Season 7, Episode 3: Marika Cifor

How did archivists partner with activists to document and preserve the history of AIDS activism? How are archivists and community partners activating AIDS archives to reveal AIDS’s continued impact on marginalized communities? What lessons can archivists take from this moment of social and community memory-building as we grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic?

In this episode, co-hosts Anna Trammell and Chris Burns speak with Marika Cifor about her recent book, Viral Cultures: Activist Archiving in the Age of AIDS (University of Minnesota Press, 2022). Cifor is an assistant professor at the University of Washington. In this episode, Cifor discusses her inspiration for exploring AIDS archives, how the concept of vital nostalgia can inform archival theory and practice, and lessons for memory workers and activists interested in documenting other social justice movements. 

Read the transcript.

Episode Extras

For more information:

Viral Cultures: Activist Archiving in the Age of AIDS, to purchase from the publisher click here.

Marika Cifor’s about page and faculty website.

Visual AIDS, The Artist+ Registry and Archive Project

Visual AIDS, Artists+ Registry

Lesbian Herstory Archives

New York Public Library, Gay and Lesbian Collections and AIDS/HIV Collections

New York Public Library Digital Collections, ACT UP New York Records

NYU Special Collections, Downtown Collection

More podcasts about the book: and

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 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 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 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. 

Read the transcript.

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.

Season 4, Episode 7: Courtney Dean and Grace Danico

What do sex, awards, and the occult have in common? They are all themes that the Los Angeles Archivists Collective explored in its online publication Acid Free. In this episode, Courtney Dean, head of the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT) in UCLA Library Special Collections, and Grace Danico, an independent archivist and freelance designer, talk about labor issues, relationships between archives and design, and much more.

Episode Extras

Browse issues of Acid Free, a biannual publication of the Los Angeles Archivists Collective.

Season 4, Episode 6: Jennifer Johnson


Finding ways to connect diverse audiences with archives is an art. It is also an important aspect of leadership. Jennifer Johnson, director of Corporate Archives at Cargill, Incorporated, discusses her essay “Cultivating Success: The Business of Archives” in volume one of SAA’s Archival Fundamentals Series III, Leading and Managing Archives and Manuscripts Programs. Jennifer describes working in a corporate setting and the importance of outreach, building relationships, and storytelling.

Episode Extras


Jennifer is a contributor to Leading and Managing Archives and Manuscripts, edited by Peter Gottlieb and David W. Carmicheal (Society of American Archivists, 2019), which provides examples of successful leadership practices from the archives field and offers insight regarding key functions of leaders and managers: communication, strategies, resources and budgets, leadership in transformative change and crisis, building relationships within and beyond the archives, and leadership development.