Connections were made. From networking events like the Leadership Orientation and Forum and festive alumni mixers to the All-Attendee Reception at New Orleans’s stunning National World War II Museum, ARCHIVES 2013 gave more than 1,600 archives professionals the chance to strengthen relationships with mentors, colleagues, and friends. Lessons were learned. Plenary sessions offered thought-provoking speeches, preconference workshops reinforced best practices, and seventy education sessions gave attendees the tools to finesse their skills and expand their horizons. Inspiration was found. Exhibitors featured fresh ideas and helpful tools, and CoSA and SAA honored individuals and organizations that made outstanding contributions to the profession. And let’s not forget our ever-exhilarating host city. New Orleans, with its rich history, beautiful sites, and delicious beignets, proved again to be an ideal spot to spark imaginations. Thanks to your support, knowledge, and passion, the CoSA/SAA Joint Annual Meeting was an exceptional week. Read on for some of the many highlights of this year’s meeting. Sunday, August 11 Archives: Principles and Practices kicked off the meeting, and presenters pinpointed long-standing archival principles and how to implement them. “In addition to local participants, we had attendees from Hawaii, Guam, Saudi Arabia, and Canada representing state government, religious, museum, tribal, business, private school, and academic archives,” said workshop presenter Pam Hackbart-Dean. “This presented a unique opportunity for networking with attendees from around the world.” Monday, August 12 Five preconference programs took place on Monday, including Digital Curation Planning and Sustainable Futures, which gave participants the chance to review the concepts, principles, and practices necessary for developing a digital curation program to effectively manage digital content across generations of technology. Tuesday, August 13 At the one-day symposium “Women’s Archives/Women’s Collections: What Does the Future Hold?” attendees considered the need for renewed collaboration with historians, women’s studies scholars, and librarians; the need to make women’s archives and women’s collections more accessible; and citizens as archivists. The symposium featured several sessions, including “The Impact of Technology on Women’s Archives and Collections—Born-Digital, Digital Humanities, Digital Initiatives, and Social Media.” During this session, Leslie Fields, the head of archives and special collections at Mount Holyoke College, discussed the Wikipedia editing project at her institution. Through the help of students, faculty, and staff, the group created or edited Wikipedia pages about female figures prominent in the college’s history. CURATEcamp was not your typical Annual Meeting workshop. “A big feature of [CURATEcamp] is that the issues that are most important and relevant to participants at that particular moment will get discussed,” said workshop organizer Cristela Garcia-Spitz. “Anyone can propose a topic, and anyone can add on to [the agenda] throughout the day.” Another CURATEcamp organizer, Courtney Mumma, noted that many attendees were interested in discussions about workflows, tool preferences, and administrative handicaps. Visit http://wiki.curatecamp.org/ index.php/CURATEcamp_SAA_2013_Notes to read attendees’ notes on the workshop and “listen in” to some of the discussions that took place. The Military Archives Roundtable sponsored a Staff Ride of the Battle of New Orleans. The roundtable aimed to “re-create as much as possible an event that occurred almost two hundred years before” during the War of 1812, said Mike Miller, former chair of the roundtable. The group visited Fort Pike and Chalmette Battlefield Park, where they “walk[ed] the fields to understand a vital piece of history of the States,” Miller noted. Wednesday, August 14 The Leadership Orientation and Forum gave new SAA component group leaders the chance to learn from experienced leaders. The forum featured presentations from Council members, component group leaders, and Executive Director Nancy Beaumont. “We also included the most important thing: time. Time for the leaders to get to know and connect with one another, and most importantly, the opportunity to ask any questions,” said Council member Tanya Zanish-Belcher. Thirteen individuals sat for the first Digital Archives Specialist Comprehensive Examination. Several SAA Roundtables held meetings. The Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable welcomed SAA Incoming President Danna C. Bell, who announced her platform for the upcoming year. In addition, roundtable members Andrea Jackson and Courtney Chartier gave a presentation on their success in promoting the Tupac Amaru Shakur Collection at the Atlanta University Center. Many attendees chose to give back while in New Orleans through a variety of service projects. Bill Ross, the special collections librarian at the University of New Hampshire, organized one such project in the Lower Ninth Ward. Ross has been visiting New Orleans each spring since Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and arranged for four archivists and himself to volunteer with the organization Lowernine.org, which coordinates volunteer labor to reduce home construction costs. The group cleaned and prepared subflooring to install ceramic tile and tackled a few side projects. They had a chance to meet the homeowner, which was “very much an added bonus,” Ross noted. Thursday, August 15 At Plenary Session I, SAA President Jackie Dooley led the panel “Building a New New Orleans,” which featured Bob Brown, managing director of the New Orleans Business Council, and Helen Regis, a cultural anthropologist at Louisiana State University. The panelists discussed New Orleans’s recovery following Hurricane Katrina. Regis highlighted the “wonderful partnerships and alliances that have come out of the last eight years.” For instance, the House of Dance and Feathers, a small, backyard museum run by Ronald W. Louis in the Lower Ninth Ward, was destroyed by the hurricane. Through partnerships, Louis was able to rebuild the museum and publish a book that extends the masterful storytelling displayed at his museum. The project became a “photographic repatriation,” Regis said, as Louis worked with the Neighborhood Story Project to collect photographs from local archives to illustrate the book. Brown noted that although much of the city was rebuilt following the hurricane, it hasn’t lost its unique charm, saying New Orleans is the “largest city in America that is most unlike any other city in America . . . It will not modernize.” Also at Plenary Session I, CoSA President Jim Corridan presented Victoria Irons Walch with the Inaugural Victoria Irons Walch Leadership Award to honor her service during her twenty-year affiliation with CoSA, most recently as executive director. The award recognizes “sustained leadership and contributions of an individual or institution to the development of state and territorial archives.” Thursday also kicked off the education sessions, including session 203, “Lights, Camera, Archives! Working with the Media and Moviemakers,” featuring a panel of archivists who have worked with documentary filmmakers or television or movie productions or who have made a media appearance. “A recurring theme that emerged during our session was that prominent television shows or documentaries are often in a rush to acquire the items they need, and that archivists should be prepared to fast track these requests,” said panelist Travis Hedges Williams, a student at Louisiana State University. Friday, August 16 SAA President Jackie Dooley delivered her Presidential Address, “Feeding Our Young,” which discussed welcoming students and new members to the archival profession. Graduate Student Poster Presentations took place in the Exhibit Hall. Participants explored a range of topics, from “Representing Student Organizations in University Archives” to “Preservation of Archaeological and Zoological Research Data.” “I decided to be a poster presenter because it allowed me to be an active participant at the Annual Meeting,” said Michael Dobbs, who presented “Treasure Chest on the Move: Creating and Leveraging METS Records to Transfer Complex Digital Objects.” Liza Booker, who presented “The Role of Video Game Archives,” added, “I learned that it is vital to present new ideas regularly in the archival field because the new ideas maintain interest and transform stagnant practices.” Education sessions continued, including session 304, “Training in Place: Upgrading Staff Capabilities to Manage and Preserve Electronic Records.” The session explored the curriculum content and delivery methods of three different programs that target working professionals: the Council of State Archivists’ institutes for state archives staff; SAA’s Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) program; and Clayton State University’s online Master of Archival Studies program. Presenter David Carmicheal noted that panelists stressed that “cost, time, and distance should not pose insurmountable barriers to archivists who want to acquire more education and training. . . . Online education, in particular, offers in-place training that is not limited by time and place.” Session 507, “Advancing the Ask: Proactive Acquisitions for the Modern Age,” featured panelists who worked to identify, appraise, and acquire archival materials. Session Chair Jaimie Quaglino of the Gates Archive noted that recurring themes in the session included the “need to gain trust with donors and to take on new and unexpected roles during proactive efforts.” Saturday, August 17 In a packed room, session 601 panelists discussed “ArchivesSpace: A Next-Generation Archives Management System.” The presentation, Session Chair Katherine Kott said, “covered the history of the ArchivesSpace project, specifications for the software, and the development process that allowed project teams to create a product in one year.” On a different note, session 609, “Thinking Beyond the Box: How Military Archivists Are Meeting 21st Century Challenges,” informed attendees about military records and how they can be applied to nonmilitary uses. “Military records can reside in nonmilitary archives, and finding ways to tie these records to nonmilitary areas will enhance their use,” said Session Chair Paul Oelkrug. There were many more highlights from the memorable week in New Orleans. For more on this meeting, visit www.archivists.org/2013 or search the hashtag #saa13 on Twitter. Thank you to everyone who attended or assisted with the meeting to help make it a success. Let’s repeat it next year in Washington, DC! My Top NOLA Moments “Grill burgers, fries, vintage ambiance, funky counter service, people watching, and more at lunch at the very pink 1946 Camellia Grill in the Quarter with Karen Trivette Cannell.” —Daria D’Arienzo, archives consultant “My New Orleans sightseeing adventures—which included beignets at the Café du Monde, the Historic Voodoo Museum, the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 with the tomb of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau, and midnight shopping after listening to jazz at the Spotted Cat—were everything I hoped for and more!” —Natalia Fernandez, Oregon State University “I had a great behind-the-scenes tour of the Historic New Orleans Collection with a particular focus on people of color. . . It was a true delight to view documents, legal cases, maps, and photographs documenting aspects of the African American population in New Orleans since my maternal family hails from Louisiana.” —Andrea Jackson, Atlanta University Center “Sipping morning espresso in the Hilton Starbucks, and yes, eavesdropping on a great conversation about archives happening next to me, I politely dared to engage myself, and had a terrific confab with Rand Jimerson and Sonia Yaco, two archivists I had never met and whose work I admire.” —Donna Guerra, Trinity University #SAA13 on Twitter @JarredRWilson: Danna Bell- Russel: “Turn a complaint into a plan for action.” I couldn’t agree more. #saa13 #SAA13 on Twitter @pearcemoses: Archival advocacy often more effective when done by allies, not archivists. #saa13 SAA13 on Twitter @griffingate: Watching archivists say goodbye on the last day of #saa13 is like summer camp all over again. “Never forget me. Also, stay cool.” Get the Most Out of an SAA Meeting Jill Severn admits she’s not a “venerated archival veteran nor . . . [a] dazzling new archivist slathered in technical exuberance and winsome charm.” But she has solid Annual Meeting knowhow (and a great sense of humor). Here are a few of the secrets she shared for thriving at Annual Meetings at the New Member/First-Timer Orientation. 1. Eat at all complimentary events. Choose tchotchkes and literature carefully in the vendor area. 2. Scope out obscure restroom locations to avoid crowds. 3. Identify three to five sessions at most that you really want to attend. Use your remaining time to browse section and roundtable meetings. Go to lots . . . That seem interesting or relevant. These will be your people all year long, and these groups will be where you find coauthors for articles, copresenters for sessions, collaborators, friends, and Scrabble opponents. 4. If you are shy, introverted, reserved, or flying under the radar and still want to meet and greet folks, horror films can be instructive. Survey the area. When potential colleagues wander away from their larger group, move in for the kill—I mean, go over and introduce yourself. Look for small groups of people and enter them. Let these people lead you to new victims. 5. If you come to the meeting knowing people already, it may be hard to branch out to meet folks who interest you as opposed to the colleagues that your friends think will interest you. Opt for a mix and be candid with your colleagues. Tell them that you are excited to have them introduce you to lots of great people, but you also want to do some exploring on your own. Missed a Session of Interest? Go to www2.archivists.org/2013/schedule and click on the session title to access a description and materials. Most education sessions and both plenaries were audio recorded; visit http://www.conventionrecordings.com to purchase a CD-ROM of all recorded sessions.
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