NEA taking the past into the future


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  • 2019-11-13 3:47 PM | Michelle Chiles (Administrator)

    Mark your calendars now for the 2019 New England Archivists election. Voting will start November 19 and continue through December 10.

    Candidates are listed below alphabetically, and NEA members can read the candidates' statements on the NEA website. Private and secure voting will take place online through, which will send each voter a unique link.  

    The candidates are:

    Vice President/President Elect
    -- Barbara Austen
    -- Genna Duplisea

    -- Stephanie T. Gold
    -- Kate Herbert


    -- Connor Anderson
    -- Michael P. Dello Iacono

    -- Sally Blanchard-O'Brien
    -- Stephanie Krauss

    To be eligible to vote, you must be a member in good standing. Please make sure your membership is current and that your contact information, including email address, is up to date in the NEA membership database. If you have questions about your membership status, please contact the Membership Secretary (

    New England Archivists Nominating Committee 2019:

    Karen Adler Abramson (Chair)
    Prudence Doherty
    Ellen Doon
    Sarah Galligan
    Heather Moran

  • 2019-10-03 12:33 PM | Michelle Chiles (Administrator)

    NEA: Behind the Scenes- The New England Archivists run on volunteer power, but sometimes it feels intimidating to figure out what is involved and how things work. Former NEA President Karen Adler Abramson will be leading a one hour webinar discussion (Oct 21, 7pm) to talk about the inner workings of NEA, including the structure and functions of the Board, its current strategic goals, and the many ways in which volunteers can get involved in the organization. Participants are encouraged to bring their NEA-related questions to the virtual table!

    Register here.

    Topic: NEA: Behind the Scenes
    Time: Oct 23, 2019 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

  • 2019-08-29 10:42 AM | Michelle Chiles (Administrator)

    Inside & Outside

    New England Archivists (NEA) invites submissions of session proposals for our Spring Meeting, to be held April 2-4, 2020, in Providence, Rhode Island.

    The deadline for proposals is extended to September 25, 2019.

    The Spring 2020 Meeting’s theme, Inside & Outside, will explore ideas of inclusion and exclusion in our collections, audiences, and workforce. We will consider the intersection of the individual and the institution, as well as the role of archivists in the context of the cultural, educational, and corporate institutions in which we work. Two decades into the twenty-first century, what does it mean to be an archivist?

    We are a group that comprises many identities: professionals, amateurs, experts, artists, educators, students, and community organizers. The roles we have are multifaceted, whether we work within a traditional institutional context or perform archival tasks for related professions and organizations, such as libraries, museums, galleries, corporations, and nonprofits. Moreover, our roles continuously evolve as our world changes. While static definitions and boundaries will only hold us back, we still need to maintain shared values and standards that help us perform the core tasks of our jobs: acquisition, preservation, and providing access to our collections.

    This meeting offers us a chance to come together to look within, reflect, and share our experiences not only with our archives community but also with those who are affected by our work.

    The Spring 2020 Program Committee invites proposals on all topics but is especially interested in the following:

         How can we protect our collections from outside forces, such as climate and politics?
    What does it feel like to be outside of the profession looking in from related fields, and what is it like looking out from inside? What do we borrow from others?
    In what ways has the shift from analog to digital required us to reconsider traditional workflows?
    How do our labor practices promote or discourage inclusion?
    When should collections not go to a repository? What is the role of community archives?
    How has social media impacted our profession? And how do we incorporate it into our collections?
    What outside forces shape outsiders’ perception of the profession, and how do we use those perceptions as a route to engagement?
    How do we continue to act as guides for researchers, stakeholders, the public, and new audiences whose understanding of what an archive is may be at odds with our own definitions? What is our role in guiding users who only interact with our collections online?
    Who and what are excluded, and how do we become more inclusive, with regard to who is in the profession, the audiences we reach, and how we acquire and describe material?
    How do we care for ourselves when collections contain challenging topics?
    Can we imagine who/what might be "inside/outside" the archives 20 years from now?

    First-time presenters, current graduate students, and early-career professionals are encouraged to apply.  

    Possible Session Types

    Standard Presentations
    Two or three speakers present on a common theme. May include a moderator to steer discussion and/or introduce speakers and theme.

    Open Forum
    Topical discussion with moderator leading discussion with everyone in attendance. May include additional moderator(s) to direct breakout conversations.

    Roundtable Discussion
    Three or four participants make very brief remarks, then discuss a topic together. Includes a moderator to steer discussion.

    Each presentation consists of 20 slides or images displayed for 20 seconds each, with comment, and lasts 6 minutes and 40 seconds. Highest number of presenters possible is 12, fewer if leaving time for questions.

    Lightning Talks
    Like PechaKucha, but without a set format. May or may not include slides or images. Presentations may be from 3 to 10 minutes long, with number of presenters depending on time allotted for each.

    Moderator announces the topic, and two other people debate.

    Note: standard AV (a projector and screen) will be provided for each session. Presenters are expected to provide a laptop for connecting to the projector, as well as any additional audiovisual equipment needs.



    To facilitate collaboration, the Spring 2020 Program Committee has created a space for NEA members to develop session proposals together:

    Please use this space to connect with your colleagues about potential session topics and formats. This collaborative space will be accessible until the deadline for proposals, September 20, 2020.


    Proposal Submission

    To submit a proposal, complete the form below.

    Please note that proposed sessions involving fewer than three presenters and/or covering overlapping topics may be grouped together.

    All submissions will be acknowledged by the Program Committee. If your proposal is selected, your acknowledgment will include instructions about next steps. All presenters are required to register for the conference upon acceptance, at the early-bird rate, and to fund their own travel expenses.


    Accessibility and Code of Conduct:

    NEA is committed to making the Spring 2020 Meeting welcoming and accessible to all presenters and attendees. Presenters are encouraged to ensure that their presentations meet current accessibility guidelines. Presenters are also required to abide by the NEA Code of Conduct, which can be found here:

    If you will need specific accommodations, such as interpretive services, to support your participation in this event, please contact the program chair.


    Scholarships and Awards:

    Meeting and travel scholarships are available through NEA for those in need. Details may be found on the NEA website: Please also refer to the following pages for specific details on:

         Meeting and travel assistance:

         Student member meeting and travel assistance:

         Inclusion and diversity session scholarship:

    Questions? Please contact the Program Committee chair, Amber LaFountain, at

  • 2019-08-17 1:22 PM | Kelli Bogan (Administrator)

    New England Archivists seeks an NEA Registrar for the upcoming two-year term, ideally to commence in early September 2019. This position offers a great opportunity to support NEA, and is ideal for someone looking to build their professional network by engaging with a wide range of NEA members

    The Registrar manages meeting and workshop registration, both in person and online; works with NEA committees, Vendor Coordinator, and Treasurer to ensure registration and payments are successful; and connects with membership and fellow archivists during the onsite registration process. 

    This integral part of NEA's executive board also attends quarterly board meetings, as a non-voting member. This position is a great way to stay engaged in the New England archival community, and become involved with NEA leadership. 

    A full job description is available at this link, or via NEA's leadership page on the website.

    Interested parties should submit a brief statement of interest to the NEA President, Jamie Rice, at  by Aug 28th.

  • 2019-07-31 6:10 PM | Kelli Bogan (Administrator)

    Dear NEA Members,

    The 2019 Nominating Committee is seeking candidates for the following positions on the New England Archivists Executive Board, to be voted on in the upcoming fall elections.  

    • Vice President/President-Elect
    • Secretary
    • Representative-at-Large (one open position)

    We encourage you to consider nominating yourself or a colleague to join NEA’s leadership. Serving on the NEA Board is a great way to support archivists and allied professionals in our region, meet colleagues, build your resume, and develop skills in strategic planning, budget management, community outreach, and more.

    The NEA Board works collaboratively toward achieving the goals outlined in the organization’s current Strategic Plan and strives to include diverse perspectives in moving NEA forward. The Nominating Committee seeks candidates whose strengths and interests align with NEA’s strategic direction and who are prepared for leadership in the following areas: 

    • Inclusion and Diversity – build an organization welcoming to, and representative of, all of New England’s archivists and allied professionals;
    • Advocacy and Outreach – advocate for policies and resources that support archives, archivists, and allied professionals and increase public appreciation of the profession;
    • Community Engagement – create opportunities for members to join together in collaborative, cost-effective, and innovative ways;
    • Membership Development – sustain growth through building membership and meaningful engagement; and
    • Education – cultivate and provide lifelong learning opportunities at all career stages.

    As a member of the Executive Board, you would attend quarterly, daylong board meetings, the location of which often changes from meeting to meeting in order to accommodate members from around the New England region. You would also participate in the development of NEA's new strategic plan, to take effect in 2021. More information about the responsibilities of the Vice President/President-Elect, Representative-at-Large, and Secretary positions can be found on the NEA website, here.

    We encourage members at any stage of their career to consider running, and we especially encourage nominations from archivists of color, and individuals representing all six New England states and all organizational types. If you are interested in stepping into a regional leadership position or know someone who would be a good candidate, please submit a Nomination Form. All submissions are anonymous and confidential. Questions about the election and the nominating process can be sent to any member of the Nominating Committee. 

    Nominations are due on Friday, September 6, 2019. 

    New England Archivists’ strength is its membership, and each year we are privileged to elect new leaders from among you. Thank you for helping us continue to develop NEA as a strong and vital organization.


    The 2019 NEA Nominating Committee

    Karen Adler Abramson (chair), JFK Presidential Library, MA (

    Prudence Doherty, University of Vermont (

    Ellen Doon, Yale University, CT (

    Sarah Galligan, New Hampshire Historical Society (

    Heather Moran, Maine State Archives (

  • 2019-07-03 10:36 AM | Michelle Chiles (Administrator)

    New England Archivists (NEA) invites submissions of session proposals for the Fall 2019 Meeting, “Maps & Legends.” The meeting will take place at the Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine, in Portland, Maine, on November 1, 2019. The deadline for proposals is Friday, July 26.

    Maps, charts, globes, and GIS data are found in many archival collections—but how much do we really know about caring for them? Are we handling them correctly, describing them effectively, and providing thorough access to them? Are we maximizing their ability to support research and study? “Maps & Legends” will bring us together to share experiences with these materials, demystify them, and learn from each other how to unlock their potential for all users.

    The Fall 2019 Program Committee is seeking proposals for short presentations that facilitate conversation about maps, charts, globes, GIS data, and related materials in the archival environment. Does your job include routine processing and/or care for cartographic materials and data, or do you have experience with a project involving such material? Whether about storing, preserving, digitizing, or something else, we welcome your cartographic case studies, stories, data analyses, and more. We encourage creative proposals that foster group conversation. Each presenter will have 15 minutes: 10 minutes (or less) for the presentation and the remaining time for questions and discussion.

    We are particularly interested in any topic that relates to the following areas of work with cartographic materials:

    Cataloging and description
    Digitization and re-digitization
    Supporting researchers
    Building and engaging audiences

    First-time presenters, current graduate students, early-career professionals, and those doing archival work in community-centered contexts are all strongly encouraged to submit proposals. Applicants do not need to be “map professionals.” We welcome anyone who has encountered maps as part of their work or studies.


    To submit a proposal, complete this form.

    The Program Committee will acknowledge all submissions. If your proposal is selected, your acknowledgment will include instructions about next steps. All presenters are required to register for the conference upon acceptance, at the member rate, and to fund their own travel expenses.


    NEA is committed to making the Fall 2019 Meeting welcoming and accessible to all presenters and attendees. Presenters are also required to abide by the NEA Code of Conduct, which can be found here:

    If you will need specific accommodations, such as interpretive services, to support your participation in this event, please contact the Program Chair.


    Questions? Please contact the Program Chair, Patrick Ford, at

  • 2019-05-10 12:33 PM | Michelle Chiles (Administrator)

    The New England Archivists (NEA) Mentoring Program is a 2019 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award will be presented at a ceremony during the Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists and SAA in Austin, TX, July 31–August 6. The award recognizes an archives institution, education program, nonprofit organization, or government organization that has given outstanding service to its public and has made an exemplary contribution to the archives profession.

    Launched in 2013, NEA’s Mentoring Program rethinks traditional one-to-one mentoring models through the creation of Mentoring Circles. The Circles, consisting of four to six mentees and two co-mentors, foster relationships between mentors and mentees and expand mentoring into ongoing peer relationships. The Program has served more than 100 mentees in six years and has increased to include a virtual program connecting those who may otherwise be geographically isolated. The NEA Mentoring Program has been used as a model for other regional archival organizations, such as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC). The Chair of the Membership Committee of MARAC states, “[The NEA Mentoring Program] is truly innovative and incredibly beneficial to participants. As such, where we were initially going to borrow several aspects of many programs for our mentoring enterprise, we are now going [with] the entire NEA model.”

    The Mentoring Program not only fulfills an important need by helping its members grow and connect in innovative ways, it also actively and openly shares this model allowing the possibility for expansion beyond its community. During its six-year history, the NEA Mentoring Program has grown steadily and developed into an engaged, enthusiastic community of archivists and record keepers who generously share their insights, advice, and expertise with one other.

    SAA’s Distinguished Service Award was established in 1964. Previous recipients include the Society of Southwest Archivists, Council of State Archivists, Georgia Archives Institute, the Archives Leadership Institute, and the Black Metropolis Research Consortium.

    - Society of American Archivists press release, May 2019

  • 2019-04-12 4:00 PM | Michelle Chiles (Administrator)

    The Fall 2019 Meeting Program Committee is currently seeking members - experience with maps is a plus, but not required. The workload will be consistent but not too heavy - we will check-in monthly via email and/or Zoom to discuss content and logistics.
    The meeting, which will focus on maps - demystifying them, digitizing them, unlocking their potential - will be held on Friday, November 1, 2019 at the Glickman Library, University of Southern Maine, in Portland.

    Please contact Patrick Ford, PC chair, by Friday, April 19, if you are interested in serving:

  • 2019-04-11 4:20 PM | Michelle Chiles (Administrator)

    The NEA Mentoring Program is seeking participants for the 2019 cycle! This 7-9 month program will begin in May or June 2019. All interested mentors and mentees are encouraged to sign up by the end of April. We also encourage folks interested in being mentors to consider self-selecting a co-mentor. Is there a colleague you’d love to partner with? Encourage them to sign up to be a mentor with you!  

    Applications and more information about this popular program are available here

    The NEA Mentoring Program offers members the opportunity to participate in Mentoring Circles, which are small groups that typically consist of four to six mentees and two mentors. Diverging from the traditional one-on-one mentoring model, the circle model fosters not only mentoring relationships between the mentors and the mentees, but also peer-mentoring relationships among the mentees and the co-mentors. 

    Mentoring Circles aim to:

    • Encourage the exchange of experiences, challenges, and opportunities to facilitate goal-setting for career and personal development.
    • Build competence and character to reach those goals. 
    • Foster self-confidence, communication skills, and collective growth. 

    Mentors and mentees are matched to a circle depending on their interests, goals, and availability. The application process includes an initial survey to determine everyone’s interests and support the initial matching. All participants should be current NEA members able to commit to a full cycle of the program (seven to nine months)

    Please visit the 
    NEA Mentoring page to learn more about the program and to apply to join. Applications will be accepted through May 1, 2019. Applicants will receive placement information by May 15, 2019.

    If you have any questions about the program, please contact Mentoring Program Administrator Jessica Holden (
  • 2019-03-21 11:14 AM | Kelli Bogan (Administrator)

    Approaching Transition and Grief in Acquisitions Work

    Acquisitions work often takes place during times of transition. Donors, whether records creators or their family members, independent agents or institutional faculty/staff, may be experiencing associated feelings of grief and loss. As a result, an acquisitor’s job involves far more than simply bringing in records. A holistic understanding of a donor’s transition, along with the ability to navigate and negotiate difficult conversations at the point of acquisition, can determine our success as stewards of cultural heritage.

    For the last three years, Mumford, Hayes, and Ilacqua have explored the topics of transition, grief, and loss through interviews with professionals including palliative care workers, ombudspersons, and members of the clergy, as well as extensive research into medical perspectives on loss and grief.

    This live webinar will map loss and grief to archival acquisitions work and offer techniques adopted and developed by grief professionals to assist in handling donors in transition. It will also explore affect theory, maintenance work, emotional labor, and self-care techniques, and offer attendees an opportunity to review and respond to case studies. This webinar is for forward-facing archivists at any point in their career.

    Presenters: Heather Mumford, Carolyn Hayes, and Joan Ilacqua, all of Harvard Medical School

    Date/Time: April 30, 2019 / 2:00-3:00 PM

    Maximum registration number: 50

    Cost: Free

    Registration link

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