The Fall 2015 meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) was held at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in beautiful Roanoke, VA from Thursday October 8th – Saturday October 10th. We might have been an hour away from Blacksburg, but we were definitely in Virginia Tech country. Exhibit A (the only photo I took during the conference): this sparkly Hokie bird statue outside of the Hotel Roanoke.
The theme of this fall’s conference was “Moving Mountains: Ingenuity and Innovation in Archives.” The plenary speech by Ed Summers of the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) was an inspiring start to the conference. Summers’ presentation on web archiving described the power of archives to preserve evidence of social justice movements that spread via social media. He focused on archivists’ efforts to collect tweets and websites in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Summers’ presentation slides can be found here. The slides provide an overview of how the content was collected, what type of metadata was gathered, and links to access the collections at MITH. Summers shared a powerful tweet from Bergis Jules, University and Political Papers Archivist at University of California Riverside, which I felt perfectly captured the magnitude and importance of these projects: Continue reading