Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Calling all Special Collections Librarians, Archivists and Museum Professionals Who Teach!

We seek submissions of innovative, hands-on classroom exercises utilizing primary sources for an upcoming Libraries Unlimited publication. The forthcoming book will provide cultural heritage professionals with adaptable, template-based class exercisesthink of these as recipes that can be reused as is, or customized for multiple situations. We solicit your easy-to-adapt, creative exercises that includes a title, 2-5 learning objectives, intended audience, collections/materials/preparation required, description of the exercise mechanics or activity, and any assessment you've done.  We seek your submission by MARCH 30, 2013.

The exercises we want to include will teach lessons in "artifactual literacy" and/or "archival intelligence." Artifactual literacy refers to skills needed to interpret and analyze primary sources, including concepts such as: evaluating authenticity, understanding historical contextualization, identifying bias, understanding the physical object, and deducing original audience and purpose. Archival intelligence refers to skills needed to use archives and special collections, such as: finding aid usage, understanding what kinds of materials are held in archives and special collections, physical use and handling of collections, and searching for primary sources.

Exercises making use of any source types are welcome, including rare books, maps, manuscripts, ephemera, born digital, and even the unusual types we know you are working with (video games, natural history specimens, models, blueprints, comic books, graphic novels, LPs, floppy disks and hard drives).  The exercises may focus on teaching undergraduates or graduate students, or may be geared toward public outreach events, educating donors, our peers, and/or administrators. We want your creative and inventive exercises for K-12 class visits as well.

Co-editors Anne Bahde (Oregon State University), Heather Smedberg (UC San Diego), and Mattie Taormina (Stanford University) look forward to receiving your submissions. Please submit your exercise via our webform by MARCH 30, 2013:

We know you're doing wonderful things with students, and this is a great opportunity to share what you're been doing with colleagues around the country.


Anne Bahde (anne.bahde AT oregonstate.edu)
Heather Smedberg (hsmedberg AT ucsd.edu)
Mattie Taormina (taormina AT stanford.edu)
Co-Editors, Using Primary Sources: Hands-On Instructional Exercises, Libraries Unlimited, to be published 2014


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award

The Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award Subcommittee of the Socity of American Archivists seeks nominations for the 2013 award.
This award recognizes an archivist, editor, group of individuals, or institution that has increased public awareness of a specific body of documents through compilation, transcription, exhibition, or public presentation of archives or manuscript materials for educational, instructional, or other public purpose. Archives may include photographs, films, and visual archives. Publication may be in hard copy, microfilm, digital, or other circulating medium.

Recent winners include:

  • 2012: Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota
  • 2011: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries March On Milwaukee Civil Rights History Project Team
  • 2010: The Giza Archives Project at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • 2009: Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections of the University of Toledo’s “From Institution to Independence”
  • 2008: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the CBC Digital Archives (Les Archives de Radio-Canada)


Individual archivists and editors, groups of individuals, organizations.

Application Deadline:

All nominations shall be submitted to the Awards Committee by February 28, 2013.

For more information on SAA awards and the nominations process, please go to http://www.archivists.org/recognition/index.asp .

Monday, November 26, 2012

Archives Leadership Institute: Call for Applicants

The Archives Leadership Institute at Luther College requests applicants for its 2013 institute. The Institute provides advanced training for a cohort of 25 emerging and innovative leaders, giving them the knowledge and tools to transform the archival profession in practice, theory and attitude. The 2013 ALI@Luther Leadership Intensive will be held June 16-22, 2013. Applications for 2013 are due by December 10, 2012.
The program includes five elements:
  • A week-long residential Leadership Intensive held on Luther College's campus;
  • A focused practicum project that will connect leadership skills with action;
  • A practices workshop held during the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists;
  • Global group projects that will encourage all ALI alumni to generate solutions to challenges within the profession; and
  • A moderated online network experience that will serve as a virtual space for the ALI community to share and grow.
The core approach will intertwine strategic and advanced leadership thinking with a clear and purposeful archival curriculum that includes project management, strategic visioning and human resource development, strategies for born digital resources, and advocacy and outreach. This curriculum will be taught by Kathleen Roe, New York State Archives; Sharon Leon, The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University; Daniel Noonan, The Ohio State University; and Christopher Barth, The United States Military Academy at West Point.

ALI@Luther will be influenced by a steering committee of experienced leaders in the archival profession who will also serve as mentors to ALI participants. The steering committee includes Terry Baxter, Multnomah County Records Program, Portland, Ore.; Brenda Gunn, The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at The University of Texas-Austin; Geof Huth, New York State Archives; Beth Myers, Women and Leadership Archives at Loyola University; Daniel Noonan, The Ohio State University; and Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Iowa State University.
The entire program will be facilitated by Luther Snow, consultant, author and facilitator. Rachel Vagts, Luther College Archivist and a 2010 Archives Leadership Institute alumna, will serve as ALI@Luther program director. Sasha Griffin, Luther College Digital Archivist, will serve as program coordinator.
Tuition for the Institute is $500 and covers the cost of the program, lodging and most meals. Transportation will be provided from the Rochester, MN, airport as necessary. The institute provides a number of awards for tuition and/or travel assistance.
The Archives Leadership Institute is supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the granting agency of the National Archives and Records Administration. The NHPRC supports projects that promote the preservation and use of America's documentary heritage and the continuing development of professional skills for archivists, records managers and historical editors. First funded in 2008, the Archives Leadership Institute seeks to bring to tomorrow's leaders the insights and understanding necessary for increasing public use and appreciation of archives.
For further information about ALI@Luther, contact us at ALI@luther.edu or visit the Institutes's website at http://www.luther.edu/archivesleadershipinstitute/.

Friday, November 23, 2012

ABC-CLIO Online History Award

The deadline is fast approaching (December 15) for nominations for the ABC-CLIO Online History Award. It consists of $2,500 donated by ABC-CLIO, a publisher of reference materials in the field of history, and a citation. The award recognizes the accomplishments of a person or a group of people producing (1) a freely available online historical collection, or (2) an online tool tailored for the purpose of finding historical materials, or (3) an online teaching aid stimulating creative historical scholarship. 

The award seeks to encourage the development of freely available, sustainable online history resources by singling out innovative projects and the individuals who created them. Projects shall have been completed (or, in the case of a regularly updated database, well established) in the two years prior to nomination and serve as a model for broader emulation. Examples can include:
  •    Primary sources digitized from the collections of more than one repository
  •    Guides to research on an historical subject that span multiple formats and repositories
  •    Databases incorporating citations, annotations, text, multimedia, and/or hyperlinks
  •    Presentations of an historical theme stimulating new approaches to its teaching
Some past recipients are:
For more information, please visit the Reference and User Services (RUSA) webpage for the award. <http://www.ala.org/rusa/awards/abcclio>.  The short nomination form is at http://www.ala.org/rusa/sites/ala.org.rusa/files/content/awards/abcclio/abcclio.pdf>.


Thursday, June 7, 2012


     This year the Reference, Access and Outreach (RAO) Section program will feature hot topic discussions, demonstrations, and short lectures/presentations.  The purpose of this marketplace is to stir up discussion and deliberation of the topics and issues that excite, engage, and enrage us as RAO archivists.  To make this marketplace of ideas a smashing success we need your help:    

     First and easiest to do, we need you to respond to our short survey about hot topics in reference, access and outreach work.  We promise it will take you less than 8 minutes to complete—5 if you type fast! 
 ·         Second, and still super easy to do, we want you to volunteer to serve as hot topic moderators or recorder (the survey has a convenient place to volunteer for this).

·         Third, and quite glamorous, we want you to demonstrate new or favorite techniques or approaches in RAO practices or interactions. 
o   Visit the RAO Marketplace Wiki for guidelines and instructions on how to submit a proposal for a demonstration
 ·         Fourth, and very ennobling, we want you to do short lectures/presentations on RAO-related topics. 
o   Visit the RAO Marketplace Wiki for guidelines and instructions on how to submit a proposal for a mini lecture or presentation:
·         Fifth, and suited for the wild among us, we want you to propose something beyond the possibilities outlined here.
o   Visit the RAO Marketplace Wiki for guidelines and instructions on how to submit a proposal for an alternative project:
·         Sixth and remarkably necessary and easy, we need you to show up and “shop” the RAO Marketplace as part of the Section Meeting on Thursday, August 9th  3:30-5:30 p.m. 

Need more information or clarification?  Contact the Marketplace Vendor Relations Team:
Jill Severn, jsevern@uga.edu 706-542-5766
Greg Kocken,
kockeng@uwec.edu, 715-836-3873

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

SAA-RAO Web Liaison Position Available~please apply

RAO Web Liaison Position Vacancy

The Reference Access and Outreach Section is pleased to announce the availability of the position of Web Liaison. This position is responsible for maintenance and updates of RAO’s website. The person in this position works with the Communications Liaison and interns to encourage contributions of photographs and data for the site as well as working with committees to update their pages. The website is hosted through SAA and uses Drupal software with some pages still in html. The Web Liaison participates in RAO board meetings and planning. Depending on familiarity with website and enthusiasm for updating pages, the time commitment averages to only a few hours a month.

How to Apply:
Interested members of RAO should submit a letter of application describing relevant experience to Jill Severn (jsevern@uga.edu). 

Key Dates:
  •  The deadline to apply is July 20, 2012.
  • A small committee composed of Severn, Jan Blodgett, and Kathie Otto will review applications and select the new liaison on or before the RAO membership meeting at the SAA Conference in San Diego (Thursday, August 9, 2012).
  • Beginning September 1, 2012 the new liaison will begin management of the RAO Web site.  Current Web Liaison, Jan Blodgett will serve as a mentor to the new Web Liaison during the transition period and as needed.   This position is appointed and serves on a continuing basis.

Please contact Jill Severn (jsevern@uga.edu or 706-542-0859) if you have questions or need more information about this position. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Long-time RAO Member Diane Kaplan Dies

Many of you probably knew Diane Kaplan of Yale University.  She died on May 14.  Not mentioned in the newspaper obituary was the fact that Diane became an SAA Fellow in 2010, and was a long-time member of RAO.  The photo is from her Personal Librarian page on the Yale website.

From the May 15, 2012, New Haven Register:

Diane Kaplan, 64, of 129 Russell St., Hamden, devoted wife of Stephen Mayer, died on Monday, May 14, 2012 at Yale University Health Center. Born in Minneapolis, MN., Oct. 3, 1947, she was a daughter of the late Harold & Ruth (Berman) Kaplan. Beloved Mother of Hans Kaplan Mayer of Belmont, MA & Irina Kaplan Mayer of Ludlow, VT., Dear sister of the late Susan Kaplan. Funeral services at Temple Beth Sholom, 1809 Whitney Ave., Hamden TUESDAY morning at 10:30 o'clock with Interment Services to follow at the Yale Hillel section of Walnut Grove Cemetery, Meriden. Memorial contributions may be sent to Society of American Archivists, or Covenant to Care, or the New Haven Animal Shelter, or to Temple Beth Sholom. A Period of Mourning will be observed at 129 Russell St., Hamden thru Thursday, 6:30 pm-8:30pm. Funeral arrangements in care of Robert E. Shure Funeral Home, New Haven. http://www.shurefuneralhome.com/

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


IMLS-Funded Grant for Improving Access
to Archives and Special Collections is Underway

March 126 2012
For Immediate Release – please distribute broadly
Last fall, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded a National Leadership Grant to the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah on behalf of three consortia: (a) Utah Academic Library Consortium’s Mountain West Digital Library, (b) Orbis Cascade Alliance’s Northwest Digital Archives, and (c) Rocky Mountain Online Archive, hosted by the University of New Mexico.


This collaborative planning grant is a one-year project Planning for a Western Archival Network: Administrative, Technical, and End User Concerns. The three consortia on the grant are currently exploring ways to improve user access to Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aids describing the archival materials in our three Western regions, possibly via a central “Western EAD search portal.” Fifteen staff members representing the three consortia met in Albuquerque in January to examine ways to create better user experiences and realize cost efficiencies through shared standards, technology and administration. Follow up meetings are planned in Salt Lake City, UT in April and Portland, OR in September.


This project will have national impact for both end users, and the EAD community at large. Once the planning is completed and the methods implemented, end users will have easier and quicker access to both a greater volume and diversity of archival materials. The intent is to provide a model that other organizations can implement so that consortia across the country benefit from reduced costs and increased access to collections.
Dr. Gregory Thompson, Associate Dean for Special Collections at the Marriott Library, and principal investigator on the grant states: “We are extremely excited about how this grant will open the doors to incredible collections across the west… In the long-term, citizens everywhere will encounter easier and faster online access to historical photographs, manuscripts, oral histories, and many other rare and historic materials.”


Based on the grant activities, final recommendations and a report will be released in October 2012. The three consortia hope to pursue additional collaborative funding for the implementation phase of the project.

Contact Information

Questions and comments about the grant may be directed to:
·       University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library:
Gregory Thompson, Associate Dean for Special Collections, and Principal Investigator for the grant (801) 581-3421, greg.c.thompson@utah.edu

·       Mountain West Digital Library:
Sandra McIntyre, Program Director, (801) 585-0969, sandra.mcintyre@utah.edu
·       Northwest Digital Archives:
Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Program Manager,
(406) 829-6528, jodiab@uoregon.edu
·       Rocky Mountain Online Archive:
Kathlene Ferris, Digital Programs Manager, (
505) 277-7172, kferris@unm.edu

Background on the Consortia

Three consortia of EAD partners are working together on this project:
·       The Utah Academic Library Consortium (http://ualc.net) is a 40-year-old consortium of 14 academic libraries in Utah, along with the Utah State Library and affiliate member libraries in Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. UALC partners cooperate in continually improving the availability and delivery of library and information services to the higher education community and to the State of Utah, through fostering research, developing and implementing cooperative library programs; providing a means for the exchange of information on cooperative library ventures; maximizing limited resources by improving library methods and avoiding expensive duplicate purchases; maximizing information delivery through shared use of technology and human resources; and acting as an advocate for excellence in library resources and services. One of the flagship programs of the UALC is the Mountain West Digital Library (http://mwdl.org), a free search portal to 350 digital collections containing over 650,000 resources about the Mountain West region from 62 partnering libraries, archives, and other cultural heritage institutions. Eight partners of the MWDL maintain EAD files, and several more are involved in creating new EAD collections.
·       The Orbis Cascade Alliance (http://www.orbiscascade.org) is a consortium of 36 academic libraries in Oregon and Washington. Alliance member libraries work together to provide outstanding services to students and faculty, share information resources and expertise, develop library staff, and help members allocate financial and human resources to serve the unique needs of each member. To this end, the Alliance considers the combined collections of member institutions as one collection. The Alliance supports a number of services that support this vision, including Summit, a system that allows students, faculty and staff to easily search and request library materials owned by member libraries; courier service offering delivery of library materials in Oregon, Washington and Idaho; the Northwest Digital Archives (http://nwda.orbiscascade.org), which offers enhanced access to primary sources in the Northwest U.S.; cooperative purchasing for databases, ebooks and ejournals; and other digital library services.
·       The University of New Mexico University Libraries (http://elibrary.unm.edu) provides the infrastructure for the 30 contributing institutions in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming of the Rocky Mountain Online Archive (http://rmoa.unm.edu ). UNM supports and maintains RMOA as a service to libraries, museums and archives in the three states with the goal of improving access to manuscript and archival collections. Initiated with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2004, continuing support comes from the UNM University Libraries and the Center for Regional Studies.