Featured post

SNAP Webinars!

Records and Information Management (RIM): Lessons Learned

By Hillary Gatlin

Hey SNAPpers! April is Records and Information Management (RIM) Month. How much do you know about RIM? What does it mean to be a records manager? What should you know about working in records and information management? As someone who has spent over 10 years working in records and information management at different academic institutions, I am happy to provide some quick lessons learned.

RIM is important to organizational success, but it often operates “behind the scenes.” Records and information management focuses on the efficient and systematic control of information, including creation, maintenance, use, and disposition of records. In other words, good records management helps employees find the information and records they need, quickly and efficiently. This is critical to an organization’s success, but it is rarely talked about by administrators or executives. In fact, many employees who create and use records every day may not even be aware of records management as a concept. One of the biggest challenges you may face while working in RIM is simply educating people on what records management is, how it works, and why it matters. Always be prepared to sell yourself and your RIM program.

As a records manager, you will likely be working closely with many related fields. Records and information management touches on all aspects of recordkeeping. This holistic approach means that records managers may quickly find themselves working hand in hand with colleagues in a variety of related areas, including business workflow analysis, privacy and security, information technology, data governance, traditional archives work, risk management, and much, much more. All of these different areas may impact RIM projects and goals. Successful records managers need to be willing to embrace and explore these different fields. I would not consider myself an expert in areas such as information technology or privacy, but I do need to be familiar enough with the terminology and concepts to be able to converse coherently with subject matter experts.

Good records management is, at its core, people management. Although RIM as a field focuses primarily on records and information, a successful records manager also needs to know how to work collaboratively with people. Whether it is getting executive buy-in for a RIM program, consulting on a project, implementing a new records technology, or advising an office on recordkeeping requirements, records managers need to communicate clearly with others. You need to be able to explain the importance and benefits of good records management and connect with your stakeholders. Keep in mind that technological solutions can only go so far by themselves; people are key to implementing and maintaining good records practices.

RIM is constantly changing. Even before the pandemic, records and information management was always changing, with new focuses on data management and information governance expanding RIM’s scope beyond traditional recordkeeping. But now, RIM is growing in even more ways. The implementation of GDPR has changed how many organizations approach privacy concerns. Remote work has caused organizations to ask important questions about records storage and access. Records management in twenty years may not look a thing like records management from fifteen years ago, and while that can be a challenge, it also presents an exciting opportunity for people interested in growth and change.

Remote Volunteering with Libraries and Archives

By Karlie Herndon

Hey SNAPpers! April is National Volunteer Month, and even though we’ve only got a few days left of the month, you can still give back with remote volunteering opportunities! Please note that the opportunities we discuss here may not be accessible for people with vision impairments.

Libraries and Archives Need Brilliant Folks Like You

If you haven’t thought about volunteering since those “volunteer” hours many of us were required to log in high school, you’re not alone! We’re all busy, and volunteering might seem impossible, but there are some major perks. Particularly if you’re new to a profession, volunteer work can set you apart from other job applicants, and it’s something you might be able to add to your schedule at just a few hours a week. These days, SO many libraries and archives are digitizing their extensive collections. In order to make historical documents as user-friendly and accessible as possible, those documents need metadata, transcription, and various tags to make them searchable and readable for everyone. That’s where volunteers come in!

You’re Already Busy…Why Should You Volunteer? 

While in-person volunteering programs can be hard to find (and hard to manage, from the institution’s point of view), remote volunteer opportunities are often a self-serve kind of activity. Pick your project, watch a few training videos, and get down to business—usually the business of transcription. It’s an easy thing to pick up when you have some time and put aside when you don’t. A lot of these “citizen transcription” projects are broken down page-by-page, so you don’t have to commit to a massive task up front. 

Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills, give some of your time to a worthy cause, and beef up your resume, particularly if you’re a student or new archives professional. To top it off, it can be a networking opportunity as well as a trial run for the kinds of work you’re curious about. 

  • Gain new skills: Many transcription projects will have a little upfront training, maybe teaching you some quick html or tips and tricks on reading cross writing. Aside from skills, you might learn some fascinating facts from the materials you work with. 
  • Give back: When so much of our time is driven by consumer culture, volunteering your time can be a way to contribute to learning for learning’s sake, and that can be very refreshing. By joining a project whose values you support, you’re also joining a community that shares those values. It’s pretty nifty. 
  • Strengthen your resume: Who doesn’t want a shiny badge on their resume that says, “Hey, I really do care about this stuff!” Seriously though, especially if you’re new to the field, volunteer work can often count towards those years of experience that employers require, even for many entry-level jobs.
  • Network with pros: You might find a project that has a few people working behind the scenes, and as you show your dedication to the work, you could reach out and say, “Hey, got anything else I can do for you?” It doesn’t hurt to make friends, either!
  • Try your hand: Maybe you think you love reading old letters, and cursive is cake. Maybe you’ve never had a chance to work with historical documents. Now is a good time to test your own interests.

Where to Start Remote Volunteering

There are several projects you can jump into today, with everything from authors’ correspondence to cook books to witchcraft, and new projects appear all the time. Here are just a few that might pique your interest:

  • FromThePage has many projects that need citizen volunteers’ help. Here’s a diary project from the county I grew up in (maybe you can find a similar hometown connection?). Here’s a project on Gold Rush letters. And for you Victorianists, here’s a Dickens project. This transcribathon runs through FromThePage, and it looks like a lot of fun.
  • The National Archives has lots of Citizen Archivist Missions. If you scroll down on the main mission page, you’ll find some featured items, categorized by experience level. They even have a Don’t Leave Us Hanging section for partially transcribed items, if you take joy in finishing tasks (I do!). A photo tagging mission on this page is complete now, but keep checking back for new projects if photos are more your thing. 
  • The Smithsonian has a great page for digital volunteers, but it looks like many of the projects are complete. Check back later for new projects! They also seem to have sound recordings to transcribe from time to time!
  • The Library of Congress needs transcribers and reviewers, and from their By the People homepage, you can click a link to jump into either a transcription or a review. This is a great tool for getting right into a project without having to mull over decisions. I chose to jump to a transcription and was immediately able to start work on a letter in the Theodore Roosevelt Papers.

You’ll Be Great!

I know I’ve let some projects like these slip by me, either because I thought I wouldn’t do a perfect job or I thought I’d have to contribute a lot of time. Don’t worry about either of those things! Incomplete transcriptions are still a helpful contribution, and these systems are set up so that many sets of eyes go on a project. 

Know that you’ll be helping out more than you think. Just be sure to read any guidelines or watch any available training videos before you begin. They’re quick and helpful, and they’ll make a big difference in your work. 

Happy volunteering!

An Introduction to ArchivesSpace and the ArchivesSpace User Community Webinar

Webinar Recap by Nicole Font

SNAP 2022 Webinar Series:
An Introduction to ArchivesSpace and the ArchivesSpace User Community
Christine Di Bella, MSI, DAS, and Jessica Crouch, MLIS, DAS, ArchivesSpace

Hosted by John Claude Esh, MLIS, CA, SNAP Section Steering Committee Member;
Organized by Lourdes Johnson, MLIS, Provisional CA, Member-At-Large, SNAP Section Steering Committee

On April 6, 2022, SNAP welcomed Christine Di Bella, MSI, DAS, and Jessica Crouch, MLIS, DAS for an informative presentation about ArchivesSpace and the ArchivesSpace user community. We greatly appreciate Christine and Jessica for joining us to provide background on the ArchivesSpace information management system and sustainability model, the ArchivesSpace user community, and the resources available to learn more about using and implementing ArchivesSpace. From my experience using ArchivesSpace, many of the resources discussed (shoutout to the training videos!) are incredibly helpful, so hopefully you’ll find this presentation valuable as you begin your ArchivesSpace journey. 

You can view the recorded session below, but here are a few key points and takeaways from the webinar

  1. This presentation is meant to provide background and context on what ArchivesSpace is. It is not a system overview or walkthrough of the application.
  2. ArchivesSpace is an archives information management software application that supports a range of archival functions, including accessioning, arrangement, description, preservation, and access. It is not a digital asset management system – it can’t manage digital files. 
  3. ArchivesSpace is also a community of people working together to create and improve the application. It is free to download and use but has membership and community-led governance for sustainability. Using the application does not require membership, but members have the greatest say in the application’s future and get benefits that help them use it and participate in the wider community.
  4. Membership to ArchivesSpace is at the organizational level. If you work at an ArchivesSpace member organization you are entitled to certain benefits only available to members. If you are not affiliated with an ArchivesSpace member organization, there are still lots of resources available to learn more about ArchivesSpace. See the links below for member and non-member resources.

Webinar Highlights:

0:00 Welcome and Speaker Introductions
– John Esh, MLIS, CA, SNAP Steering Committee Member
– Christine Di Bella, MSI, DAS, ArchivesSpace Program Manager
– Jessica Crouch, MLIS, DAS, ArchivesSpace Community Engagement Coordinator

0:53 What is ArchivesSpace? 
– Presentation by Christine Di Bella, MSI, DAS

14:00 Available Resources 
– Presentation by Jessica Crouch, MLIS, DAS

28:20 Q&A begins

Contact Information
Website: http://archivesspace.org 
Wiki: http://wiki.archivesspace.org 
Twitter: @ArchivesSpace
Contact ArchivesSpace: Contact us: ArchivesSpaceHome@lyrasis.org 

Resources for ArchivesSpace Members
– The ArchivesSpace Help Center: https://archivesspace.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/ADC/pages/917045261/ArchivesSpace+Help+Center 
– The ArchivesSpace Listservs: http://lyralists.lyrasis.org/mailman/listinfo/archivesspace_users_group 
– Technical Support: https://archivesspace.org/member-area/technical-support
– Member Match Program: https://archivesspace.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/ADC/pages/2198568994/ArchivesSpace+Member+Match+Program
– ArchivesSpace Events: https://archivesspace.org/using-archivesspace/archivesspace-forums
– You can find a list of all member benefits at: https://archivesspace.org/community/member-benefits
– Educational Program Membership: https://archivesspace.org/community/educational-program-membership

Resources for Non-Members
– Getting Started Webpage: https://archivesspace.org/using-archivesspace/getting-started
– YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxR6D-UlSx6N6UWTeqHTjzA  
– The ArchivesSpace Google Group: https://groups.google.com/g/archivesspace
– ArchivesSpace GitHub: https://github.com/archivesspace/awesome-archivesspace
– Video for Windows installation:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8sDok-eMFo

Christine Di Bella, MSI, DAS, ArchivesSpace
Christine Di Bella, MSI, DAS, ArchivesSpace
Jessica Crouch, MLIS, ArchivesSpace Community Engagement Coordinator
Jessica Crouch, MLIS, ArchivesSpace Community Engagement Coordinator

Christine Di BellaMSIDAS, and Jessica CrouchMLISDAS, are both archivists with over 30 years of combined experience working in archives and libraries. On the ArchivesSpace team, they are involved in all aspects of ArchivesSpace development and outreach and work closely with the ArchivesSpace member community and governance to implement and execute goals for the application. 

[Note: The SAA does not endorse products or services; inclusion does not imply endorsement.]

Thoughts? Please let us know!

We would like to know your thoughts on the types of topics you would like to see and what days and times are most convenient for you to attend a live webinar. Please complete our short survey!

If you want to present in our webinar series, contribute with a blog post, share with a member a project you are working on, please contact us at newarchivistsrt@gmail.com. We want to hear from you! 

Rutgers SOURCE SAA Student Chapter Webinar: Developing Digital Editions

Rutgers SOURCE SAA Student Chapter Webinar
Developing Digital Editions—The Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers University
Presentation and Q&A with Dr. Paul Israel, Director and General Editor of the Thomas A. Edison Papers, Rutgers University

On March 22, 2022, Rutgers SOURCE welcomed Dr. Paul Israel, Director and General Editor of the Thomas A. Edison Papers, which encompasses a wide range of Edison’s business and personal documents, at Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Israel is an expert in the history of invention and innovation and in patent history and for decades has led research on Thomas Edison’s work and life. Dr. Israel gave an overview of the collection (http://edison.rutgers.edu), and discussed ongoing development of its digital editions over the years, coordination with the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, and enhancing accessibility of documents for research and browsing in a digital space.

The webinar was organized by Rutgers SOURCE Executive Board—Monica Genuardi, President; Laura Melbourne, Vice President; Laurel Monks, Secretary; Riain Ross-Hager, Webmaster—and Faculty Advisor Dr. Marija Dalbello.

Rutgers SOURCE is proud to be a student chapter of the Society of American Archivists.

Academic and Institutional Employment—Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews…Oh My!

Webinar Recap by Marissa Friedman, MLIS

SNAP 2022 Webinar Series:
Demystifying Academic and Institutional Employment:
Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews…Oh My!
Presentation by Jennifer Motszko, MA/MLIS, Head of Archives, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater

Organized and Hosted by Marissa Friedman, MLIS, SNAP Vice Chair/Chair-Elect

On March 31, 2022, SNAP welcomed Jennifer Motszko, MA/MLIS, Head of Archives, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, for an informative talk on curriculum vitaes/resumes, cover letters, and interviewing for academic archives jobs. We’re very grateful for Jennifer’s insights into the hiring process at academic and institutional archives from her perspective as someone who has been both an applicant and hiring manager. 

This session is particularly useful for students and early career professionals who are interested in pursuing employment in academic and institutional archives, and who have questions about best practices and expectations for finding relevant jobs, formatting curriculum vitaes, and preparing for the (often lengthy) interview and hiring process. 

The recorded session is available for viewing below, but here are a few major tips and takeaways from the webinar:

  1. Customizing your application for each position is indispensable, but you don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel each time. Invest in building good templates for cover letters and curriculum vitaes, and always save your application materials. You never know which bits you can reuse in a future application. Curriculum vitaes are usually preferred for jobs in academic institutions. 
  2. Curriculum vitaes (CVs) are generally preferred for academic jobs. As they are much longer than resumes, you can really be creative in how you present your overall professional biography, including everything from continuing education and certifications to volunteer experience, presentations, publications, and more. Just remember to stick to easy to read formats and avoid things like color! Keep it simple, clean, neat, and easy for both OCR engines and human beings to read. 
  3. Make sure to follow application instructions exactly — if the institution requests three references, do not submit only two! Many institutions use software that might automatically reject or screen out your application if you don’t submit the required documents or submit material that is formatted oddly (i.e. using colorful fonts in your CV). 
  4. You are more than welcome to bring notes/notebook in with you for interviews; for some people, this is an excellent way of harnessing one’s thoughts and fighting off nerves. Taking notes during the interview is also fine — it can give you time to think through the question before responding, and can also demonstrate a candidate’s interest in the position. 
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the hiring committee! You’re also interviewing them. Jennifer’s favorite question as a hiring manager is, “What is your favorite thing about working at [X]? Ultimately, interesting collections alone will not likely make a job sustainable as much as quality colleagues and institutional support, so find out why people who work at an institution enjoy working there.
  6. Do basic research before going into the interview on the institution’s mission, collections, and priorities. You don’t need to be an expert, but demonstrate that you’ve done your homework and connect this knowledge to why you might want to work there.
  7. The hiring process at academic archives can take months — each stage of the process, from drafting job descriptions to posting jobs to interviewing to hiring an individual, requires multiple levels of review and approvals from bodies well beyond the hiring committee itself. So be patient and prepared for delays. 

Webinar Highlights and Links:
0:00 – Welcome and Speaker Introduction
– Marissa Friedman, MA, MLIS, SNAP Vice Chair/Chair-Elect
– Jennifer Motszko, Head of Archives, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater
1:31 – Jennifer Motszko Presentation Begins
50:27 – Q&A begins

Job Searching Sites
– ALA JobLIST (http://joblist.ala.org/
– SAA Online Career Center (https://careers.archivists.org/jobseekers/
– Web crawlers (http://www.indeed.com/
– Archivesgig (https://archivesgig.com/)

Salary Transparency Resources
US Bureau of Labor Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/Oes/current/oes254011.htm (note that salary data may be outdated; the SAA A*CENSUS Working Group is conducting a new survey)
2019 SAA Annual Meeting Salary Transparency spreadsheet: https://t.co/GT8t9ih3eM 

– Examples of good interview questions to ask as a candidate: https://twitter.com/kcrowe/status/1496329139451838466?s=20&t=-pU_YpxClDM1dUitxsXSlQ 

SAA Resources
SAA Career Services Commons: Offers job listing (with listed salaries), resume reviews and mock interviews, mentoring, and more, https://www2.archivists.org/groups/career-services-commons   

Questions for Jennifer? Contact her at motszkoj@uww.edu

Questions for SNAP? Contact us at newarchivistsrt@gmail.com

Jennifer Motszko, Digital Scholar and Preservation, Archives at University Library, on Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. (UW-Whitewater photos/Craig Schreiner)

Jennifer Motszko, MA/MLIS, holds a BA in History from UW–Madison and Master’s Degrees in History and Library and Information Science from UW–Milwaukee. She has over fourteen years of experience working in both corporate and academic archives. Jennifer began her archival career with the Harley Davidson Motor Company as a museum technician before taking a position as manuscript archivist for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2018, she moved back to Wisconsin to head the Archives and Area Research Center at UW–Whitewater where she manages university records, genealogical resources, and manuscript collections that document the agricultural, business, and supernatural history of Southeastern Wisconsin.

Thoughts? Please let us know!

As SAA-SNAP kicks off its 2022 webinar series, we would like to know your thoughts on the types of topics you would like to see and what days and times are most convenient for you to attend a live webinar. Please complete our short survey!
If you want to present in our webinar series, contribute with a blog post, share with a member a project you are working on, please contact us at newarchivistsrt@gmail.com. We want to hear from you!

SAA DAS (Digital Archives Specialist) Certificate Program

Webinar Recap by Karlie Herndon

SNAP 2022 Webinar Series:
SAA DAS (Digital Archives Specialist) Certificate Program
Presentation by Sara Davis, MSLS, DAS; SAA Chair of DAS Subcommittee; Course Development Team member

JOINT WEBINAR: SNAP Section and SAA-University of Tennessee Knoxville Student Chapter
Organized and Hosted by Mikayla Wood, First Year Representative of the University of Tennessee Knoxville SAA Student Chapter, and Karlie Herndon, SNAP Student Chapter Coordinator

On March 23, 2022, the UTK SAA student chapter and SNAP welcomed Sara Davis (MSLS, DAS), Wyoming State Archivist and Chair of the SAA’s DAS Subcommittee, for an informative talk on the benefits of earning a Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) certificate through SAA.  We are very grateful for Sara’s insights, and we were very happy to partner with the UTK SNAP section to make this session happen. 

This DAS primer session is particularly useful for students who are finishing their MLIS program, early career professionals, and anyone interested in learning more about the SAA DAS program. 

You can view the recorded session below, but here are a few tips and takeaways from the webinar:

  1. The DAS certificate is for anyone! It’s useful and informative for people with no experience with digital records. The program prepares people to manage digital records, including personal records.
  2. Courses don’t have to be taken in any specific order, unless a prerequisite (such as the first section of a 2-part course) is noted in the course description.
  3. For total beginners, it would be good to do the foundational courses first. Starting in August, SAA will begin offering a “prerequisites” tier, a foundational course on managing a digital workflow. It will be free to SAA members! This will be a great overview as well as a sample of what to expect from the overall certificate program. Stay tuned for more!
  4. Earning the certificate opens up opportunities for various jobs, but it’s also a great tool for networking and outreach. 
  5. Take advanced courses synchronously if possible. You can hear others’ stories and get to know the “why” behind certain actions. Plus, this is a prime networking opportunity!

Webinar Highlights and Links:
0:00 – Welcome and Speaker Introduction
– Karlie Herndon (she/her), MA, MLIS, PhD [ABD], SNAP Student Chapter Coordinator
– Mikayla Wood (she/her), University of Tennessee Knoxville SNAP Student Chapter, First Year Representative
Sara Davis (she/her), MSLS, DAS, Wyoming State Archivist, SAA DAS Subcommittee Chair
1:58 – Sara Davis Presentation Begins
4:40 – History/purpose of the DAS certificate
6:52 – Requirements for the Certificate
Complete nine courses from the four major tiers of the DAS program: Foundational (4), Tactical & Strategic (3), Tools & Services (1), Transformational (1); must take two synchronous courses; pass comprehensive exam (offered three times a year)
13:00 – Timeline requirements
– Complete coursework in 24 months; up to 5 additional months allowed to take comprehensive exam
– Certificate is good for 5 years
Renewal process: can take 1 course in the first year after earning the certificate, and 4 more in the next 4 years to renew (5 courses over 5 years to renew)
14:23 – Benefits to the DAS program
14:33 – Benefit 1: Opens Opportunities
16:55 – Benefit 2: Brings Old with the New
17:36 – Benefit 3: Digitization as Preservation (Sara’s favorite benefit!)
18:42 – Benefit 4: Maintain Integrity of Original Formats
19:14 – Benefit 5: Enhances Accessibility
19:36 – DAS Competencies
21:06 – Websites
– https://connect.archivists.org/home [SAA Connect—login required]
21:29 – Thank You; Question and Answer Session Begins
23:09 – Cost of certificate
Roughly $1250 out of pocket; synchronous courses are a little more expensive than the webinars
24:40 – Workload to complete the coursework
25:36 – Courses
28:00 – Calendar of course offerings
34:15 – More on the renewal process
39:40 – Financial assistance ideas
42:20 – Reading list for the comprehensive exam
42:58 – Closing remarks, thank yous, contact information

Sara Davis, MSLS, DAS, (she/her) is the Wyoming State Archivist as of September 2021. Prior to her current appointment, she was the university archivist for the University of Wyoming at the American Heritage Center and digital archivist/project manager for the National Association of Olmsted Parks at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site. She has a MSLS with a concentration in archives management from Simmons University and holds a Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) certificate from the Society of American Archivists. She is also currently the chair of the SAA DAS Subcommittee.

Thoughts? Please let us know!

As SAA-SNAP kicks off its 2022 webinar series, we would like to know your thoughts on the types of topics you would like to see and what days and times are most convenient for you to attend a live webinar. Please complete our short survey!

If you want to present in our webinar series, contribute with a blog post, share with a member a project you are working on, please contact us at newarchivistsrt@gmail.com. We want to hear from you!

SAA Annual Meeting: Call for Graduate Student Proposals

SAA’s Annual Meeting is currently accepting proposals from graduate students. Proposals can be from individuals or student chapters for papers or posters.

From SAA Headquarters:

Graduate Student Presentation
The work of three current archives students and/or SAA student chapters will be selected for presentation. Each speaker will be allotted fifteen minutes to present a paper. Be creative! Proposals from individual students as well as SAA student chapter groups will be considered. Proposals may relate to the student’s applied or theoretical research, research about the archives profession itself, or even practical/internship experiences. Student chapters may consider presenting on projects or initiatives conducted in the current term (Fall 2021 through Summer 2022). Participant selection will be based on the quality of proposals submitted.

Graduate Student Poster
The 22nd annual Graduate Student Poster Session will showcase the work of both individual students and SAA Student Chapters.

All posters will be presented in-person and virtually in PDF format. More information about preparing posters will be shared upon acceptance. Posters will be available to all meeting attendees throughout the week of the conference and in the virtual platform. See here for examples of the 2020 graduate student poster presentations.

Individual posters may describe applied or theoretical research that is completed or underway; discuss interesting collections with which students have worked; or report on archives and records projects in which students have participated (e.g., development of finding aids, public outreach, database construction, etc.). Submissions should focus on research or activity conducted within the previous academic year (Fall 2021 to Summer 2022).

Student chapter posters may describe chapter activities, events, and/or other involvement with the archives and records professions. A single representative should coordinate the submission of each Student Chapter proposal.

The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2022. To submit a proposal, visit https://www2.archivists.org/am2022/program/student-call/form.

Conference Round-Up!

Post contributed by River Freemont

Below is a list of upcoming conferences, as well as funding opportunities, where available. Note that this list is by no means exhaustive, and your local area might offer additional funding opportunities not detailed here. In addition, if you are a student, it is a good idea to check with your school about professional development scholarships.

In-Person Conferences

Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Spring Conference
MARCH 24-26, Harrisonburg, VA
Online Registration closed March 9. On-site registration will be available beginning March 24.

Society of Indiana Archivists Annual Meeting
APRIL 22, Danville, IN
Registration is open March 1- April 13.

South Carolina Historic Preservation Conference
APRIL 22, Columbia, SC
Registration is open but is limited to 125 participants.

Midwest Archives Conference
MAY 5-7, Madison, WI
Register by April 7 for advance registration rates. Rates increase after this time. Virtual registration is also available.

Society of Florida Archivists Annual Meeting
MAY 11-13, Orlando, FL
Early bird registration ends on March 30. Regular registration ends on April 13.
Meeting scholarship: http://www.florida-archivists.org/Beale-Scholarship/

Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists
MAY 12-13 (more dates TBA), Salt Lake City, UT
[Registration information not available.]
Meeting scholarship: Funding may be available. Check https://cimarchivists.org/scholarships-and-grants/ for updates.

Society of Southwest Archivists Annual Meeting
MAY 18-21, Houston, TX
Early bird registration ends April 18. 

Society of California Archivists
MAY 19-21, Palm Springs, CA
Annual General Meeting 2022: Archives Represent
Early bird registration ends April 15.

Society of Ohio Archivists Annual Conference
MAY 20, Columbus, OH
[Registration information not available.]
Meeting scholarship: https://ohioarchivists.org/category/scholarships/

National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators
JULY 13-16, Salt Lake City, UT
Early bird registration ends after May 13. 

Society of American Archivists: ARCHIVES * RECORDS 2022
AUGUST 20-27, Boston, MA
[Registration information TBA.]
CALL FOR GRADUATE STUDENT PROGRAM PROPOSALS:  https://www2.archivists.org/am2022/program/call-for-student-proposals
Society of Georgia Archivists’ Edward Weldon scholarship: https://soga.wildapricot.org/scholarships/weldon

Best Practices Exchange and Council of State Archivists Joint (un)Conference
SEPTEMBER 26-28, Nashville, TN
Deadline for proposals is April 29.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Fall Conference
OCTOBER 19-22, College Park, MD
[Proposal/registration dates TBA.]
Meeting scholarship: ​​https://www.marac.info/conference-scholarships

Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums Conference
OCTOBER 25-27, Temecula, CA
Advance registration is open until August 15. 

Association of Moving Image Archivists
NOVEMBER (more details TBA)

Virtual Conferences

Society of North Carolina Archivists Conference
MARCH 17-18
Registration deadline: March 14.

Northwest Archivists Conference
MAY 2 (more dates TBA)
Meeting scholarship: http://northwestarchivists.org/studentscholarship
Native American Collections Roundtable scholarship: http://northwestarchivists.org/nacr-scholarship (more info on this year’s scholarship TBA)

New England Archivists Spring 2022 Unconference
MAY 9 (more dates TBA)

Society for Imaging Science and Technology, Archiving 2022
JUNE 7-10
Registration will open in April.

New York Archives Conference
Proposals are due by April 15.

Rare Books and Manuscripts Conference: What Now? Reflection, Reckoning, and Recovery
JUNE 21-24
Proposals are due by April 1. 

Archival Education and Research Initiative
JULY 11-15
Proposals are due by May 1.

International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives Conference
Call for presentations closes March 31.
Note: This conference will be in-person in Mexico City, as well as virtual.

Professional Development/Conference Scholarships

Colorado Historical Records Advisory Board
Continuing education scholarships, including conferences (must attend conference by JUNE 30): https://archives.colorado.gov/chrab/chrab-continuing-education-scholarship-opportunities. Applications are open from March 15, 2021 to June 1, 2022.

Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board
Funding for Midwest Archivists Conference/SAA: https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Records/Article/CS4407. No due date listed, so consider contacting them before beginning application.

Nomadic Archives Project
For archivists of African descent. May be used on conference registration and travel:
https://www.nomadicarchivistsproject.com/nap-scholarship. Applications due March 31.

Women of Centro Asturiano de Tampa

Post contributed by Elizabeth Maycumber, MA, MLIS

Being that it is Women’s History Month, it feels like the perfect opportunity to spotlight a group of immigrant women who lived in the Tampa area in the first half of the twentieth century, and who may have been lost to history if not for an archive quietly keeping their spirits alive. In December I finished up an eight-month internship with University of South Florida Libraries (USF) Digital Collections, where I helped with a metadata standardization project in conjunction with my MLIS studies at USF. Digital Collections is a sub-collection of Special Collections, consisting of more than 67,300 digitized items from USF Libraries and other partners. The metadata standardization project was fairly straightforward: interns were tasked with selecting various collections within Digital Collections and researching the existing metadata associated with it to ultimately update in conformity to Library of Congress, Getty TGN, and Dublin Core authority headings. It was in this capacity that I came across the Centro Asturiano de Tampa collection, a group of more than five thousand digitized photographs.

When Spanish immigrants began arriving in Tampa in the 1890s, they brought with them the idea of the mutual aid society, a voluntary club that pooled resources in order to provide their members with various economic, social, and cultural benefits. The Centro Asturiano was founded in 1902 when some members seceded from the Centro Español, Tampa’s first mutual aid club founded in 1891, in order to create an organization that included healthcare. The new society was named for Asturias, the northwest region of Spain from which many of the founding members had come, and because it was chartered as a branch of the Centro Asturiano de Habana, it was known for decades as the “Tampa Delegation” of the Cuban organization. The club accepted members from various ethnicities, a policy that when combined with its medical facilities helped Centro Asturiano to grow into the largest of all the Tampa fraternal clubs prior to World War II. 

USF Special Collections houses about 145 boxes of archival materials related to Centro Asturiano de Tampa, including club and hospital records, photographs, cemetery records, meeting minutes, financial records, memorias, playbills, zarzuelas, sheet music, and ephemera. The digitized portion of this collection so far includes membership record portrait snapshots, which was the group I was researching for its metadata. As I started browsing the images, my curiosity was initially piqued as I began noticing the telltale marks of archival processing on the women’s photographs: each photo had tiny holes at or around the women’s necks where metal staples likely once affixed the image to the membership card but which have since been removed. Perhaps I was sensitive to the hole marks because once as a museum technician for the National Park Service I labored for months on end delicately extracting staples from archival documents, but as I continued working on the collection, I began to find the marks jarring, sometimes almost violent. Why were they stapled across the neck? Why only the women’s photographs, but never the men’s?

I also found it curious how many women’s photographs there actually were, as the collection’s summary described Centro Asturiano as a club that “catered to Latin males.” Membership photos reveal that most members were indeed men—I counted 3,521 male club members to 1,556 women—yet considering that female membership made up just over thirty percent of the club’s total, it must be recognized that women were nevertheless a significant facet of the club. What were these women’s roles within the Centro Asturiano, and in other mutual aid societies? What were their lives like? The photographs reveal only names, and the images seemingly depict a range of experiences; the faces are young and old, the clothing varies between simple and fashionable elegance. A cursory search of secondary literature describes women as being active in the club from its very beginning without elaborating further. So I am destined to head straight into the archives if I am to find out more, starting with the membership records. I have serious doubts about solving the mystery of the oddly placed staples on the women’s photographs, but I am excited about the prospect of uncovering a new chapter in Florida history.

SAA 2022 Council Elections Interviews

In keeping with the tradition of interviewing candidates running for SAA council, the SNAP section sent out a set of three questions to each council candidate for the 2022 elections in March.

The following six SAA members are running for three open seats on the SAA Council:

Below are their thoughtful responses to our interview questions. Enjoy and happy voting!

Krystal Appiah

1. What areas of improvement within SAA can be prioritized to increase new student and early professional engagement with SAA?

Krystal Appiah: Students and new professionals need more no or low-cost ways to participate in SAA. We need to support more annual meeting registrations and scholarships for graduate school, especially for archivists of color. The pandemic has shown us there are many ways we can do collaborative work while remote. We need to continue to support virtual attendance at conferences, robust virtual courses, and remote networking so that those with limited financial means can be active participants in SAA.

I would also love to hear from SNAP members and SAA student chapters what their members want from SAA.

2. What ideas are you excited to bring to SAA moving forward?

Krystal Appiah: Labor is one of the most important issues facing SAA, because if there are no archivists, there can be no archives or professional archival associations. SAA is making progress but still has work to do to support ethical, appropriately paid internships and jobs. 

As our society becomes more hostile to reckoning with our national history of racial violence and exploitation, I would also like to see SAA in the forefront in protecting the archivists and archives that preserve and provide access to these records.

3. What advice would you give students and new professionals about why they should engage with SAA and how they can get the most out of the SAA community?

Krystal Appiah: SAA is a community of people who are passionate about archival work. SAA has given me space to get advice and talk with others about various topics, from navigating the job search process and getting inspired by programs at their institutions to big-picture thinking about radically reimagining archival practices.

One way to get the most out of SAA is to take advantage of mentoring opportunities (and the Navigator program if attending the annual meeting). That provides new members with one more person who knows you and will introduce you to others in [the] organization. It’s also important for veteran archivists to know and learn from students and new professionals.

Most sections also reserve a leadership position for a new professional on their committees. This allows new professionals to learn about the work of the section but also to use their knowledge and education to contribute to SAA in meaningful ways.

Joining SAA at the student membership rate is a great way to test the waters to see if SAA is an organization that will help you thrive. I would also recommend joining your grad school’s SAA student chapter.

Jillian Cuellar

1. What areas of improvement within SAA can be prioritized to increase new student and early professional engagement with SAA? 

Jillian Cuellar: Exploring lower or no cost options for engaging with SAA is a great place to start. The pandemic forced SAA’s hand in that regard, making it essential to move the 2020 annual meeting to an online platform and lowering the cost to register. With these changes, the 2020 meeting set a new record for attendance at over 2,600 registrants. Clearly, the virtual environment opened the doors for many more members (and non-members) to attend the annual meeting, maybe for the first time. SAA Council should make it a priority to find a way to continue to offer a virtual component as a lower barrier entry point for non-members, students, and early career professionals, as well as folks who are precariously employed or unemployed. 

Similarly, moving the section meetings to an online environment in the last two years made engaging with other archivists newly accessible to those who couldn’t attend the full annual meeting. These groups are integral to sparking innovation, addressing critical needs, and devising smart solutions in our profession. Making these forums more accessible to everyone—those who can’t afford to become members or attend the annual meeting, as well as those who are limited in their ability to travel due issues like a disability, concerns about safety, or caregiving responsibilities—is a necessary step in making the archives profession more inclusive and diverse.

Other means of virtual engagement, like Slack channels, welcome videos from SAA leadership, and concise new member information packets are low cost ways of making the organization more palpable to new members and those who seek to become more engaged without requiring travel. Some of these ideas have already been made a reality by SAA members, like the Archival Processing Slack Channel. Council should encourage these kinds of initiatives, offering support via technology, funding, promotion, etc.

Additionally, I’ve been so thankful to be part of the first cohort of SAA Career Counselors this last year. This program, which offers career advice, resume reviews, interviewing practice, and more to SAA members has been one of my most rewarding experiences so far as a member. I’ve had the chance to speak to archivists at all stages of their career, including many students and new professionals, and offer whatever assistance and insight I can into job searching and career strategizing. I hope this program continues to flourish, and that other SAA members, especially those in senior roles and/or with experience recruiting, will volunteer to lend their assistance. The program is a member driven initiative that has the potential to have [a] deep impact on the growth and continuing health of our field, and I would like to see SAA promote it more visibly, especially with early career professionals and students. 

2. What ideas are you excited to bring to SAA moving forward?

Jillian Cuellar: I’m excited to look into new ways of facilitating peer to peer mentorship, formally and informally. Finding mentors for SAA’s mentor program is a perennial challenge—what’s holding our very knowledgeable community back from volunteering their time for these efforts? What can SAA do to assuage their concerns in order to widen the mentorship pool? What alternative approaches can we use to scale up our mentorship efforts? And what informal methods can we explore to bring peers together to learn from each other and share knowledge? The best kind of mentoring relationships are two way streets, so I’d want to find ways to leverage these relationships to surface the ideas, concerns, and recommendations of newer professionals, too. We all have a lot to learn from each other, and I think SAA can do a better job of supporting that. 

I’d also like to explore ways to connect members outside of our annual meetings. Regional conferences are great opportunities for this, but what more can SAA do to facilitate in-person regional events for networking and skill-sharing? The Society of California Archivists has a great member-initiated events program that offers funding for members to host local events that range from social hours to mini-conferences. I love this model and I’d like to see SAA support local networking events in this way.  

3. What advice would you give students and new professionals about why they should engage with SAA and how they can get the most out of the SAA community? 

Jillian Cuellar: If you want our organization to continue to evolve and change (and we should all want this!), then you need to contribute your voice, intellect, advocacy, and creativity to leading and enacting that change. Leadership can take many forms and you can be as visible or behind-the-scenes as suits you, but all of us have something to contribute to this profession and this organization. SAA can offer you mentorship, continuing education, community support, and exposure to new trends and ideas that you may not be getting through your graduate program or employer. If you are a member, get the most out of your money and run for a section leadership position, volunteer for an appointed group, or take advantage of the career counseling and mentorship programs. All of these programs are included in your membership fees. If you don’t understand how do to do this or what it entails, reach out to active members and ask for advice. And if you are able to attend the annual meeting, I encourage you to be strategic about it. Reach out to people you’d like to meet ahead of time and ask if they have time to meet up for coffee. Contact your graduate cohort and organize a social hour. Open random doors in the conference hotel and sneak into parties you weren’t invited to! Networking is just relationship building. It’s creating a community for yourself where you can flourish and where you belong. You really don’t have anything to lose by trying to get involved, especially since you are paying for it. And if you are trying and still feeling like you can’t find a way in, get in touch with me and I’ll see if I can help.

Joyce Gabiola

Before jumping into my responses to the interview questions, it’s important to state my positionality. I identify as a queer, nonbinary, Filipinx (or Filipinx American depending on the context) archivist from Texas who benefits from class and educational privilege, among other privileges. In leading a LGBTQ+ community-(em)powered archives towards preventing or mitigating potential harms, I strive to be aware of the ways in which I hold power and to proactively identify how I can use my power to advocate or support others. 

1. What areas of improvement within SAA can be prioritized to increase new student and early professional engagement with SAA? 

Joyce Gabiola: If we want to increase engagement, we need to increase accessibility. For example, having a fully hybrid annual meeting where attendance can be in person or virtual for all sessions; offer complimentary registration for students and minimal registration fees for early practitioners; rework the sliding scale towards eliminating the financial barrier for SAA membership; and simplify the application process for funding and increase equity in scholarship distribution. 

Increasing accessibility also includes sharing power by having students and early practitioners as equal thought partners among top organizational leadership. In my experience of bringing in students as equal members with full decision-making power on the up//root editorial team, co-presenting with students I work with, and providing intentional space and consideration for their ideas and contributions has only served to enrich our work, our organizations, and perhaps more importantly, our relationships. 

If we can improve accessibility, we can improve engagement and member retention. We need to maintain an environment that is meaningful and enticing, meets tangible needs, respects your fresh perspectives, and feels worth your time, labor and capacity. 

2. What ideas are you excited to bring to SAA moving forward? 

Joyce Gabiola: Do y’all know if there has been representation of community archives on SAA Council…ever? Let me clarify though–I don’t mean representation via archival studies researchers who write about community archives, but archives workers (particularly those of marginalized and minoritized communities) who identify with the community for which they work directly on a daily basis. 

Interest in community archives among researchers, major funding agencies, and SAA has been steadily increasing, at least within the last ten years. With much attention and discourse around community archives, our field continues to benefit immensely from the labor, lived experiences, embedded knowledge, and vulnerability of these communities at minimal or no cost to the field, and certainly with minimal or no benefit for the communities. With SAA’s explicit interest in building relationships with community archives, it is essential that community archives workers hold decision-making power in SAA. 

Additionally, many community archives are perpetually precarious and rely heavily on grants to maintain basic operations. Even if a community archives has the time and staff to apply for grants, receiving an award is never a guarantee. And what happens once all the grant funds are spent? To support community archives in more meaningful ways, I am very excited to bring forth the idea of a formalized partnership in which SAA and other well-funded institutions connect with and continuously support community archives in the specific ways they need assistance. This system will position institutions to share their resources (and therefore their power) to perpetually support community archives in different, tangible ways (as determined by the community archives). The hope is that direct, ongoing support from institutions will help alleviate some degree of precariousness of community archives so that they can focus more on serving the archival interests of community members. 

3. What advice would you give students and new professionals about why they should engage with SAA and how they can get the most out of the SAA community? 

Joyce Gabiola: Although I have the privilege of full-time employment, I’m not in a position to join an organization without intention because time and funds are scarce. So why engage with SAA? The reason(s) will be different for everyone, depending on their goals and interests, but I think we could all agree that we want to make connections. 

Early in my career, one of the ways that I got a lot of value out of engaging with the SAA community was to connect with others at the annual meetings. In particular, it meant that I would have multiple opportunities to specifically engage with and learn from other students, practitioners and educators of color in a centralized place. It was reenergizing (and validating) every time. Those connections proved to be so helpful over the years as I advanced in the field. 

As students and/or early practitioners, most of you are interested in landing equitably paid internships or full-time employment. SAA offers opportunities to make connections in those directions, including but not limited to the annual meeting, the mentorship program, the career center/resume review, and most certainly by one of the many volunteer opportunities. 

Connecting with others in formal and informal ways helped me get the most out of being part of the SAA community. Participation in SAA is not perfect and sometimes it is downright frustrating, but I’m intentional about how I spend my time and efforts. Engaging with the SAA community early on helped me increasingly gain confidence as an archivist and in producing knowledge. 

While SAA is certainly not the only game in town–for example, some people get more out of their regional archival organization–it does offer ways to connect and create change (or disrupt the status quo) with other students, practitioners, and educators nationwide in meaningful and lasting ways.

Jennifer Johnson

1. What areas of improvement within SAA can be prioritized to increase new student and early professional engagement with SAA?

Jennifer Johnson: One area of access to professional development that could be addressed is fees. SAA is already looking at the membership fee structure, but there are other fees that could be reduced for students and early professionals, such as workshop registrations and cost of publications. Additionally, annual meeting registration rates could be lower for early career professionals in addition to students.

Early career positions should be required for all committees and section leadership. Your perspective is important and should be present at all levels of leadership in the organization.

I am looking forward to implementing the Work Plan on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility, which emphasizes recruitment and retention, and has specific plans for onboarding those new to the profession and organization.”

2. What ideas are you excited to bring to SAA moving forward?

Jennifer Johnson: I am excited to see the responses to the A*CENSUS II surveys. I’m hoping the responses collected in these surveys will provide data to support what we suspect, or have experienced in our work: that salaries have not grown much since the original A*CENSUS, that significant numbers of us are in contingent positions, that the profession has only slightly increased in diversity, and much more. With recent data we can see where we’ve made progress and where we haven’t. We can also take a look at our advocacy efforts to determine if they are working like we intend. Have we increased recognition of the archival profession? Have we given archivists the tools to advocate for better salaries or permanent positions in their archives? If change has not occurred, what can we do differently? The A*CENSUS II surveys will also yield some pleasant surprises and show us where we have grown as a profession and where efforts and changes we have made in the last 20 years have made marked differences to the benefit of our fellow archivists.

3. What advice would you give students and new professionals about why they should engage with SAA and how they can get the most out of the SAA community?

Jennifer Johnson: SAA is the largest organization of archivists in the country. The chances are high that you will meet other archivists in situations similar to yours, as well as new people. You have access to a larger group of archivists who can answer your questions and provide guidance. The friendships I’ve made through SAA are invaluable.

Chela Scott Weber

1. What areas of improvement within SAA can be prioritized to increase new student and early professional engagement with SAA?

Chela Scott Weber: I think there are lots of opportunities to better engage students and early professionals with SAA, but the one that I would prioritize is revisiting our dues structure. Students and new professionals can’t engage with the organization if they can’t afford to be a member. I think this is especially important for early career archivists who can no longer take advantage of the student rate, are making entry-level wages, are likely to be in insecure and temporary positions, and will be weighing whether the cost of membership is warranted. 

Back in 2015, Eira Tansey and a group of 50+ archivists sent an open letter to Council proposing a more equitable dues structure. At the time, Council engaged with the proposal and ended up adding a new dues tier to the top end of the salary spectrum but didn’t take up any of the other suggestions, perpetuating a regressive dues structure. I know that this has been a point of discussion in recent council meetings, and I would welcome being a part of re-engaging with the question of what an equitable dues structure looks like that can both support the income needs of the organization and more equitably address the financial realities of our membership.

2. What ideas are you excited to bring to SAA moving forward?

Chela Scott Weber: Because the terms of leadership and other positions in SAA are relatively short, I think part of the responsibility of Council is to honor the work of the people who have volunteered their time previously by ensuring continuity with ongoing efforts. I am excited to bring my energy and fresh perspective to major initiatives in the works, especially being a part of figuring out how best to prioritize and implement the ideas laid out in the Work Plan on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. I am also very interested in the activities of CORDA, and how the results of the new A*CENSUS surveys will be used to advocate for archives and archivists.   

I think SAA has long done good work to advocate for the importance of archival records and the work of archivists. I would like to see the organization refocus some of its advocacy energies on archivists as workers. Without powers of accreditation or other direct accountability structures for archival employers, SAA will have to get creative about what this looks like, but I think there are real opportunities to leverage the power and the network that SAA has in service of advocating for the wages, benefits, and security that archival workers deserve. 

As a practical example, we know that student loan debt is a huge barrier to economic stability for lots of people in our profession. The rules around the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program have recently changed so that many people who previously weren’t eligible for student loan relief now are, but they must apply for the program by October of this year. With so many archivists working in government and non-profits settings currently or since 2007, a large portion of our profession could be positively impacted by learning about these rules changes and applying for loan forgiveness. SAA could use its communication channels to amplify programming by organizations like the Student Borrower Protection Center or the PSLF Coalition to help members connect with vital and potentially life changing information about student loan forgiveness.

3. What advice would you give students and new professionals about why they should engage with SAA and how they can get the most out of the SAA community?

Chela Scott Weber: I think engagement with SAA can serve you differently at different stages of your career, whether through trainings, conference attendance, volunteer opportunities, or mentorship structures. For me, the long-term relationships I’ve been able to develop with other archivists has by far been the most valuable outcome of my sustained engagement with SAA. I have built an amazing community of smart, generous colleagues who are an ongoing resource for ideas, commiseration, problem-solving, and friendship. 

My advice would be to seize whatever opportunities you can to meet people through SAA. If you’re able to attend a conference, go to all the things you are even vaguely interested in and especially the more informal opportunities where you can meet and talk with people. Look for opportunities to volunteer that align with your interests and your capacity, and that will connect you with other archivists. And if neither of these are an option for you, look for virtual programming and interaction opportunities through sections and roundtables or read the archival literature your membership gives you access to and drop a note to the author of an article you found particularly helpful. There are so many options for participation and programming through SAA, deciding where to start can honestly be a little overwhelming. I think the important thing is just to start somewhere.

Lydia Tang

1. What areas of improvement within SAA can be prioritized to increase new student and early professional engagement with SAA?

Lydia Tang: SAA offerings and opportunities are so vast but it can be overwhelming and confusing for people who are engaging with the organization for the first time. The Key Contacts subcommittee has been doing a great job of planning interactive outreach sessions and providing more personal greetings to new members. Continuing to emphasize personal connection-building is key. 

Creating an orientation document for prospective members on what free elements are available to “try out” SAA before joining would be helpful (for example, taking advantage of any free month opportunities with the Career Commons and joining Section communication platforms), as a strategy to promote the enhanced value of paid membership. Otherwise, paying for a new membership without having a clear understanding of the value and opportunities it provides might be too risky for some people to jump in.

Continuing to involve student and early professional engagement and perspectives across committees and working groups is so important. It’s important to demonstrate that SAA is not an elite club and that students and early professionals have a valuable perspective and can actively shape the direction of SAA. We want and need your perspective!

2. What ideas are you excited to bring to SAA moving forward?

Lydia Tang: I’m really excited about several possible projects to tackle with SAA if I can elected to Council:

  1. Advancing a membership dues revision. In analyzing responses from a Membership Committee survey in 2020 about membership dues, overwhelmingly, the responses indicated a few things:
  • The dues overall felt too high for most respondents
  • Having a flexible payment method (month-to-month, for example) might be more palatable
  • A dues structure based solely on income isn’t nuanced enough to accurately infer personal financial capacity
  • I’m interested in exploring alternative funding models which would hopefully decrease onus on personal expenses, looking more closely at the Digital Library Federation as an example of an organization that is supported by organizational membership but maintains strong volunteer power exactly because it is not gate kept by a “pay-to-play” model of paying high membership fees while also contributing labor and expertise. Whether it could be something this drastic or a more subtle adjustment of the dues to encourage more people opting into  membership at a lower price point, I think we can use market analysis and modeling tools to try to find a more sustainable and inclusive membership model. 
  1. Examining the structure and sustainability of the Sections. Having served in leadership for several Sections over the years, I feel that that model that Sections were initially based upon – focusing on the in-person meeting and with formal structures – could be evolved with the eye towards becoming more sustainable, nimble, and flexible “communities of practice.” Sections often struggle to fill rosters for annual elections and section activity ebbs and flows depending on personal capacity of the Steering Committees. Additionally, some areas of archival practice currently don’t have a “Section home” such as community archives and archives adjacent professions. Council has been collecting activity reports on the sections for several years now, and I’m personally motivated to see if there could be benefits to facilitating section merges, sunsetting, and re-scoping to more robustly meet members’ needs.
  2. Related to both of these earlier points, I am also interested in exploring incentives to encourage greater volunteerism within the organization such as offering free or discounted webinars, vouchers for book purchases, or other incentives to acknowledge the labor of volunteer leaders. We volunteer because we want our community to be strong and vibrant, but not everyone is supported in an equal way by their employer or other circumstances.
  3. The DEIA work plan is the result of a multi-year effort. I am looking forward to mapping out who is accountable for carrying forward the components of this work plan, ensuring that they have support to accomplish it, and that feedback is continually gathered throughout the process to make sure that we intentionally make bold and lasting changes within SAA and the broader profession.

3. What advice would you give students and new professionals about why they should engage with SAA and how they can get the most out of the SAA community?

Lydia Tang: YOU are the future of our profession! We value your perspectives and would love your engagement! When first signing up for SAA membership, a membership experience “gone wrong” is just to feel like you’re getting spammed by SAA Connect emails. Fostering networking and human engagement is key. Some people might hold back from engaging actively with SAA because of imposter syndrome. Jump right in! Join some sections – ask some questions, chime in on replies. Some sections hold informal coffee chats to network and brainstorm on particular topics, attend those. Utilize some of the great services of SAA membership such as booking a career counseling or resume review session with the Career Commons or signing up for the Mentoring Program. When you feel ready, volunteer! Many sections have blogs and would be grateful for contributions. Stand for election for section leadership or apply for an appointed committee role. There are also Early Career spots on appointed committees, in case you’d prefer to commit to serve for only a year. Apply to scholarships! There are so many opportunities to serve, find your niche, and build your community within SAA.

Thank you to all the SAA Council 2022 candidates!

Black History Month Projects

In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to share a selection of projects that are increasing the visibility of Black lives in archival materials while also presenting an opportunity for us to contribute to this work. This list is by no means exhaustive—if there is a project that you think should be added to the list, we encourage you to mention it in a comment on this post. Please also note that the materials in these projects may be difficult for some viewers, due to their potentially offensive and/or racist content.

Brothers in Arms: The Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection

This transcription project is available through the Library of Congress’ “By the People” portal. The William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection (ca. 500 items) spans the years 1773 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from the Civil War period, 1861-1865. This collection documents African Americans in military service, especially the United States Corps d’Afrique and the United States Colored Troops, which were organized during the Civil War.

Citizen Archivist Mission: United States Colored Troops Records

This transcription project is available through NARA. Help NARA transcribe the military service records of Union volunteer soldiers who served during the American Civil War. Records include jackets (folders) containing cards on which information relating to individuals, companies, and regiments have been copied from originals (muster rolls, morning reports, etc.).

Black Lives in the Founding Era

This transcription project is available from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. This selection of documents sheds light on what life was like for some Black Americans in the eighteenth century. Taken from more than 200 books, magazines, and newspapers, these texts—which are largely about enslaved people and the institution of slavery—provide insight into the experiences of some Black Americans during the founding era.

Freedman’s Bureau Records

This transcription project is available through the Smithsonian’s Digital Volunteer Transcription Center. The Freedman’s Bureau records contain the names of hundreds of thousands of formerly enslaved individuals and Southern white refugees. The remaining records needing transcription are registers, indexes, and correspondence.

Demystifying Government Jobs with The Gov Geeks

SNAP 2022 Webinar Series:
Demystifying Government Jobs with The Gov Geeks, LLC
Javier Lopez, MSA, PCC, and Karen Lopez, Co-Founders, The Gov Geeks, LLC

Organized and hosted by Lourdes Johnson, MLIS, Provisional CA (Certified Archivist), Steering Committee Member-At-Large, SNAP Section, Society of American Archivists 

On January 28, 2022, the SAA SNAP section welcomed Javier Lopez, MSA, PCC, and Karen Lopez, Co-Founders of The Gov Geeks, LLC, who spoke about Federal jobs, including searching for jobs, resume tips, and the application process. We thank Javier and Karen for sharing their time and expertise with us!

The biggest takeaways of the webinar:

  1. Reformat Your Resume to Work with the Government ATS (Application Tracking System)Applying for government jobs means you need to spend a significant amount of time reformatting your resume “Federal Style.” For example, if you are applying for government jobs on USAJobs, make sure you are using the resume builder feature.   
  2. Write Your Resume to Focus on ResultsWhen writing your resume, focus on describing mission statements rather than producing bulleted lists.
  3. Use the OPM Handbook of Groups and Families—This one was the biggest golden nugget! Before writing your resume, check the OPM (U.S. Office of Personnel Management) first. Search the occupational family and group series that relate to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for an archivist job, you want to go to group 1400 on page 98, click on the “Archivist” link to access “Position classification standard for archivists series GS1420”. You should aim to write a resume that is consistent with the position description from the OPM—the requirements are all there in black and white!

Webinar Highlights and Links:
0:00 Welcome and Speaker Introductions 
Lourdes Johnson (She/Her), MLIS, Provisional CA (Certified Archivist)
Member-At-Large, SNAP Section Steering Committee
Javier Lopez, MSA, PCC, and Karen Lopez, Co-Founders, The Gov Geeks, LLC

5:15 — Why be a Federal Government Employee?
9:30 — OPM General Schedule of Salaries and Wages, opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/salaries-wages/2022/general-schedule
10:50 — A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies, usa.gov/federal-agencies
11:30 — Federal Pay Grades on Education Level
13:13 — Competitive Hiring Process
19:30 — Resumes at-a-Glance
28:30 — What Interests You?
34:15 — Find Your Job Series Number, OPM (U.S. Office of Personnel Management) Handbook of Occupational Groups and Families, See page 98, number 1400—Library and Archives Group. Google “OPM occupationalhandbook.pdf” or go to
35:30 — Resume Strategies
36:00 — Resume Strategies: 1) Use OPM’s Position Classifications, OPM (U.S. Office of Personnel Management) Handbook of Occupational Groups and Families
42:15 — Resume Strategies: 2) Show Impact! The STAR Method
45:00 — Resume Strategies: 3) Formatting is Key
(A resume template is available by signing up for “Gov Geekdom” at thegovgeeks.com)
45:00 — Resume Strategies: 4) Use USAJOBS, USAJOBS.gov
54:40 — Summary
1:01:15 — Bonus: GSA Advantage, GSAAdvantage.gov
1:06:00 — Summary of ResourcesWebinar Q&A
1:08:00 Points for Grading Positions 
OPM.gov > Position Classification Standard for Archivist Series, GS-1420 (defines job roles and positions), 
OPM.gov > General Schedule Supervisory Guide (hiring factors and point levels)
1:13:30 Hiring Process Turnaround
Advice on expected timeframes, direct hire positions, and lateral transitions for existing Federal employees.

Javier Lopez, MSA, PCC

Javier Lopez, MSA, PCC, is the Geek in Chief and Co-Founder of The Gov Geeks LLC, a learning and professional development endeavor committed to helping public servants get in and get ahead in government. thegovgeeks.com

Karen Lopez is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Gov Geeks, LLC. A native Texan with a passion for public service, she combines her love of science and human behavior to successfully implement programs within the Federal Government. thegovgeeks.com

[Note: The SAA does not endorse products or services; inclusion does not imply endorsement.]

Thoughts? Please let us know!

As SAA-SNAP kicks off its 2022 webinar series, we would like to know your thoughts on the types of topics you would like to see and what days and times are most convenient for you to attend a live webinar. Please complete our short survey!

If you want to present in our webinar series, contribute with a blog post, share with a member a project you are working on, please contact us at newarchivistsrt@gmail.com. We want to hear from you!

Welcome to SNAP! 2021–2022 SNAP Steering Committee Members

This month, the SAA-SNAP Steering Committee is welcoming four new ex-officio committee members, who join our existing Committee Members in ramping up for an exciting 2022.

New SNAP Committee Members

Alexis Bracey (Ex-Officio; Junior Blog Editor) is a student at North Carolina Central University, working towards her master’s degree in Library Science with a concentration in Archives and Records Management. As an undergraduate at George Mason University, she was a student researcher for The Enslaved Children of George Mason project, which seeks to tell the stories of the more than 100 individuals that the university’s namesake, George Mason IV, enslaved.

Nicole Font

Nicole Font (Ex-Officio; Social Media Coordinator) [she/her] is currently in her second year of the Archives and Public History MA program at New York University and has a BA in philosophy from Saint Peter’s University—Font’s first archival work experience. Since then, she has interned at the New-York Historical Society and is currently interning for the American Song Archives. She also serves as the Digital Editor for the Dylan Review, an online scholarly journal devoted to Bob Dylan studies.

Karlie Herndon, MLIS, (Ex-Officio; Student Chapter Coordinator) is a Library Specialist in the Department of Archives and Special Collections at the University of Mississippi. A recent MLIS graduate (May 2021), Herndon has experience writing, editing, and publishing ARETE, the magazine for the University of Southern Mississippi Graduate School. Herndon pivoted from work as a writing instructor to an archival staff member mid-pandemic and believes that SNAP has been an invaluable resource—especially SNAP’s “A Year in the Life” blog posts, which helped Herndon manage expectations and figure out how archival work “works.”

Kimberlee Roberts, MLIS

Kimberlee Roberts, MLIS, (Ex-Officio; Junior Blog Editor) brings a handful of years running, editing, publishing, and managing blogs for institutions like Yellowstone National Park and the United States Navy Seabee Museum. Roberts’ involvement with SAA and SNAP comes from a desire to connect with the professional archival community and make new connections with professionals and her profession. Kimberlee is thrilled to join the SNAP team as a blog editor. She has been an Archivist for several federal collections with her favorite being Yellowstone National Park. She earned her MLIS from the University of Denver in the spring of 2019.

Continuing SNAP Committee Members

John Claude Esh, MLIS
John Claude Esh, MLIS

John Claude Esh, MLIS, CA, (Steering Committee Member) [he/him] is the Processing Archivist at Towson University and holds a BA in Anthropology from Portland State University as well as an MLS from Emporia State University. Previous to his position at TU, John worked as an archival assistant at both Oregon Health & Science University and Lewis & Clark College, as well as a digital content library intern at Adidas North America. His work focuses on the elevation and amplification of materials from minoritized and marginalized creators as well as devising new means for improving the accessibility, usability, and ways in which we tell the stories of audio/visual based collections for non-traditional archival users. In his spare time John enjoys watching folk horror movies with his two cats, collecting records, buying books he’ll someday (maybe) get around to reading, and wishing it was colder outside.

River Freemont (Secretary + Web Liaison) [they/them] is an MLS candidate concentrating in Archives Studies. They are currently working as an Archives Assistant at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR. River is especially interested in cataloging and description, and the potential to make a difference in the accessibility and discoverability of archival resources. They would also love to learn more about web development and digital exhibits. River loves science fiction, documentary films, and trying new foods. They expect to graduate in August of this year.

Marissa Friedman, MLIS
Marissa Friedman, MLIS

Marissa Friedman, MLIS, (Vice-Chair/Chair Elect) is Digital Project Archivist at the University of California, Berkeley. She has formerly worked at the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University, the California Historical Society, and the Mill Valley Public Library. Her background includes archival processing, metadata and digitization projects, oral history, and exhibition development, and she holds both an MLIS from San Jose State University and a M.A. in History from the University of California, Riverside. She is particularly interested in community archives and the intersections between digital collections and archival activism. 

Lourdes Johnson, MLIS, (Steering Committee Member) recently finished her internship as a Huntington Fellow for the Hispanic Reading Room at the Library of Congress. She published an immersive story map using geospatial software ArcGIS (Literary translators of Latin America Culture) to enhance discovery and access to archival and bibliographic material. Previously she interned at the Preservation Science and Research Division at the Library of Congress, where she structured data in linked open data format to be accessible over the web. Currently, she is transitioning into a Digital Project Archivist contract at the University of Miami. She holds an MLIS from San Jose State University with an advanced Digital Assets Management (DAM) certificate.

Michelle D. Novak
Michelle D. Novak

Michelle D. Novak, MI Candidate, Rutgers University, (Chair) is a professional brand-designer pivoting into GLAM—and who has a lifelong passion for history and using primary source materials in her research. Novak is an experienced designer, researcher, genealogist, and teacher who holds numerous professional certificates, including from GenFed, a research intensive held at the U.S. National Archives. Novak has served as a trustee, writer, editor, webmaster, digitization manager, and grant administrator (county and NHPRC) for various New Jersey county and state societies and has lectured at regional and national conferences on research and technology topics. She is the Project Grant Administrator of the New Jersey Early Land Records Project, which is creating a new database of more than 80,000 early land records (pre-1800) from across more than 60 collections at the New Jersey State Archives.

Astrid Ramos, MLIS, (Steering Committee Member)

Leah Tams, MSLS, (Ex-Officio; Senior Blog Editor) [she/her] recently completed her Master’s degree in Library Science at UNC Chapel Hill, focusing her work on Archives and Records Management, and she is currently the Accessions Coordinator for Duke University’s Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. She is also a Librarian for Durham County Library’s North Carolina Collection. Leah focuses most of her work upon digital history, women’s history, race relations, and sociocultural history. Leah hopes to use her digital historical training to share her experiences and knowledge, inspiring others to a love of history and a greater understanding of our world.

THANK YOU to SNAP’s Outgoing Committee Members

The following completed their terms with SNAP in 2021—thank you for your hard work and contributions.

  • Brenna Edwards, Chair
  • Carady DeSimone, Secretary
  • Liz Holdzkom, Web Lisaion
  • Katie Lichtle, Senior Blog Editor
  • Louise LoBello, Senior Social Media Coordinator
  • Rachel Talbot, Junior Social Media Coordinator

What Does the SAA-SNAP Section Do?

The SAA-SNAP Section provides educational outreach that furthers the career development, dialogue, and engagement with students and new professionals.

We engage with SAA Student Chapters; host educational and networking webinars, twitter-chats, and other events; oversee the development and dialogue on our SNAP blog (https://snaproundtable.wordpress.com); and help raise awareness of SAA’s vast professional resources (career development webinars, resume reviews, mentoring, job and internship boards, etc.). At the SAA Annual Meeting, SNAP hosts a session/webinar on issues important to our members and provides a summary of all events for that year.

How Can I Participate with SAA-SNAP?

Calls for Committee Members go out twice a year:

Elected Position openings are announced in the Spring, annually, and voted upon my Membership. Elected Committee Members serve a one-year term starting after the close of the SNAP Sector Meeting at the SAA Annual Meeting (usually held in August, annually). Positions include: 

  • Vice-Chair/Chair (a two-year commitment, served consecutively); 
  • Secretary (records meeting minutes); and 
  • Steering Committee Members (serve “at-large” and in any capacity, as and when needed, including overseeing projects and program development).

Ex-Officio Committee Members are nominated (either self-nominated or by another) in November, annually, and are decided by the SNAP Committee in December. Ex-Officio Committee Members serve a one-year term starting with the January meeting and ending 31 December. Positions include: 

  • Blog Editors (manages blog and oversees editorial content and development); 
  • Social Media Coordinators (works with blog to promote posts and events on social platforms); 
  • Student Chapter Coordinators (coordinates communications to best reach SAA Student Chapters); and 
  • Web Liaison (updates SAA website and posts official minutes to site).

Volunteers are needed year-round and can be assigned to help with projects and initiatives. If you have an area you would like to help out with, or can be available to serve in any capacity, contact newarchivistsrt@gmail.com.

Content for the SNAP Blog can be self-submitted or in response to a Call for Submissions by the Blog Editors. If you have an idea for a blog post, series of blog posts, webinar topic, or a speaker/author, contact Leah Tams, Senior Blog Editor, at leahtams14@gmail.com. Let us know what’s on your mind and what you would like to learn about!

SAA Student Chapters: Announcing “Main Stage”

Post contributed by Lourdes Johnson, MLIS

Greetings from the SAA SNAP section!

We are delighted to introduce our new “Main Stage” pilot program. This is an open invitation to participate in a monthly series of presentations (could be in the form of a roundtable, lightning talk, webinar, a game, a discussion session, no limits!). Group or individual presentations are welcome.

The goal of this program is to engage archival students and faculty members in co-organizing a series of events with SNAP. We are interested in learning about what projects students and early-career professionals are working on, what kind of research questions you are asking, and what tools and methodologies you are learning (school project, on-the-job, internship) to address archival issues within our communities. You do not need to be an SAA member to participate, although we suggest taking advantage of the following benefits when you join SAA:

  • Community, mentorship, and networking
  • Accessible professional development
  • Webinars and events
  • Committee memberships and leadership opportunities
  • Writing and publishing opportunities
  • Services specifically designed for students and early-career professionals, including the Career Services Commons 

If you are interested in proposing or participating in a SNAP “Main Stage” event, please fill out fill out the Main Stage proposal form by January 21, 2022. We look forward to hearing from you!

Subscribe to the SNAP blog here: