Tag Archives: outreach

SNCA in the Afternoon: tours, apps, partnerships, A/V preservation

Afternoon sessions at SNCA – I’m watching/ listening to Sean Mulligan present “A Walk in the Past: Promoting the Archives Through the Use of Campus Tours.” Very relevant to my work at Davidson, as I’ll be giving my first campus tours later this week (to new job candidates), as well as a fuller, more focused tour in October (to alums of one of the fraternities). We’re also trying to get into the realm of smart phone app tours – there’s a possible collaboration on the table currently involving fragrant plants on campus, and I’ve been putting out feelers to faculty to see if there’s a possible class partnership out there. Nothing confirmed yet, but fingers crossed!

Anyway, another picture of slides:

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Mulligan’s presentation really focuses on how getting physically out of the archives can help connect the archives to your community – his tours are primarily given to freshman at UNC-G, and some of these students will then visit the archives to ask follow up questions. As someone about to give these kind of tours, I think his tips on making sure you have a narrative (as opposed to just dropping unconnected facts), using visuals (such as photographs), planning your route, and connecting tours with current courses, events, or anniversaries are excellent to keep in mind.

The other speaker in this session is Linda Lashendock, who’s presentation is called “One Woman Shop: Connecting User to Archival Video.” The lack of best practices in A/V preservation is problematic (Lashendock mentions that we’re decades away from having practices really developed), but nearly every college/ university archive holds some sort of A/V material. How are we preserving older physical formats (and by extension, what are we doing with the digitized use copies), and how are we storing, cataloging, using, etc. etc. born digital material? I feel woefully unprepared for planning for this – even as a person who focused on digital preservation more than physical during my graduate study and worked in DH-ish positions for the past two years or so. But not only does Davidson have older A/V formats that need care and preservation, the institution is creating more and more digital visual material. We need to think about this…

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So, that’s the end of the last session at SNCA! Post-conference, I’m actually heading to a meeting related to this last session – along with my collaboration partner, Chelcie Rowell, I’m heading to A/V Geeks in downtown Raleigh to meet with Skip Elsheimer to talk about planning a Piedmont Home Movie Day for the fall. HMD is not strictly an archives/ library thing – according to the website, its:

Home Movie Day events provide the opportunity for individuals and families to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community, and to see their neighbors’ in turn. It’s a chance to discover why to care about these films and to learn how best to care for them.

Chelcie and I are interested in planning an area HMD (actual event location TBD, but Western Piedmont-ish definitely), as both an outreach and general archival advocacy event, but also as a way to engage with people in the area who may not be archival users of our institutions. HMD could be a collecting event, or a film festival, or a series of education workshops on A/V preservation… or all of those! In any case, if you’re in the central North Carolina area and want to help plan or be involved in any way, email me (cachristianlamb@davidson.edu)!

As a side note, wow I have never typed so much during a conference before! I usually take notes on a Google doc and Tweet occasionally, but today I’m taking notes (on a Google doc and also on my phone), Tweeting (from my own and from Davidson’s archives account), and writing these entries. I was explaining that to a friend via text during a session break, and he made this #tooaccurate comment:


What I didn’t learn in grad school

The speaker at SNCA’s annual meeting plenary luncheon was Sarah E. Koonts, the Director of the North Carolina Division of Archives and Records. One of the main issues touched on was archival advocacy, a skill that, as Koots mentioned, most of us didn’t learn in graduate school. As a recent grad (May 2013), I certainly didn’t learn exactly how to “do” advocacy. So, a few resources for how to figure that out:

  • Library Advocacy Unshushed: Values, Evidence, and Actions – an edX MOOC from the University of Toronto. The course is just about to end, and although I signed up for it at the start, I haven’t had much of a chance to check out the materials yet (so many tasks!). However, the little bit I’ve been able to glean has been interesting, and I love the idea of a MOOC focused on a topic that definitely didn’t receive it’s full due in my own graduate education.
  • The Society of American Archivists’ Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy (CAPP). I just heard about CAPP from a comment from Erin Lawrimore during the plenary luncheon. I haven’t had much of a chance to check this out yet, but definitely a good way to get involved and learn more about how to advocate (and to get out there and actually DO some advocating).
  • Professional organization involvement – as touched on with SAA & CAPP, getting involved with a group of others in the profession is a great way to get new ideas, and to enact ones you have. I just got an email from Zach Coble about signing up for Editor-at-Large shifts for dh+lib. I served as an Editor-at-Large for the Fall 2013 term, and I thought it was an amazing way to keep up with news and projects from across DH and library/ archival fields.
  • Blogging! This is my first Day of DH, and also my first experience with live-blogging (boy have I live-tweeted, though). Like many archivists, librarians, and other DH-ers, blogging is something I do somewhat regularly on a professional basis, for Davidson’s Archives & Special Collections blog. Koonts mentioned the This Day in North Carolina blog during her talk, and it seems like a really great outreach effort. Other resources I’m going to look at for ideas and inspirations: NARA’s Citizen Archivist Dashboard (also mentioned by Koonts), and the blogroll of NC archival blogs on SNCA’s website.

Right now I’m sitting in the afternoon student lightning round session, listening to Samantha Crisp describe implementing LibGuides for manuscripts collections at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. As Davidson thinks about ways to make our finding aids (and collections in general) more findable, LibGuides might be an interesting option to experiment with… and speaking of advocacy and outreach, Patrick Dollar’s lightning talk was on “Public Relations and the Archives at UNC-Chapel Hill.” Here is one of his closing slides, with some great conclusions:

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