2023 Georgia Archives Institute Announcement

Submitted by Jill Sweetapple, GAI Outreach

June 5-16, 2023 is the date for the 2023 Georgia Archives Institute. The Institute will be held at the Georgia Archives, located in Morrow, GA, just outside Atlanta. Classroom instruction will take place the first week, June 5 through June 9 and also on Monday, June 12. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday June 13-15 will be an on-site internship at a local institution, where you can ask all the questions you want and put your classroom instruction to good use. Friday, June 16 will be a wrap-up day, held back at the Georgia Archives.

Pam Hackbart-Dean, Head and Professor, Special Collections & University Archives, Interim Associate University Librarian, University of Illinois Chicago Libraries, will serve as primary instructor. Preservation of Archival Materials will be taught by Tina Seetoo, Preservation Manager at Delta Flight Museum. Born-Digital and Digital Preservation will be taught by Katherine Fisher, Head of Digital Archives, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, & Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Tuition is $500 and enrollment is limited to 20 students. The application will go live on January 1, 2023 with a deadline of midnight on March 15. There is an application fee of $75, but if your application is not successful, your fee will be refunded. 

Currently, there are also four scholarships that fit your situation and aid your ability to attend the Institute. You can find links and more information here:
https://www.georgiaarchivesinstitute.org/support

For additional information, please visit our website at www.georgiaarchivesinstitute.orgor contact us at georgiaarchivesinstitute@gmail.com.

Never-Never Bland: Another Fun, Fully-Immersive Georgia Archives Month Program Wraps up at Georgia Southern

Submitted by Autumn Johnson, Special Collections Librarian, Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University’s Special Collections recently wrapped up their Georgia Archives Month program, Bland’s Botanical Bequest: An Escape Game for Georgia Archives. This was the third and most successful game-based instructional program the unit has organized over the past few years that highlights the unique resources offered on their campus. The program builds upon the success of their 2019 Secrets, Sources, and Swamp face-to-face escape room and 2021 semi-virtual Case of the College Sweetheart mystery experience. This year, Special Collections took the escape game concept outside of the library and partnered with Georgia Southern’s Botanic Gardens. The program was held in the Botanic Gardens’ historic Bland Cottage, the 1920s homestead of Daniel and Catherine Bland, who donated the cottage and land to the University in the 1980s.

The game, similar to commercially available escape games, placed players together in a situational enviroment where they must solve a series puzzles and clues in order to solve the task at hand. Specifically, players in this game were given 45-minutes to find the Last Will & Testament of Daniel “Dan” Bland, who upon his passing in 1985, bequeathed his estate to the University.

The Bland cottage was transformed back into the 1980s and reflected the wide interests and hobbies of the Bland family. Many of the clues and puzzles encountered throughout the game were based on actual materials belonging to Dan and Catherine Bland including photographs, a hand-drawn map, herbarium press book, historic newspaper articles, and even an oral history recording. Many of these were rediscovered in Special Collections when Gardens staff began to conduct research for an upcoming exhibition!

By encountering these first-hand accounts and original materials from Special Collections, our players were able to piece together the lives of Dan and Catherine Bland, two citizen scientists who contributed greatly to Georgia Southern and the local community. They discovered the Bland family and their vision to inspire generations of lifelong learner through community gardens while learning more about the breadth and depth of resources available to them from Special Collections.

This program was the most successful to date with over 230 participants during the short-run. The program was made available through generous funding from the 2022 Georgia Archives Month Spotlight on Archives Grant. There will be an encore run of the program in Spring 2023 based on unprecedented demand from both University and greater communities!

More information about the program can be found at www.georgiasouthern.libguides.com/archivesmonth or by contacting Special Collections Librarian, Autumn Johnson at autumnjohnson@georgiasouthern.edu.

To learn more about Georgia Archives Month see SGA’s website.

SGA’s President Reflects on our Annual Meeting Theme

Submitted by 2022 SGA President Cathy Miller

This year’s annual meeting theme, Sustaining Archives: Practical Solutions for the Future, in my mind, speaks to not only what we have done to sustain the work of our archives, but the work we have done over the last three years to sustain ourselves. During the meeting, specifically in our keynote and in one of the planned sessions, the importance of self-care was emphasized. And boy howdy, can I say what an advocate I have become for self-care in these times. 2022, which is really just 2020 dressed as two kids in a trenchcoat, has been a year, to say the least. There’s been good, sure, but also, to put it plainly, there’s been a lot of suckitude. I hope that everyone who attended the meeting took away many learning moments regarding the work they do, but I also hope that attendees may have taken away new leases on life – I know, that’s a tall order, but bear with me a moment. Maybe you met a colleague at the meeting who plays Animal Crossing as religiously as you do, and before you know it, you are Switch friends and visiting each other’s islands and conspiring about how to take Tom Nook’s empire down. Or you found someone who shares the same hobby as you and you are able to trade ideas. Or you made a colleague who lives near you and now you have a new friend to go grab coffee or food with. In leaving the annual meeting, I hope you were able to take away something that sustains you as the person you are, not the archivist/librarian/information professional that you are.

SGA Keynote Address at the 2022 Annual Meeting

We have a lot of vocational awe in our profession. We are either told by someone or we tell ourselves that we are so lucky to be working in this field and getting to do the things we do, thus we’ll let slide the often poor pay, lax benefits, and multitude of other black marks that our profession is guilty of. I am here to say that while the work we do is awesome and important, the work will never love you back. So please, sustain yourself, however that is, be it treating yourself to a yummy food or drink treat on the drive home from work or going to the dollar spot in Target to see what new and exciting things await you. I’ve been reading T.J. Klune’s Under the Whispering Door – the premise of the novel is that Wallace, a workaholic lawyer, has died and he is given one week to get his afterlife in order and cross over to the great beyond. Wallace decides to embrace living a lifetime in those seven days. Let’s not be like Wallace. Live your life in the present. Leave work promptly at your 7 or 8 hour mark. Go enjoy being you with the people and pets that matter most to you in life.

SGA Summer Workshop: Register Now

Reparative Description from Two Sides: Cataloging and Processing

Thursday, June 23, 2022, 12:30-4:00 PM (EST)

Location: Zoom

This workshop is for archivists and special collection librarians who wish to increase their abilities in limiting harmful language in their organization’s finding aids and catalog records through reparative description. This workshop will help archivists and librarians to identify and build upon best practices in description and cataloging to create policy, guidelines, and implement reparative description in their own organizations. Discussion leaders will present on prominent topics and issues, and participants will learn how to approach description, identify authoritative organizations and documentation, and discuss situations with leaders in this work as well other learners through the roundtable discussion.

Instructors: Beth Shoemaker and Tierra Thomas

Moderator: Laura Starratt

Beth Shoemaker is the Rare Book Librarian at Emory University’s Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archive & Rare Book Library in Atlanta. Her work includes cataloging, collection development, teaching and curating exhibits in the Emory Libraries. Her research interests include how practicing catalogers approach ethics in the workplace. Since its formation in 2018, she has been co-chair of the Cataloging Ethics Steering Committee, which released a final draft of the Cataloguing Code of Ethics in January 2021. Beth is a graduate of the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Tierra Thomas is an early career archivist living in Decatur, Georgia. She earned her MSLS at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – School of Information and Library Science. As an undergraduate, she studied History and African American Studies at Georgia State University. Most recently she finished her contract term as Visiting Archivist for Southern Jewish Collections at Emory University. She has served as a member of the Anti-Oppressive Language Working Group at Emory University’s Rose Library and the Conscious Editing Steering Committee at UNC-CH’s Wilson Library. Her research focuses on social justice and equity and centering those ideals in an archival setting.

Register here.

VSU’s Women’s Suffrage Program Grant brings History to Students

Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections have partnered with the Odum Library and teaching faculty to bring a 5-session book program on Women’s Suffrage to Valdosta, funded from an American Library Association grant. The Archives will be providing meeting space, refreshments, and a display on Women’s Suffrage in Georgia. The “Let’s Talk About It: Women’s Suffrage” project at VSU will kick off on March 10 and continue over a series of 10 weeks, discussing five books.

Learn more from the blog post here: https://www.valdosta.edu/about/news/releases/2022/02/vsu-wins-american-library-association-grant-for-womens-suffrage-project.php .

Submitted by Deborah Davis, Director, Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections

SGA 2021 Annual Meeting Recordings Available Now

The recordings of the 2021 SGA Annual Meeting are now available to view online! If you were unable to attend the conference live or missed a session you really wanted to attend, we invite you to view the playlist of presentations on SGA’s YouTube.

The presentations are unlisted, so you cannot access them by visiting our page or searching for them on YouTube. They are only viewable through this link, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH2n1apWPCoP98qJads742hVdd2Gt0dXm

While you are on the playlist be sure to subscribe to our channel!

Reflections on the 2021 Georgia Archives Institute

by Terri Hatfield, 2021 Carroll Hart Scholarship Recipient

As the 2020 recipient of the Carroll Hart Scholarship, I first want to thank the scholarship committee and the Society of Georgia Archivists for the award and the opportunity to attend the Georgia Archives Institute. What an incredible honor!

I can still remember receiving notice that the 2020 GAI would be cancelled mere weeks after being notified of receiving the scholarship. Though we all had become accustomed to the certain disappointment that came as the COVID-related cancellations and postponements started to pile up last year, this one was particularly hard for me to take. A year later, I was pleased to hear the scholarship had been extended to allow me to attend a virtual version of the Institute in 2021.

I have to admit: I was incredibly intimidated to be there! I have recently completed my MLIS and want to eventually work exclusively in archives, special collections, and public history, and so I desperately wanted to learn more about archives. Furthermore, alongside my primary duties as Program Coordinator for the Institute for Women’s Studies, an academic unit at the University of Georgia, I have also been informally tasked with managing the departmental archives, which include photos, newspaper clippings, memos, letters, flyers, posters, and other ephemera pertaining to the unit since its inception in 1977. So, I also desperately needed to learn more about archives. But I don’t currently officially work in an archive or library. On the first day, as the other attendees shared their backgrounds, anecdotes, and job titles, I worried my experience was too little and too informal to be there.

What made me feel more at ease was hearing many of the guest speakers talk about how the very nature of the ever-changing field of archives means you’re always learning something new, whether it’s a new practice in the field or a new item in your collection you’ve never processed before. So, you might always feel a bit like an ameatur. The key is being open to learning and changing with the field. And that’s why I was there: to learn!

And learn I did. I was impressed with exactly how much GAI was able to fit into a week and a day of courses. It was mentioned that each section of the Institute was approximately a full semester of coursework. I believe it. So much was covered, from selecting, acquiring, and appraising, to accessioning and deaccessioning, to arrangement and description, to copyright, security concerns, reference, instruction and outreach, diversity and inclusion, and more. So much more! Our primary instructor, Pam Hackbart-Dean, was awesome in keeping us focused and on these many tasks, and in managing the Zoom chat, questions, and other distractions. She was knowledgeable and personable and tried to make sure we all felt seen and heard.

From the practical lessons on preservation offered by Tina Mason Seetoo, such as how to remove a staple and how to dry out a dampened book; to the descriptions and explanations of activities and strategies of digital preservation (multiple copies, multiple media types, multiple locations!) provided by Katherine Fisher; to the crucial and invaluable reading and guest lecture on Anti-Racist/Anti-Oppressive Archival Description, the other faculty and guest speakers covered broad and extensive material for students to discover and consider further.

One of my favorite guest lectures was on Community Archives presented by Tamika Strong. What an interesting and important project preserving funeral programs as a way to document people’s lives and narratives! Tamika’s personal interest in and passion for the subject matter, combined with her knowledge of archives and the field, along with the practical breakdown of how the project came together in its various phases, made for a great presentation. I learned so much! Tamika mentioned that the biographies found in funeral programs are sometimes the only biographical information available to tell a person’s life story. This is a perfect example to me of the potential of intentional archival practice. I felt inspired and empowered by this presentation and it reminded me why I want to further pursue this field. Even better is that Tamika has an MLIS and is an alum of GAI – like me! How cool is that!? I hope to find my archival superpower like Tamika has, and be as effective and valuable to the field!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the awesome gift box attendees received during the week. What a pleasant treat! Thank you to the GAI board for the adorable mini Hollinger box that will sit atop my desk at work and of course for all the delicious goodies! While everyone else gushed about the praline (and rightfully so), the peach candies and vidalia onion petals are tied for my favorite! This gesture added a special touch to the experience and created a shared connection to what could have easily been a disconnected virtual cohort.

While I still feel like I have so much to learn, I’m excited to continue reading, doing, and building upon this knowledge base I gained at GAI. Of course I’m disappointed we were unable to do an internship as part of the virtual Institute, but after hearing from so many board members and representatives of archives organizations on the last day wrap-up, the potential for future collaborations or shadowing seems possible. I have already been able to apply some of the things I learned at GAI to my informal archival work in Women’s Studies at UGA and I’m excited to grow in the field.

I would highly recommend applying to attend the Georgia Archives Institute if you can. It’s an incredible and invaluable learning experience and I feel privileged to have been able to participate.

Registration is open for workshop, Digital Preservation Tools: A Sampler

Instructor: Seth Shaw
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Columbus Marriott
Empire Mills Room
800 Front Avenue
Columbus, GA
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Digital preservation is a complex topic with many challenges. Identifying and selecting the right tools to help solve those problems can be confusing. This one-day workshop will introduce a selection of tools supporting digital preservation and how those tools might be incorporated into a workflow. Participants will see demonstrations of several tools and will practice with a few using their own laptop computer.

Digital preservation tasks addressed will include data acquisition (for example, TeraCopy, FTKImager, and HTTrack), fixity checking and monitoring (LOC’s Bagger and AVPreserve’s Fixity), scanning for content or threats (e.g. bulk_extractor and Identify Finder), format identification (e.g. Jhove and Droid), format migration, environment emulation or virtualization, and projects designed to package many of these tools together (BitCurator and Archivematica).

To get the most from this workshop, participants should be familiar with basic digital preservation concepts such as fixity, checksums, migration, and emulation. They should have good computer skills — word processing, browsing the Web, email, copying and renaming files, and creating folders. They do not need more advanced knowledge, such as programming or database design, although familiarity with command-line interfaces and XML is useful. (Individuals with experience in digital archives or advanced skills are welcome to come and contribute to the conversation!)

Attendees must bring their own laptops.

Registration is $80 per person; this workshop is limited to 15 attendees. The registration deadline is October 7, 2015.

Refreshments will be served during the morning and afternoon breaks. Lunch will be the responsibility of the attendees.

For more information on the course or to register, click here.

Registration open for workshop, A Guerrilla Approach to Digital Archives

Saturday, September 12, 2015
Georgia Archives
5800 Jonesboro Road
Morrow, Georgia
10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Lunch will be provided

This one day workshop will introduce archivists to the basics of digital archives, explaining the concepts of curating and preserving electronic records in terms of traditional archival practice.  Participants will learn practical things they can do to acquire, preserve, and provide access to electronic records with limited resources and technical expertise. 

Creating and sustaining a robust, trustworthy digital archives is hard work. The problems are complex, and even more perplexing as technology evolves and presents new problems. At the same time, archivists don’t have to build an ideal system. Instead, a “guerilla approach” looks for short-term tactics – inexpensive, simple steps that can help archivists move in the direction of the strategic ideal. Breaking digital archives into smaller pieces makes the problem manageable. 

Participants will discuss the core functions of digital archives and how they parallel traditional archives. Which records should be selected and acquired? How should those records be arranged and described? How should they be housed and preserved? And what about access? Participants will learn how their existing knowledge can be adapted to digital archives.

The facilitator, Richard Pearce-Moses, will lead participants through a series of questions, call for possible solutions, and suggest some of his own.

 

Who should attend?

 

To get the most from the workshop, participants should understand the fundamentals of archival practice – appraisal and selection, arrangement and description, housing and preservation, reference and access. They should have good computers skills – word processing, browsing the web, email, copying and renaming files, and creating folders. They do not need more advanced knowledge, such as programming, database design, programming, or web design. (Individuals with experience in digital archives or advanced skills are welcome to come and contribute to the conversation!)

Registration is $80 per person; this workshop is limited to 15 attendees. 

The registration deadline is August 29, 2015.

For more information and to register, click here.

About the instructor

Richard Pearce-Moses was a practicing archivist for thirty years before coming to Clayton State University to head the Master of Archival Studies Program in 2010.  He is a Certified Archivist and a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists. In 2007, he received the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology, and in 2009 the Library of Congress named him a Digital Preservation Pioneer.

 

About a “Guerrilla Approach”

The workshop name was inspired an article by Christopher A. Lee, “Guerrilla Electronic Management” in Records & Information Management Report 18:5 (May 2002). He notes, “We need to act now in ways that we can, rather than waiting for better solutions to come along.” Lee’s article quotes Jakob Nielsen, who coined the phrase, “insisting on using only the best methods may result in having no methods at all.” Participants are encouraged to read Lee’s article, online at http://www.ils.unc.edu/callee/guerrilla_erm_2002.pdf.

Upcoming DAS Workshop: Developing Specifications & RFPs for Recordkeeping Systems

Date:
June 1, 2015
Location:
Robert W. Woodruff Library
Emory University
Atlanta, GA

The development of a fully functional digital archives requires an integrated recordkeeping system that identifies, describes, schedules, and destroys or retains your organization’s born-digital records. Successful recordkeeping systems reflect business processes and applicable federal and state statutes while identifying records with permanent value to be archived. The ideal recordkeeping system interfaces with a digital repository used to curate electronic records and support a wide range of archival processes, including preservation and access. Before purchasing or building a recordkeeping system, you need a clear list of systems requirements specific to your organization. From these specifications, you can build a good Request for Proposal (RFP), select a system or vendor, and successfully implement your recordkeeping system.

This course if one of the Tactical and Strategic Courses in the Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Curriculum and Certificate Program.

Upon completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • Identify and define systems requirements for an electronic recordkeeping system and/or digital repository;
  • Develop and distribute a Request for Information (RFI), RFP, or RFQ (Request for Quotation);
  • Evaluate and select a recordkeeping system; and 
  • Implement the system.

Who should attend?
Archivists, records managers, IT professionals and administrators who need to define systems requirements for an electronic recordkeeping system and/or digital repository and then develop a RFI, RFP, or RFQ.

The Early-Bird registration deadline is May 1, 2015.

Workshop Fees

  • SAA Members
    • Early-Bird: $199
    • Regular: $269
  • Employees of Member Institutions
    • Early-Bird: $229
    • Regular: $299
  • Nonmembers
    • Early-Bird: $259
    • Regular: $319

Register for the workshop here.
Attendance is limited to 35.