Season 6, Episode 3: Jesse R. Erickson

Jesse R. Erickson

As the United States continues to confront systemic racism on several fronts, archival repositories are rethinking the idea of space and how it pertains to inclusivity. A leader among these conversations is Dr. Jesse Erickson, author of “The Gentleman’s Ghost: Patriarchal Eurocentric Legacies in Special Collections,” published in Archives and Special Collections as Sites of Contestation (2020) and Astor curator and department head of Printed Books and Bindings at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York. In this episode, Dr. Erickson discusses his path to special collections and the physical spaces that gave him entry into the field. Dr. Erickson also shares insight into “The Gentleman’s Ghost” and encourages archivists to think critically and imaginatively about reading rooms of the future.

Dr. Erickson most recently worked as coordinator of special collections and digital humanities and assistant professor in the department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, and as associate director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center at the University of Delaware. Prior to this role, he worked as a bibliographic researcher and archival processor in the manuscripts division of the Charles E. Young Research Library and the Center for Oral History Research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He recently served as the vice president for programs for the American Printing History Association. He has also served on the editorial boards of the University of Delaware Press and Publishing History, and he is co-editor for the Papers of Bibliographical Society of America. His research specializations are in ethnobibliography, alternative printing, non-canonical textuality, African American print culture, and the transnational publishing history of the works of Ouida. Dr. Erickson holds a master’s degree in library and information science and a doctoral degree in information studies from UCLA. 

This episode is sponsored by the San José State University School of Information.

Episode Extras

Check out Dr. Erickson’s essay “The Gentleman’s Ghost: Patriarchal Eurocentric Legacies in Special Collections Design,” in Archives and Special Collections as Sites of Contestation, edited by Mary Kandiuk (Library Juice Press, 2020). 

Also mentioned is Ashley Farmer’s essay “Archiving While Black” (Chronicle of Higher Education, July 22, 2018). Read her essay and listen to her Archives in Context conversation.


Season 6, Episode 2: Amy Cooper Cary and Stacie Williams

Interested in publishing with the Society of American Archivists? Cohosts Anna Trammell and Chris Burns talk with SAA Publications Editor Stacie Williams and American Archivist Editor Amy Cooper Cary about the many publishing opportunities that SAA offers. Williams and Cooper Cary provide an overview of these opportunities and ways that archivists of all experience levels can engage in scholarship, and they discuss their own personal journeys as writers and editors.

Episode Extras

Read past issues of American Archivist—and get involved! Browse the Editorial Policies and Submission Guidelines for writing an article or review, or sign up for being a peer reviewer.

Learn more about the SAA Publications Program more broadly, including writing case studies, modules, books, Archival Outlook articles, and more. 

Season 6, Episode 1: Jacqualine Price Osafo

Jacqualine Price Osafo

Cohosts Nicole Milano and JoyEllen Williams conduct a special interview with the Society of American Archivist’s new executive director, Jacqualine Price Osafo. In this interview, Jackie shares her professional and personal roots, including her long-time passion for associations and the impact of an inspiring relative. Jackie also explains what drew her to SAA and why she values the archival profession.

Jacqualine Price Osafo is a Certified Association Executive with more than thirty years in association management. She received her MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has held high-level leadership roles in various associations, including the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Water Quality Association, and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Jackie currently serves as chair of the Black Indigenous People of Color Advisory Task Force For Association Forum.

This episode is sponsored by the San José State University School of Information.

Episode Extras

Learn more about Jackie through her interview in Archival Outlook (July/August 2021) and SAA’s June 2021 press release.

Season 5, Episode 6: Archives, Community, and Education at the Library of Congress with Danna Bell and Guha Shankar

Cohosts Nicole Milano and JoyEllen Williams interview Educational Resource Specialist Danna Bell and Folklife Specialist Guha Shankar from the Library of Congress. During this conversation, Bell and Shankar discuss the intersection of archives, community, and education, specifically addressing how the country’s renewed focus on social justice impacts their work at the Library of Congress. 

Episode Extras

Check out some of the resources that Bell and Shankar mention, including the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog and the American Folklife Center’s Civil Rights History Project.

Season 5, Episode 5: Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia’s Anti-Racist Description Working Group

Many archivists are reevaluating workflows and practices in order to create more equitable, anti-oppressive, and anti-racist metadata in their repositories. This important work is foregrounded by the Anti-Racist Description Resources, authored by the Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia’s (A4BLiP) Anti-Racist Description Working Group. Archives in Context spoke with A4BLiP’s Anti-Racist Description Working Group members Alexis A. Antracoli, Annalise Berdini, Faith Charlton, Valencia Johnson, and Katy Rawdon on the creation of the Anti-Racist Description Resources and ways that archivists can begin addressing racist and oppressive description in their repositories.

Episode Extras

Learn more about Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia, and check out the Anti-Racist Description Resources.

Season 5, Episode 4: Petrina Jackson and Veronica Reyes-Escudero

As American society reckons with racial injustice, many archivists wonder how they can combat systemic racism in the workplace and the profession. Archives in Context reached out for guidance from Petrina Jackson, director of the Special Collections Research Center, Bird Library, Syracuse University; and Verónica Reyes-Escudero, Katheryne B. Willock head of special collections, University of Arizona Libraries. As chair and incoming chair of the Rare Books and Manuscript Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association, Jackson and Reyes-Escudero called upon their colleagues “to take action to recognize and destroy structural/systemic racism and inequality in our workplaces and in our profession.” Learn more about how you can help create a more diverse and inclusive profession in this episode.

Episode Extras

Season 5, Episode 3: Archivists Call-In

Residents of East Tacoma, Washington, line up to use a public phone booth, circa 1943. Image courtesy of Tacoma Public Library Online Digital Collections.

As we leave 2020 behind us, Archives In Context begins 2021 on a hopeful note. In this special episode focused on archivists and archival work during COVID-19, we hear from you! Archivists called and wrote to us with their advice on navigating this challenging time and shared the ways they are finding joy, what they are thankful for, and how they are practicing self care. From embracing escapism to hiking or taking a nap, take a listen to colleagues’ strategies for finding silver linings and Zen moments.

Episode Extras

Take some Zen time for yourself and color! For a few years, the Society of American Archivists Publications program made its annual book catalog a coloring book and collection of mazes. PDFs of the catalogs can be downloaded and printed below (colored pencils not included!):

Season 5, Episode 2: Dorothy Berry

Dorothy Berry

What is self-care, and why should archivists care? Listen to our conversation with Dorothy Berry, digital collections program manager at Harvard University’s Houghton Library, as she explores a more sophisticated understanding of self-care—one that goes beyond eating brownies and taking bubble baths. With wisdom and humor, Dorothy talks about how and why we should be kinder and gentler to ourselves and our colleagues.

Episode Extras

Watch Dorothy’s virtual workshop “Self Care is a Radical Act!,” given at the Women Archivists Section meeting during ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2020, the Joint Virtual Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists and Council of State Archivists.

Season 5, Episode 1: Archival Workers Emergency Fund

In this episode of a special Archives in Context season on how the events of 2020 have affected archivists, we meet two of the driving forces behind the Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWEF): Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, reference librarian at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and Lydia Tang, special collections archivist-librarian at Michigan State University. Anna and Lydia tell us about the origin of AWEF, its impact during the COVID-19 crisis, and how archivists can donate to or receive help from the fund. 

Episode Extras

A “class photo” of the AWEF Organizing Committee.

Follow AWEF on Twitter for updates about the fund and the archivists it has helped. Learn how to donate to or receive help from AWEF.

Archives in Context Wants to Hear from You!

In this special episode focused on archivists and archival work during COVID-19, we encourage you to share your advice and reflections with archivists during this difficult time. Do you have advice for finding joy or practicing self-care? What are you thankful for? You can respond to any of the following prompts:

  • What have you done to practice self-care this year?
  • How have you found joy in 2020?
  • In this difficult time, what advice do you have for your fellow archivists?
  • What are you thankful for this year?

How to contribute:

Option 1: Leave us a voicemail.

Dial 206-395-4635. Your call will go straight to the Archives in Context voicemail. After the beep, respond to any of the prompts listed above. Your voicemail can last up to 3 minutes only.

Option 2: Email us.

Email podcast@archivists.org with your response to any or all of the prompts. You may choose to respond in written form or you can record your voice and send it to us as an attachment. Please keep your responses brief so that we can include as many as possible in the episode. Submissions will be open through November 30, 2020.

Responses received may be edited for length and clarity. Not all responses received will be included in the episode. By submitting an email or voicemail, you are consenting for your words and/or voice to be included in a future episode of Archives in Context. Individual names of contributors will not be included in the episode.