The Society of North Carolina Archivists held its annual meeting two weeks ago at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington campus. A ZSR contingent attended the meeting, where the overall theme was Interdisciplinary Archives and Interprofessional Collaboration. Their stories are below and a longer blog post from Ashelee is forthcoming!
One of the best features of statewide conferences is the manageable size and the opportunity to connect with people from nearby institutions, and sunny Wilmington was a fantastic host for this year’s SNCA meeting. SNCA provided a nice balance of interesting workshops, a poster session, and social activities and local tours. I enjoyed having the chance both to learn about projects as diverse as ContentDM migrations and research on archivists’ responses to the presence of Confederate monuments on their campuses. I presented a poster on my dissertation research project, which analyzes the digital production and distribution workflows of documentary filmmakers in light of digital curation requirements. Although my research focuses on curation through the lens of film production, the poster session sparked interesting conversations with UNC film archivists in attendance about their own perspectives on curating Wilson Library’s video collections. While film preservation has been relatively settled practice, video preservation is still very much an emerging area, with few “best” practices; on a positive note, there are many organizations interested in finding workable solutions. I look forward to continuing the conversation at next year’s meeting!
This year was my first year attending SNCA and I was lucky enough to receive SNCA’s Michelle Francis scholarship to help cover the costs of attendance. I signed up to present on my work with UNC Greensboro regarding their migration from Archon to ArchivesSpace. Since November 2018, I have been working with them part-time to clean up their post-migration metadata. Our migration cleanup team discussed the challenges we came across during cleanup, as well as the benefits of the switch to ArchivesSpace. Since many archives across North Carolina are making the switch to ArchivesSpace, we had many archivists approach us after our presentation to discuss the migration, asking for tips or discussing similar issues they had on their recent migration. It was refreshing to have many archivists show genuine interest in the topic, give us helpful tips and tricks, and it was also cathartic to lament with other archivists who had similar issues during cleanup.
I enjoyed my quick trip to Wilmington for the Society of NC Archivists (SNCA) Annual Conference. This was an exciting conference for me simply because this is the last year I will have Executive Board member responsibilities. I am finishing up my *third* year as the immediate past president, which followed many other positions that included president, vp/programming chair, and Archives Week chair. I have enjoyed my eight years on the SNCA Board, but am excited to let others take on new roles within the organization. I was inspired by many young students and new-to-the-profession archivists who showed both passion and expertise. I want to give a shout out to Finley Turner who was so impressive with her presentation on her work at UNCG on their migration from Archon the Archives Space. Her experience and knowledge of the ASpace software is remarkable, and I hope we here in Special Collections & Archives can benefit from her expertise when it comes time for our migration and data cleanup. There were so many great conversations and presentations that I attended and would be happy to talk to you about over coffee. I am thankful to the Provost’s office for the funding to attend this conference.
My time at SNCA Annual was focused on the second and last experience coordinating a day of pre-conference workshops, as Education Committee chair. This year, we offered a half-day workshop on OpenRefine that I was able to sit in on, as well as two full-day workshops on processing and oral history creation and management. Also as Ed Comm chair, I reported on the Education Committee’s work, presented awards to graduate students, and chatted with the incoming chair (transition isn’t until May). My favorite sessions focused on tool migration (because it’s very applicable to my work managing our transition from Archivists’ Toolkit to ArchivesSpace) and on a group of NC Central University and A&T students who, through a class, worked with records held by NC A&T about NC’s chapters of New Farmers of America. NFA was the all-black counterpart to the Future Farmers of America, an exclusively white organization until the NFA merged with it in 1962. The students had absorbed history as well as archival terminology and techniques through the courses and their work with A&T’s archivists; it was wonderful and inspiring to hear from them about their experiences, and a bit of commentary from their professors, Central’s Dr. Charles Johnson and A&T’s Dr. Arwin Smallwood.
I had the opportunity to serve on the SNCA Program Committee this past year, and it was interesting to see the variety of documentation projects being undertaken by the archives community throughout North Carolina. I especially appreciated learning more about the “People Not Property” documentation project (an NHPRC-funded expansion of UNCG’s Digital Library on American Slavery). I also enjoyed hearing Finley discuss her amazing work at UNCG (in the hopes it will help us with our own ArchivesSpace transition) and Rebecca share about her reference work and how to be effective in responding to myriad requests.
Next year’s annual meeting will be hosted by Elon University.