NEA taking the past into the future

Infinite Conversations

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Saturday, September 23, 2017
9:00am - 1:00pm


Program description:

The New England Archivists Fall 2017 Meeting will offer all archivists and associated professionals a chance to speak and to be  heard. We are keeping it simple at this half-day meeting, hoping to draw strength from one another in small, facilitated discussions about the work we do and the work we would like to do. Let’s talk!

  • Listen to and share ideas about our profession, reflect on our work and priorities, discover opportunities, and learn from colleagues.
  • Connect with one another, whether new professionals or veterans, through conversations, and empower ourselves to thrive in our professional environment.
  •  Build community: this is a meeting for everyone.

Registration Information:

Registration is now open for New England Archivists’ Fall 2017 Meeting on Saturday, September 23, at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Member Rates
Early-bird*    $35
On-site          $40

Member Bridge Rates**
Early-bird   $26
On-site       $31

Student Member Rates
Early-bird   $17
On-site       $22

Non-Member Rates
Early-bird   $50
On-site       $55

* available through September 17
**available to NEA members in good standing who self-identify as un- or under-employed

NEA will issue a refund minus a $10 cancellation fee up to 10 days prior to the meeting. Exceptions to the cancellation policy will be made at the discretion of the Registrar.

 Register online today


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Session Descriptions

First Block (10:00-11:00)

Archival Advocacy at Work

It is important to be able to effectively communicate why archival work has value. This session will explore various ways in which archivists can be proactive and advocate for themselves and their profession in their own institutions. (Learn more)

Facilitators:
Abigail Malangone, Archivist, John F. Kennedy Library
Stacey Chandler, Archivist, John F. Kennedy Library

Archivists Working with Activists - Considerations for Success

This is a session to explore how archivists can work effectively with activists to document their movements and activities. The discussion leaders will briefly describe their current work and then ask attendees to share their own experiences and discuss the issues. (learn more)

Facilitators:
Maggie McNeely, University Archivist, Brandeis University
Andrew Elder, Digital Archives and Outreach Librarian, UMass Boston

Presenting Archival Collections to the Public

In the end, all archival work leads to the end-user. How are new tools (ArchivesSpace PUI, ArcLight, library OPACs) presenting archival description to researchers and are archivists doing everything they can to facilitate discovery through them? What efforts are being made to educate and train end-users to get the most from archival discovery systems and access tools for digital collections? This session will address these questions, and related issues of implementation and how we as archivists can adapt and become expert in new technologies that facilitate discovery. (Learn more)

Facilitator:
Margaret Peachy, Digital Archivist, Tufts Digital Collections & Archives

Whose History? Community Outreach and Partnerships to Cultivate Representation and Diversity in our Collections

The Local History Round Table leadership will facilitate a discussion on community outreach strategies, challenges, and idea-sharing. We will foster conversations on efforts related to community partnerships and engagement, particularly as this relates to collections, exhibits, and public programming. There will be a focus on partnerships with and outreach to underrepresented groups in our collections, giving space to those groups, and recognizing the changing historical narrative of our communities. (Learn more)

Facilitators:
Erik Bauer, Archivist, Peabody Institute Library
Barbara Austen, Librarian 2, Connecticut State Library
Michelle Chiles, Robinson Research Center Manager, Rhode Island Historical Society
Claire Lobdell, Librarian, Nahman-Watson Library at Greenfield Community College

Ethical Dilemmas in the Archives

A key part of an archivist’s mandate is to uphold the Code of Ethics. Sometimes, though, an archivist may be asked to perform tasks that are not consistent with their professional Code. Also, digitization has added new angles. This discussion will consider a few examples of ethical dilemmas and encourage discussion about ways to address those dilemmas. (Learn more)

Facilitators:
Mary Yearl, Head Librarian, Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University
Samuel Howes, Archivist III, Maine State Archives

Pop Up Session

Topic to be determined at the meeting.

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Second Block (11:30-12:30)

Laboring in the Archives: A Conversation about Ourselves as Workers

How do archivists conceive of themselves as workers? How do we understand the various forms of labor we and our colleagues perform? This conversation will give us an opportunity to unpack our ideas about work, identity, and worth -- both as individuals and as laborers in a shared field -- and consider how those understandings perpetuate or challenge structural inequalities. (Learn more)

Facilitator:
Anna J. Clutterbuck-Cook, Reference Librarian, Massachusetts Historical Society

Intermediate Topics in Records Management: After the Retention Schedule

The discussion will focus on intermediate topics in records management such as enforcing retention schedules and policies, digital vs. paper long term storage, and dealing with born digital records, etc. The topics will range from developing procedures to practical implementation and maintenance. (Learn more)

Facilitators:
Jennifer William, Emerson College
Rebecca Parmer, Connecticut College
Michael Dello Iacono, Suffolk University

Make an Impact: Marketing and Communications for Archives

As archival advocacy becomes increasingly crucial, archivists need to be aware of strategies and tools for communicating the relevancy of the profession. In this discussion, we will explore best practices and examples for effective marketing and communications. (Learn more)

Facilitator:
Katy Sternberger, Marketing Coordinator, University of New Hampshire Library

Commemoration of Historical Anniversaries in Archives

This discussion will focus on anniversaries of historical events and how archivists can use their holdings to celebrate them.  The discussion will use the centennial of World War I in 2017 as the starting point, but will shift more generally to discussing what archivists do to commemorate anniversaries and how we can add to these types of events. (Learn more)

Facilitator:
Samuel Howes, Archivist III, Maine State Archives.

Documenting Digital Student Life: Outreach & Relationship-Building for Practical Collecting

Initiatives to collect material from student organizations on university campuses comes with a host of challenges—ethical, logistical, and technical—that are in many ways magnified when factoring in born-digital material. We hope this discussion will cover the challenges of collecting born-digital material from students, privacy concerns and restrictions, and how archives can support student organizations. With so many institutions engaged in efforts to do this work, let’s collaborate on best practices, share success stories, and compile practical tips. (Learn more)

Facilitators:
Micha Broadnax, Harvard Law School Community Capture Project Assistant, Harvard Law School Library
Jessica Farrell, Curator of Digital Collections, Harvard Law School Library
Jane Kelly, Historical & Special Collections Assistant, Harvard Law School Library

Pop Up Session

Topic to be determined at the meeting.

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directions & Parking:

Meeting registration is in Building 14 north corridor, Hayden Library, MIT campus. See Campus Map. 

Public Transportation, MBTA ("The T") :
Take the Red Line subway to the Kendall/MIT Station. It is the fifth stop from the northern end of the MBTA Red Line at Alewife Station, which you can access from Route 2 and which has a Parking Garage.

The Kendall/MIT Station is on the eastern side of campus, about an 8-minute walk to Building 14. Access to the MIT campus from Kendall Square is limited due to construction in the area. Exit the Red Line, walk north on Main Street, then left on Ames Street toward the Charles River. You will see a street to your left (Amherst Street) and a sidewalk opposite that to your right. Take the right and walk straight along the sidewalk (tennis courts will be on your left) until you see a large black steel sculpture (“The Big Sail” by Alexander Calder). Immediately after the sculpture on the left is Building 14, and the rear entrance (north side) is at the corner, in front of you: there are stairs and a ramp into the building. Building numbers are on doors.

Parking:
There is parking available in the MIT Albany Street garage (credit card gated self-service, $8 ), building N4 on the campus map. Entrance to the garage is from Albany Street between building N4 and building 46. See
http://whereis.mit.edu/

There are also public parking garages in the Kendall Square area, some with Saturday rates. Searching “Saturday parking in Kendall Square” on the web will give you options. Parking is also available at the MBTA Red Line Alewife station (see above under Public Transportation).

Information about MIT Campus Art and Architecture and Cambridge:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4i-ne4_w8k
https://institute-events.mit.edu/visit/what-to-do

http://www.kendallsquare.org/

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LEarn More:

First Block (10:00-11:00)

Archival Advocacy at Work

Optional Resources:

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Archivists Working with Activists - Considerations for Success

Questions for Discussion:

  • What are the differences in working with activists as opposed to other donors, and what knowledge or skills should be developed for this work?
  • How can archivists build trusting relationships to overcome hesitation and distrust?
  • What impact does an archivist's identify or stance have on this work?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of activists donating to institutional archives, which often resemble or actually are the same institutions which they struggle against?
  • How can we navigate issues of ownership and copyright when working with dis-empowered and minoritized communities?
  • How do we navigate privacy issues when dealing with activist donors and materials documenting activist work and movements?
Presenting Archival Collections to the Public

Facilitator:

  • Margaret Peachy, Digital Archivist, Tufts Digital Collections & Archives. I’m interested in finding discovery and access tools that both fully leverage archival metadata and are intuitive to end-users.

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Whose History? Community Outreach and Partnerships to Cultivate Representation and Diversity in our Collections.

Questions for Discussion:

  • Does your organization target or focus outreach on specific demographics of your community? How do you determine where to focus your outreach?
  • Do you feel that your programming and exhibit offerings represent your community equally? Are there gaps? Have you ever received any criticism from outside individuals or groups about your inclusiveness and how did you address that?
  • Do your collections represent your community? How do you ensure that collections are inclusive? Does your institution have to collect other communities, or can/should you help others.

Optional Resources:

Facilitators:

  • Erik Bauer, Archivist, Peabody Institute Library. Community outreach has been an area of opportunity for my department at my institution. Peabody’s demographics have been changes over the last 20 years and there is an opportunity connect and diversify the collections, while finding new ways to our current collections and programs with the public. One way to have greater outreach has been through public programing and partnering with the Peabody Historical Society on exhibits and digitization projects.
  • Barbara Austen, Librarian 2, Connecticut State Library. When I was at the Connecticut Historical Society, the institution joined with the Connecticut Cultural Heritage Arts Program, realizing the difficulty in reaching and connecting with the varied ethnic groups that comprise the citizens of Connecticut. Since then, programming, exhibitions and collecting have focused on the state’s rich multicultural heritage, but much more remains to be done to make the organization more inclusive.
  • Michelle Chiles, Robinson Research Center Manager, Rhode Island Historical Society. As the Research Center Manager for the Rhode Island Historical Society, I feel that it is important to strive for greater representation in our collections and programming. We are the keepers of the state’s history but we often struggle with giving all members of our community space to share their stories or to see themselves represented as an essential part of what makes up the history and culture of our region.
  • Claire Lobdell, Librarian, Nahman-Watson Library at Greenfield Community College. I struggled with this issue in my previous job, where our collections reflected the largely white pre-World War II history of the town, but not the very diverse recent history. One of the ways I addressed this imbalance was by being more strategic about our oral history outreach, including recruiting an Urdu-speaking anthropologist with deep ties to the local community as an interviewer.

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Ethical Dilemmas in the Archives

Questions for Discussion:

  • What are some ways that one can educate non-archivist colleagues about archival ethics?
  • How would you support colleagues whose professional settings can be in conflict with the Code of Ethics?
  • Can you think of situations where aspects of the Code of Ethics might be in conflict?
  • Do you think that the NEA (or SAA) should have a process for censuring institutions that do not adhere to the Code of Ethics?
  • Consider some of the ethical issues that are raised by digitization (e.g., balancing privacy and access).

Optional Reading:

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Second Block (11:30-12:30)

Laboring in the Archives: A Conversation about Ourselves as Workers

Questions for Discussion:

  • What language do you use to describe yourself as an archival worker?
  • Do you identify as a “professional”? Why or why not? What might be lost when a field is professionalized? What is gained?
  • What are your thoughts and feelings about “service to the profession”?
  • If you belong to a union, how does that membership shape your experience?
  • What ideas about work and labor did you inherit from your family? Is the labor you do a break from or in continuity with your family/community of origin?
  • How are our understandings of work shaped by ableism, ageism, classism, racism, sexism, and other axes of privilege and oppression?
  • If you have worked in other fields, how has the meaning of labor and your identity as a worker shifted from one field to the next?
  • What cultural discourses about work and identity inform our individual and shared understandings of what it means to be an archivist?

Facilitator:

  • Anna J. Clutterbuck-Cook, Reference Librarian, Massachusetts Historical Society. As a special collections librarian concerned with social and economic justice, I am interested in how archivists understand themselves as workers within the archives and in overlapping fields (such as library science and higher education). I hope this discussion will encourage reflection about how we think about ourselves and the work that we do, and how those beliefs do and do not help us to identify and work to dismantle structural inequality.

Optional Reading:

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Intermediate Topics in Records Management: After the Retention Schedule

Discussion Topics:

  • Digital Records: preservation repositories and storage management systems (Preservica, etc), email management, web content as records, digital continuity, working with IT professionals.
  • User Buy-In / Outreach: when general counsel is involved, when general counsel is not involved, compliance, cooperative approaches to working with executives and staff to make sure RM system is enforced.
  • Taking the next step after the retention schedule is in place: enforcing retention schedules, ensuring user access needs are met, risk management and security, audits, sustaining RM program and measuring performance, litigation issues, proper disposition once record’s lifecycle ends.

Questions for Discussion:

  • How do you encourage and enforce compliance with retention schedules while maintaining positive relationships with other departments?
  • What do you look for in an electronic records management system and digital repository?
  • What metadata do you require from departments submitting paper vs. digital records?
  • How do you ensure that all departments are aware of, and can properly interpret, your retention schedules and policies (DROs, training, etc.)?
  • What methods do you use to retrieve digital files from other departments?
  • How do you ensure the longevity of a records management program (updating schedules/policies, user buy-in especially after staff/faculty turnover, consistency over time, file format/hardware/software changes, etc)?
  • How do you handle the storage of long-term (but not permanent) digital and physical records?
  • How do you handle requests for permanent and non-permanent digital and physical records (complete restriction for a period of time, only certain departments have access, etc.)?
  • How do you handle the ever increasing number of emails and other digital records?
  • How do you ensure that all PII and other confidential information is secure over time?

Optional Reading:

  • OAIS Reference Model.
  • Management of Information Security, 5th Edition (2016).  By Michael E. Whitman and Herbert J. Mattord.
  • Information Governance and Assurance:  Reducing Risk, Promoting Policy (2014).  By Alan McLennan.
  • Developing Electronic File Structures (ARMA International TR 23-2013).
  • Records Management, 10th Edition (2015).  By Judith Read and Mary Lea Ginn.
  • Managing Active Business Records (2014).  By Ann Bennnick and Judy Vasek Sitton.
  • Auditing for Records and Information Management Program Compliance (ARMA International 25-2014). 
  • Best Practices for Managing Electronic Messages (ARMA International TR 24-2013).
  • Secure Management of Private Information (ARMA International TR 28-2015).
  • www.arma.org (ARMA International).
  • www.aiim.org

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Make an Impact: Marketing and Communications for Archives

Questions for Discussion:

  • In the continually changing digital landscape, what enduring promotional strategies should archivists leverage?
  • How should archivists communicate the value of our profession?
  • Where can archivists go to find resources on archival advocacy? Discussion participants may work together to compile a list of useful resources.

 Optional Readings:

  • Standards for libraries in higher education [read section 9: “External relations”]. (2011). Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries. Retrieved from ala.org/acrl/standards/standardslibraries
  • Archival advocacy sampler [read section 1: Haws, B. (2011). “Advocating within the institution: Twenty-five years for the New York Philharmonic Archives.” In Hackman, L. (ed.), Many happy returns: Advocacy and the development of archives (pp. 186–199). Chicago: Society of American Archivists]. (2013). Chicago: Society of American Archivists. Retrieved from archivists.org/publications/sampler-series
Commemoration of Historical Anniversaries in Archives

Optional Resources:

Facilitator:

  • Samuel Howes, Archivist III, Maine State Archives. As a participant in the WWI centennial commemoration in Maine I am interested in what others are doing to commemorate the event, and more generally how archivists commemorate anniversaries of significant events.

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Documenting Digital Student Life: Outreach & Relationship-Building for Practical Collecting

Optional Resources:


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