NEA taking the past into the future

Together We Can, Hilton Burlington, Burlington, VT April 4-6, 2019

Meeting details

Schedule | Workshops

Join NEA at the 2019 Spring Meeting from April 4 through 6 in Burlington, VT, for “Together We Can,” exploring how archivists work with diverse people and groups to make records more accessible. Plenary speakers and sessions will inspire attendees to think of different ways to process, use, and disseminate a wide range of materials in archives. The meeting will celebrate the Green Mountain State by offering opportunities for attendees to learn about Vermont’s history and archival resources right on the shores of Lake Champlain!

Schedule at a glance

The full program for the Spring 2019 NEA meeting is now available to download here.  You can also view the program schedule at a glance and see the full descriptions below. 

 Thursday, April 4, 2019


Registration opens (Foyer)

 9:00am - 5:00pm


Building Advocacy and Support for Digital Archives (SAA) (log in to the NEA member portal for a non-member discount code) (Green Mountain A)

Oral History with the Vermont Folklife Center (Green Mountain B)

Caring for Historical Records (Green Mountain C)


 10:30am - 11:00am

Coffee Break (Prefunction)

 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Lunch on your own

 1:00pm - 5:00pm

NEA Board Meeting (Montpelier B/C)

 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Day of Service
Please email Prudence Doherty,, to register for service events.
Fletcher Free Library, 235 College Street
Vermont Queer Archives, 255 S. Champlain St., Suite 12

 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Please email Prudence Doherty,, to register for tours
Silver Special Collections Library, University of Vermont, 48 University Place
Historic Burlington Walking Tour, Waterfront Park, 10 College Street


Meet up at the Archives Bar, 191 College Street

 Friday April 5, 2019

 7:30am Registration opens (North Prefunction)

 8:00am - 4:00pm Vendor Showcase (Prefunction)

 9:00am - 4:00pm Respite Room (Burlington Conference Room)

 8:00am - 9:00am

New Member Meet-up (Montpelier B/C)

 8:00am -9:00am Coffee (Prefunction)

 9:00am - 10:00am Plenary Speaker - Jean Bessette (Adirondack)

 10:00am - 10:30am Coffee Break with Vendors (Prefunction)

 10:30am - 12:00pm

Concurrent Sessions 1

1.1 We’re All Stories in the End..: Active Learning in the Archives (Adirondack)
1.2 Two Birds, One Stone: Using Archives Month for Advocacy and to Foster Connections (Lake Champlain A)
1.3 Email Archiving for the Rest of Us: Developing & Implementing a Low-Resource Strategy for Institutional Email Preservation (Lake Champlain B)
1.4 Beyond the Carton: Thinking Outside the Box for Oversized and Three-Dimensional Materials (Montpelier B/C)
1.5 Archiving Amateur Movies: Robbins Barstow Centennial (Vermont)

 12:00pm - 1:30pm Lunch/NEA Business Meeting (Adirondack)
 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Concurrent Sessions 2

2.1 Co-archiving: Collaborative Archiving of Diverse Student Groups (Lake Champlain A)
2.2 Beyond Frost: Northern New England Poets in the Archives (Lake Champlain B)
2.3 Problematic Processing: Exploring the Issues of Organizing Complex Collections (Montpelier B/C)
2.4 A Dance Archives Duet: Perspectives Working on the Mark Morris Dance Group Archives Project and Jacob’s Pillow (Vermont)

 3:00pm - 3:30pm Coffee Break with Vendors (Prefunction)

 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Roundtables and Other Meetings
Roundtable Meetings (Lake Champlain)
Resume Review and Career Q&A (Vermont)
Inclusion and Diversity Committee Reading and Discussion Group (Montpelier B/C)

 5:00pm - 6:30pm All Attendee Reception (Adirondack)

 7:30pm - 9:00pm Movie Night (Montpelier B/C)

Saturday, April 6, 2019

 7:30am Registration Opens (North Prefunction)

 8:00am - 4:00pm Vendor Showcase (Prefunction)

 8:00am - 9:00am Coffee with light breakfast (Prefunction)

 9:00am - 4:00pm

Respite Room

 9:00am - 10:00am Plenary Speaker-Kevin Shapiro (Adirondack)

 10:00am - 10:30am Coffee Break with Vendors (Prefunction)

 10:30am - 12:00pm

Concurrent Sessions 3

3.1 STANDing Together: Collaborating to Document Student Activism of Historically Marginalized Communities (Lake Champlain A)

3.2 The Vermont Archive Movie Project (VAMP): Preserving & Providing Access to Vermont’s Moving Image Heritage (Lake Champlain B)

3.3 Roadmapping for Digital Preservation (Montpelier B/C)

3.4 Archival Life in Retirement (Vermont)

 12:00pm - 1:30pm  Lunch on your own

 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Concurrent Sessions 4

4.1 Crowdsourcing Vermont History (Lake Champlain A)
4.2 Building Awareness of Archival Value: Working with Records Creators (Lake Champlain B)
4.3 Preservation Partners: More than Just One Piece of the Puzzle (Montpelier B/C)
4.4 Connecting to the Community with Local History (Vermont)

 3:00pm - 3:30pm Coffee Break with Vendors (Prefunction)

 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Concurrent Sessions 5

5.1 Thank you for Trusting Us with All the Old Cool Stuff: K-12 Students in Archives and Special Collections (Lake Champlain A)
5.2 Cataloging and Accessing Franco-American Music in Vermont (Lake Champlain B)
5.3 The Rights Stuff (Montpelier B/C)
5.4 Cross-Borders Provenance (Vermont)



Silver Special Collections Library, University of Vermont, 48 University Place
The Jack and Shirley Silver Special Collections Library at the University of Vermont maintains a comprehensive Vermont research collection, the University Archives, and an eclectic rare book collection. Join this tour to see the library’s new quarters in the architecturally renowned Billings Library and explore collection highlights.

Historic Burlington Walking Tour, Waterfront Park, 10 College Street
Learn about the Burlington waterfront from a historical perspective. Taking you up and down the waterfront of Lake Champlain, this tour will present a history of Battery Park and of immigration to the city.

Plenary Speakers

Jean Bessette
Jean Bessette is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Vermont, where her research and teaching interests include archives and historiography, rhetoric and composition, digital and multimedia, and gender and sexuality. She is the author of Retroactivism in the Lesbian Archives: Composing Pasts and Futures, which received the 2018 Winifred Bryan Horner Outstanding Book Award from the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition. Her scholarship has appeared in journals including Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, College Composition and Communication, and Computers and Composition, as well in a number of edited collections. In addition to the Horner Book Award, she has received national awards for her work from the Conference on College Composition and Communication and the Rhetoric Society of America. Bessette holds a PhD in Critical and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

Kevin Shapiro
Kevin Shapiro has been archivist for the musical group Phish since 1996, overseeing the band’s collections of audio, video, photographs, and memorabilia. Licensed to practice law in Michigan and Vermont, he moved to Vermont to work with Phish as both archivist and in-house counsel, setting up their archives facility and managing their collections and associated intellectual property. He has a BA in communication from Michigan State University and a JD from Detroit College of Law and, a lifelong musician, supported himself through school playing drums. Shapiro’s work with Phish extends to preservation and marketing and includes From The Archives broadcasts and LiveBait compilations, providing curated access to the band’s prolific output; and producing and consulting on scores of archival CD, DVD, vinyl, boxed-set, and online releases, as well as merchandise, promotional materials, and exhibitions.

Friday sessions

1.1 We’re All Stories in the End..: Active Learning in the Archive
Archival repositories hold collections that tell countless stories across a variety of disciplines, stories that have the potential to engage students and encourage them to explore topics in new ways. In this session, presenters will explore three different instructional sessions developed at diverse higher educational institutions to create active learning opportunities in the classroom. Week after week, at a small liberal arts college in Connecticut, a large student-centered research university outside of Boston, and a small arts college in Providence, the archives reading room became a laboratory for students working with primary source material. Panelists will explain how they developed relationships with faculty, the resources they employed to develop curricula, and lessons they learned from these instructional sessions.

Rose Oliveira, Connecticut College
Pam Hopkins, Tufts University
Andrew Martinez, Rhode Island School of Design


1.2 Two Birds, One Stone: Using Archives Month for Advocacy and to Foster Connections
Part of the nationally celebrated American Archives Month, Archives Month Philly (AMP) is a month-long city-wide festival that focuses on educating the wider community about local archives through public programming and exhibitions. Since 2013, AMP has held at least 125 events at more than 60 participating institutions in the Philadelphia area--and last year inspired the U.S. Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command archival staff to participate in Archives Month for the first time. Covering a range of issues, from getting started and developing a plan to balancing normal workload with additional Archives Month duties, panelists will discuss how they have defined archival advocacy in order to make it both a manageable and scalable goal and an effective and meaningful project. The panel will also share resources and strategies that attendees can use in their own programs, whether for a single institution or for an entire region.

Chrissie Perella, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Hillary Kativa, The Science History Institute
Karolina Lewandwoska, Naval History and Heritage Command
Alyson Mazzone, Marine Corps University
Gabrielle Speirs, Naval History and Heritage Command

1.3 Email Archiving for the Rest of Us: Developing and Implementing a Low-Resource Strategy for Institutional Email Preservation
With the shift toward email as the dominant form of written correspondence, archivists are increasingly responsible for gathering and protecting these documents. Email preservation not only inherits all the core technical challenges associated with born-digital preservation, such as ensuring the accessibility and survivability of the data themselves, but also presents a host of additional challenges unique to email. Presenters will examine some of the challenges they encountered while developing, advocating, and implementing an institutional email archiving and preservation effort at Middlebury College. Discussion will include non- and semi-technical problems, practical workflows, and technological solutions that--with a bit of luck and care--help staff minimize the negative impact of technological disruptions of the integrity and continuity of the college’s institutional memory.

Rebekah Irwin, Middlebury College
Patrick Wallace, Middlebury College

1.4 Beyond the Carton: Thinking Outside the Box for Oversized and Three-Dimensional Materials
Are you grappling with storing the oversize and three-dimensional items in your archive? This session will provide collections storage strategies for large works on paper, paintings and other framed items, and objects--all the stuff that doesn’t fit in a standard document box or carton or that otherwise needs special treatment. Join conservators and archives practitioners as they describe techniques they have successfully used, with a focus on concrete and easy-to-implement methods that will not completely blow your budget!

Erica Donnis, Champlain College
Carolyn Frisa, Works on Paper, LLC
Emily Phillips, Phillips Art Conservation Studio, LLC
Marianne Zephir, Woodstock Foundation/ Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

1.5 Archiving Amateur Movies: Robbins Barstow Centennial
Through its work with the Orphan Film Symposium and the Center for Home Movies, New York University acquired four films written and directed by “home movie maven” Robbins Barstow. A Vermont native, champion of social justice, and moviemaker, Barstow (1919-2010) received his master’s degree in education and history from NYU in 1945. His best known work, the charming 1956 "Disneyland Dream," was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2008. A celebration of the Barstow’s centennial, this session will introduce Barstow's rich life and work; feature a screening of some of his recently preserved 16mm films; and highlight funding sources available to preserve archival films.

Kimberly Tarr, New York University

2.1 Co-archiving: Collaborative Archiving of Diverse Student Groups
Co-archiving, a non-hegemonic process of gathering records for a group based on collaboration between the group and archivists, requires outreach and active consent, as well as processes to deal with regular turnover--a given for college student groups. Presenting co-archiving initiatives at two small liberal arts colleges--one involving digital records of student groups, the other concerning artifacts of traditionally underrepresented aspects of student life and campus culture--this session will examine some of the practical, ethical, and technological challenges of archival student life and compel us all to turn a critical eye on our institutional memories and the role we, as archives professionals, play in crafting it.

Jessika Georgeanne Drmacich, Williams College
Cecilia Pou Jove, Williams College
Patrick R. Wallace, Middlebury College

2.2 Beyond Frost: Northern New England Poets in the Archives
Popularly considered the quintessential New England poet, Robert Frost appears in collections throughout the region. Panelists will discuss his archival presence in their repositories as well as that of other poets, as they explore the state of Northern New England poetry, what it has looked like in the past, how place imbues poets’ works, what has and has not been collected in archives, and the difficulties in acquiring such collections. Through the lens of poetry archives, the panelists aim to portray Northern New England’s diversity and complexity in ways not always fully understood or acknowledged.

Chris Burns, University of Vermont
Peter Carini, Dartmouth College
Rebekah Irwin, Middlebury College
Cathleen Miller, Maine Women Writers Conference, University of New England


2.3 Problematic Processing: Exploring the Issues of Organizing Complex Collections
Collections processing may seem straightforward, but then a myriad of external and internal issues can complicate things. Funding, time, donor relations, mixed materials, previous processing attempts: these are just some examples of what can set back or derail the successful completion of a project. Archivists usually do not get to choose what they process, but they can learn from their own and others’ experiences. Presenters will cover various aspects of large and complicated processing projects, detailing specific projects, goals, challenges, successes, and outcomes, and invite discussion on how the profession can face processing dilemmas.

Jordan Janosek, Brown University
Amanda Axel, Berklee College of Music
Eve Bourbeau-Allard, Yale University
Stephanie Krauss, Historic New England

2.4 A Dance Archives Duet: Perspectives Working on the Mark Morris Dance Group Archives Project and Jacob’s Pillow
Much like dance itself, dance archives are created by collaboration. Presenters will share perspectives on developing and building on relationships with artists, audience members, administrators, and scholars to create deeper access to dance history. Archivists for the Mark Morris Dance Group will describe working with an active touring dance company to build a new physical and digital institutional archive. Jacob’s Pillow archives staff will focus on their collaborations with today’s artists and scholars to enhance audience engagement with dance during the festival and online

Regina Carra, Mark Morris Dance Group
Stephanie Neel, Mark Morris Dance Group
Norton Owen, Jacob’s Pillow
Patsy Gay, Jacob’s Pillow


Saturday sessions

3.1 STANDing Together: Collaborating to Document Student Activism of Historically Marginalized Communities
Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented) is a collaborative effort among archival repositories across the United States to create an online portal to archival collections that document student activism related to historically marginalized communities. It has traditionally been difficult for academic archives to document student organizations and activities, especially those of disenfranchised student populations. Presenters will introduce Project STAND, its goals and methodology, and the IMLS National Leadership Grant for Libraries-funded STAND Symposia. They will discuss work within their own repositories to foreground documentation of student activism in their collections; efforts to engage current student activists on their campuses; how students use activism collections; and how Project STAND effectively brings visibility to relevant material across repositories.

Karen Walton Morse, University of Rhode Island
Benjamin Panciera, Connecticut College
Rebecca Parmer, University of Connecticut
Reed Puc, University of Rhode Island
Graham Stinnett, University of Connecticut

3.2 The Vermont Movie Archives Project: Preserving and Providing Access to Vermont’s Moving Image Heritage
The Vermont Archive Movie Project (VAMP) discovers, protects, and makes accessible Vermont’s motion picture legacy. This session will provide an overview of the history of VAMP and its efforts to build collaborative support across a variety of archives within the state and develop a strong coalition of stakeholders. It will also discuss the launch of an online database of Vermont films and programs from the Vermont PBS archives, explaining cataloging methodology and the role of metadata for these films in increasing access to this unique content.

Mary Albee, Vermont PBS
Orly Yadin, Vermont International Film Foundation & Vermont Movie Archive Project


3.3 Roadmapping for Digital Preservation
We all recognize the need to preserve digital materials as well as the complex undertaking that is planning and implementing a digital preservation program. In 2018 the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) and LYRASIS completed a two-year National Endowment for the Humanities Grant to support the development of a digital preservation assessment framework for smaller institutions and a training institute for twelve new consultants. This session will present the finished framework, with institute participants sharing their experiences implementing the assessment at selected repositories holding digital collections.

Becky Geller, Northeast Document Conservation Center
Erica Donnis, Champlain College
Eva Garcelon-Hart, Stewart-Swift Research Center, Henry Sheldon Museum


3.4 Archival Life in Retirement
For some folks, retirement represents the freedom to spend more time with family, pursuing hobbies, and traveling. For others, it is a chance to use their professional skills to benefit their communities. Part-time or volunteer work can continue to provide satisfaction, and sometimes income, as well as an ongoing connection to colleagues. Panelists including a former archival educator, a head of special collections, and a corporate archivist will discuss how they have continued their professional lives into retirement. They will talk about why they retired, how they transitioned into retirement, what they are doing now, and what it means to them. Their varying perspectives will model different ways archivists can remain in the profession even after they retire and inspire current archivists to think about retired archivists in new ways.

Rachel Onuf, Vermont State Archives and Records Administration
Elizabeth Dow, Hardwick Historical Society
Connell Gallagher, University of Vermont (Retired)
Mary Ide, WGBH (Retired)


4.1 Crowdsourcing Vermont History
At various points in their history, Vermonters have turned to what we now call “crowdsourcing” to assemble the history of their state and examine the character of its residents. This session will describe six such efforts over the past 200 years: the work of Josiah Dunham in 1810s, Zadock Thompson in the 1820s and 1840s, Abby M. Hemenway in the 1850s, James P. Taylor in the 1930s, Michael Sherman and Jennie Versteeg in the 1990s, and the Vermont Roots Migration Project in 2014. Each of these efforts used technology of the time to create a picture of the Green Mountain State and to gain insight into the age-old question: is there a distinctive Vermont character?

Paul Carnahan, Vermont Historical Society
Michael Sherman, Vermont History
Jill Mudgett, independent historian
Marjorie Strong, Vermont Historical Society

4.2 Building Awareness of Archival Value: Working with Records Creators
As part of the U.S. Navy, the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC)'s mission is to preserve an accurate history of the Navy, including collecting official records. NHHC staff will share how they educate records creators, including naval personnel at all levels, to help them understand what archival value means, what it means for the records they create, how their records might be used once they reach the archives, and how to adapt and apply these concepts to future records transfers. Describing both successes and opportunities for further growth, panelists will discuss bringing traditional archival competencies to their work with record creators and what additional knowledge and skills are useful.

Sesily Resch, Naval History and Heritage Command
Karolina Lewandowska, Naval History and Heritage Command

4.3 Preservation Partners: More than Just One Piece of the Puzzle
Archivists and historic preservationists both use the term “preservation,” but often each profession is just applying it to a different piece of the same puzzle. This session will introduce examples of situations where emerging community archives met local historic districts and community development organizations, all coming together to grapple with the question of how to save and document local cultural heritage. Presenters will discuss how collaboration can lead to a more comprehensive approach to preservation in a local community like the Point neighborhood of Salem, Massachusetts, as well as how community archives like the Lawrence History Center can aid in the documentation of their communities.

Kris Kobialka, Boston Architectural College
Amita Kiley, Lawrence History Center
Michele Cloonan, Simmons University
Nella Young, Enterprise Community Partners


5.1 “Thank you for Trusting Us with All the Old Cool Stuff”: K-12 Students in Archives and Special Collections
Introducing younger populations to archives, both the collections and the places that house those collections, is a great way to demystify archival and special collections while also exposing them to the work archivists do. In three distinct case studies from across New England, presenters will address instruction, outreach, and engagement with students and class groups who may not be their repositories’ typical visitors. The panel will provide insight into how they engage younger audiences—9th grade history students exploring university special collections and campus life; 3rd and 4th graders joining in a hands-on workshop at a local history museum and archives; and K-12 students touring a state archives and participating in a state history competition—and explain why this work matters to the students and to our profession and where they hope to take it.

Blake Spitz, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Caroline J. White, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Alex Lehning, Saint Albans Museum
Samuel Howes, Maine State Archives


5.2 Cataloging and Accessing Franco-American Music in Vermont
For much of the 20th century, the practices and perspectives of French immigrants to Vermont were viewed as outside of the state’s cultural mainstream. To remedy this neglect, the Vermont Folklife Center, which houses multiple collections of French language songbook manuscripts, partnered with culture bearers and traditional music scholars to highlight a key aspect of Franco-American cultural practice: communal singing.This presentation of the project will describe the creation of guidelines to catalog the material to increase its accessibility and the “singing schools” that provided face-to-face instruction modeled on traditional Franco-American soirees. This session will provide a great example of how seemingly inaccessible material can come alive!

Andy Kolovos, Vermont Folklife Center


5.3 The Rights Stuff
As online digital archives become increasingly common, questions of copyright and licensing seem to arise more frequently than ever. With much of the material made available to the public, there is often a failure to review every catalog record, so users do not know their potential reproduction and reuse rights. Panelists in this session will introduce rights statements, such as, and the distinct advantages and disadvantages they bring to letting not only archivists but also the public understand how materials can be used.

Erik Bauer, Peabody Institute Library

5.4 Cross-Borders Provenance
What does an archivist do when a records group crosses international borders? This session will introduce the papers of Dr. Roger Emerson, whose collection primarily resides at the University of Western Ontario (Western) Archives in Canada, where Emerson worked as a professor. During his career, he inherited an extensive collection of 19th- and 20th-century family and personal papers--those of the Emerson and Rogers families of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom--which he used as research for his book My Vermonters. The presenter will consider some of the broader issues associated with provenance, custodial history, and geographic pertinence among archival records.

Tom Belton, University of Western Ontario


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