Season 7, Episode 2: Cheryl Oestreicher

Cheryl Oestreicher

How can archivists reimagine reference services as they increasingly serve a broader and more diverse user base? In this episode, cohosts Anna Trammell and Chris Burns speak with Cheryl Oestreicher about her recent book, Reference and Access for Archives and Manuscripts (Society of American Archivists, 2020), the fourth volume in SAA’s Archival Fundamentals Series III and the recipient of SAA’s 2021 Waldo Gifford Leland Award for writing of superior excellence and usefulness.

Oestreicher is a professor at Boise State University and the head of Special Collections and Archives at Boise State’s Albertsons Library. In this episode, she shares memorable reference experiences and discusses the evolution of the reference model away from acquisitions and toward advocacy.

Listen to learn how access informs all areas of archival practice.

Read the transcript.

Episode Extras

For even more information about Reference and Access for Archives and Manuscripts, see Kayla Scott’s review of the book in Issue 84.1 of American Archivist.

Reference and Access for Archives and Manuscripts is the current selection for SAA’s One Book, One Profession reading initiative—learn more, download study guide questions, and consider reading it with your colleagues! To order your own copy, visit the SAA Bookstore.

Season 7, Episode 1: Archivists Connect at ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2022

More than 1,000 archivists came together in-person—many for the first time since 2019—in Boston in August during ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2022, the annual conference of the Society of American Archivists. Another 1,000 archivists tuned in virtually. In this episode, co-hosts Chris Burns and Anna Trammell talk with attendees about their favorite conference sessions, the perks and challenges of remote work, the “glass half-full” lessons we can take away from the pandemic, and the joy of connecting with other archivists.  

Read the transcript.

Episode Extras

If you missed ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2022, or attended but didn’t get to all the sessions you would have liked, don’t worry! All education sessions, both plenaries, and the open forums were recorded and are available for on-demand access on the conference websiteRegister today to get access—and join us next year for ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2023, which will take place July 22–29, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Season 6, Episode 4: SAA Foundation with Bob Clark and Beth Myers

“Archivists helping archivists”—in this episode, cohosts Nicole Milano and JoyEllen Williams speak with Bob Clark and Beth Myers, members of the Society of American Archivists Foundation Board. Myers and Clark discuss the Foundation’s purpose, goals, and opportunities for engagement. Listen to learn how the Foundation supports SAA, archivists, and the profession.

Bob Clark is director of Archives at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC), a historical research center for the study of philanthropy. In addition to managing a talented team of thirty-two archives and IT professionals, he actively engages with the RAC’s records-creating organizations, such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation, to shape information governance, records management, and archival programs that are responsive to the digital environment. From 2001 to 2015, he served in various leadership roles at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum, including as supervisory archivist, deputy director, and acting director.

Beth Myers is the director of Special Collections at Smith College Libraries, a position held since 2014. She provides leadership and oversight to a unit that averages twenty staff and encompasses the three primary repositories of Special Collections. Myers is responsible for personnel, budget, developing internal and external funding streams, working with donors and developing strategic initiatives and planning. A dedicated archival professional, Myers participates actively in the Society of American Archivists, most recently as chair of the A*CENSUS II Working Group and member of the Foundation Board. She has published reviews, articles and book chapters related to the field of archives and special collections.

Read the transcript.

Episode Extras

Get involved with the SAA Foundation’s work by applying for a Strategic Growth Grant, nominating yourself or a colleague for an SAA award or scholarship, volunteering for the Foundation Board, or making a donation. Donations to the SAA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, are tax deductible.

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.

Read the transcript.

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.

Read the transcript.

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.

Read the transcript.

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 Verónica 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.

Read the transcript.

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.

Read the transcript.

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!):