Last week I blogged about which #SAA15 sessions I’d attend if I was going. A reader joined in on the theoretical fun and posted her fantasy schedule in the comments — and she included research forum topics! I completely forgot about them, so here are just a smidgeon of research presentations I will be stalking on Twitter during SAA.
The Archival Investigations session includes an interesting topic, It Gets Complicated: Sharing Houston’s Astrodome Memories. The Houston Astrodome — AstroTurf namesake, host to the best WrestleMania so far, and site of Selena’s last televised concert before her death — is in the process of being demolished. The Houston Public Library gathered Houstonians’ recollections of the 8th Wonder of the World to create an online exhibition and memory wall, Astrodome Memories, and will discuss their curatorial process at SAA. It’s always fun learning about local history. If, when, the current incarnation of Madison Square Garden goes down for the count, I hope that the memories of New Yorkers and MSG event-goers get the same treatment.
The Enabling Instruction session has one I’m interested in: Visual Archive Prototype. I…. admit to being at a loss here. What is a visual archive prototype?
Is that a superficial usability issue? Which colors help people search more effectively? Icons over text lists? Prettier interfaces make for happier searches? I’m so confused. I’d seriously take notes at this one.
On the poster side of things, I’d pepper the folks that made Stuck in the Middle: Exploring the Mid-Career Job Gap with tons of questions. Per the presenters: “The investigators seek to address concerns within the archival profession that there exists a lack of job openings and positions available to mid-career archivists, with overrepresentation of entry-level and upper management positions.” I’m willing to wager that the lack of mid-level jobs is because people who are archives overlords are not archivists themselves, nor do they quite understand what an archive is [I’m giving you HR reps the evil eye on this one], and are likely of the belief that the only people needed to run an archive are interns and post-grads who remove staples all day in dusty rooms and the older supervisors who show up to board meetings and ask for money. Not basing this on quantitative data, of course, just my experiences and the experiences of friends. And comments I’ve heard from non-archivist managers, human resource representatives [continues giving the malocchio], and trustees along the way.