controlaccess: Relevant Subjects in Archives and Related Fields for 2016-2-7

This is the weekly roundup of headlines in and around archives, including some library, museum, digital humanities, and information science things as well. If you see something we’ve missed, please email us!


Meet the slate of 2016 candidates for SAA offices. SNAP Roundtable will have election coverage beginning next week, starting with an elections primer and moving into individual candidate interviews. Voting begins Monday, March 14th.

You can nominate someone for an SAA award. Deadline: Sunday, February 28th.

Government & Politics

Say goodbye to FDSys and hello to, the Google for federal documents.

The real legacy of the Clinton emails: outdated government-wide email management and over-classification. Continue reading

[Student Experience]: Don’t Be a Robot and Other Time Management Tips for Graduate Student Survival

This guest post in the Student Experience series features helpful tips and compassionate perspective from Simmons College SLIS graduate student, Michelle Janowiecki–a perfect follow up to this recent post about stress management by our blog editor. 

Don’t type the words “life in grad school” into Google. The results are terrifying: articles upon articles that focus on a future of extreme sleep-deprivation, poverty, stress, and never-ending work.

After a semester of library science and history graduate school, there is some truth in this harrowing stereotype. Graduate students overwhelmingly have busy lives. We go to class, squeeze in work and internships, and hurry over to club meetings, conferences, and professional development workshops. We face late nights of work and early morning commutes. Despite this, graduate school is also more manageable and less scary than I expected. I’ve discovered that finishing deadlines and answering my commitments is a delicate but achievable balancing act. But in order to survive my first semester happy and whole, I’ve had to learn many lessons about managing my time and making time for myself. I offer them up here to all the people avoiding homework by reading this blog. (Don’t worry, it’s career development, right?)

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#snaprt Chat Flashback: Archival Education

For the SNAP Roundtable Twitter chat on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 we discussed the types of archival education programs there are, what skills SNAPers learned, and what they wish they had learned while in school. Here is a summary of key points and a smattering of interesting tweets from the discussion.

What types of degrees are offered for those interested in becoming archivists? What are the advantages of the different types of degrees or particular degree programs?

Our SNAPers have a range of degrees from public history to MLS/MLIS and MSI degrees. There were pros and cons to each type of program. Some degrees offered a smattering of archival courses, while others were more LIS or computer science heavy. It was recommended to look into what individual programs offer in order to find the right fit for you.

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Managing Stress: Learning from My Mistakes

I am writing this post the day before it will publish. For those who haven’t guessed this about the SNAP Roundtable blog team, we’re planning planners who like to plan. And have posts ready a week in advance. However, I decided this post was relevant and timely, because I am not actually sick. Yet, I am home sick today.

Last night, I sat up and watched the Iowa Caucus results come in, and then I went to bed. I woke up this morning, got dressed, made breakfast (including coffee!), and packed my lunch. And then I walked to the car and immediately fell ill. Without going into the details, I knew immediately that wasn’t going to make it to classes or my internship. So, I went back to the apartment, got a class of water, sent emails off to my professors and supervisor about not coming, and put myself to bed. About an hour later, I realized I felt worse, so I got up to check for fever. Nothing. I sent SNAP emails. I added to the lit review of my masters paper.

As I kept working, I started feeling better, and it was like something with lots of pressure was unknotting itself. I finally recognized that I had done something that hadn’t happened to me since high school: I had let stress make me sick. Well, since I inadvertently gained 10-ish hours of “free time” today, I dedicated some of it to researching stressors for graduate students and information professionals and the best ways to manage it so that you might fare better than I did today. Continue reading

SNAP Chat Topics for February

Mark your calendar to attend the SAA Students and New Archives Professionals Roundtable’s February 2016 #snaprt Twitter chats. We will be chatting this Thursday, February 4, on Monday, February 15, and on Thursday, February 25 at 8 PM ET. On February 4, we will discuss the role of mentors and mentorship programs. On February 15, we will focus on the mental health of students and new professionals. On February 25, we will have a joint chat with the College and University Archives Section.

SNAPers, supporters of SNAP, and everyone interested in or affiliated with archives are welcome to participate. For our February 4 chat, we will discuss topics such as:

  • What do you see as the most important aspects of mentoring?
  • What should someone look for in a mentor/mentee?
  • How do you mentor others?
  • How can we be more effective mentors for each other?
  • What advice and resources do you have for those who may be looking for a mentor.

We welcome everyone to join or keep up with our chat using the #snaprt hashtag on Twitter. If you would like to have a discussion topic included in this chat, please send it to @SNAP_Roundtable on Twitter, submit it through the anonymous form on the SNAP RT chat webpage or e-mail the SNAP Junior Social Media Coordinator directly at To learn more about #snaprt chats, please visit our webpage.

Here some resources related to the chat you may want to check out:

Elena Colón-Marrero
SNAP RT Junior Social Media Coordinator

Year in the Life: Steve Ammidown, Pt. 5

Where do you even start?

Fair warning: this post involves more questions than answers, so please don’t go looking for a prescription here, because I haven’t got one!

One of the greatest challenges I’ve faced in this position is the overwhelming quantity of barely-organized material.  The archives here was founded by a former secretary to the headmaster, who had an astonishing amount of material, but organized in her own system. Subsequent decades saw the archives pass through the hands of our development and then library departments, staffed by a number of volunteers, parents, or staff with other responsibilities. Only in the past few years have there been professional staff in the archives, though I’m the only one who had previously worked with archives.

Behold all the Post-Its, and tremble!

Behold all the Post-Its, and tremble!

This turnover and constant flux inevitably lead to a number of half-attempts to organize and gain intellectual control over the materials. I can point to a number of small boxes (think recipe box size) of index cards as well as Past Perfect and CatDV backup files as evidence. Physical items- records, publications, memorabilia- have been put together, though not particularly organized.

The level of disorganization bothered me when I first arrived, without a doubt. But in the almost a year since, this is the first point in time I’ve really had to go back and consider it. I now totally get why there have been so many partial attempts at getting it all under control. There’s just no time. And as a one person shop, my time is far better spent learning the collections inside and out, in the state they’re in right now, so that I can quickly respond to all the various projects and emergencies that pop up during the course of a year. It’s an exhausting way to work, but it’s functional.

Of course, I’m an archivist, so that state of affairs just isn’t good enough. But I struggle with where to even start the process. I’ve decided that it will be best to start from scratch, using Archivesspace as my management system. I’m currently reading Dan Santamaria’s excellent “Extensible Processing for Archives and Special Collections”, which is giving me some focus on how to approach this whole mess. I nearly have a plan, of sorts.

But of course my next big event looms large at the end of April. And my boss wants to address our electronic records policies (as in, there are none). If I’ve learned nothing else in nearly a year in this position, it’s that this lone arranger gig is a real balancing act!

controlaccess: Relevant Subjects in Archives and Related Fields for 2016-1-31

This is the weekly roundup of headlines in and around archives, including some library, museum, digital humanities, and information science things as well. If you see something we’ve missed, please email us!


Call for 2016 Student Paper and Poster Proposals

The 2016 Student Program Subcommittee is accepting proposals for two special sessions—a paper session and a poster session—dedicated to student scholarship during the Joint Annual Meeting in Atlanta, July 31–August 6, 2016. Work from both master’s and doctoral students will be considered. Proposals are due February 3, 2016. Read more and submit your proposal here.

The 2016 SAA Candidates

Sixteen candidates are running for the offices of Vice President/President-Elect, Council (Three-year term), Council (One-year term), and Nominating Committee in the forthcoming SAA elections. Review the slate for bios and responses to questions posed by this year’s Nominating Committee. Eligible voters can access their ballots between March 14 and April 3. Stay tuned for further SNAP coverage on the candidates.

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