Author Archives: Danna C. Bell

Selecting an Archival Education Program: Supporting our Prospective Colleagues

I was at MARAC last week (my compliments to the Host and Program Committee members for a great conference and to SAA Vice President Kathleen Roe for an outstanding plenary speech) and between sessions spent a lot of time talking to students, new professionals and some longer tenured archivists about issues relating to archival education programs. Continue reading

Exploring the Role of Non-Archivists in the Archival Process

A special thank you to Guha Shankar and Butch Lazorchak for their assistance and thoughtful comments about this post.

As regular readers of this blog may remember back in September 2013 I spoke at the Cultural Heritage symposium sponsored by the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress. At the time I quoted Brian Cumer who noted that “archivists have an incredible opportunity to shape cultural heritage in the way we organize records, provide access to them and perform our role in helping to preserve the memory of events, groups and places and attitudes as well as other aspects that make up culture.” Little did I know that I was ignoring the role that folklorists and fieldworkers can play in determining what records archivists may work when they preserve materials gathered during fieldwork projects. Continue reading

Supporting NEH and IMLS

I came into work this morning expecting a quiet day when I saw an email with the subject line “NEH.” What I read made me cringe. It appears the House Budget committee, headed by former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, has submitted a budget that eliminates both NEH and IMLS. Granted this is the first salvo in the budget battle but it is concerning. AHA has written about NEH and ALA President Barbara Stripling has written about IMLS.

Both NEH and IMLS have supported archives programs through grants. Most recently IMLS provided funding in support of the ARL/SAA Mosaic Program which provides financial support, practical work experience, mentoring, career placement assistance, and leadership development to emerging professionals from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. IMLS also supported A*CENSUS, the first study of the archival universe and its needs. Continue reading

We Want You….To Vote in this Year’s SAA Election

This post was submitted on behalf of Amy Schindler, Chair and the other members of the Nominating Committee.

As flowers peek out alerting us that the winter of the polar vortex in the lower 48 is ending, another annual rite of spring is underway across the SAA membership. Online voting for SAA’s 2014 Election opened March 13th and ends April 13th. Fourteen great candidates are vying for positions in the annual elections for Vice President/President-Elect, Council, and Nominating Committee. Continue reading

Throwing the Cat Amongst the Pigeons or Where do Archivists belong? With Librarians, Historians, Both or Neither?

It’s been interesting reading the comments and ideas that have come out of the post I did on the employment situation for archivists. The comments have been thought provoking and I was glad to see that some of them were similar to ideas that SAA has been considering for a while.

Several of these ideas related to education programs. Several suggested the need for salary guidelines. Others have suggested the need for a checklist for those considering archival education programs. And a number also recommended that we need to explore accreditation of archival education programs. Continue reading

The Words Archivists Use

This post was submitted by Council Member Geof Huth on behalf of Rosemary Pleva Flynn, Chair and the other members of the Dictionary Working Group. Continue reading

Introducing the SAA Foundation

Did you know that SAA had a Foundation? We do and the Board had a lively and productive meeting in January.

Fynette Eaton, Foundation Board President provides information about the Foundation, its activities and goals. We hope you will consider contributing to the Foundation to help us continue the work to support the archival profession. Continue reading

The Jobs Thing…

Special thanks to Nancy Beaumont and Kathleen Roe for their input on this post.

When I came back from Chicago after the SAA Council and Foundation Board meetings I had planned to write a brief post noting some of the highlights of both meetings. I was excited that we got our strategic plan actions finished and that we have a living document that will help guide us for the next few years.   We also reviewed six issue briefs created by the Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy that we hope to have available in May, did background work to inform SAA’s next budget and reviewed the annual reports of the sections, roundtables, committees and task forces of the Society.  The Foundation Board began discussing fund raising opportunities but also how the funds raised could support ongoing research projects and new educational programming.

But there is one issue that continues to be at the forefront for many of our members. It’s one we discussed several times during our Council meeting including spending one half day totally focused on this one issue. Before I could get unpacked and attack the massive piles on my desk, I felt it was important to share information on the topic of employment because it is of serious concern to our membership and to Council. Continue reading

Celebrating National Mentoring Month

This post was written by Kathryn Dundon, co-chair of the SAA Mentoring Committee. And if you need additional gentle reminders about the SAA Mentoring Program you may wish to review the blog posts written by me and past president Jackie Dooley on this very subject. Continue reading

NUCMC: Support for Small Repositories

I will admit that I used the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) long before I started working at the Library of Congress. It is a great way to locate information. Most of us now use ArchivesGrid, ArchiveFinder or one of many other resources to help users locate and gather information about the holdings at various repositories. Currently the program exists to provide service to very small institutions who do not have a lot of automation capacity and to support institutions that do not belong to OCLC or have other ways of contributing records to WorldCat or ArchivesGrid. 

Peter Goodman, NUCMC Cataloger and member of the Cooperative and Instructional Programs Division of the Library of Congress provides additional information on NUCMC. I hope you will explore the NUCMC website and consider contributing to this important program. Continue reading