MARAC 2021 Spring - Virtual Meeting 12-16 April

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    Elaine J. Coates & Wikipedia: Defining Subjectivity
    (MARAC, 2021-04-12) Stranieri, Marcella; Caringola, Elizabeth
    In May 2020, The University of Maryland, College Park’s Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) launched a project to create Wikipedia pages for archival collections that meet the website’s notability requirements. In order to do this, four female student workers created profiles and became Wikipedia editors, soon learning that 90% of Wikipedians are male. The male-female editor imbalance likely contributes to a site-wide underrepresented coverage of women-as-Wikipedia-subjects, particularly for women of color. This poster illustrates a case study of a notable woman of color, Elaine J Coates, getting removed from Wikipedia, likely due to her gender and race.
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    Session 4. Archives and FOIA in the Post-Unite the Right Rally Era
    (2021-04-12) Ravanbakhsh, Arian; Baker, Timothy D.; Gernhardt, Alan; Rhyne, Megan
    In the years since the Unite the Right white supremacy rally in Charlottesville and the removal of Confederate statues in cities across the country, supporters and opponents have utilized archives and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in response to these issues and events. This panel discussion will open dialogue on how archives can help inform the process of political decision-making, the issues FOIA requestors and responders face, and how FOIA application is uniquely both bi-partisan and non-partisan. Questions from attendees are welcomed, as well as shared experiences related to these topics.
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    PLENARY: Making Invisible Women Visible: Women’s History and Women in the Archives, 1970 – 2020
    (2021-04-13) Treadway, Sandra Gioia
    The development of women’s history as a vibrant field of study had a profound effect on the archival profession across the United States. Drawing on her experience as a historian of Virginia women and her work during the past 40 years in the archival collections of the Library of Virginia, Sandra Gioia Treadway will describe the transformations in both fields that she has witnessed during her career. She will reflect on the great strides that archival repositories in Virginia have made in preserving the record of women’s lives and activism while looking ahead to the challenges that remain. Treadway has served as Librarian of Virginia since July 2007, overseeing the Library’s comprehensive collection of print and manuscript materials documenting the history, culture, and government of Virginia. She holds a doctoral degree in American History from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Tennessee. The author of Women of Mark: A History of the Woman's Club of Richmond, Virginia, 1894-1994, Treadway is also co-editor of The Common Wealth: Treasures From the Collections of the Library of Virginia and several women’s history anthologies. She has served as president of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies and the Southern Association of Women Historians, and on the board of the Council of State Archivists.
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    Session 22. Restoring the Harmony: (Re)Establishing Order in Archives
    (2021-04-16) Ameduri, Christine; LoSardo, Brianna; Perez, Heather; Sussmeier, Stephanie
    Managing an archival repository can be a daunting task for any professional archivist, but even more so when those collections have been “meddled” with by well-intentioned, but untrained personnel. Where do you begin to (re)establish archival standards? How do you process these records and manuscripts that have lost some–or most–of their original order, provenance, or were adulterated with ancillary materials? What is the best approach to organizing and describing these collections without further disturbing their current organization? Panelists will discuss problems they have encountered processing their institution’s collections, presenting inventive solutions and workarounds that still meet archival standards. They will also discuss when and where they found it important to compromise and move on.
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    Session 16. Challenging Women’s Suffrage Narratives
    (2021-04-15) Coren, Ashleigh D.; Burdan, Amanda; Guberman, Rachel; Perrone, Fernanda
    Exhibitions provide archives, libraries, and museums the opportunity to consider new historical narratives, showcase collection materials, collaborate across the profession, and commemorate important historical events, including the centennial of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Panelists in this session will address how and why their institution decided to observe the women’s suffrage centennial with a major exhibition. From “restoring” women’s right to vote in New Jersey, to the usage of visual culture and representations as media tactics, each institution decided to focus on different elements of the suffrage narrative and the political strategies suffragists used in their fight for the vote. Inequities in the suffrage movement and the challenges of incorporating contributions of women from all walks-of-life into a more inclusive narrative will be an important focus of the discussion.
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    Session 14. You Gotta Start Somewhere: Leveraging Education and Collaboration to Create Meaningful Internship Experiences
    (2021-04-14) Cornelius, Don; Barker, Ray; Cleary, Laura; Sayles, Sheridan
    Student and non-archivist employees and interns are a fundamental part of the archival workforce that often fall into the background. While training these rising archivists can be a challenge, these relationships also provide archival professionals a chance to develop projects that address backlogs, while also providing educational opportunities to potential future colleagues. At the same time, these projects give us the chance to see our processes with fresh eyes and more diverse ideas. In public and academic library settings, these experiences help expose emerging archivists to the daily workload of archives professionals. This presentation will showcase examples of how three distinct organizations have integrated students and non-archivists into their processing, exhibition, and outreach activities.
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    Session 9. Institutional Repository and Archives Partnerships and Futures
    (2021-04-13) Kamsler, Brigette; James, Elizabeth; Harper, Lindsey; Thompson, Lori; Beach, Gretchen
    While institutional repositories are traditionally understood as platforms for collecting, preserving, and disseminating the scholarly output of an institution, archivists and archives at these institutions can be left out of conversations regarding their development and use. Marshall University’s institutional repository, Marshall Digital Scholar, not only hosts university archives materials and other output created by the university but was expanded to include finding aids for manuscript collections, digital exhibits, digitized materials, and complex digital objects. The speakers will discuss the advantages and disadvantages this project, as well as future opportunities for developing unique forms of scholarship using institutional repositories.
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    Session 7. University Archives at 2021: Are We There Yet?
    (2021-04-13) Purcell, Aaron D.; Brodt, Zach; Cech, Maureen; Parrish, Marilyn
    College and university campuses are vibrant places, full of change in terms of technology, leadership, and purpose. Two decades into the twenty-first century, academic archivists are faced with the challenges of today, yesterday, and tomorrow. The struggle between completing analog-based archival work while building digital collections with the latest and greatest tools is all too real. This session features three university archivists, at different stages of their careers, who will discuss how changes in practice in the past twenty years has affected their archives programs and shaped the future. The moderator will contextualize the session by reviewing several predictions about the future role of archivists made in the book Academic Archives (Neal-Schuman, 2012).
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    Session 6. Engagement with Local and Institutional History Initiatives: Recent Opportunities for the Archives at the University of Virginia
    (2021-04-13) Bowden, Emily; Cavanaugh, Dan; Flaherty, Randi
    In recent years, interest in local and institutional history in the Charlottesville-Albemarle region has created new opportunities and challenges for archivists at the University of Virginia. This session will share work undertaken at the University of Virginia Claude Moore Health Sciences Library and Arthur J. Morris Law Library in response to these developments. The presentation will discuss the archivist’s role as an active researcher, scholarly collaborator, and exhibition curator, as well as ways in which local and institutional history initiatives have reshaped technical archival work in our repositories. The speakers hope that sharing these experiences with MARAC colleagues will prompt discussion about how archivists balance different roles to serve their institutions and local communities.
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    Session 3. Urban Activism and Archives
    (2021-04-12) Grinnell, David; Anglim, Chris; Klosinski, Jon; Parker, Elizabeth E.
    Documenting urban activism is a complex endeavor for any archival program. The remaining record reflects the unpredictable conditions of urban living, as well as the passion of community members for various causes. This session will examine those considerations as pursued by three different institutions in the Mid-Atlantic. One paper will cover the legacy of activism found at the University of the District of Columbia and its predecessor institutions. Another paper will address the intersection of environmental and community activism as documented in the University of Pittsburgh Archives. The third paper will explore the relation of labor organizing, urban protest, and archives as captured in the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives, Cornell University.
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    Session 2. Recent Archival Research by Graduate Students
    (2021-04-12) Floyd, Joni; Ajamian, Marissa; Jackson, Ben; Thorn, Max
    This session features three papers by graduate students in the region. Topics include the connection between archives and dance, popular music collections and the digital humanities, and the integration of civil rights materials into archival literacy. 1. Marissa Ajamian, “European Traditions: Tracing the Connection between Archiving and Dance.” New York University: The traditional rules for both archival practices and concert dance stem from a European heritage. These rules require rigid structure, confining practices, and unbending rules. With this presentation, I seek to discuss the implications of how European traditions have affected the “appropriate” way to dance, with an upright spine, and the “appropriate” way to archive, through the focus on paper materials. While the art form of dance and archival practices appear to be unrelated entities, the rigid European boundaries that were present at the creation and evolution of these practices bind them together. The way these two practices have evolved from the European heritage offer different solutions on how to navigate incorporating other heritages and ideas into the archive and into the collective memory of the dance tradition. By looking at these current day practices, future best practices can be shared between dance and the art of archiving. 2. Benjamin Jackson, “Re-examining Collections Through Digital Storytelling” University of Maryland: Conveying the scope of collections and holdings and engaging the widest range of users has always been a vexing, primary concern for those working in libraries of all disciplines. In this presentation, I consider how open-source platforms have made digital storytelling an effective and increasingly accessible means for those in libraries to connect and contextualize their materials with a broad audience. Being employed as a project archivist hired to work with the Keesing Collection on Popular Music and Culture at Special Collections in Performing Arts, University of Maryland, College Park I have had the fairly unique opportunity to undertake digital humanities projects to encourage research with the collections. My most recent project has been to develop online exhibits exploring our new holdings that focus on the intersections between popular music and the major conflicts in which the United States was a combatant in the twentieth century. While I consider myself engaged in the sphere of digital humanities, my relative lack of experience in most kind of scripting and coding at first discouraged me from attempting anything outside of an article or exhibit-style approach to presenting the collection. With the rapid expansion of open-source projects, elements like flowing timelines and interactive charts and graphs are now far less time-consuming to make and dependent on a deep knowledge of web design. These tools were used in the Keeping project to consider issues like how the vocabulary of American songwriters during the Second World War changed by year or how the relative popularity of songs addressing Vietnam was reflected in the pop charts over the course of the conflict. In presenting this case-study alongside general discussion of digital storytelling for music libraries I hope to highlight some of the opportunities these platforms afford to engage new and expanding populations 3. Max Thorn, “Civil Rights collections in the classroom: an archives instruction fellowship” Queens College, City University of New York: This paper will describe and discuss my semester-long graduate fellowship that integrated archival material from the Mississippi Freedom Summer—a landmark 1964 voter-registration drive and free school led by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and other prominent Civil Rights-era organizations—into the curriculum of an undergraduate history seminar on “America in the 1960s.” I collaborated with the head archivist and the seminar’s professor on classroom exercises and student research appointments, with the goal of increasing student awareness of the college’s archives (especially our strong Civil Rights-era collections, rooted in material donated by QC alumni participants), improving their primary source literacy, and supporting their research. The major classroom exercise was a document analysis exercise based on the award-winning philosophy. Research appointments were one-on-one. For faculty, I created a LibGuide on teaching with archives that includes a bibliography and professional guidelines. The 2018 ACRL/SAA Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy were used to create session goals and for assessment, with students reporting increased confidence in critically evaluating primary sources. The paper will also address the nature and benefits of graduate-student fellowships in archival institutions. Through sharing the content and pedagogy that built this unique archives instruction fellowship, I aim to persuade conferees that teaching with archives in classrooms can improve undergraduates’ primary source literacy, initiate meaningful collaboration with faculty, and foster student and faculty engagement with the archives.
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    Session 1: Crawling Through Current Events: How Web Archivists Document Politics, Racial Justice, and COVID-19
    (2021-04-12) Gentry, Steven; Collier, Zakiya; Moffatt, Christie; McClurken, Kara; Wertheimer, Melissa
    Web content is uniquely ephemeral. Resources with significant historical value are frequently removed from public access without notice. This panel will explore how archivists use web archiving to document the current moment, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, women in politics, and racial justice. Panelists from the Library of Congress, National Library of Medicine, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and University of Virginia will discuss practical and theoretical considerations underpinning their web archiving projects, collecting goals and scopes, challenges experienced, solutions devised, and lessons learned. This session will be moderated by University of Michigan archivist, Steven Gentry.
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    Session 18. Archiving Peace Work Collections
    (2021-04-15) Gardner, Stephanie S.; Grove Rohrbaugh, Rachel M.; Manzullo-Thomas, Devin; Yoder, Anne M.
    From the Anabaptist traditions of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to other historic peace work, presenters will share the challenges and rewards of managing nonresistance, pacifist, and peace-building archives, and speak about why preserving and voicing the peace perspective is important. Topics to be addressed include curating, interpreting, and teaching about faith-based peace work, both as an archivist previously unfamiliar with such traditions and as one who affiliates with the tradition, but works closely with constituents who have little knowledge of faith-based peace work—and are sometimes skeptical of it. The session will include a discussion of the secondary trauma that may be experienced when working with archival collections that contain peace workers’ troubling accounts of wartime, famine relief, and medical work, and will offer strategies to prevent being overwhelmed.
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    Session 19. Archiving the Also-Rans: The Value of Defeated Presidential Candidate Papers
    (2021-04-15) Bhatia, Sharmila; Comeau, Michael; Delozier, Alan; Haag, Autumn
    When it comes to the race for the White House, have you ever wondered what becomes of those who finished behind the victor? Even those who did not have a successful campaign–regardless of party–still constitute an important, yet often-overlooked body of archival records in most cases. The diversity of candidates and where their manuscript collections ultimately end up is an interesting study in how their respective legacies are preserved. This panel will explore various aspects of political records, including the topic's background, acquisition stories, and examples of research use. An emphasis will be placed on advocating for resources needed to process and make these collections complete and dynamic. Individual examples will include Bill Bradley, Thomas E. Dewey, George McGovern, and Adlai Stevenson among others whose legacies have lived on past Election Day.
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    Session 20. Conflict in the Commonwealth: Discovering and Disseminating Racist Content in Virginia College Yearbooks
    (2021-04-15) Gunn, Brenda; Eaton, Lynn; Koste, Jodi; Bookman, Steve
    In 2019, the Commonwealth of Virginia found itself amidst controversy with the discovery of racist photographs in the college yearbooks of Governor Ralph Northam and other high-ranking officials. As a result, many colleges and universities in Virginia initiated audits of their yearbooks. In this breakout session, the panelists will begin with presentations highlighting the motivations behind the audits at their institutions, how they accomplished their tasks, what they discovered, how they presented their findings to the public, and how this controversy may have caused archivists to question their own collection management decisions. The session will continue with a discussion about how others have conducted yearbook audits and what they discovered and learned.
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    Session 21. Hear Her Voice: Collaborating to Share a Century of Women's Activism
    (2021-04-16) Van Tine, Lindsay; Sly, Margery; Clark, Jessica
    Twenty archives, five grants, four co-PIs, and two project managers walk into a database… and walk out with 200,000 digitized frames. The Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries project, “In Her Own Right,” showcases the stories of women working to expand women’s rights during the century prior to gaining the right to vote in the United States. Looking back on the last few years and looking forward to the project wrap up in mid-2021, some of those who “made it happen” will tell tales of challenges met (or not) and opportunities uncovered. A staff member from a participating institution, a principal investigator, and the project manager will each share their top tips for large-scale, long-term, grant-funded, collaborative success.
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    Session 23. Suffrage Legacies at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
    (2021-04-16) Bell, Gladys; Jones, Ida; Matthews, Lopez
    Archivists and archival collections at Historically Black Colleges and Universities are uniquely situated to offer insights into voting rights struggles for people of color and in particular for women of color. Participants in this session will discuss how their institution and collections have preserved voting rights history and how the material that tells this story is being shared during the anniversaries of both the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
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    “LUNCHEON” SPEAKER: An Archivist's Tale: Live with Kelly Wooten
    (2021-04-17) Wooten, Kelly; Huth, Geof; Trivette, Karen
    Married archivists Geof Huth and Karen Trivette began recording episodes of their weekly podcast, An Archivist’s Tale, in February 2018. They have recorded over 100 conversations across many states and in nine countries. To date, all the interviews have been recorded in person; however, this event will be the first episode to be recorded with an audience. Please join in the conversation with Huth and Trivette as they interview Kelly Wooten, Research Services and Collection Development Librarian for the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Audience members will have an opportunity to submit questions ahead of time and as many as possible will be addressed at the end of the episode. In her role as a librarian, Wooten offers reference, instruction, and outreach for women's and LGBTQ history collections, and curates zines, artists’ books by women, and materials documenting modern feminist activism. She is co-editor of Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer Activism in the 21st Century. Huth is the Chief Records Officer and the Chief Law Librarian of the New York State Unified Court System. Associate Professor Trivette is Head of Special Collections and College Archives, Gladys Marcus Library, Fashion Institute of Technology-State University of New York; she is the first incumbent to hold this position and has served in this role since 2008. She holds an MLS with a concentration in Archives and Records Management, University at Albany (NY) and a BA in Art History, UNC-Chapel Hill (NC).
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    Tour 2: Discovering HERstory: The Military Women’s Memorial
    (2021-04-13) Poe, Amy; Granrud, Britta
    The Military Women’s Memorial, located at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, honors and tells the stories of women, past and present, who serve our nation in, or with, the United States Armed Forces. Our virtual tour will highlight the Memorial’s history and hard-won efforts to create a national memorial to women’s military service and education center and will walk participants through key features of our facility. An overview of our collections and our recently updated Register—the two methods by which we gather and preserve stories of women’s service—will be followed by a snapshot of our most recent exhibit, “The Color of Freedom: Honoring the Diversity of America’s Servicewomen.”
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    Session 15. Visual Literacy Mini-Workshop
    (2021-04-14) Kativa, Hillary
    Like letters, diaries, and other written records, photographs are forms of historical evidence that convey information about a subject, place, or time period. Yet, archival photographs often are treated as mere illustrations taken at face value rather than examined critically to uncover the narratives they tell. Through a combination of discussion, exercises, and lecture, this workshop will provide an introduction to the concept of visual literacy and engage participants with common strategies for reading and researching pictorial images. In addition, a portion of the workshop will be devoted to strategies for teaching visual literacy to students, researchers, and the general public.