S.5 Delighted to make your acquaintance: Introducing users to primary sources

The central theme of this session was the notion of surrending complete authority over the collections that we manage, in favor of shared learning and development with our users. Several of my biggest take-aways from the speakers included: Learning is a social activity. Peer-to-peer learning is a powerful pedagogical tool for archivists and students. The […]

MARAC/NEA Boston Plenary I

The conference began with opening remarks from Danna Bell. She shared with us her thoughts about professional development and continuing education for archives professionals. Her central question was: What skills do archivists need and how should they attain them? I was excited to hear Bell discuss the real need for collaboration across organizations to make […]

Opening up the urban archive: innovations, in teaching, research and digital outreach

Hearing Doretha Williams discuss her work on the D.C. Africana Archives Project at George  Washington University provides archivists with a great model for planning and executing cross-institutional collaborations. Considering relationships between institutions and how collaborations can strengthen those relationships was a big take-away. Simple pieces of a project, like setting aside two student processing positions for […]

Engaging students in complex description: 3 projects, multiple languages, and EAC-CPF in the classroom

This session focused exclusively on how students, both in high school and college, can be helpful in processing collections. Valerie Addonizio from Johns Hopkins commented on her experience working with a high school teacher, two school librarians, and six students to create EAC-CPF records. Her lessons learned included: Considering what the host institution defines as […]

Diversity and collaboration: making hidden Mexican, Jewish, and Chinese Collections Discoverable

This panel focused on how students can be used to help process collections. Several take-aways included: Students can be helpful in creating keywords and basic descriptions or summaries, but for authorized names, etc. it’s best to use catalogers for consistency and efficiency Students can offer language skills that can be critical in translating and annotating […]

Success Beyond Access: Maximizing Faculty Buy-In, Student Assistance, and Public Use

During this second session, I heard from Christopher Harter of the Amistad Research Center about the effects of collaborating with Tulane’s service learning requirement to work with students to process and preserve collections. Most of these students were History students and the collections they worked on connect with course themes. Harlan Green, Head of Special […]

CLIR Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Symposium- Innovation, Collaborations, and Models

I attended “Looking back and facing forward: Learning from Collaborations with our peers and constituents” for session one. Eric Pumroy of Bryn Mawr shared his experiences participating in the PACSAL consortium finding aid database project. He emphasized the challenges that he and others continue to confront as they consider the future of is collaboration. These […]

Part 2: Forging the Future

The second day of the colloquium began with a panel discussing how collectors, dealers, faculty and special collections librarians can and perhaps, should be working together to collaboratively build collections. Speakers addressed issues related to ideas of creating complete collection, an activity perhaps best suited for collectors, as opposed to special collections librarians. The importance […]

Forging the Future

This afternoon kicked off the first day of a two day Special Collections Colloquium, hosted at Case Western. Sarah Thomas the Vice President, Harvard Library and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences began our sessions and shared with us her thoughts about the past and future of our profession. She […]

S.16 Thoughts on Collection Development

I ended the fall conference with a session on collection development. This session offered a wide range of experiences through lightening talks by university archivists at various sized institutions, as well as experiences from those in special collections. The moderator of the session began her remarks by encouraging us to think about donors “as intelligent […]