Season 4, Episode 4: Trevor Owens

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Dr. Trevor Owens, head of digital content management at the Library of Congress, thinks about the intersection of history and digital media—a lot. He discusses his award-winning book, The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation, providing encouragement to under-resourced archivists who need to add digital preservation to their very full professional plates. Trevor also muses on the digital equivalent of lamination and why he considers digital preservation more craft than science.

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The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation (John Hopkins University Press) won the 2019 Waldo Gifford Leland Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and the Outstanding Publication Award of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services. Trevor also authored the chapter “Archives as a Service: From Archivist as Producer and Provider to Archivist as Facilitator and Enabler,” in Archival Values: Essays in Honor of Mark A. Greene, edited by Christine Weideman and Mary Caldera (SAA, 2019).

Season 4, Episode 3: Ashley Farmer

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What does “Archiving While Black” feel like? Dr. Ashley Farmer, assistant professor in the Departments of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, follows up with us on her Chronicle of Higher Education article and her talk at the 2019 SAA Annual Meeting. She also discusses the role of scholars of color in stewarding historical records and shares her thoughts on interprofessional engagement between historians and archivists.

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Read Ashley’s essay, “Archiving While Black,” published in July 2018 in The Chronicle of Higher Education, and watch her presentation at ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2019.

Season 4, Episode 2: Lydia Tang

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Dr. Lydia Tang is working to make archives more accessible and break down access barriers for people with disabilities. Lydia, who is the special collections archivist at Michigan State University, talks about her work on the SAA Task Force to Revise Best Practices on Accessibility and the SAA-ACRL/RBMS Task Force to Revise the Joint Statement on Access to Research Materials in Archives and Special Collections Libraries. Lydia underscores the importance of putting people first in all archival accessibility decisions and how this informed her work to revise the Guidelines for Accessible Archives for People with Disabilities. Lydia is the recipient of the 2020 Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader Award.

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Lydia offers further advice for creating accessible archives spaces in her article “Engaging Users with Disabilities for Accessible Spaces,” and for hiring archivists with disabilities in her co-authored article “Toward Inclusion: Best Practices for Hiring People with Disabilities.” Both articles appear in the July/August 2019 and 2020 issues of Archival Outlook, respectively.

Season 4, Episode 1: Lae’l Hughes-Watkins and Tamar Chute

How do you document a student movement? Student activists organize and mobilize within ephemeral spaces that need to be documented ethically and with care. Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, university archivist at the University of Maryland, and Tamar Chute, university archivist and head of Archives at the Ohio State University, discuss the impetus behind Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented) to create an online space for primary sources on student activism and marginalized communities. Originally created as a consortium of Ohio-based colleges and universities, Lae’l and Tamar talk about how Project STAND has taken off and now includes more than 70-member institutions. (Please note that the Archiving Student Activism Toolkit mentioned here has been released since this episode was recorded).

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Browse the Project STAND portal to find collections from participating institutions, upcoming symposiums, and resources for participating. The Archiving Student Activism Toolkit, created by Annalise Berdini, Rich Bernier, Valencia Johnson, Maggie McNeely, and Lydia Tang on behalf of Project STAND, compiles information on documenting, collecting, and providing access to student activism collections in archives.

Season 4 of Archives in Context

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The Society of American Archivists (SAA) is delighted to present Season 4 of Archives in Context, a podcast highlighting archival literature and technologies, and most importantly, the people behind them. Cosponsored by SAA’s Publications Board, American Archivist Editorial Board, and Committee on Public Awareness, the podcast explores the often moving and important work of memory-keeping.

In Season 4, released August 2020, hosts Chris Burns, Ashley Levine, Nicole Milano, and Anna Trammell interview authors, editors, and educators who have developed new tools and resources for implementing archival practices that are ethical, accessible, and inclusive and who are expanding the conversation on leadership, preservation, and community. Listen to interviews with

  • Lae’l Hughes-Watkins and Tamar Chute on the influential Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented);
  • Lydia Tang on her collaborative work to revise the Guidelines for Accessible Archives for People with Disabilities;
  • Ashley Farmer on her viral essay “Archiving While Black;”
  • Trevor Owens on his award-winning book The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation;
  • Liza Posas on the workbook she is developing for the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials;
  • Jennifer Johnson on her contribution to Leading and Managing Archives and Manuscripts Programs, volume 1 in SAA’s Archival Fundamentals Series III; and
  • Courtney Dean and Grace Danico on Acid Free, the online magazine of the Los Angeles Archivists Collective. 

Production coordinated by Bethany Anderson and Colleen McFarland Rademaker. Listen to the full season now via the Archives in Context website, Google PlaySpotify, and iTunes.

Season 3, Episode 4: Finding Aid to My Soul, Part 3

Joanna Black

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Listen to compelling stories about archives from A Finding Aid to My Soul, a storytelling event at ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2019sponsored by SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness (COPA). The event was hosted by Micaela Blei, two-time Moth Grand Slam Story Champion and former director of the Moth’s Education Program, who coached the ten storytellers in advance of the event, and also told a story of her own.

Part 3 features stories from Joanna Black, archivist at the William E. Colby Memorial Library, Sierra Club; Joyce LeeAnn Joseph, founder of Archival Alchemy; Tanya Zanish-Belcher, director of special collections and archives at Wake Forest University; and Travis Williams, archivist and special collections librarian at St. Edward’s University.

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Listen to part 1 and part 2 of A Finding Aid to My Soul and follow ArchivesAWARE! to stay up-to-date on COPA’s activities.

Season 3, Episode 3: Finding Aid to My Soul, Part 2

Leah Harrison

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Listen to compelling stories about archives from A Finding Aid to My Soul, a storytelling event at ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2019sponsored by SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness (COPA). The event was hosted by Micaela Blei, two-time Moth Grand Slam Story Champion and former director of the Moth’s Education Program, who coached the ten storytellers in advance of the event, and also told a story of her own.

Part 2 features stories from Leah Harrison, manager of research archives and heritage at the Salt River Project Archives; Katie Dishman, corporate archivist at Marriott International; Katie Moss, library associate at the State Historical Society of Iowa; and Cliff Hight, department head and university archivist at Kansas State University.

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Love what you heard? Listen to part 1 of A Finding Aid to My Soul. Then check out selected stories from the 2018 storytelling event.

Season 3, Episode 2: Finding Aid to My Soul, Part 1

Micaela BleiListen to compelling stories about archives from A Finding Aid to My Soul, a storytelling event at ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2019sponsored by SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness (COPA). The event was hosted by Micaela Blei (pictured), two-time Moth Grand Slam Story Champion and former director of the Moth’s Education Program, who coached the ten storytellers in advance of the event, and also told a story of her own.

Part 1 features stories from Micaela Blei; Arielle Petrovich, instruction and outreach archivist at the University of Notre Dame; and Kira Lyle, grad student at the University of South Carolina.

 

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Watch another story by Micaela Blei on teaching the Oregon Trail, and stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of A Finding Aid to My Soul.

Season 3, Episode 1: Elevator Going Up!

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“What’s an archivist? Who uses archives? Isn’t everything online?”

As archivists, we sometimes find ourselves answering questions about what exactly we do and why we do it. During ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2019 in Austin, Texas, hosts Chris Burns, Colleen McFarland Rademaker, Nicole Milano, and Anna Trammell “took to the streets” to ask attendees to respond—on the spot with no preparation—to questions archivists commonly receive. Listen to their responses and find some ideas for your own elevator speech. Elevator going up!

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Learn more about crafting an elevator speech with this step-by-step template and be ready to advocate for your institution and the archives—no matter where you are!

Season 2, Episode 7: Margot Note

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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an archival consultant? Margot Note, founder and principal of Margot Note Consulting, shares with us her journey into consulting work and her experiences working in nontraditional archival settings. In her new book with SAA, Creating Family Archives: A Step-by-Step Guide to Saving Your Memories for Future Generations, Margot shares tips for effectively explaining an archivist’s work and archival principles to the public.

 

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Family history is important. But who’s in charge of saving all of the photos, videos, aged documents and cherished papers? They need a better home than a cardboard box. Creating Family Archives is written by an archivist for your family, taking them step-by-step through the process of preserving the stuff of their own history.

Gift this book to family and friends! Pre-order your copy today from the Society of American Archivists.