In 2011 SOA held the annual spring meeting and a fall workshop. Scroll down for session descriptions. Some articles based on presentations and student posters can be found in the fall 2011 newsletter.
Spring Conference 2011
The 2011 Annual Meeting was held on April 15th at the Conference Center at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio. This year’s theme was “Sustainability: The Capacity to Endure.”
See the program here.
Our Keynote Speaker, Scott Sanders
The keynote address, entitled “Antiochiana: the Antioch College Archives and its Capacity to endure Antioch College,” was given by Scott Sanders, archivist of Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio. Scott holds a BA in American history and a MA in archival and historical administration both from Wright State University. He has worked for Antiochiana, the Archives of Antioch College and University for 17 years, with a brief hiatus when the college and his department closed. He was the first employee to be hired by the newly-organized, independent Antioch College. Scott is a frequent lecturer for historical societies and other local organizations and has contributed numerous articles and essays of local and institutional history. He is the author of Antioch: An Episodic History, and is working on a more comprehensive narrative of Antioch College, due out later this year.
Bringing Records Back to Life: Preservation Initiatives of Licking and Montgomery County Governments
Presenters: Katy Klettlinger, Licking County Government
Tina Ratcliff, Montgomery County Government
For those entrusted with historical records, the conservation and safekeeping of those documents are key components to the sustainability of archives. This session presented two case studies involving preservation initiatives by county governments to save their historical records, re-house them, and provide access to them. Klettlinger described the steps taken in an ongoing project to salvage records from the attic of the Licking County Courthouse where they were subjected to soot, mold, water, humidity, rodents, and insects and the viable county records program born out of this project. Ratcliff detailed actions taken to successfully eliminate a mold outbreak and other deterioration at the Montgomery County Records Center, and described how this project propelled the establishment of a preservation program.
The EAD FACTORy: Current Developments, and Looking Forward
Presenters: Janet Carleton, moderator, Ohio University
Morag Boyd, Ohio State University
Holly Deakyne, Ohio University
Amy McCrory, Ohio State University
Kristin Rodgers, Ohio State University, Medical Heritage Center
Attendees got an update on the EAD FACTORy, and learned about the ways in which Ohio archivists are using it. In the first part of this session, members of the OhioLINK EAD Task Force reported on recent developments in the EAD FACTORy, covering enhancements to the Finding Aid Creation Tool and providing an update on the status of the EAD Repository. The second half of the program featured archivists from two institutions who have used the EAD FACTORy to encode large numbers of finding aids. They demonstrated their work, explained their approach, and shared lessons learned.
Frenemies: Building Organizational Capacity Through Collaboration
Moderator: Angela O’Neal, Ohio Historical Society
Given the current economic climate it is more important than ever for cultural organizations think creatively to achieve their respective missions. To that end many institutions are making the shift from seeing other cultural organizations as competition to viewing them as critical to their long-term success. Nonetheless, partnerships are sometimes messy and feel more like an episode of “The Simple Life” than “The Waltons.” This session was a participatory conversation for attendees to share best practices from their experiences and talk about strategies to make collaboration work well for both large and small institutions.
Tweets, Blogs and Status Updates, Oh my!
Presenters: Lisa Wood, Ohio Historical Society
Elizabeth Higgins, Ohio Historical Society
Liz Plummer, Ohio Historical Society
Social media is a powerful tool for advertising programs, sharing information about collections, and engaging patrons. Attendees learned how the Ohio Historical Society collections staff is using Twitter, Facebook, and their Collections and Archaeology blogs to communicate to a broad audience and raise awareness about their collections and services. The presenters discussed strategies for building an audience and driving web traffic to posts.
Relocating Collections: Sustaining and Improving Access
Presenters: Michelle Mascaro, The University of Akron
Judy Wiener, Ohio State University, Medical Heritage Center
Moving collections is no easy task. This session focused on two projects with goals to either sustain access to archives, special collections, and rare books during renovations or improve access by relocating collections. In 2010-2011, Archival Services, University Libraries, The University of Akron relocated their book collection of approximately 18,000 volumes in order to improve book retrieval time. In a different endeavor, The Ohio State University, Medical Heritage Center moved their collection to off-site facilities during the renovation of their library. Mascaro and Wiener described project procedures, decision-making, collaboration between various departments, and how access was sustained or improved for researchers.
Student Poster Presentations
Improving the Preservation and Cataloging of the Artists’ Book Collection at Carnegie Mellon University Special Collections: A Sensory Experience
Presenter: Eden Elizabeth Sly Orelove, University of Pittsburgh
This presentation discussed a project to improve the preservation and cataloging of the artists’ book collection at the Carnegie Mellon University Special Collections. This collection includes over 500 books that make reading an extraordinary and sensual experience. These artworks include originals and copies, and come in formats including flip-books, sound works, book sculptures, matchbooks, activist manuals, interactive postcards, books that can’t be opened, diaries, poetic metamorphoses and many others. This collection represents a crossroads between art and books that provide a heightened sensory experience. The reader interacts with the book to produce an individual and unique experience. The first part of the project has been researching how other artists’ books collections are preserved and cataloged. Next materials will be re-housed, re-arranged, and accessibility improved via further description work.
Wright State University’s Outreach Programs
Presenter: Noel Rihm, Wright State University
This presentation discussed volunteer outreach efforts to reach out to local schools and students with information about the Wright State Public History program. Outreach efforts include demonstrating to students the importance of primary sources, where and how they can locate them, their proper care and management, and the significance of local historical collections. Some of these programs include mock exhibit design, manuscript care and handling, and manuscript handling.
Mound Science and Energy Museum
Presenter: Liz Haeuptle, Wright State University
The Mound Science and Energy Museum and Wright State University, Public History graduate students, have teamed up to execute the movement of two dimensional and three dimensional objects to a new location, as well as design a new museum layout and permanent exhibits. The project is a great opportunity for the WSU students to conduct hands-on work with both museum and archival materials in conjunction with a professional staff. This project will give the students practical experience, professional interaction with a museum staff over an extended period of time, and the chance to accomplish their own personal capstone project. Mound Laboratory and the Mound site, located at southern edge of Miamisburg, between Dayton and Cincinnati, in Southwestern Ohio, hold significant places in the history of the Nuclear Age and in the hearts and minds of the dedicated scientists and workers who labored there for more than 50 years. The people, the plant, their research and manufactured items were at the leading edge of the Nuclear Age in the United States. Mound-built components are still in the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile protecting us as a deterrent to attack from other nuclear powers. Mound-built components went with NASA to the moon, Mars and Jupiter reliably powering their instruments and keeping them at operational temperatures. They are still continuing in the same vein to Saturn, the outer reaches of the solar system and beyond. The Mound Science and Energy Museum collects, preserves, and makes publicly accessible the remaining heritage of the Mound Laboratory, its workers and its site. This poster presentation presented the step by step, start to finish, accomplishments of the project team (graduate students) and Liz’s personal project undertakings.