That Rare Breed

This post is part of the Student Experience series, which features current and former archives students as they reflect on graduate school, internships, and early career issues. If you would like to contribute a post for this series, please email me

Guest poster Kylie Casino is a new professional about to graduate with her MLIS from UCLA. Here, she discusses the challenges of being a recent grad looking for work, and everything that goes along with it, but from the particular perspective of a very young professional. Continue reading

controlaccess: Relevant Subjects in Archives and Related Fields 2017-05-21

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!

SAA News

SAA Foundation Awards 2 Strategic Growth Grants

2017 Award Winners

Call for Annual Meeting Pop-Up Session Proposals
Proposals are due May 24.

Sign Up for the Navigator Program
Attending the Annual Meeting for the first time? Sign up to be mentored by a conference veteran! Request a Navigator by June 15.

Sign up to give a Lightning Talk at the SNAP Section Meeting
Submit your proposal by June 23.

Teaching with Primary Sources Unconference
The Third Annual Teaching with Primary Sources Unconference and Workshops is free and open to everyone, archivists and non-archivists! Plan to attend at the Portland Art Museum on July 25

Continue reading

Chat with Us Tonight, May 15th!

Please join the  Students and New Archives Professionals (SNAP) Section for a #snaprt Twitter chat on mental health of students and new professionals on Monday, May 15 at 8pm ET. We hope to continue the conversations started by many others and offer another forum to connect with one another.

We welcome everyone to join or keep up with our chat using the #snaprt hashtag on Twitter. The SNAP Section Twitter account will pose main questions such as:

  • What barriers are there to discussing stress or mental health issues with peers, supervisors, or others?

  • What safe spaces are available to recharge, talk about causes of stress, or ongoing issues?

  • What can others do to support their colleagues and peers? How have others supported you?

  • What should SAA, sections, or other professional orgs do to help archival professionals?

  • When do you know it is time to step away from activities, job, profession, etc.?

Continue reading

controlaccess: Relevant Subjects in Archives and Related Fields 2017-05-14

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!

SAA News

#SNAPRT Twitter Chat on Mental Health of Students and New Professionals
Join us on Monday, May 15 at 8pm ET

2017 Award Winners

Take a salary survey from Women Archivists Section (WArS) and SAA
The research survey about salary, employment, and leadership in the archives profession closes on May 17.

Call for Annual Meeting Pop-Up Session Proposals
Proposals are due May 24.

Sign Up for the Navigator Program
Attending the Annual Meeting for the first time? Sign up to be mentored by a conference veteran! Request a Navigator by June 15.

Sign up to give a Lightning Talk at the SNAP Section Meeting
Submit your proposal by June 23.

Teaching with Primary Sources Unconference
The Third Annual Teaching with Primary Sources Unconference and Workshops is free and open to everyone, archivists and non-archivists! Plan to attend at the Portland Art Museum on July 25

Annual Meeting, July 23-29, 2017

2017 SAA Research Forum – Call for Participants and Presentations
Abstracts are due May 16.

ARCHIVES 2017 Registration is now Open!
Early Bird Deadline is July 6.

Conference Schedule is available
Plan to attend the SNAP Section Meeting on Wednesday July 26 from 2:30-3:45pm

Portland Host Committee Blog

Other Professional Happenings

Registration Deadline for ACA Exam
The Academy of Certified Archivists’ exam registration deadline is May 15.

International Archives Day on June 9
Celebrate International Archives Day 2017 on Friday, June 9

Call for Proposals on Library and Information Technology
The 20th Annual Forum of the Library Information and Technology Association is November 9-12 in Denver. Deadline to submit a proposal is May 19.

Archives and Archivists in the News

Obama Presidential Center breaks from National Archives model

Archives Aren’t Just for Professionals

NYT Archives on Instagram: A Lighthearted Look Into Our Past

The Lost Picture Show: Hollywood Archivists Can’t Outpace Obsolescence

How NPR’s Research, Archives & Data Strategy team is saving sounds of the past for the future

A Day at SCA

Guest author: Casey Seyb
Science Data Archivist at Raytheon IIS

The Society of California Archivists (SCA) Annual General Meeting was my first conference attendance as a recently employed archivist and volunteer with a local historical preservation society, the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society. It was difficult to limit myself to just one day and even more difficult to decide which sessions to attend, as I felt I could learn a lot from any number of them.

One memorable moment was a group that presented for the community engagement talk. They had collaborated with other department students at their university to create a way for people to virtually interact with archives. I had been thinking about that since I had attended a tech talk at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) during my internship. At the time, I thought virtual engagement of archives would be a good next step in getting people interested in what archives have to offer for everyone. And they succeeded in creating a way to do that!

There were a few people in attendance who I already knew: two fellow interns from a previous gig at JPL in the summer of 2015 (one of them was presenting on a panel). A third was an archivist at a local university, someone who had given me great advice and insight into the field, before and during my MLIS (which I completed in August 2016).

Even without that, the event had a communal sense–people in the SCA are supportive, hard-working and engage with collaborative pride. And I gained many tips and resources, especially how to provide more outreach for my local society through photo-sharing and social media.

This was inspiring as I was due to receive a great job offer in a somewhat-related field, but one that doesn’t provide the opportunity for more archival training or skill development. Being at the conference reminded me how passionate I feel about archives and how many roles one can play in the field, traditional or niche. It also demonstrated how much potential there is for networking, professional growth and recognizing my own potential. That was a critical, valuable and timely experience for me.

Casey Seyb is a Science Data Archivist with Raytheon IIS in Pasadena, CA. As a JPL affiliate with Raytheon, she assists several NASA earth missions with technical document preservation. She also represents the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society as their Archives Chair and volunteers in the archives, co-owned by the City of Sierra Madre, CA. She completed her MLIS at San Jose State University in August 2016.

Transitions: Reflections from an Archivist in Flux

This post is part of our “Transitions” Series, which highlights the experiences of recent graduates and early career archivists. If you are an early career archivist (0-5 years in the field) who would like to participate in this series, please contact us.

Comments contributed by a new professional who chose to remain anonymous

As a student whose entire life is dictated by the frenetic grad school lifestyle it’s easy to think of an archives as someplace stable, but such a situation is rarely the reality. New software is developed, standards are replaced, and best practices change. Sometimes even the physical location of an archives will move.

Continue reading

Attending MARAC as a Student & First-Time Conference Attendee

Guest author: Lauren Bell
Archives and Preservation MI student at Rutgers University. 

Figure 4

Lauren with her poster during MARAC poster presentation, 4/21/17.

On April 20-22 I attended the bi-annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) in Newark, New Jersey. I had initially planned on being at the conference to attend workshops and get a better understanding of conference structure, but gradually assumed other roles throughout the conference.

This was the first conference I’ve attended as a graduate student in the archives field and I was blown away by the amount of opportunity presented at this gathering. On the first day, I attended a workshop titled “Dating 19th Century Portrait Photographs,” given by Gary Saretzky (Monmouth County Archives). During this workshop, Saretzky discussed various 19th century photographic media including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, carte de viste, and cabinet cards. Saretzky went through each of these photographic types at length, providing many visual examples of how one could determine the date that the photo was taken. Some consistent elements to look for amongst all of these types include dress and accessories worn by subject in the photo, color of photo, the casing of the photo, material of photo, photographer’s marks, and captions. The presentation was supplemented with reading material and a hands-on look at some photographs in Saretzky’s own personal collection. Continue reading