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I had an unusually busy Society of American Archivists meeting in Atlanta earlier this month, and I will blame the delay in writing this on all the other writing I’ve been doing after the meeting to advertise and inform fellow archivists about the meeting’s work. My whirlwind week went Monday through Saturday and included:
- Attending the annual meeting’s 10th Research Forum and heard about the research work that so many of my colleagues are undertaking – I’m thinking about how I can join in!
- Joining Tim, Stephen, and a group of Atlanta alumni at Monday Night Brewing (and learning about how odd Georgia’s liquor laws are)
- Moderating a career planning and navigation panel that I pulled together this winter, which I wrote about briefly on my personal blog
- Chairing a conference session titled “I Second That Emotion: Working with Emotionally Challenging Collections” (here’s a Storify of tweets related to the session)
- Acting as a facilitator for the conference sessions “Deconstructing Whiteness in Archives: Opportunities for Self-Reflection“
- Accepting my election to the Issues & Advocacy Roundtable’s Steering Committee and giving a report on the work of a Roundtable research team that I participated in – we wrote a series of articles regarding the Archives So White hashtag and conversation
- Watched and transcribed three Great Archives Advocates discuss their approach to advocacy and advice regarding advocating more effectively; more information about that event is here
- Accepting my election as Vice Chair/Chair Elect to the Collections Management Tool Roundtable, which is an interest group related to tools that help facilitate collections access; ours is Archivist Toolkit but there are at least a dozen others, plus homegrown CMSes
- Oh yeah, and attending sessions!
Whew. I did at least one thing a day that made me nervous – my normal tempo is something nerve-wracking every two weeks.
This year’s Society President, Dennis Meissner of the Minnesota Historical Society, spent this year particularly focused on increasing inclusive practices, behaviors, and work in the archives profession, and my session attendance indicated that. I spent one lunch learning about records and history of Louisiana-area Native groups, Jewish communities in Mexico, and a bit about the rich history of Atlanta thanks to a brown bag session put together by SAA’s Diversity Committee. I also attended a heart-rending session about documenting the Emmanuel AME Church massacre memorials.
My other focus this year was working with born-digital materials and I attended sessions on that subject. As we here at the ZSR increasingly create digital materials and acquire digital collections and hybrid collections (which contain digital and paper materials), I want to make use of the work other archivists have already done to corral and provide access to digital items.
If you have questions about archivists, archives work, or any of the above – let’s get coffee!