Annual Conference

Past Conferences: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Call for Proposals for 2019 annual meeting: Invention and Innovation

The Society of Ohio Archivists’ 2019 Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, May 17, 2019, at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn Hotel in Akron, Ohio, with a preconference workshop and mixer on Thursday, May 16.

Please complete the session proposal form by January 21, 2019, 5pm, at

Join us for two days full of Invention and Innovation. Follow this page and hashtag #soaam19 for more information.

Meeting registration fees will remain at the same level as 2018  (with dates TBD soon).
Early bird meeting registration: $45 SOA members, $65 nonmembers, $30 students. Regular meeting preregistration: $50 SOA members, $70 nonmembers, $35 students. Onsite meeting registration: $60 SOA members, $80 nonmembers, $40 students.

We hope to see you all in May!

Stephanie Bricking & Stacey Lavender
Cochairs, Society of Ohio Archivists Educational Programming Committee

Fall Meeting 2018

Join the Society of Ohio Archivists and the Ohio Local History Alliance for the 2018 joint meeting and conference: The Past is Present

October 5-6, 2018 – Crowne Plaza, Dublin, Ohio

This is OLHA’s annual meeting (packed with great sessions) with the addition of a SOA track on Friday (day 1), serving as SOA’s fall conference. Come for SOA’s sessions or come for the entire conference!

Registration: Member (SOA/OLHA) $85; Nonmember $105; Student $51. Also single day rates and preconference workshop available. Preregister online by September 28 (Extended!)
Accommodations: A block of rooms has been reserved at the Crowne Plaza in Dublin (800-309-0989) at a discounted conference room rate of $101.00 + tax per night. Book by September 24.
Program: For more information on the full program see or download the program brochure.

SOA TRACK – Friday Oct 5

9-9:50am – Basics of Finding Aids
Writing finding aids for your collections can feel daunting if you don’t know where to start. This session is intended for individuals who have little or no prior experience writing finding aids, and will focus on just the basics: what information does a finding aid absolutely need to include to meet archival best practices, and how can you get there simply.
Presenter: Cate Putirskis [SLIDES], special collection processing manager, The Ohio State University Libraries

10:10-11:00am – Project STAND
This year’s SOA Merit Award winner will highlight and discuss Project STAND (Student Activism Now Documented), which unifies historical materials documenting student activism from a variety of academic institutions nationally.
Presenter: Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, university archivist, assistant professor, Kent State University Libraries

11:20-12:10pm – Grant Opportunities for Preservation and Access
Representatives from the Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board and the Ohio Preservation Council will discuss grant opportunities relating to preserving and providing access to historical materials offered by their respective organizations.
Panelists: Ashleigh Schieszer, conservator, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for OPC & Ron Davidson, archives/reference librarian, Sandusky Public Library, and Fred Previts, state archivist, Ohio History Connection for OHRAB [SLIDES]

2:00-2:50pm – Ask an Archivist
Archivists from different sized institutions and with a variety of job descriptions will be ready to discuss a variety of archival issues including donor relations, digital projects, archival best practices, and more. Come ready with archives questions!
Panelists: Robin Heise, records manager/archivist, Greene County Records Center and Archives; Nancy Horlacher, local history specialist, Dayton Metro Library; Amy McCrory, head, Digital Imaging Unit, The Ohio State University Libraries; Collette McDonough, archivist and library manager, Kettering Foundation.

3:10-4:00pm – Whoops! Digitization Project Hiccups and Lessons Learned
Have you ever had something go awry during a digitization project? Us too! Learn from the Columbus Metropolitan Library, MidPointe Library System, and the Ohio History Connection on how they’ve overcome issues that have happened during their projects. Panelists will give real-world examples and explain how they addressed the challenges they were met with. (Replacement for Bertie’s Journals: The Dawes Arboretum Digitization Project)
Panelists: Lily Birkhimer [SLIDES], digital projects coordinator, Ohio History Connection; Angela O’Neal, manager, Local History & Genealogy, Columbus Metropolitan Library; Adam Wanter, digital and special collections archivist, MidPointe Library System

Spring Meeting 2018

50 Years of New Frontiers: SOA at 50

Please join us for the Society of Ohio Archivists’ Annual Meeting Thursday May 17-Friday, May 18, 2018 at the Quest Conference Center, 8405 Pulsar Place, Columbus, Ohio, 43240.

Tanya Zanish-Belcher head and shoulders portrait

Plenary speaker Tanya Zanish-Belcher, president, the Society of American Archivists, and director of Special Collections & University Archivist at Wake Forest University, will speak on Composing an Archivist’s Life: What I Have Learned about Mentoring, Leadership, and Service. She will discuss several key components of an archival career, including the role of mentoring and networking, keeping up with trends in archives, and why belonging to professional associations is important.

Conference hashtag: #soaam18


  • Online registration:
  • Printable form: download this PDF, and mail to Mark Bloom, Treasurer, 8477 Summer Road, Macedonia, OH 44056.
  • The meeting registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch, and breaks (including cake!) on Friday. Due to catering restrictions, lunch cannot be guaranteed for those who register onsite.
  • Categories
    • Early bird meeting registration (ends April 30, 5 PM): $45 SOA members, $65 nonmembers, $30 students.
    • Regular meeting preregistration (May 1–May 11, 5 PM): $50 SOA members, $70 nonmembers, $35 students.
    • Onsite meeting registration (May 18): $60 SOA members, $80 nonmembers, $40 students.
    • Workshop preregistration (ends May 11, 5 PM): $20 for members of SOA/ALAO, $25 for nonmembers, and $10 for students. No onsite registration available for workshop. Limited to 40. Workshop FULL.
    • Mixer registration (ends April 30, 5pm): $20.

SOA has reserved a block of rooms at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Columbus Polaris, which is right next to both the Polaris Grill and Quest Conference Center. The rooms will be available at a discounted rate of $119 a night. Book by April 18, 2018. To reserve a room in the block, use this link, or call 614-568-0770 and mention that you are with the Society of Ohio Archivists.

Schedule & Program

SOA 2018 Full Program PDF

Thursday, May 17, 2018

FULL! Preconference Workshop – Finding Aids for the Future, with Morag Boyd and Cate Putirskis, in partnership with ALAO SCAig.
1:30PM-5PM. Ohio History Center, 3rd floor Cardinal Classroom, 800 E. 17th St, Columbus

This year SOA is partnering with the Academic Library Association of Ohio’s Special Collections & Archives Interest Group (ALAO SCAig) to bring you a joint preconference workshop.

Description: This workshop will address the importance of using descriptive and technical standards when creating and updating finding aids in order to provide better access to collections and to make future migrations between archival management systems easier. It will also touch on project management strategies for clean-up projects aimed at bringing legacy finding aids up to current best practices. Limited to 40 participants, so register early!
Presenters: Building on her background as a cataloger, Morag Boyd is the Acquisitions and Discovery Strategist at The Ohio State University Libraries. Morag leads the acquisitions, electronic resources, and collection description functions. Cate Putirskis is the manager of the Special Collections Processing Program at Ohio State University Libraries, leading a team responsible for the arrangement, description, and collection maintenance of the archival holdings at OSUL.

Workshop schedule:
– 1:30-2:00 PM Registration
– 2:00-4:30 PM Workshop
– 4:30-5:00 PM Tour

50th Anniversary Mixer
6PM-8PM. Polaris Grill, 1835 Polaris Parkway, Columbus, 43240
Our 50th Anniversary Mixer will be an excellent opportunity to talk with old buddies and colleagues, and to make new friends among your SOA peers over heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Also available will be a cash bar. The mixer will be limited to 50 attendees, and registration will close when early bird registration ends on May 1, or when the event is full. Remember the early bird gets the worm!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Annual Meeting
8:15AM-5:10PM. Quest Conference Center, 8405 Pulsar Place, Columbus, Ohio, 43240.

Annual Meeting Schedule

8:15 AM 8:45 AM Registration / Silent Auction
8:45 AM 9:35 AM Welcome and Plenary – Composing an Archivist’s Life: What I Have Learned about Mentoring, Leadership, and Service. Tanya Zanish-Belcher, director of Special Collections & University Archivist at Wake Forest University, and president of the Society of American Archivists.
9:35 AM 10:35 AM Session 1 – Panel: SOA at 50. Moderated by Andrew Harris, Wright State University, and featuring past and present members of SOA Council
10:35 AM 10:50 AM Break
10:50 AM 11:50 AM Session 2a – Mini-workshop: Digital Preservation Tools. Danielle Spalenka, Northeast Document Conservation Center.
10:50 AM 11:50 AM Session 2b – Panel: Working with Collections

– Part of the Process: The World War I Servicemen Portrait Collection. Margaret Breidenbaugh, Miami University.

-Keeping an Open-Sourced Mind: From Funding to Finding Aids. Sasha Griffin &  Charles Busby, Denison University.

11:50 AM 1:00 PM Lunch / Awards Ceremony / Election
1:00 PM 2:00 PM Session 3a – Panel: Grant-funded Projects

– Training for Freedom: How Ordinary People in an Unusual Time and Place Made Extraordinary History. Jacqueline Johnson, Miami University

– Bertie’s Journals: The Dawes Arboretum Journal Scanning Project. Sarah Aisenbrey, The Dawes Arboretum

1:00 PM 2:00 PM Session 3b – Updates

– Ohio Digital Network Updates: What’s New with Ohio’s DPLA Hub? Jen Johnson, State Library of Ohio

–  The Appalachian Regional Heritage Stewardship Program: Collections Care Training in Ohio. Samantha Forsko, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts

2:00 PM 2:10 PM Break / Silent Auction Ends
2:10 PM 3:00 PM Session 4a – Panel: Interacting with History: New Digital Solutions. Adam Wanter, MidPointe Library System; Kristen Newby & Phil Sager, Ohio History Connection
2:10 PM 3:00 PM Session 4b  – Panel: Institutions Over Time

– Terra State Community College 50 Years: Archival History Case Study. Tom Adamich, Terra State Community College

– From Contrasting to Complementary: Harmonizing the Archives and Visitor Center Experiences at Sherwin-Williams. Chris Juhasz, The History Factory & Miranda McCurdy, The Sherwin-Williams Company

3:00 PM 3:30 PM Cake Mix!
An extended break to have 50th anniversary cake and network. Poster presenters will be available at this time and silent auction winners will be announced.
3:30 PM 4:15 PM Session 5a – Panel: Bringing Students to the Archives: A Mini Course on Primary Source Research. Kayla Harris & Stephanie Shreffler, University of Dayton [SLIDES]
3:30 PM 4:15 PM Session 5b – Moving Beyond 1922: Understanding Public Domain and Copyright for Works Published 1923-1977. Jenni Salamon, Ohio History Connection
4:15 PM 4:25 PM Break
4:25 PM 5:10 PM SOA Business Meeting
Rejuvenating Xavier University Library at 50. Anne Ryckbost, James Green, & Christian Sheehy, Xavier University

Securing the Future by Celebrating the Past: Using Anniversaries as Fund Raising Opportunities. Judith Wiener & Kristin Rodgers, The Ohio State University Health Sciences Library

The Man, the Myth, the Mustache: Barnett Hook and Critical Art Theory. Karmen Beecroft, Ohio University

Call for Proposals

Deadline to submit proposals EXTENDED: Friday, January 19, 2018, 5 p.m.

The SOA 2018 Program Committee seeks a broad array of creative proposals, sessions and posters, related to archival work today and into the future. All proposal topics are welcome.

Possible ideas include, but are not limited to:

  • Presentations or discussions of longstanding institutional projects or collections in accordance with the ‘50 year anniversary’ theme
  • Tools for archival discovery, maintenance, and/or marketing
  • Outreach and instruction efforts
  • Student, intern, and volunteer experiences and projects
  • Unique collection development ventures
  • Preservation, description, and access to analog, born-digital, or hybrid collections

Session Formats:

  • Panel Sessions – Two to four speakers present on a common theme.
  • Poster Presentations – Report in which information is summarized using brief written statements and graphic materials, such as photographs, charts, graphs, and/or diagrams mounted on poster board. Presenters will be assigned a specific time at which they must be with their poster to discuss it with attendees.
  • Debate – Moderator announces the topic, and two other people debate. May include more than one topic and additional debaters.
  • Fishbowl – Speakers sit in a circle of chairs on stage — the bowl—and the audience sits in concentric circles around them. The speakers are then asked to talk to each other by answering a series of directed questions. In an open fishbowl, one chair is left empty and audience members can rotate through, adding their take on the topic.
  • Lightning – Presentations may be from 3 to 10 minutes long, with the time allotted depending on the number of presenters. May or may not include slides or images.
  • Mini-Workshop – session teaching a skill or concept through hands-on activity.
  • Pecha Kucha – Each presentation consists of 20 slides or images displayed for 20 seconds each, with comment. Each presentation lasts 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • World Café – consists of multiple presentations/conversations going on at separate tables, with attendees given the opportunity to rotate between them every 20 minutes.
  • Other session formats that encourage interaction between presenters and attendees

All sessions will have an assigned member of the Program Committee to provide introductions, and, as needed, to moderate.

Proposal requirements:

  • Session title and intended format
  • 250-word abstract describing the session/poster and how it will be of interest to SOA attendees
  • 150-words session description for use in the printed program
  • Main contact’s information and any other participants
  • A/V or technology requirements
  • Any additional special needs

Proposals will be evaluated on clarity, originality, diversity of content and speaker representation, and completeness of proposal and presenters. We encourage proposals from students*, new professionals*, first time presenters and attendees, as well as individuals from related professions, including those from outside of Ohio.

Please complete the proposal form by Friday, January 19, 2018, 5 p.m. at

*Scholarships are available to students (2 awards), and new archival professionals (2 awards). Read more about it in this link: