metadata Production Specialist, Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut
John Campopiano, Assistant Head of Staff & Archivist, Third Stream Associates, New England Conservatory

In May 2013, faculty members and graduate students at Northeastern University’s NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks created Our Marathon: The Boston Bombing Digital Archive ( Over the last six months, Our Marathon has become both a forum where the various individuals affected by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings can share their stories and reflections and a central resource for digital material (photos, social media, video, oral histories) related to the event. Our Marathon is a memorial and a long-term preservation project, building on the work of previous digital archives like the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank and the 911 Digital Archive. The archive, built with Omeka, currently contains over 3,500 items, and it has fostered partnerships with local media (the Boston Globe’s GlobeLab, WBUR, WCVB-TV) and institutions like the Digital Public Library of America and the Countway Medical Library, among others. This roundtable situates Our Marathon as a case study of sorts, in the hopes that a discussion with some of its staff, collaborators, and volunteers might be of value to those interested in the potential of similar projects. Some questions the roundtable will address include: How can digital humanities projects effectively collaborate with archives and libraries? How can we collect and display “born digital” material in ways that consider both long-term preservation practices and the need to make this material compelling to site visitors? What challenges and opportunities arise when working on a “live” digital archive centered on a recent and traumatic cultural event, particularly one that relies heavily on crowdsourced material? How might archives invested in digital content ensure that a wide range of communities, including those who might not have access to digital resources, are represented in its holdings?

Providing Access to Moving Image & Sound Archives Through unique Grant Projects

1:45pm – 3:15pm

Allison Pekel, Project Coordinator, Mellon Foundation Participatory Cataloging Project at WGBH
Sadie Roosa, Project Coordinator, WGBH Educational Foundation

The WGBH Media Library and Archives has been awarded two unique grants over the the past few years, one from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and one from IMLS & CLIR. These grants were both designed to allow the archive to experiment with different approaches for granting public access to our AV materials including on demand digitization and crowd sourcing for metadata.  This session will focus on both projects, highlighting the goals of the grants, the issues we encountered along the way and final outcomes.

PowerPoint Slides from Presentation

Student Participation in Archives on a High School & College Level
Learn about two different projects being done with the help of high school students and college students.

1:45pm – 3:15pm

Student-Created Oral Histories and Virtual Exhibits: Using College Archives for Student Learning
Randy Hanson, Chair, Multi-Disciplinary Studies, Colby-Sawyer College
HPS students

Over the last five years, Colby-Sawyer’s archivist and history professors have developed an on-going experiential learning project centered around the college’s archives and history.  By conducting oral histories with alums, faculty, staff, and administrators, and by carrying out primary research in the college archives, students construct virtual history exhibits recreating various aspects of the institution’s past. In the process, the college’s History and Political Studies (HPS) majors learn – and more importantly practice – essential skills of original historical research and public history. In this presentation, a member of the history faculty and three History and Political Studies majors will describe in detail how they have used the college’s archives as a laboratory to support student learning and to create an on-going history of the college.

Collaborative Micro-Archive
Karilyn Crockett

What kinds of new and surprising things happen when teenagers lead public research projects within university archives? During the summer of 2013 a team of eight Boston high school students teamed up with archivists from Northeastern University, UMASS Boston, Roxbury Community College and Suffolk University to create a micro-archive based on Boston’s activist and community organizing history. This talk will share lessons, challenges and pedagogical insights from this successful and wildly experimental archival research project. Key themes addressed include youth-led approaches to historical literacy, sourcing neighborhood self-education initiatives and the archive as intergenerational discussion hub.

"Provenance: The New Chapter in the Museum Narrative"

1:45pm – 3:15pm

Paul Caserta, Digital Archives Intern at Rhode Island School of Design
Victoria Reed, Monica S. Sadler Curator of Provenance

In recent years, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has created a new staff position and hired Ms.Victoria Reed as the Sadler Curator of Provenance. A one of a kind position in American museums, Reed is tasked with researching works with questionable histories both in the MFA's collection and on the museum's list of possible accessions. Over the last decade or so many controversies have begun due to past lootings of objects of cultural heritage throughout the world. In the end, some objects still remain mysteries, but for others a new narrative is unfolded.

Archives have also had their share of lootings, forgeries and destruction over the years. Due to this, many collections may have materials with only pieces of stories. For those that do have provenance though they are recorded in archive databases, which raises the question for this presentation of "where do we go next with the narratives of our collections?" By studying the past nature, practices and habits of museums and archives this lecture will discuss the importance of recording and sharing the provenance of collections, the positive effects and difficulties of proceeding with this type of research, how provenance can be used with today's technological world, and more.

Afternoon Break with the Vendors

3:15pm – 3:45pm



Developing a Preservation Framework for Complex Digital Artworks

3:45pm – 5:15pm

Desiree Alexander and Dianne Dietrich, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Alex Duryee, AVPreserve

The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art at Cornell University recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop Preservation Access Frameworks for its complex digital media art objects. These objects consist of born-digital multimedia artwork dating back from the mid 1990s, many originally available only on CD-ROM and DVD-ROM. As such, many of these works now only run on legacy computers and software. Our goal is to preserve access to these fragile materials and provide a scalable template that other cultural heritage institutions can adapt when considering preservation of similar materials. The investigative work of the project involves analysis of the technical and software requirements for each work in the collection. From there, we must determine the best strategy to restore access to the work, which can involve tracking down older software, configuring emulators, and migrating portions of the ancillary files to function on modern hardware and software. This presentation can address some of the technical issues we've encountered along the way with examples of various emulation, migration, and preservation strategies for specific works.

End of Analog Audiovisual Media: The cost of inaction & what you can do about it

3:45pm – 5:15pm

Chris Lacinak, AVPreserve
Elizabeth Walters, Program Officer for Audiovisual Materials, Weissman Preservation Center, Harvard Library

This session formulates, articulates and empowers participants with unprecedented information, concepts and tools to help tackle one of the most critical issues facing archives today. Chris Lacinak will present on ‘COI: The Cost of Inaction Calculator’. This presentation will demonstrate an open and free tool, and the concepts behind it, which helps organizations analyze the implications of choosing not to do anything. COI is a counter-perspective to the concept of "ROI", or Return on Investment, often raised with ill-effect when decision makers analyze digitization and preservation projects. COI adds a data point to ROI and helps effectively articulate what is lost in the way of access, intellect and finances by not acting. Elizabeth Walters will present on SAVE, a web-based application developed at Harvard to enable the collection and aggregation of item-level condition assessment data for AV materials that unites physical characteristics and condition data with curatorial information related to an item’s research value. In combination, this information can be used to identify items that are at greatest risk due to format obsolescence and physical condition, and to establish priorities for appropriate preservation actions, enabling organizations to act in a systematic and data driven way. Joshua Ranger will present on Catalyst, an innovative system developed for performing large scale item-level inventories, and its use in a project with the New Jersey Network to inventory over 100,000 items left behind for over a year after NJN went from 40 years of operations to being shutdown overnight. Josh will talk about the unique modern-day archeological scenario presented and the innovative solutions used to tackle this ambitious project. The details of the process, how the outcomes were used to perform and implement a preservation plan, and how this relates to organizations universally will be discussed.

Working in Harmony with Non-Archivists as Collaborators: Case studies from music repositories

3:45pm – 5:15pm

Sofia Becerra-LichaProject Archivist, Berklee College of Music
Brendan Higgins, Evening Library Supervisor, Boston Conservatory
Michelle Chiles, Archivist, Handel & Haydn Society
Sarah Funke Donovan, Digital Project Archivist, Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives
Paul Engle, Director of Library Services, Berklee College of Music

Whether you’re a lone arranger or an arranger among many, cultivating relationships throughout your organization is key to getting things done. Effective outreach is especially important when working to break new ground, from the individual project level to the establishment of a fledgling archive. Positioned within and serving communities that are often outside the “traditional” archives environment, performing arts archivists can offer a unique perspective on creative approaches to outreach and collaboration. Four music archivists, representing a range of recent projects, will present on their experiences in enlisting non-archivists as collaborators and allies. From a grant-funded project to digitize concert programs to various archives programs established from the ground up, the case studies in this panel aim to share ideas and strategies gained from working in the non-traditional environment of performing arts organizations and to demonstrate how to develop and apply creative outreach approaches to the archives field.

The State of Statewide Repositories in New England & How They are Aggregating Special Collections

3:45pm – 5:15pm

Nancy Heywood, moderator, Massachusetts Historical Society
Kathy Bolduc Amoroso, Maine Memory Network, Maine Historical Society
Chris Burns, Center for Digital Initiatives, University of Vermont
Chelsea Gunn, RHODI Project, Rhode Island Historical Society
Joseph Fisher, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Past President of Digital Commonwealth
Michael Howser, Connecticut Digital Archive, University of Connecticut Libraries
Katelynn R. Vance, New Hampshire History Network, New Hampshire Historical Society

Archives, libraries, and special collections all over New England have digitized vast numbers of items from their collections and made them available on the Web.  Metadata aggregation is one option for promoting discoverability to a wide audience and some states have (or are working towards having) the technological infrastructure and overseeing agency to host metadata and/or digital content from organizations within their states.  What is the current state of these statewide repositories at the beginning of 2014?  What are the current issues and challenges faced by the institutions and/or collaborations that are responsible for these systems?  What do organizations need to do to be included in these repositories?  Could these statewide initiatives collaborate in any areas? 

 Programming  Lodging & Travel Information
 Pre-Meeting Workshops:  Meeting Hotel:
 Thursday, March 20  Sheraton Portsmouth Harborside
   250 Market Street

 Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801
   Google Map
 Spring Meeting Dates:  
 Friday, March 21 - Saturday, March 22  (603) 431-2300
 Registration, Rates & Information  Room rate $125, subject to availability:
 Members of allied organizations who wish to
 register under the reciprocal rate agreement 
 must contact the Registrar, Emily Tordo.


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