Tuesday, April 21, 2015

2015 Annual Meeting Call for Proposals

The Society of Georgia Archivists' Program Committee proudly announces the theme for the 2015 annual meeting: Archives as Community: Building Bridges and Sustaining Relationships. The Committee invites you to attend the meeting, to be held at the Columbus Marriott in Columbus, Georgia, October 22-23, 2015. 

Archives as Community calls for archives professionals to assess the relationships that enable them to conduct their work within changing cultural, technological and financial environments. For the 2015 annual meeting, the Program Committee is seeking presentations on the following topics:
  • Partnerships and projects with communities, including documentation initiatives, the preservation of civic memory, and the creation of community-based archives
  • Internal or external collaborations to achieve needed funding, resources, technology, space, or to accomplish other significant repository goals
  • Experiences with volunteers, interns, student assistants, members of the public or other nonprofessional archivists to process, promote, or make collections available
  • Any other research or program that illustrates how archives have addressed the needs of their communities and cooperated with stakeholders
This year's theme, Archives as Community: Building Bridges and Sustaining Relationships reflects the significance of our constituents and stakeholders in facilitating and expanding the functions and use of archives and archival materials.

To submit a proposal, fill out the form and return to Heather Oswald at heather.oswald@gmail.com by June 5, 2015. The Program Committee is accepting both individual presenter and full session submissions. If you have any questions about the theme, presentation ideas, or the annual meeting program, please contact Heather Oswald.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

To be an archivist: Dallas A. Suttles

Our inaugural "What does it mean to be an archivist at your repository?" post comes courtesy of Dallas A. Suttles, who serves as the Computer Services Associate in the Archives and Special Collections department at Valdosta State University.

I am currently working on my Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) certification and work as a digital archivist, in all but name. For me, being an archivist has meant:

  • Digitization! - Scanning, organizing files, adding metadata, and making our materials accessible to the public.
  • Digital Preservation - Using command line tools like BagIt and Fitstool, I make AIPs for long-term preservation. We are using Google Drive for Business, with unlimited data, as an off-site backup.  I also scan the web for regional history to preserve. For example, I use IFTT to automatically index every local newspaper I can using RSS feeds.
  • Web Design - I run about a dozen websites and do a ton of web design with HTML and CSS.
  • Database Design - So many databases! Most were built from the ground up using PHP & MySQL. Our next database, an index of the 1860 Slave Census, will soon be underway.
  • Exhibit Design - All our exhibits need signs and labels. I use Photoshop to design these.
  • Social Media - Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc… This involves mining our materials nearly every day to post something relevant.
I like to think that through my work, I am serving the past, present, and future. When a patron finds an ancestor in one of our databases, we are reuniting the past and present in that moment. Thereby serving the living and the dead. And to generations yet born, this data will only become more invaluable, not just to the public but to the next generation of archivists that will build upon this work.

Why Archives Matter?
Archives and archivists are part of the foundational structure of civilization itself. Like pillars, we hold up the past so it doesn’t fall away into darkness, forgotten. We stand on the front-lines in an epic, losing battle against the ravages of time. By preserving the past we venerate the dead, serve the present, and educate the future. Please excuse my hyperbole, but in the grand scheme of things, this is precisely why “archives matter”, in my opinion.
Thank you to Dallas for sharing what it means to be an archivist at Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections!  Want to share what your own experience is like working as an archivist?  Submit your "What it means to be an archivist at my repository?" post to us at outreach [at] soga [dot] org.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Call for papers: 2015 issue of Provenance

CFP: 2015 issue of Provenance
Provenance: The Journal of the Society of Georgia Archivists, a peer-reviewed scholarly publication, seeks submissions on archival theory and practice for the 2015 issue. Please note that the content of the journal is not limited to the state of Georgia, and articles of local, regional, or national significance are welcome. First-time authors are especially encouraged to submit articles for consideration.

Articles on archival topics outside of theory and practice which meet publication standards will also be considered. Typical papers should be a Word document, 10-20 pages, double spaced, and formatted according to the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Please review information for contributors: http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/policies.html. Articles are to be submitted utilizing Provenance’s new online system: http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/.

For additional information contact Editor Cheryl Oestreicher at: provenance@soga.org. Deadline for contributions is July 31, 2015.

Gracy Award 
Each year the SGA awards the Gracy Award, a $200 prize which recognizes a superior contribution to Provenance. Named for David B. Gracy II, founder and first editor of Georgia Archive, the award began in 1990 and is judged by the editorial board.

Back issues of Provenance and Georgia Archive available online 
At over 25,000 hits/downloads, the back issues (1972-2013) are a great resource for archivists: http://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/provenance/

Table of Contents for the just published 2014 issue: 

2014 SGA Annual Meeting 
Welcome Address
Rich Mendola

Keynote Address: What is the Professional Archivist’s Role in the Evolving Archival Space?
Kate Theimer

Reimagining Record Groups: A Case Study and Considerations for Record Group Revision
Matt Gorzalski

Build It and Will They Come?: Participatory Digital Archives, Hesitant Users, and the Emerging Archival Commons
Dallas C. Hanbury

A Gentle Approach to “Gentle Ren”: Processing the Papers of Former College President Renwick Jackson
Steven M. Gentry

“An Ever-Ready Source of Inspiration and Information”: Ruth Blair and the Bicentennial County Historians
David B. Parker

Gitelmanjj, Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents
reviewed by Erin Lawrimore

Brown, Archives and Recordkeeping: Theory into Practice
reviewed by Carol Waggoner-Angleton

Lacher-Feldman, Exhibits in Archives and Special Collections Libraries
reviewed by Jennifer Welch

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Upcoming DAS Workshop: Developing Specifications & RFPs for Recordkeeping Systems

June 1, 2015
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.