Monday, June 15, 2015

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Early-bird registration for the 2015 Society of Georgia Archivists annual meeting

Early-bird registration is now open for the 2015 Society of Georgia Archivists annual meeting which will be held at the Columbus Marriott in Columbus, GA, October 22-23, 2015.  

This discount will be available until August 21, 2015.
Deadline for late registration is October 8, 2015.

The Annual Meeting registration fee includes:
·  Sessions and poster exhibits
·  Beverage breaks and afternoon snacks
·  Access to exhibiting vendors
·  Luncheon on Thursday
·  Reception, silent auction, and awards ceremony at the Columbus Museum on Thursday evening
Bringing guests? Purchase additional Thursday luncheon and reception tickets 
Information regarding lodging and meeting location can be found here.
Not a member? To join SGA, click here.
Want to donate to one of our scholarship funds? Click here.

If you do not wish to pay online, please select the option to complete online registration then pay by mailing a check to Society of Georgia Archivists, P.O. Box 688, Decatur, GA 30031.

Late registration must be submitted online by October 8, 2015. After October 8, all registration will be on-site during the conference.

For more information and online registration:

Sunday, May 31, 2015

2015 Georgia Archives Month "Spotlight on Archives" Grant

The Georgia Archives Month (GAM) “Spotlight on Archives” Grant is meant to help archives, museums, or heritage institutions in Georgia promote public awareness of their archives and manuscript collections. This grant will help selected organizations fund their events promoting the theme of “Snapshots from the South” during Georgia Archives Month in October.
The GAM Committee is pleased to announce that this year’s “Spotlight on Archives” grant will have two award levels - $500 and $250! The grant application can be found at Please send any questions and completed applications to The deadline for receiving grant applications has been extended to June 10!

To be an archivist: Rosemary Fischer

Our second post in the series "What does it mean to be an archivist at your repository?" is by Rosemary Fischer, the University Archivist at Clayton State University.

I was the founding archivist hired at Clayton State in December 2014.  The Archivist position was established by combining a ¼ time professional librarian position and a staff position. The school was 33 years old and had no archives.  I was shown to my work space.  It was a classroom-sized space with windowed walls that did not go to the ceiling.  Our windows looked out on the library and the microfilm readers faced our windows.  Following a minor renovation, this space had formally been the library’s circulation department.  There was a desk with three legs held upright by a stack of books.  The phone hung from the ceiling.  There were two doors to the room.  There was no shelving and only a couple of document boxes, each with one photo in them.  There was one room for the archivist, the collections, the work space, the interns, and the researchers.

At the same time that Clayton was establishing their school archives, the National and Georgia Archives were moving to the edge of Clayton’s campus.  A lot was written and said about the Georgia and National Archives and only a small amount about Clayton’s archives.  It was a challenge to promote the school’s archives.  Whenever you talked about the Archives, people would assume you meant the National or Georgia Archives. 

The Clayton State University Archives has collections.  We have about 2000 cubic feet.  This is a small archives but it is a start and we are now adding to our collections weekly.   I don’t have to split my time 50/50 as a librarian and I was given a very small budget to cover the cost of archival supplies and equipment for the archives.

Being my first job out of graduate school, I was a bit nervous about being responsible for establishing an archives.  I didn’t know anything about Clayton State’s history and no one knew me or about the school’s new archives.  I realized that it wasn’t archival skills I needed but promotional skills.  I had to learn to be a librarian and share my time 50/50 with the library.  I had to manage my work without a budget.

The Director of the Library  gave me the task of walking around campus introducing myself and telling folks about the school’s archives.  I created a brochure and proceeded to “spread the word”   and encourage faculty and staff to donate items to the archives and to help us preserve the history of Clayton State.  I got a break when the on-campus publications started doing articles about our new archives and included my photo.  Some of these articles were picked up by local newspapers.   In a few months, I had been in the papers about a dozen times.  But I was still getting the same response from folks on campus, “I didn’t know Clayton had an archives!”  I am still getting that response today after 10 years. 

My main focus is still “promotion.”  I handle that in many ways.  I am invited by some professors to speak to classes about archives and how to use them for research.  I am engaged in community outreach programs to promote our collections and encourage graduates to donate to the archives.  I have an active internship/volunteer program.  I accept students from any school and any major.  (I have been known to convert some majors to history or liberal studies so they could continue working with archives.)  My outreach is extended to helping churches, schools, and other organizations start their archives. 

When I am given the opportunity to work with a department of the university, I jump at that chance.  I put everything else aside to work with that department to build a mutual and beneficial working relationship.  I will publicize the progress of our work together as an example for other departments and individuals to follow. 

Currently, our library space is in the midst of renovation.  The majority of our collections are stored off-site.  Later this summer or fall, we will move into our new space.  The Archives will have a large workspace, an exhibit hall, a research room, and a separate room for the collections.  I will open the exhibit space to anyone on campus wanting to share an exhibit – faculty, student groups, and departments. 

Perhaps with a more visible university archives, I will be able to build and process collections, which is why I became an archivist.   But for now, I work with what I have.
Thank you to Rosemary for sharing what it means to be an archivist at Clayton State University Archives!  Want to share what your own experience is like working as an archivist?  Submit you "What it means to be an archivist at my repository?" post to us at outreach [at] soga [dot] org.

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 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.