NEA taking the past into the future

Spring 2017 Annual Meeting

March 23-March 25, 2017
The Resort & Conference Center at Hyannis

Hyannis, MA

Meeting Details

Thursday | Friday | Saturday

Thursday, March 23, 2017

7:30am - 10:00am
Registration (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
9:00am - 5:00pm Workshops
Funding for Archives Work: Preparing Competitive NHPRC Grant Proposals (Centerville A-B)

Born Digital Access Bootcamp: A Collaborative Learning Forum (Orleans A)
Fundamentals of Project Management for Archivists [SAA] (Osterville A)
10:00am - 4:00pm
Day of Service: NEA Community Volunteer Projects at the Sturgis Library and Bourne Historical Society
11:00am - 4:00pm
 Sturgis Library, Barnstable, MA

The Jonathan Bourne Historical Center, Bourne Historical Society

Nickerson Cape Cod History Archives, Cape Cod Community College
The Jonathan Bourne Historical Center, Bourne Historical Society
Sturgis Library, Barnstable, MA
12noon - 1:00pm Lunch on Your Own
1:00pm - 5:00pm NEA Board Meeting (Barnstable I)
3:00pm - 3:30pm Afternoon Break

Friday, March 24, 2017

7:30am - 4:00pm Registration (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
8:00am - 4:00pm Vendor Showcase (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
8:00am - 9:00am Continental Breakfast (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
9:00am - 4:00pm Respite Room (Executive Offices/Training Room)

A place for weary conference attendees to retreat and recharge, the Respite Room is a talk-free zone featuring soothing white noise, tasty snacks, and coloring books. Sponsored by the NEA Inclusion and Diversity Coordinator.

9:00am -10:00am Friday Plenary: Michael Lesy (Grand Ballroom I)
10:00am -10:30am Morning Coffee Break with Vendors (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
10:30am - 12:00 noon Friday Concurrent Sessions, Morning Block
1.1 “But That’s Not My Job” (Centerville A-B)
1.2 Making Quiet Voices Loud (Orleans A-B)

1.3 Changing the Flow (Osterville A)
1.4 State Historical Records Advisory Boards Summit (Osterville B)
12:00 noon - 1:30pm
Lunch on Your Own
1:30pm - 3:00pm
Friday Concurrent Sessions, Afternoon Block
1.5 Teaching Disability History With Primary Sources (Centerville A-B)
1.6 Do-It-Yourself Crowdsourcing (Orleans A-B)

1.7 Preserving Cape Cod History (Osterville A)
1.8 Archives and Artifacts (Osterville B)
3:00pm - 3:30pm
Afternoon Break (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
3:30pm - 4:30pm
Roundtable Meetings (Grand Ballroom II)
Mentoring Session (Osterville A-B)

For those who’ve signed up for this year’s Mentoring Program, please stop by to introduce yourself and meet mentors and other participants. For those who haven’t signed up and are interested in learning more about the program for the next cycle, please stop by to chat with the program’s facilitators.  All are welcome.

5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday Night Reception (Grand Ballroom I)
 Gather with fellow attendees for drinks and passed hors d'ouevres. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

7:30am - 12noon
Registration (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
8:00am - 4:00pm
Vendor Showcase (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
8:00am - 9:00am Mini Resort Breakfast with Vendors (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
Sponsored by Backstage Library Works.
9:00am - 4:00pm
Respite Room (Executive Offices/Training Room)
9:00am - 10:00am
Saturday Plenary: K.J. Rawson (Grand Ballroom I)
10:00am - 10:30am
Morning Coffee Break (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
10:30am - 12noon Saturday Concurrent Sessions, Morning Block
2.1 Academic Omissions (Centerville A-B)
2.2 Presenting Your Moving Images to the Public (Orleans A-B)

2.3 Clearing the Channel (Osterville A)
2.4 Making ArchivesSpace Work for You (Osterville B)
12noon - 1:30pm
Lunch/NEA Business Meeting/Awards Ceremony (Grand Ballroom I)
President Jennifer Gunter King and the NEA Executive Board will recognize the recipients of the 2017 NEA awards. Awards to be presented include: 

 A/V Professional Development Award 
 Distinguished Service Award 
 Richard L. Haas Records Management Award 
 Inclusion and Diversity Session and Travel Award 
 NEA Member Meeting and Travel Assistance Scholarship 
 Susan J. von Salis Student Meeting and Travel Assistance Scholarship

1:45pm - 3:15pm Saturday Concurrent Sessions, Afternoon Block 1
2.5 Collections Surveys (Centerville A-B)
2.6 Archives and Access (Orleans A-B)

2.7 Approaching Transition & Grief in Acquisitions Work (Osterville A)
2.8 Big-Reels, Floppies, SyQuest and all that Jazz! (Osterville B)
3:15pm - 3:30pm
Afternoon Break (Grand Ballroom Foyer)
3:30pm - 5:00pm Saturday Concurrent Sessions, Afternoon Block 2
2.9 1919 Boston Police Strike Project (Centerville A-B)

2.10 The METRO Fellowship (Orleans A-B)
2.11 Author-Archivist Collaboration (Osterville A)
2.12 The Challenges of Managing the Records of Cultural Institutions
(Osterville B)

Detailed Schedule

Day of Service

This year the New England Archivists' Day of Service will offer volunteers a variety of experiences at two possible sites. Participating in NEA's Day of Service is a great way to enhance your skills, or learn new ones, and join with colleagues and new friends to serve the profession. Look to further announcements about how to sign up for one of the three Day of Service projects on Thursday, March 23rd.

Sturgis Library:
Project #1: Gravestones and Deeds preservation work
The first at the Sturgis Library will have volunteers encapsulating gravestone rubbings, a project for which prior experience is strongly requested. Mylar and double stick tape are provided; these supplies are partially funded by the Cape Cod Antique Dealers’ Association.

Project #2: Stanley Smith Deed Collection online database
For the second project, volunteers will contribute to the Stanley Smith Deed Collection online database, a work-in-progress in collaboration with the Boston Public Library. Amassed by local historian Stanley Webster Smith (1869-1941), this extensive collection includes deeds for land, property, wharfs, salt works, and church pews. Volunteers will work from digital images and fill out forms with keywords and other information (to be entered into the database by a staff member). Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own laptops if they have them.

Bourne Historical Society:
Project: Town Undertaker Edward D. Nickerson diary transcription
The Bourne Historical Society recently received three diaries that are the basis for this volunteer project. The diaries, dating from 1898-1930 and containing photographs and handwritten descriptions of Bourne, are those of town undertaker Edward D. Nickerson, who in the early 1900s was the only undertaker on Cape Cod. Volunteers will transcribe one volume (111 pages, covering 1902-1921) from photocopies of its pages and are encouraged to bring their own laptops, as computers at the historical society are limited (transcriptions may also be handwritten initially). Volunteers’ ideas or suggestions for an upcoming exhibit, tentatively titled “Edward D. Nickerson, A Bourne Original: Undertaker, Environmentalist, Storyteller,” will also be welcome.

Bring your expertise and enthusiasm and help make a difference at one of these cultural heritage institutions on the Cape! (Please note: You do not have to attend the Spring 2017 Meeting in order to participate in this event).

Thursday Workshops

Funding for Archives Work: Preparing Competitive NHPRC Grant Proposals

Learn how to design a successful grant proposal in this one-day workshop that focuses on the competitive archival grant programs at the National Archives and Records Administration, which are made through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Although the primary emphasis of this workshop will be on the Access to Historical Records grant program, the process of preparing a grant proposal for this program will also provide attendees with the transferable skills needed to write well-researched, competitive applications for any funding agency.

Participants will gain an understanding of the grant application process, including the components of a good project summary, narrative, budget, and supplemental materials. A discussion of the review process, the response phase, and Commission recommendations will also be included. Attendees will have the opportunity to read and comment on two sample applications as part of the peer review process. They also will learn general tips that successful applicants have used to strengthen their applications.

The workshop also will offer attendees the opportunity to start designing their own project and application package: defining project scope, devising a budget, developing a work plan, and preparing an application.

This workshop will benefit archivists, librarians or other professionals responsible for finding funding to support collections, and who wish to hone their grant writing skills.

Born Digital Access Bootcamp: A Collaborative Learning Forum

This workshop will focus on building strategies to providing access to born-digital material.

Designed as an opportunity for practitioners and beginners to learn from one another, the workshop will take a collaborative approach with a morning of group discussions on relevant topics guided by workshop facilitators, following by a hands-on afternoon with demonstrations of born-digital access systems and breakout discussion sessions.

Topics will be selected through surveying workshop participants and through forum discussion, but will ultimately address how policies, copyright/risk assessment, user needs, reference interactions, processing workflows, donor relations, advocacy, and other archival functions affect how, when, and what we provide access to, with an emphasis on user-driven access throughout.

Laptops or mobile devices for collaborative document editing would be useful, but it not required for this workshop.

Fundamentals of Project Management for Archivists

You’re involved in a variety of projects every day, from small projects such as developing a new procedures manual to large projects such as digitizing a collection. But because project management methodologies aren’t automatically included in formal education or many archival education programs, you’ll want to take advantage of this course to acquire the basic knowledge and tools necessary for managing successful projects.


The Spring 2017 Program Committee has organized behind-the-scene tours at a few local institutions. Sign up for a tour at the Sturgis Library, the Barnes Historical Society, or at Cape Cod Community College. Please note: you do not have to volunteer for the Day of Service to sign up for a tour. Tours are open to all.

Friday Plenary Session

Michael Lesy is professor of literary journalism at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. A graduate of Columbia, he holds an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in American cultural history from Rutgers. He has published thirteen books of history, biography, and narrative nonfiction, often using materials found in archives or oral histories gathered during fieldwork. Lesy’s most recent book, Repast: Dining Out at the Dawn of the New American Century, 1900-1910 (with Lisa Stoffer), was based on the New York Public Library’s Buttolph Menu collection. His forthcoming book, Looking Backward: Images of the World at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century, supported by a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship, draws on a massive collection of early 20th-century stereograph images in the archive of the California Museum of Photography at UC-Riverside and is the basis of an exhibit at the museum.

Lesy has contributed to books including The Radical Camera, A New Literary History of America, and Killing the Buddha, as well as to magazines and journals, among them Aperture, DoubleTake, and The Journal of American History. His work has served as the basis or inspiration for operas, plays, dance performances, and films, as well as novels, short stories, and albums of popular music.

Friday Concurrent Sessions

1.1 “But That’s Not My Job”: Collaboration in an Age of Archival Anxiety
We live in an age of archival anxiety. Changes in technology, user expectations, and institutional resources mean that the definition of an archivist’s role is constantly shifting. We often find ourselves confronted with a project or way of thinking that falls outside of the traditional scope of our work. Instead of deploying the unhelpful phrase “that’s not my job,” how can we collaborate and grow within and across institutions while maintaining our professional identity? The panelists will reflect on topics such as becoming your own researcher, managing user expectations, and bringing non-archival work experience to the table. We hope the audience will join us in a thoughtful discussion of expectations and professional identity.

Mary Margaret Groberg, Outreach Archivist, Norwich University (moderator)
Sam Howes, Archivist III, Maine State Archives
Deborah Rich, Archivist, Sandwich Public Library
Blake Spitz, Archivist, UMass Amherst Libraries

1.2 Making the Quiet Voices Loud:  Oral Histories, the ADA@25, and the Deaf Catholic Archive*
Winner of the 2017 Inclusion & Diversity Session and Travel Assistance Award

This three-part session highlights two projects of Oral History and Folklife Research, Inc., and a collaboration between archivists and non-archivists at the College of the Holy Cross, which tell the stories of groups that have received less attention from history researchers.

Members from OHFR will report on two projects. The ADA@25 commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with interviews of individuals to tell the story of the disability rights movement in Maine. With Immigrant Voices, a project in process, OHFR conducted interviews with immigrants from various communities about their experiences. Members of the Holy Cross community will then discuss the Deaf Catholic Archive and the ways in which non-archivists are working alongside archivists, including the Roving Archivist from SHRAB, to make this special collection accessible to a wide spectrum of users while preserving and cultivating the history of Deaf culture.

* American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided for this session.

Keith Ludden, Director, Oral History and Folklife Research, Inc. (chair)
Rev. Joseph Bruce, S.J., College of the Holy Cross
Lisa Villa, Digital Scholarship Librarian, College of the Holy Cross

1.3 Changing the Flow: Implementing Digital Processing Workflows
This panel session will focus on different approaches to implementing digital processing workflows within and across institutional boundaries, at Yale University, WGBH, and Harvard Business School. The three presentations will focus on:
— The advantages of centralizing hardware and expertise to manage born-digital media and the challenges that come with moving digital content out of the normal processing workflow.
— The complexity of standardizing digital processing workflows for content arriving from a variety of sources, and the balance between providing centralized services and building capacity in other organizations.
— The benefits and difficulties of team-based digital processing and maintaining digital content in the normal processing workflow.

Keith Pendergrass, Digital Archivist, Harvard Business School (chair)
Alice Prael, Digital Processing Archivist, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Rebecca Fraimow, Archivist, WGBH
Liam Sullivan, Processing Archivist, Harvard Business School

1.4 State Historical Records Advisory Boards Summit
The care of historical records in each of the New England states is promoted by a State Historical Records Advisory Board. Representing every constituency of records holders and keepers of historical records, the SHRABs are the central advisory body for historical records planning and for NHPRC-funded projects developed and carried out within each state. They advise on historical records planning, facilitate cooperation among historical records repositories, and review NHPRC and related proposals. This session provides an opportunity for those interested in the care of historical records to hear from the state-level boards delivering services and programs. It will bring together representatives from each of the New England SHRABs to discuss programs, share ideas and approaches, and consider opportunities for regional cooperation. Specific topics will include: how boards develop and deliver programs, the drivers (money, laws and regulations, current topics, etc.) behind program development, who the constituents are and how well (or not) the SHRABs are assisting them, new initiatives from boards currently in the pipeline for the next one to two years, and places where multi-state cooperation on historical records programs might work.

Dan McCormack, Archivist, Burlington, Mass Municipal Archives (chair)
Heather Moran, Maine SHRAB member
Tanya Marshall, Vermont SHRAB Coordinator, Vermont State Archivist
Chris Burns, Vermont SHRAB member
Lizette Pelletier, Connecticut SHRAB Coordinator, Connecticut State Archivist
Linda Hocking, Connecticut SHRAB member
Maria Bernier, Rhode Island SHRAB member
Allison J. Cywin, Rhode Island SHRAB member
John Warner, Massachusetts SHRAB Coordinator, Massachusetts State Archivist
Veronica Martzahl, Massachusetts SHRAB Deputy Coordinator
Rachel Onuf, Massachusetts SHRAB Roving Archivist
Rob Cox, Massachusetts SHRAB member

1.5 Teaching Disability History With Primary Sources*
Working with secondary and higher education partners, the Disability History Museum ( pilots professional development workshops that introduce secondary school and college-level faculty to primary sources useful for integrating disability history topics into US history courses. This session brings together several teachers and professors of history to share their experiences. History professor Graham Warder will examine working with materials about disabled Civil War veterans. Debra Thomas, World Geography Teacher, Barnstable High School, will discuss how to use photos typically associated with immigration and settlement work as part of disability history. History professor Laura Lovett will talk about what it takes to get her students to recognize Helen Keller as someone who did more than “overcome her disability.” Laurie Block, Executive Director of the museum, will moderate the session.

* American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be provided for this session.

Laurie Block, Executive Director, Disability History Museum (chair)
Graham Warder, Associate Professor of History, Keene State College
Deborah Thomas, World Geography Teacher, Barnstable High School
Laura Lovett, Associate Professor of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst

1.6 Do-It-Yourself Crowdsourcing
Today’s networked environment supports an expectation of digital access, yet much of the Maine State Archives’ collections are not digitized, and with its small staff the resources that have been spent on digital projects have been focused on scanning. For many users unable to read handwritten documents, these scans are inaccessible. Staff knew something in the established workflow needed to change if they were to open up these “hidden collections.” Transcription can allow full engagement with such primary sources, but it is time-consuming to create. 

MSA will discuss the successes and challenges in building their own crowdsourced transcription platform. Without internal IT support, MSA developed their site using out-of-the-box programs (Omeka, Scripto, and others) and tweaked them to fit their needs. This project forced the group to stretch their knowledge and thinking, both outside the box and “across the atrium,” to form a special collaboration with the Maine State Library and Digital Commons.

Heather Moran, Archivist, Maine State Archives (chair)
Samuel Howes, Archivist, Maine State Archives
Kate Herbert, Cultural Heritage Data Specialist, Maine State Archives

1.7 Preserving Cape Cod History: How Two Towns Keep Their Histories Alive
The glass industry in Sandwich, Mass., Cape Cod’s oldest incorporated town, changed the face of a typical New England farming community into a diverse, bustling commercial town. When Mr. Deming Jarves, a Boston entrepreneur drawn to the area by its natural resources, built his glass factory here, he brought an influx of foreign workers and opportunities for new business that transformed the community. When the factory closed in 1888 and the subsequent economic downturn threatened to reverse the industrial progress, the town fathers explored a new opportunity to create a resort town and promote Sandwich as a vacation destination. 

A second presentation, by the West Falmouth Library’s former archivist, will discuss the history of the Cape Cod village of West Falmouth, with an emphasis on the library’s archival collections. With materials dating to 1673, the archives serves an important role in preserving local history. The presentation highlights some of the strategies the archives’ lone arranger employed, through advocacy and collaboration, to enhance access to its rich resources.

Dorothy Schofield, Curator of Collections, Sandwich Glass Museum / Sandwich Historical Society
Deb Rich, Archivist, Sandwich Town Archives/Sandwich Public Library
Katy Sternberger, Information Management Consultant, StarWrite

1.8 Archives and Artifacts: A Library and Museum Collaborate to Create The P. T. Barnum Digital Collection
Artifact collections and archives often complement each other, inform each other, and provide researchers with a greater context for their work. Bringing the two together in a digital project poses challenges but also creates opportunities to bridge collections, increase research efficiency, and appeal to a wider audience. This illustrated session will discuss facets of the current National Endowment for the Humanities-funded collaborative initiative of the Barnum Museum and the Bridgeport Public Library’s History Center, both in Bridgeport, Conn. The project, the P. T. Barnum Digital Collection, will comprise more than 1000 items selected from the two institutions, to provide a content-rich resource accessible to people with varying levels of expertise, from students and history enthusiasts to scholars and authors.

The discussion will address critical elements of planning a digital project, the process of cataloging diverse material in two different systems, developing humanities content to aid researchers, and the technical challenges of making the collection accessible through the Connecticut Digital Archive.

Adrienne Saint-Pierre, Project Manager and Curator, The Barnum Museum (chair)
Elizabeth Van Tuyl, Archivist, Bridgeport History Center, Bridgeport Public Library
Meghan Rinn, Project Cataloger and Metadata Specialist, The Barnum Museum
Susan G. Luchars, Project Technical Coordinator, The Barnum Museum

Saturday Plenary Session

K.J. Rawson is an assistant professor of English at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is also the director of the Digital Transgender Archive (DTA), an online digital repository for transgender-related digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world, based at Holy Cross. The DTA earned Rawson an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Digital Innovation Fellowship for the 2015–2016 academic year. Rawson’s research and teaching interests include composition, rhetoric, digital media, and LGBT studies, and his scholarship focuses on the rhetorical dimensions of queer and transgender archiving in both traditional and digital collections.

An English major at Cornell, Rawson has an M.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Ph.D. in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric from Syracuse University, and previously taught at the University of Kentucky. He has contributed to journals including Archivaria, Enculturation, Present Tense, QED, TSQ, and several edited collections, and edited, with Eileen E. Schell, Rhetorica in Motion: Feminist Rhetorical Methods and Methodologies

Saturday Concurrent Sessions

2.1 Academic Omissions: Blind Spots in Archival Education
This forum will center on archival education in the United States and the translation of core archival competencies into curricular standards. Archivists are finding themselves reflecting on the ways in which our practices and institutions both document and challenge the erasure of marginalized groups. With these issue in mind, this open forum strives to engage archivist colleagues, both new and seasoned, in a discussion about the role of archival education and curriculum in the present and future.

Desiree Alaniz, Student, Simmons College
Kathleen Carter, Student, Simmons College

2.2 Presenting Moving Images to the Public: Opportunities and Choices
When presenting your institution’s films on the web, you face a host of decisions: what formats should you use? which internet host sites will best serve your needs? should you apply institution logos/identifiers? what about web address redirects?

This discussion, which encourages audience participation, will address these concerns and more, include uploading mystery footage to help identify locations and people, employing on-screen timecodes to ensure accurate feedback, and searching out additional, even undiscovered, material to enhance the film’s context, such as diaries, scripts, and still photos.

Fred Pond, Instruction & Information Librarian, Vermont Historical Society & University of Vermont

2.3 Clearing the Channel: Collection Reappraisal and Deaccessioning
Do you feel like you have many things in your collection that don’t quite support your mission? Is it time to reappraise your collection? Have you started reappraising your collection and find yourself uncertain about just how to remove ill-fitting items – transfer, sale, destruction? The Local History Roundtable is offering a session to help you jump into the reappraisal and deaccessioning process – all with an eye toward stronger collections and better collections management. Speakers will present their experiences in appraisal, weeding, deaccessioning, and removal, and recommend specific approaches and tools for dealing with these issues.

VivianLea Solek, Archivist, Knights of Columbus Supreme Council Archives (chair)
Erik Bauer, Archivist, Peabody Institute Library
Elysia Hamelin, Haverhill Public Library
Tom Doyle, Archivist and Curator, Woburn Public Library and Museum

2.4 Making ArchivesSpace Work for You: Customizing ArchivesSpace for Smaller Institutions
The Congregational Library & Archives staff will talk about their experiences as a small institution implementing ArchivesSpace using a LYRASIS-hosted instance. The session will focus on the particular issues they faced as a nonprofit cultural heritage institution with no dedicated IT staff, highlighting lessons learned, considerations, and recommendations.

Jessica Steytler, Archivist/Records Manager, Congregational Library & Archives (chair)
Taylor McNeilly, Processing Archivist, Congregational Library & Archives
Cristina Prochilo, Archives Manager, Historic New England

2.5 Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About a Collections Survey But Were Afraid to Ask
Repositories often receive materials at a faster rate than they can process, catalog, or inventory them. This can lead to a lack of control over and access to materials, as well as cataloging and backlog issues. This session will detail the progress made thus far during the three-year collections survey for Special Collections currently under way at Brown University’s John Hay Library, from its beginning to its current state, and from what worked to what might have been done differently. The presenters will share the successes and challenges of the project and invite questions from attendees.

Jordan Jancosek, Survey Librarian for Special Collections, Brown University
Jennifer Betts, University Archivist, Brown University

2.6 Archives and Access: A Complicated Relationship
With modern freedom of information legislation, along with legislation meant to protect personal information and privacy, archives and archivists find themselves rethinking our traditional approaches to access policies and practices and having to adapt to a much more complex environment. In 2010, Library and Archives Canada introduced a new proactive, risk-based process called Block Review.  In the United States, NARA’s National Declassification Center reviews and opens government archival records, coordinates declassification actions with the creating government organizations, and acts as an advocate for the research public. The speakers will explain their respective national archives’ approaches and seek to foster discussion about opening records for the public.

Paulette Dozois, Senior Archivist, Library and Archives Canada
Alex J. Daverede III, Senior Archivist National Declassification Center, National Archives & Records Administration

2.7 From the Trenches: Approaching Transition and Grief in Acquisitions Work
Acquisitions work commonly takes place during times of transition. Donors, whether they are the records creators or their family members, independent agents or institutional faculty/staff, are often experiencing associated feelings of grief and loss. As a result, an acquisitor’s job is far more intricate than simply acquiring and describing records. The ability to navigate and negotiate difficult conversations at the point of acquisition can and does determine our success as stewards of cultural heritage.

Presenters will provide case examples of donor interactions involving manuscript, oral history, and institutional record acquisitions, and draw on their experience to offer advice for responding to difficult situations. Topics will include end-of-life situations, administrative transitions, and trauma. Presenters will also address cross-collaborative approaches to professional development and self-care, and encourage attendees to think about how they might address similar situations in their own work.

Carolyn Hayes, Acquisitions Archivist, Center for the History of Medicine; Harvard Medical School, Countway Library
Joan Ilacqua, Archivist for Women in Medicine, Center for the History of Medicine; Harvard Medical School, Countway Library  
Heather Mumford, Archivist for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Center for the History of Medicine; Harvard Medical School, Countway Library

2.8 Big-Reels, Floppies, SyQuest, and All That Jazz!
Remember those big old tape reels in that Austin Powers scene? There are literally millions still languishing on shelves around the world, just one type of leaf in the ancient data forest. Valuable chunks of older cultural and scientific data keep popping up in obsolete media: PC/Mac floppies and the even-older Wang 8” hard sector floppies, minicomputer backup tapes (DEC, Data General, Honeywell , Wang, etc, etc), IBM legacy cartridges like 3480, and so on. Featuring plenty of examples, this presentation will look at the many layers of “the stack” between the object in your hand and the information born digitally in computer programs long before anyone thought of a trusted digital repository.

George Blood, President, George Blood Audio/Video/Film/Data (chair)
Chris Muller, Senior Advisor and Data Rescue Manager, George Blood Audio/Video/Film/Data

2.9 1919 Boston Police Strike Project: Community Volunteers Research the Men Behind the Strike
The 1919 Boston Police Strike Project is a crowd-fueled attempt to document and preserve the stories of the more than 1,100 police officers who were involved in this dramatic and highly influential labor strike. By September 9th, 2019, the centennial of the strike, a searchable database including biographical essays about each of the officers should be complete. A collaboration between the Boston Police Department Archives and the Archives and Special Collections at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the project also relies on a fluid group of dozens of volunteers drawn from local organizations, classrooms, and the general public.

This panel will feature four project participants – two archivists, a volunteer researcher, and a public history graduate student – who will describe the creation and current state of the project, an effort to bring together people from various backgrounds and research skill levels to participate in a multi-year communal project based on primary source research.

John Gallagher, Boston Police Superintendent (ret’d), family researcher, author (chair)
Caroline Littlewood, Graduate Student in History, Public History Track, UMass Boston
Joanne Riley, University Archivist and Curator of Special Collections, UMass Boston
Margaret Sullivan, Records Manager & Archivist, Boston Police Department

2.10 The METRO Fellowship: Collaborative Approaches to Archives and New Media
In 2016, the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) launched a fellowship structured to support collaborations within its unique network of libraries, archives, and museums. The selection process was performed through an innovative reverse-pitch approach: partner institutions submitted proposals concerning their direct communities, and fellow applicants were then encouraged to consider cross-disciplinary project ideas that offered solutions across multiple sites, rather than a single host institution. 

Two of the fellows selected by METRO will discuss the impact that the fellowship’s form and approach has had on their own work: research concerning institutional email archives and the construction of a media studio for METRO’s new Manhattan office (Media Studio @ 599).

Katherine Martinez, METRO Fellow, Metropolitan New York Library Council

2.11 Author-Archivist Collaboration: Making Blood Brother Come to Life
This panel discussion will explore how the archivists at Keene State College worked with authors Sandra Neil Wallace and Richard Wallace doing research for a young adult nonfiction book. Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights (Calkins Creek, 2016) is a biography of the New Hampshire-born civil rights activist and Episcopal seminarian Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who was killed in Alabama in 1965 shielding the young civil rights activist Ruby Sales. The book has won several national awards, including a Parents’ Choice Gold Award and two from the American Library Association.

Mylynda Gill, Project Archivist, Keene State College (chair)
Brantley Palmer, Archivist, Colby-Sawyer College
Sandra Neil Wallace, Coauthor, Blood Brother
Richard Wallace, Coauthor, Blood Brother

2.12 The Challenges of Managing the Records of Cultural Institutions: How to Take Better Care of Our Own Stuff
Archives, special collections libraries, and museums are stewards of materials documenting our cultural history, but they often neglect to treat the records documenting their own history with proper care. These records, which provide evidence of the acquisition, description, presentation, and use of collection materials, are a vital asset for the work of the institution and an important resource for understanding the history of our culture; as such, they merit better treatment. Presenters will discuss projects involving institutional records and some of the special challenges these records present to traditional records management best practices.

Katherine Isham, Records Manager, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University (chair)
Irina Sandler, Archivist, Cambridge Historical Society/Baker Library, Harvard Business School
Mary Yearl, College Archivist, Wellesley College

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