Past, Present, Future – Breakfast with SSA Leadership: 8:00am – 9:00am – Regency Ballroom
Educational Session 3: 9:30am – 10:45am
“Global Palestine and the Archives of Diaspora Communities” – Arboretum I/II
Noha Mohama-Akkari, Texas State University
Lauren Goodley, Wittliff Collections, Texas State University
Elizabeth Bishop, Ph.D., Texas State University
Over the past year, this group of scholars and an archivist collaborated on the topic of Palestinian archives and research. We’d like to lead a discussion covering: (1) an introduction to resources on Palestine, the Palestinian diaspora, and Mediterranean Studies–in Central Texas, nationally, and internationally, both in-person and on-line; (2) archival methods and global Palestine; and (3) the Palestinian novel, written by both Palestinian and non-Palestinian writers.
We’ll take Palestine as a case-study with which to discuss “collecting around tragedy,” archives of and research on communities in diaspora, and fiction as an archival resource.
“Houston, We Have Lift Off!: Case Studies in Documenting Space and Astronomy in Archives” – Arboretum III/IV
Phillip Fitzsimmons, Al Harris Library, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Steve Hussman, University of Arizona Libraries
The presenters will offer two distinct case studies on documenting space and astronomy collections within the parameters of a regional (Southwestern Oklahoma State University) and large state/land grant university (University of Arizona) context; with each having its own challenges and rewards: The Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) in Weatherford, OK, a regional university, received the generous gift of the archive of General Thomas P. Stafford, the retired astronaut. He was born and raised in Weatherford and continues his relationship with its people and to SWOSU. The purpose of the presentation will be to share information with attendees about this new, as yet, unopened archive collection. Phillip Fitzsimmons will describe the contents of the archive collections and provide the story of the progress, including receiving the Stafford collection, renovating the second floor of the library, constructing the new archive space during the COVID-19 pandemic, applying for grants to hire consultants and purchase equipment and supplies, moving the collections into the new space, and preparing for the challenges of opening the archives to the public during the pandemic.
The University of Arizona’s Special Collections Department has a long history of acquiring astronomy and space-related collections including the papers of Gerard Kuiper, father of modern-day astronomy; Ewen Whitaker, who was responsible for mapping the Moon; and many others. The body of these materials has permitted worldwide access and research use but also require extensive knowledge, care, and feeding of like collections. The author will describe the uniqueness and challenges of working with these types of collections and the opportunities for collaboration across disciplines.
“Providing access to Spanish language resources online” – Arboretum V
Julie Judkins, University of North Texas
Jaimi Parker, University of North Texas
Mikaela Selley, University of Houston
Carolina A. Villarroel, University of Houston
This panel features two projects providing access to resources in Spanish through two vastly different methods, with the similar goals of access and discoverability. In Fall 2020, the University of North Texas Special Collections department initiated a pilot project to translate English language finding aids and digital exhibits into Spanish, to provide greater accessibility. Jaimi Parker and Julie Judkins, will outline methods used for translation and provide advice to institutions undertaking translation projects of their own, regardless of available resources. The Recovering the U.S. Literary Heritage Project’s (Recovery) ongoing efforts to digitize and create a public-facing platform for 200 Spanish-language periodicals published along the US-Mexico border from 1850 to 1956, is supported by a CLIR Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant. Mikaela Selley and Carolina A. Villarroel will share Recovery’s experience collecting and preserving these periodicals, various partnerships, implementation of a post-custodial model, and issues associated with the preservation and dissemination of serial editions in languages other than English.
Snacks with Vendors: 10:30am – 11:00am – Window Box
Educational Session 4: 11:00am – 12:00pm
“Trauma and the Archives” – Arboretum I/II
Kaitlin D’Amico, Arizona State Archives
Melissa Gottwald, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Carlos Lopez, Arizona State Archives
During the course of the global COVID-19 pandemic, archivists were faced with a variety of challenges, both physical and mental, in their workplace. For many, the global pandemic exacerbated issues surrounding mental and emotional health in the workplace. With ever expanding collections and shrinking staff, many archivists are left to shoulder the burden alone. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Arizona State Archives had two full-time archivists working on emotionally charged materials while also maintaining their personal duties to their families and co-workers. As part of this presentation, we hope to discuss the different situations that archivists face when encountering traumatic collections and reevaluate the ways archivists view themselves, their colleagues, and the profession at large.
“An Archive’s Role in Community Organizations” – Arboretum III/IV
Kendall Martin, The University of North Texas
Amanda Montgomery, Texas Woman’s University
Benna Vaughn, Baylor University
Small community organizations often rely on their own members to maintain and collect information and the materials they produce. Larger academic and private archives often don’t begin taking in materials from these groups until they have garnered larger reputations and cultural importance. This discussion will seek to address the ways in which archives engage with their local community organizations, and whether or not that engagement should begin at the beginning of an organization’s journey or if archives should wait until an organization has become larger and truly successful to begin connecting with them. We will look at a handful of collections that were processed recently, though their materials reach into the late 1970s. Following an introduction to the topic from the main speakers, participants will also be able to discuss their views on the subject and how their own experiences with collections affect their stances.
“The COVID-19 Files: Collecting During a Global Pandemic” – Arboretum V
Kelly Hanus, Austin History Center
Ayshea Khan, Austin Public Library
Nikki Koehlert, Austin History Center
In March of 2020, as the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic set in, longtime Austin businesses began shutting their doors for the first time, signature community events were cancelled, essential city systems were strained, and inequities were exposed among our vulnerable populations. We also witnessed remarkable instances of connection, creativity, and solidarity as we strived to keep our Austin communities together. To ensure that these stories from the COVID-19 era were preserved, Austin History Center began an initiative to collect materials from the public documenting life in Austin during the pandemic. Storytelling and archival documentation can be empowering sources of hope and healing during our most painful times, so the AHC staff hoped that in addition to contributing to the historical record of our city, the project could also be cathartic for Austin. A year into the project, we received over 5,500 files from hundreds of donors, each giving a unique perspective of life in Austin during COVID-19. We now realize how unique this collection is for a city archive and wish to share the challenges we encountered as we embarked on bringing in what has turned out to be our largest born-digital collection to date. This project coincided with the implementation of our new digital repository, a massive data migration project, and donor relations challenges during the pandemic all while working remotely from home. AHC archivists Nikki Koehlert, Ayshea Khan and Kelly Hanus will participate in a panel discussion to share the successes and lessons learned from collecting during a global pandemic. Ayshea Khan will speak specifically about her efforts to reach out to and collect stories that reflect the increased racially-motivated attacks on the Asian American Pacific Islander community in Austin during the pandemic.
Lunch on your own: 12:00pm – 1:30pm – Food options
Metadata & DPLA Discussion Group: 12:00pm – 1:30pm – Arboretum III/IV
Elliot Williams, Texas Digital Library
Madison Chartier, Oklahoma State University
Work with metadata and digital collections? Love metadata and want to share tips and tricks? Brand new to metadata and looking for community or a place to get advice? Interested in sharing your digital collections more broadly through the Digital Public Library of America? Join this informal lunch discussion to talk with others who work with digital collections, as well as representatives from the Texas and Oklahoma DPLA hubs. Bring your burning metadata questions, conundrums, and success stories to share with colleagues!
Educational Session 5: 1:30pm – 3:00pm
“‘OMG! Why Do You Have That?’: Challenges in Controversial Collections“ – Arboretum I/II
Benna Vaughan, Baylor University: “Archiving Hate: The Horace Sherman Miller Papers“
Paul Fisher, Baylor University: “A More Equitable Tomorrow: Advocating for Indigenous Voices at Baylor University“
Julie Holcomb, Baylor University: “A Balancing Act: Including and Interpreting Race and Gender in a Military History of the Civil War“
Jacqueline Devereaux, Baylor University: “Controversial Materials in Natural History Museums-An Internship Perspective on Religion and Cultural Diversity“
Every museum, archive, library, and cultural heritage institution contains challenging, and often questionable, content in their holdings. Challenges to description, use, access, and advocacy are often unforeseen and can vary greatly from repository to repository and even individual situation to individual situation. These panelists will discuss sensitive and controversial collections, how cultural institutions deal with them, how staff, interns, and researchers work and interact with them, and how access, use, and advocacy is shaped. Major themes will include race, religion, gender, privacy, cultural diversity, and sensitivity.
“Pandemic Disruptions in Archival and Library Careers” – Arboretum III/IV
Morgan Gieringer, University of North Texas College of Information
Misty Maberry, Dallas Public Library.
Krishna Shenoy, Independent Librarian and Archivist
Felicia Williamson, Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
Archival and library professionals representing public libraries, special collections, museums, and academic libraries share their real-world struggles and experiences in navigating the pandemic from lockdown to the uncertain return to “normal” life. This session examines the changes in working conditions for archivists and librarians in institutions impacted by the pandemic and the resulting effect on their careers. The discussion explores job loss, job search, pay cuts, furloughs, and interviewing during the pandemic. The session also aims to address the larger ramifications the pandemic will have on careers in archives, libraries, and museums.
“Three P’s of Community Focused Archiving: Preserving, Processing, & Promoting The Culture” – Arboretum V
Miguell Ceasar, African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Erika Thompson, African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Sheena Wilson, African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
During the summer 2020, at the height of the pandemic and as national protests ensued after the murder of George Floyd, the African American Library at the Gregory School, in partnership with the Houston Museum of African American History and Culture launched Preserving the Culture, to empower community members to document their own histories. This event led to grander discussions of archiving Black culture in general and during times of tragedy within archives. In a roundtable discussion, Archivists and the Community Liaison from AALGS will discuss participatory approaches taken in the Preserve the Culture and the Race and Social Justice Projects, the processes and cultural implications of community focused preservation and strategies for collaborating and partnering with community archives to effectively promote the culture.
Snacks with Vendors: 3:00pm-3:30pm – Window Box
Student Posters: 3:00pm-4:00pm – Window Box
“Collection Maintenance of Malacological Specimens,” presented by Marissa A. Talamantes, Gary Kidder, Tina Petway
“Digital Preservation and Access in the Casasola Studio Photograph Collection,” presented by Misha Coleman
“Lights, Camera, Appraisal: Appraising Analog Film and Moving Pictures” presented by Caroline Moore
“The New Mexico Public Media Digitization Project,” presented by Jessica Cummins
“Resurfacing Women of Color in the Medical Archive,” presented by Shannon Wood
“Utilizing local subject headings for The Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society finding aids,” presented by Jacqueline Devereaux
Educational Session 6: 4:00pm – 5:00 pm
“Implementing ArchivesSpace from start to ‘finish’” – Arboretum I/II
Susannah Broyles, The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University
Katie Salzmann, The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University
Texas State University Libraries recently launched ArchivesSpace, incorporating over 300 finding aids for University Archives and The Wittliff Collections. This presentation will provide a high-level overview of our year-long journey migrating from two different platforms; creating a shared style guide and input manual; performing data cleanup; designing the public user interface (including customizing the PDF downloads on the PUI); and finally having the site go live. We’ll discuss all of our tips, tricks, and things we wished we had known earlier, as well as our next steps.
“Every Book(mark) Has a Story: A Case Study in Working with Ephemera Collections” – Arboretum III/IV
Meagan May, University of North Texas
Caroline Moore, University of North Texas
Rachael Zipperer, University of North Texas
The James Flowers Collection of Ephemera Found in Returned Library Books is a small but vastly unique archival collection comprised of hundreds of items left behind in books returned to the University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries. The materials (including handwritten notes, receipts, pressed flowers, and much more) were discovered and collected by long time library employee James Flowers who donated his treasured collection to UNT Special Collections upon his retirement in 2021. Since its acquisition, the collection has served as a multi-faceted teaching resource leading to larger discussions on the practices of donor relations and acquisitions, arrangement and description, preserving ephemera, and engaging new audiences with archival collections. This panel will explore the collection as a case study in appraising, processing, and providing access to ephemera collections from the varying perspectives of an archivist, an archives student, and a public services librarian who have worked with the collection.
All-Attendee Reception at Houston Public Library’s Julia Ideson Building: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Transportation not provided.