Special Collections and Archives would like to announce that Collections Archivist Stephanie Bennett has been selected to attend an Image Permanence Institute (IPI) workshop, Preservation of Digitally Printed Materials in Libraries, Archives and Museums. Bennett was one of 15 participants selected from a pool of more than 50 applicants. The workshop, for which tuition of waived due to generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will be held October 20-22, 20115, at IPI’s facilities at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. IPI is a nonprofit, university-based laboratory and recognized world leader in the development and deployment of sustainable practices for the preservation of images and cultural property.
I recently attended our third and final iteration of the Archives Leadership Institute (ALI), located in Decorah, Iowa. Funded by the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC), the goal for the Institute is to “bring to tomorrow’s leaders the insights and understanding necessary for increasing public use and appreciation of archives.” However, while we won’t be coming back to Decorah, we were recently notified ALI has been funded for another three-year run, and our new location will be Berea College in Berea, KY, where the Project Director resides. I will continue as part of the Steering Committee: (Rachel Vagts, ALI Director) from Berea College as well as representatives from New York (Geof Huth), Massachusetts (Beth Myers), Ohio (Dan Noonan), Oregon (Terry Baxter), Texas (Brenda Gunn), and of course, North Carolina (Tanya). For our third year, we worked with the faculty to revise the schedule and again reviewed applications (there were nearly 100 for 25 slots). The Committee conducted daily evaluations of the curriculum, and monitored the overall process by serving as facilitators for small groups in the cohort. Again, we had a wonderful week and built many new relationships.
The core curriculum remained the same, the first day focused on New Leadership Thinking and Methods (faculty and facilitator, Luther Snow). Our second day brought Dr. David Gracy (retired from the archives faculty at UT-Austin) who spoke on Advocacy. Day three brought Dan Noonan from Ohio State who presented on Strategies for Born Digital Resources. Sharon Leon (Director of Public Projects, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and Media, George Mason) who oversees OMEKA and Scripto, focused on project management for day four. Christopher Barth, from West Point, spoke on Strategic Visioning and Team Development.
The week again ended with a special celebratory dinner (which included heartfelt stories from the participants as well as inside jokes). The group is scheduled to meet again at the annual meeting for the Society of American Archivists, being held in Cleveland in August. There will be a dinner (including ALI alumni from past years) as well as a workshop to discuss potential service activities.
The ALI Team was also recently notified we have been awarded the Society of American Archivists’ Distinguished Service Award! ALI has had a tremendous impact on the archival profession by developing the potential leadership skills in a wide range of archival professionals throughout the country. I am glad I am able to continue my participation in this important program.
As Tanya mentioned, I also attended the Midwest Archives Conference annual meeting last week. It was my first trip to bourbon country, and thanks to the local arrangements committee, I kicked it off at Buffalo Trace, the longest running bourbon distillery in America, and a narrated amble through horse country. Another first for an archives: the plenary speaker was Joel Pett, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Lexington Herald-Leader; his talk was a laugh a minute.
The trip was not all fun and games, though, I did make time for learning! I attended a very informative session on audiovisual preservation, which is timely since I’m currently processing about 8 linear feet of cassette tapes, videotapes, and audioreels in the Edgar Christman collection. All the sessions were great, though. Other highlights included:
- A hands-on session about digital forensics presented in part by Jason Evans Groth of NC State: I may be taking a field trip soon to see their digital imaging workstation
- A quick brown bag lunch session on strategic career planning featuring our own TZB
- Event planning and social media management solutions for solo archivist shops (translates well to our department, as well)
- A “speed geeking” session on records management-related outreach and marketing that provided four different, creative approaches
It’s rare that every session of a conference offers something that is directly applicable to my work, but happily this was the case in Lexington. I also presented a poster on Saturday morning, “How Much Do You Earn? An Informal Look at Archives Salaries,” presenting the results of a survey that I conducted last spring. I got some good questions and feedback, which was useful for thinking about my next steps. Many thanks to Craig for providing some tips on making the poster look good! Alas, I failed to take a photo of my masterpiece.
I had a wonderful time at the most recent MAC meeting—there was learning, sharing information, and hearing horror stories. I was able to attend the Society of American Archivists workshop: Accessioning and Ingest of Electronic Records. The workshop was excellent, and included discussion of how to combine the practice of archival appraisal with accepting and documenting born-digital records. There was a focus on policies, file formats, storage considerations, and a number of tools available for archivists to use. The donation of born-digital and electronic records is becoming an increasing issue for the University Archives, and the time could not be better to attend a workshop such as this.
I also gave a presentation on Thursday on Assessing our Public Services, part of a broader session on Assessment (including Collections and Trusted Digital Repository Criteria). We had around 70 people in the room and there were lots of questions afterwards. My presentation is available here:
The opening reception was held at The Carrick House (http://carrickhouse.com/index2.php#/info1/1/) in downtown Lexington. There were variations on ham and biscuits, and yes, I witnessed archivists square-dancing. They also had a photo booth and it was just as popular as ours was at the Dean’s List Gala. I was able to attend more sessions on archives internships and implementing organizational change, and see posters on Documenting Ferguson and the current status of archivists’ salaries (courtesy of our own Stephanie Bennett).
Finally, I was able to knock another item off my bucket list as I traveled back via the Cumberland Gap Parkway.
I recently attended the second iteration of the Archives Leadership Institute (ALI), hosted by Luther College and located in Decorah, Iowa (I participated in the 2008 ALI held in Madison, WI). Funded by the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC), the goal for the Institute is to “bring to tomorrow’s leaders the insights and understanding necessary for increasing public use and appreciation of archives.” I am now part of the Steering Committee, organizing the current 3-year set of ALI (still sponsored by NHPRC):
The Steering Committee consists of archivists (Rachel Vagts, ALI Director, and Sasha Griffin) from Luther College as well as representatives from New York (Geof Huth), Michigan (Beth Myers), Ohio (Dan Noonan), Oregon (Terry Baxter), Texas (Brenda Gunn), and of course, North Carolina (Tanya). For our second year, we worked with the faculty to revise the schedule and again reviewed applications (there were nearly 100 for 25 slots). The Committee conducted daily evaluations of the curriculum, and monitored the overall process by serving as faciliators for small groups in the cohort. Again, we had a wonderful week and built many new relationships.
The core curriculum consisted of the following: The first day focused on New Leadership Thinking and Methods (faculty and facilitator, Luther Snow). Our second day brought Dr. David Gracy (retired from the archives faculty at UT-Austin) who spoke on Advocacy. Dr. Gracy is such a personality, the tweeters in the group couldn’t keep up with all of his quotes! Day three brought Dan Noonan from Ohio State who presented on Strategies for Born Digital Resources. Sharon Leon (Director of Public Projects, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and Media, George Mason) who oversees OMEKA and Scripto, focused on project management for day four. Christopher Barth, from West Point, spoke on Strategic Visioning and Team Development. A new addition was StrengthsFinder, so, yes, I managed to take it again. My number 1 strength Activator has remained the same, but I have added Achiever and Connectedness. My other two, Learner and Responsibility remain. Of course, during our Strengthsfinder presentation, we had a tornado warning and had to complete part of the presentation in the laundry room. Good times.
The week again ended with a special celebratory dinner (which included funny and heartfelt stories from the participants). The group is scheduled to meet again at the annual meeting for the Society of American Archivists, being held in Washington, D.C. in August. There will be a dinner (including ALI alumni from past years) as well as a morning workshop to discuss potential service activities. ALI has had a tremendous impact on the archival profession by developing the potential leadership skills in a wide range of archival professionals throughout the country. I am glad I was able to continue my participation in this important program.
I was able to sit in on one day of the Tri-State Archivists 2013 (Society of Georgia Archivists, Society of North Carolina Archivists, Society of South Carolina Archivists) joint meeting at Furman University, Greenville, SC. While my time was short, the quality of the presentations definitely made the trip worth it.
The opening plenary was by Emily Gore of the Digital Public Library of America and provided an excellent overview of the DPLA’s mission, organization and structure. She also recommended numerous apps to access their collections, including OpenPics and Culture Collage, which could also have implications for instruction. Dr. Clifford Kuhn, the Director of the Oral History Association was the lunchtime plenary and shared examples of oral history projects focusing on the Southeast. One of his most interesting comments related to the role transcription has played in giving access to oral history–traditionally, there has been a focus on providing text for audio interviews, which is extremely time consuming and expensive. Things have changed somewhat, and as he noted, we are moving towards thinking and authoring in sound, which raises the importance of sharing the audio and video directly with researchers, so they can hear actual voices. During the afternoon, there were a fascinating set of presentations focusing on MPLP (More Product, Less Process) processing and decision-making in regards to collections; the role of description in assisting researchers; and the role of reappraisal in assessing collections. All raised excellent points, and one of the speakers utilized a University of California-developed set of criteria (user interest, quality of documentation, institutional value, and object value) for determining collection priorities, which I hope to use in the future. There were also interesting poster sessions, including the Clarence Herbert New poster by Rebecca and Craig, and others on dealing with small disasters, archives internships, and using Dropbox for reference service. All in all, I picked up many valuable tips and food for thought.
I don’t know how I can possibly describe my 9 days in New Orleans, but I will certainly do my best!
I recently attended the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA), held in New Orleans, in addition to other events tacked on at the beginning and the end of my travels. First off, I was part of a review team (with colleagues from the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University and the University of Iowa) who were asked to review the Newcomb Institute Women’s Archives, part of Tulane University. This is the first program review I have been involved in that was not for an academic program, academic department, or library. We met with the Institute’s archivist, Executive Director, staff, faculty, Tulane archivists, toured the Newcomb Archives, and reviewed documentation from the library and university. All in all, this was an interesting experience, and one I hope to write about in the future. Before SAA began, I was able to have a nice tour of the Garden District, visit the Ursuline Convent, and have dinner with some of my favorite archivist colleagues, including my sister-in-law, Stacy Belcher Gould. Stacy is the University Archivist at the University of Hong Kong and is not always able to come to SAA, so this was a big treat.
At the very beginning of the week, I attended SAA Council meetings as I was elected to a three-year term last year (2012-2015). Council oversees all budgetary and programmatic activities of the Society, and meets three times per year (twice in Chicago in January and May, and at the annual meeting). Council completed a number of tasks, including reorganizing the annual meeting structure, reviewing reports, and creating an Advocacy and Public Policy Committee. I have been working on advocacy projects in conjunction with SAA, the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) and the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA), and I will also be assisting with the work of this committee. After the annual meeting actually started, my main responsibility was to update numerous groups on Council activities and ask for feedback. “My” groups include the Diversity Committee, the Government Affairs Working Group, the Latin American and Caribbean Heritage Archives Roundtable, the Native American Roundtable, the College and University Archives Section, and the Science, Technology and Healthcare Roundtable.
On Tuesday, I attended the Women’s Archives Symposium, sponsored by the Newcomb Institute and Archives. This program was organized to coincide with SAA’s publication of my newly edited book (with Anke Voss), Perspectives on Women’s Archives (Society of American Archivists, 2013). I gave introductory remarks and listened to panel presentations and discussions organized around themes we raised in our introductory essay. There were 60 attendees and one of the participants blogged about the day:
All in all, it was a satisfactory end to 7 years of hard work:
During the annual meeting, I did manage to hear interesting presentations on institutional repositories and advocacy efforts in Alabama (presented by my very first archives employer, the Alabama Department of Archives and History). I made time to stop by Rebecca and Craig’s poster on Clarence Herbert New, it really did look wonderful. On Friday, I gave a presentation on women in science and engineering, in honor of archivist Joan Warnow Blewitt (American Institute of Physics), to the Science, Technology and Healthcare Roundtable. This presentation described oral history projects at ISU and potential future plans for a similar project at Wake Forest.
Finally, at the end of the week, as a Steering Committee member for the Archives Leadership Institute, I attended meetings, hosted an ALI alumni dinner, trekked down Bourbon Street at 11:00 p.m. and finished up with a Sunday morning workshop. Thank goodness, they had some coffee for us.
SAA is always incredibly exciting, stimulating, and exhausting–there is nothing like having 1,600 archivists all in the same place! I am now happy (and a little relieved, to be truthful) to be back in Winston-Salem. I look forward to catching up and staying put for some time….
All, I apologize for the length of this posting, but really didn’t want to split it up!
Five years ago, I had the tremendous opportunity to participate in the very first Archives Leadership Institute (ALI), hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Funded by the National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC), the goal for the Institute was to “bring to tomorrow’s leaders the insights and understanding necessary for increasing public use and appreciation of archives.” The Institute provided a series of workshops on managing change, self-evaluation, working with external collaborators, and much, more more! We also worked in small groups and developed responses to specialized case studies. All in all, it was a excellent experience–I was able to meet new people, and build deeper friendships with those I already knew (FYI, the archives profession is extremely small, and even if you don’t know someone, you usually are only one degree away from a connection). My friend and colleague, Geof Huth, blogged about the entire week: http://anarchivist.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html
Now, in 2013, I am part of the Steering Committee, organizing the next 3-year set of ALI, held last week at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa (still sponsored by NHPRC): http://www.archivesleadershipinstitute.org/
The Committee consists of archivists (Rachel Vagts, ALI Director, and Sasha Griffin) from Luther College as well as representatives from New York (Geof Huth), Michigan (Beth Myers), Ohio (Dan Noonan), Oregon (Terry Baxter), Texas (Brenda Gunn), and of course, North Carolina (Tanya). The Steering Committee assisted in the development of the Institute content and logistics, and also reviewed applications (there were nearly 100 for 25 slots). For the Institute, the Committee conducted daily evaluations of the curriculum, and monitored the overall process by serving as facilitators for small groups in the cohort. All in all, we had a wonderful week (including a field trip to Seed Savers (which saves heirloom seeds) and a yoga class) and built many new relationships. The Institute also gained the moniker, “The Weight Gain” Institute because the food was so good.
For some photos (please note Audra Eagle Yun as she was one of the attendees): http://www.flickr.com/photos/55249940@N08/sets/72157634232465477/
The week began with a day dedicated to New Leadership Thinking and Methods. Our facilitator for the entire week was community organizer and consultant, Luther Snow, who is based in Decorah. I found his concepts on generativity to be extremely helpful-the focus is on what you have, not on the negative aspects of continually thinking about your weaknesses. During the afternoon, the group was presented with a number of physical team challenges for team groups to solve to build bonding, and then we went to the high ropes course. We were really not sure how the group would respond, but it was amazing-even if you didn’t take the challenge of crossing a log 30 feet up, you could participate by serving on the belay team or cheering everyone else on. I finally broke down and participated in the swing, which draws you up about 30 feet in the air, and after you pull the cord, swoosh, you swing through the air numerous times. I am afraid of heights, but after everyone else on the Steering Committee AND my small group tried at least one thing, I felt obligated as a point of pride. Next year, I am planning to tackle the diagonal log climb. See the photos on the Flickr site, yikes!
On Day two, Dan Noonan from Ohio State presented on Strategies for Born Digital Resources. The constant mantra of dealing with electronic records is never let the perfect be the enemy of the good. In other works, do something, even if it is not perfect. Day 3 brought Sharon Leon (Director of Public Projects, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and Media, George Mason) who oversees OMEKA and Scripto, focus on project management. Christopher Barth, from West Point, spoke on Strategic Visioning and Team Development. One of the best things about his presentation (in addition to the content) was his use of PollEv which enable the participants to text thoughts on various questions he asked, which were then displayed to everyone:
Finally, Day five brought Kathleen Roe to speak about Archival Advocacy and Awareness. Kathleen is an SAA Fellow and has been an archivist with the New York State Archives for nearly 35 years. She is also the incoming president for the Society of American Archivists, and has been a leader in building awareness of and financial support for archives. The week ended with a special celebratory dinner, which included heartfelt stories from the participants as well as inside jokes concerning bacon, shoes, and trolls. The group will be meeting again at the annual meeting for the Society of American Archivists, being held in New Orleans in August. There will be a dinner (including ALI alumni from past years) as well as a morning workshop to discuss potential service activities. ALI has had a tremendous impact on the archival profession by developing the potential leadership skills in a wide range of archival professionals throughout the country. I am glad I was able to participate in continuing this important program.
FYI-as I was recently elected to ZSR’s Mentoring Committee, I thought I would share a couple of items from ALI 2012, where I presented specifically on mentoring. The first is an outline of my presentation and a bibliography on mentoring-if you have questions about either, please do not hesitate to let me know!
I recently returned from Indianapolis, where I attended the Midwest Archives Conference annual meeting. I have been a member of MAC for nearly 20 years, and have served in a number of offices, including chairing the Nominating Committee, Council member, Vice President, and most recently, as President (2009-2011). MAC is an interesting organization, for while it is technically a regional group, it does have a large national and international membership and also publishes its own journal, Archival Issues.
I still have ongoing service activities within MAC. As Past President, I serve on the President’s Award Committee, which recognizes organizations who make a significant contribution to the archival community. This year’s winner was the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center (part of the U.S. Geological Survey), located near Sioux Falls, SD. One of their primary data collections is called Landsat, short for land satellite. Landsat’s global archive contains over 3.5 million individual images and these images are available for free to the public. I was also recently appointed as co-chair of the Education Committee. The Education Committee is responsible for the selection of workshops for the annual meeting, planning for the long term, and organizing a Speakers’ Bureau. The Bureau has potential implications for the national archives scene and as the idea was generated during strategic planning when I was MAC President, I feel obligated to assist in its development.
MAC normally has 300-350 attendees (Indy had 400!) at the annual meeting, and many of the members have known each other for years. The programs are always of high quality, and this year has proven to be no exception. The opening plenary was given by Film Professor and member of the Organization for Transformative Works, Francesca Coppa. She focused her remarks on fan works and culture, and the online creation of fan-based creations in a wide variety of formats, including fiction, artwork, film/video, textiles, wikis, and songs. There are all sorts of copyright and preservation issues, and the group recently created a new software, The Archive of Our Own, which enables the various groups to preserve and organize their own work. The most interesting part of the presentation was her discussion of tagging and the creation of folksonomies by “tag wranglers,” and how they use tagging to capture highly complex concepts.
I also attended As It Happens: Documenting Community Tragedies and Transformations, a session with representatives from the University of Northern Illinois, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and my “home” state of Iowa’s Postville Collection. Each presentation described the issues involved with documenting sensitive events (i.e. campus shootings, religious changes, and a federal raid on a meatpacking plant) and how to sensitively document these events for the future. The real challenge, in addition to diplomatic skills, was the preserving of such a wide variety of formats, i.e. artifacts, oral histories, film, video, banners, memorials, and photographs.
Crowdsourcing Transcription was a popular session-the presenters focused on the technical and staff efforts to provide such an experience for the public. One of the first of such efforts was the New York Public Library’s What’s on the Menu project: http://menus.nypl.org. While crowdsourcing is an excellent way to connect with the public, the time, labor, and technical requirements involved make it extremely difficult to implement. Proactive Collecting was another interesting session, where speakers described assessing a regional or topical “information ecosystem” and how to integrate a variety of diverse sources in a variety of locations in order to provide a more holistic view of the past.
Two of the best sessions I attended were both on Saturday morning. Three graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison described their project, Sounds of the Archives, where they produced podcasts using archival material. The other session focused on the many issues related to the preservation and storage of electronic records, and gave excellent advice as well as valuable resources. The resources included the Duke Data Accessioner (http://library.duke.edu/uarchives/about/tools/data-accessioner.html: for migrating information off disks prior to appraisal), Firefly SSN Finder (which searches for those pesky social security numbers which can lead to identity theft) and the Australia Digital Preservation Software Platform (http://sourceforge.net/projects/dpsp/) which offers a number of open source products for better management of electronic and born digital records.
All in all, this was a very productive meeting, and it will take me quite a while to fully assess everything I learned and how to utilize it here at Wake!
Last week I attended the South Carolina Archival Association’s Fall Meeting. The topic was “Thinking Outside the Archival Box: Expanding our Reach to Underserved and Underrepresented Groups” which fit perfectly with the initiative that we here at the WFU Archives are beginning*. The conference was held in the Hollings Special Collections Library at the University of South Carolina. It was built in 2010, connecting to the Thomas Cooper library, the main undergraduate library. It was a great facility for the meeting, with a large conference room at the back and the main collections housed on either side of a large reading room (Rare Books on one side, Political Collections on the other). There are large spaces in front of each collection area that are full of display cases where they show memorabilia, photos and books.
USC just recently acquired over 1200 Hemingway items which they added to their existing materials, making it the most complete collection of his published works. What an incredible collection and exhibit! USC’s Hemingway Collection
Once we were settled in the meeting area, our session began with Christopher Judge, who is the Assistant Director of the Native American Studies department at USC-Lancaster. The program began in 2003 when Dr. Tom Blumer donated his collection of research to the USC-L library. In the collection are his “papers, archives, and artifacts, all dealing with the Catawba Indians. The T.J. Blumer Catawba Research Collection contains a wide variety of materials created and collected by the donor over a 40-year period as he conducted his research on the Catawba and other Native American peoples, with a focus on the pottery of the Catawba Indians. These materials form the single largest documentary collection of materials about the Catawba in existence. The collection also provides the best existing documentation on the life, work, techniques, and products of the Catawba potters, artists who have maintained a continuous tradition stretching back hundreds, if not thousands, of years”. (Native American Studies Program). Building on this core collection, the school developed the Native American Studies department which includes an archaeologist (Judge), a folklorist/oral historian, art instructor/curator of the pottery collection, archivist, and an English instructor/Catawba linguist. They work closely with the Native American people of the area to make sure they are accurately sharing the NA culture and heritage with the students in the program as well as the community.
Brent Burgin, director of the NA archives then told us that there are over 40,000 Native American people currently living in South Carolina, but their history and culture is hardly known at all, and what is known many times is myth. He shared about how he and the other members of the department have worked and continue to work hard to gain the trust of the NA people in the area. He said he felt very awkward and nervous about approaching them to talk about starting other collections for the archives because he didn’t want them to feel patronized. They have such a long history of persecution that he understood why they didn’t trust “outside” people who seem to want to work with them but may have ulterior motives. After he got past his “Amero-centricity” he realized that he needed to just be himself, and show that he is sincere about wanting to document and preserve the NA history with the help of the local tribes. Burgin said that he and all of the faculty have worked to gain the trust of the local people over the years, and they have a strong relationship on both sides now. He stated that identity, accountability and advocacy are the most important things for him and the other faculty to remember as they work with the NA people.
* The archive is “Switzerland” when it comes to political issues of the tribes; they include all information and don’t take sides on issues
*They always get the Catawbas’ approval before making presentations or conducting programs to make sure they are representing the people correctly
*They continue to maintain the trust between the archives and NA people, by sharing the rich history and working with the tribe members to help them with questions or research they may be doing
We then heard from Ed Madden, Henry Fulmer and Jeffery Makala about the LGBTQ and AIDS/HIV Collections at the main campus. Madden, an associate professor of English and the director of undergraduate studies in the Women and Gender studies program, shared about his experiences using LGBTQ collections in his research on gender theory and Irish cultural studies. He discussed how difficult some items were to find, and that being able to study the originals was much preferable to using a digitized version at times. Because of his extensive research over the years, he has become a sort of archivist himself, helping to bring various donations to the LGBTQ collection at the South Caroliniana Library. He noted that very little has been done to intentionally document experiences of LGBTQ people in the US, and that for a long time it was seen unimportant or inappropriate to do so. Thankfully that idea is changing…
Henry Fulmer, curator of manuscripts at the South Caroliniana Library, discussed the GLBTQ collection itself, and how it has evolved over the years. They began the collection in 1970, and it documents the people, events and organizations connected to GLBTQ efforts and activities throughout the state of South Carolina. Jim Blanton, Harriet Hancock, Santi Thompson, Harlan Greene, DiAna DiAna, and Patricia Volker are just a few of the people who have donated their papers to the collection as well as groups such as the AIDS Benefit Council, Alliance for Full Acceptance and the Affirm Organization.
Jeffery Makala then told us about the HIV/AIDS collection, which he has helped to build from scratch. It started by documenting the first 10 years of the AIDS epidemic in America and continued to grow and widen its coverage. Originally focused on South Carolina materials, the collection now includes rare and unique materials from all over. For example, it now houses the only complete run of The Advocate in SC, many originals of a magazine called RFD, APA publications and high school teacher guides. It also includes 1700 monographs, 20-30 runs of different periodicals and a variety of realia such as buttons, ribbons, badges and shirts.
All of these efforts to document groups that have been historically un- or under-represented demonstrate large-scale programs and support of them. It was heartening and encouraging to hear about the development of these collections and to see that there is now a concerted effort to preserve the history of these people. Since ZSR operates on a smaller scale than USC, it might seem that there aren’t a lot of “take-aways” for me from this conference. But truly the bottom line is the same for us as for them as for any institution: you must establish and maintain trust between you and the group that has been unrepresented or ignored. If an archives is making a sincere effort to be inclusive and represent the many groups of its institution or area, the groups in turn should be able see that their collections will be protected and maintained in a place that will represent all of its donors in a professional way. These things can be done in any archives of any size, and I am happy to say that we are launching such an effort here this month. (*See Documenting Diversity for more info on our kickoff )! Learning from other institutions who have already moved ahead with this kind of project is the best way to plan our approach. We can see what has worked well for these groups and incorporate the same type of efforts and activities here, tailored to WFU. We look forward to growing our University Archives with all groups who are part of the school’s history.