October 4 is #AskAnArchivist Day, a day when archivists open their social media arms to the world for questions about the wonderful, hidden life of people who appraise, acquire, arrange, describe, preserve, and provide access to records of “enduring value.” What does that mean? Ask an archivist! It’ll vary from archivist to archivist based on where they work and what their institution’s collection policy is, … Continue reading Happy #AskAnArchivist Day!!!
Guess who’s dipping a toe back into the professional waters? THIS GAL!! I’m heading to MARAC’s spring meeting in Newark. Yeah, Jersey!!! But only for a day. The Saturday session. Because I can’t get too wild and crazy. Anyhoo, MARAC (Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference)!! It’s a three-day event, April 20-22, 2017, that includes a day of workshops and committee meetings, a full day of concurrent … Continue reading On Saturday: Going to MARAC Spring 2017
Last night, while wrapped in the warm embrace of insomnia, I came across an article on the “Librarian Olympics.” Always one to look over the great LIS divide to see what I can learn from the other side, I wondered what the archivist version would look like. A small part of Archivist Twitter responded and responded brilliantly. In our hypothetical Archivist Olympics, Olympians can participate in technical … Continue reading On the Archivist Olympics: Faster, Higher, Wronger
Several weeks back, I came across a Tweet regarding someone named “Powell” who’d advertised his email address on a billboard in the UK. I have no idea who this person was, but I was in a rare social mood and it immediately popped into my head to go into archivist mode and pimp the profession, so to speak. And I emailed him. Not the most … Continue reading On Powell: Got Archives?
It’s different being a researcher in an archive as opposed to being an archivist in your own archive. I guess it can be likened to being a guest in someone’s home in a different country and culture: You’re not sure where things are, what exactly you’re supposed to do, or what’s going to happen. You just hope to not fumble around like an idiot or break things. … Continue reading On the Other Side of the Window: Being an Archives Researcher
Last month I received an email encouragement to nominate myself for a position on SAA’s Women Archivists Roundtable (WAR) Steering Committee. I let out a hearty “Hah!” Then a “Huh?” Then a “Hmm.” After asking the suggester if my inactive status was known (it was), I said I’d consider. A post I’d written a while ago was read by a few people, then a few … Continue reading On Not Going to WAR, but It’s an Honor Being Asked
I named this blog “Finding Aid” and, outside of the About Me page, I never explained what a finding aid is. Considering the overwhelming majority of the blog’s followers are not people from the library and information science fields (seriously, I don’t know how you people found your way here or why you followed, but thanks!), I figured I’d shine some light on the subject. A finding … Continue reading On Finding Aids: An Archives Quickie
Dear Records Access Officers, Hi. I’m the person who’s responsible for coming up with two FOIL requests that might be proving bothersome to you. I tried my best to be as clear and concise in my initial requests: providing dates, names, even links to finding aids and record entries in the State Library catalog. Maybe I should have been a bit more clear about the fact … Continue reading To the People Reviewing My FOIL Requests: An Apology
Did you ever have a small question evolve into a bigger, more complex question through no fault of your own? That’s the situation I find myself in. In the archives of the late Hank Kaplan, who was referred to as the “Sweetest Scientist” for his knowledge of the fight game (boxing’s version of Dave Meltzer, of you will), there was a file on women wrestlers, many of whom have … Continue reading On Missing Minutes, or the Curious Case of the Commission’s Records
On Friday, December 4, the Women Archivists Roundtable (WAR) hosted a live tweet to discuss family leave, surviving it, and returning from it. Mothers, non-mothers, and a smattering of fathers participated in a conversation that was a virtual version of a lunchtime stitch and bitch — a breast pump and post, if you will. WAR co-chair Leslie Van Veen McRoberts and steering committee member Helen Kim hosted the chat and … Continue reading On WAR Stories, or a Guide for Co-Workers