Tag Archives: research

Research Study: Archives in Libraries

Part of supporting scholarship is helping others with their research. When they arise, I’m going to start posting calls about surveys, studies, and the like that are designed with a research study in mind. I don’t know if/how these will be published, but supporting each other in these endeavors helps build a research and scholarship community.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Good afternoon everyone,

I am developing a research proposal focused on the administrative dynamics surrounding archives that exist organizationally in libraries and the potential effects this parent-child relationship has on users. In particular, I am interested in talking with organizations that have reorganized the placement or structure of the archives unit within a library in the last 2 years. If you work in such an organization and are interested in participating in this study, please contact me at atodddiaz@towson.edu

Thank you in advance!

Ashley

Ashley Todd-Diaz, MSIS, MA, CA
Head of Special Collections and University Archives
Albert S. Cook Library
Towson University
Towson, Maryland

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(Semi) Open Access: Taylor & Francis Journals

I recently found out that Taylor & Francis provides some content as open access. Much of what they have is behind subscription paywalls, but I am pleasantly surprised they offer a way to search their journals that’s available to anyone.

The search function is on their website. After a search, you’ll see both open and subscription content. On the left side is a box to check to limit to open access journals.

A quick search for “archives” yielded quite a few results. However, I know not all were relevant to the archival profession. But there are several library and archives journals published by Taylor & Francis, including Archives & ManuscriptsJournal of Archival OrganizationArchives and Records, and others.

This is a helpful resource for the many archivists whose institutions don’t subscribe to the database. Enjoy!

2017 SAA Research Forum Documents Available

The presentation slides and posters from this year’s SAA Research Forum are now available.

9:00-9:30 AM: Opening and Session 1

Welcome and Overview
Research Forum Program Committee [Slides]

Towards a Wicked Problems Research Agenda for Archival and Recordkeeping Scholarship
Eliot Wilczek (The MITRE Corporation) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Teaching Research Data Management to the World
Dr. Helen R. Tibbo (UNC-Chapel Hill) [Slides]

9:30-10:00 AM: Session 2: Examining Our Practice

Simple and Expedited Digital Appraisal/Processing: Testing Software and Developing a First Simple Workflow
Susanne Belovari (University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign) [Abstract/Bio]

Show Me Archives and the Community Engagement Legacy of Aurora Davis
Sarah Buchanan (University of Missouri) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

A Model for the Social Construction of Risk in the Audit and Certification of Trustworthy Digital Repositories
Rebecca D. Frank (University of Michigan) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

10:30-11:00 AM: Session 3: Repositories in Practice

Beyond the Repository: Exploring Integration Between Local and Distributed Digital Preservation Systems
Laura Alagna (Northwestern University) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

How Do Small Archives Steward Their Moving Image and Sound Collections? A Qualitative Study
Anthony Cocciolo (Pratt Institute) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Archives & DAM
Alice Cameron (Northwestern University) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

11:00-11:30 AM: Session 4: Architectural Records and Innovation

Actors, Artifacts, and Enduring Value in Architecture
Katie Pierce Meyer (University of Texas at Austin) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Asks and Answers: Interviews with Archivists on Born-Digital Design Records
Suzanne Noruschat (Yale University), Pamela Casey (Columbia University) [Abstract/Bios] [Slides]

Memory Happens Now: A Collaborative Strategy for Digital Preservation of Organizational Records
Nancy Hadley (The American Institute of Architects) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

11:30 AM-Noon: Session 5: Adventures in Discovery

Evaluating How Archival Websites Allow Researchers to Prepare for an In-Person Visit
Scott Pitol (University of Illinois at Chicago) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Proof of Existence: Methods for Adding Archival Resources to Wikipedia
Emily Vigor (UC Berkeley) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Access Strategies for Born-Digital Archives: Lessons of the International Fellowships Program Project
Jane Gorjevsky (Columbia University), Dina Sokolova (Columbia University) [Abstract/Bios] [Slides]

1:00-1:30 PM: Session 6: SAA Metadata and Digital Practice Review

Mark Matienzo (Stanford University) [Bio] [Slides]

3:00-3:30 PM: Session 7: Lightning Talks

Archiving the Websites of Contemporary Composers
Bess Pittman (NYU) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Software Preservation: Building a Community of Research Practitioners
Wendy Hagenmaier (University of Texas at Austin), Alexandra Chassanoff (MIT) [Abstract/Bios] [Slides]

Teaching with Primary Sources: Building Resources for Success
Margery N. Sly (Temple University) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Archiving Spotify: How and Why to Track Your Music Streaming Data
Jennifer Eltringham (University of Denver) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Good/Bad, Happy/Sad: Conducting Sentiment Analysis on User Survey Data from Houghton Library with R
Emilie Hardman (Harvard University) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Adapting Archival Descriptions to the New Technology Environment
Jinfang Niu (University of South Florida) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

3:30-4:30 PM: Session 8: Exploring Diversity and Community Archives

“Her Own Version of History”: A Case Study of the Guerilla Girls Oral Histories at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Erin Dickey (UNC Chapel-Hill) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

“Are You a Spy?”: Methodological Challenges to Studying Community Archives
Michelle Caswell (UCLA), Joyce Gabiola (UCLA) [Abstract/Bios] [Slides]

Diversity and Inclusion: Building the Texas Disability History Collection
Samantha Dodd (University of Texas at Arlington) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Cultural Diversity Competency’s Role in Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement
Helen Wong Smith (Kaua’i Historical Society) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Descriptive Practices on a Human Scale: Lessons from the StoryCorps Archive
Virginia Millington (StoryCorps) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

Cataloging in Spanglish: Capturing the Puerto Rican Experience Stateside Through Metadata (with Some Help from the Community)
Lindsay Wittwer (Hunter College, CUNY) [Abstract/Bio] [Slides]

4:30-5:00 PM: Session 9 and Closing

OSSArcFlow: Researching Archival Workflows for Born-Digital Content
Christopher (Cal) Lee (UNC-Chapel Hill), Jessica Meyerson (Educopia Institute) [Abstract/Bios] [Slides]

Looking Ahead to Next Year
Research Forum Program Committee [Slides]

Posters

C2Metadata Project
Jared Lyle (ICPSR, University of Michigan) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

“Thinking About Appraisal”: Defining Appraisal Frameworks as a Continuum
Joshua Kitchens (Clayton State University) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster] [Notes]

Curating Software: Practice and Promise
Alexandra Chassanoff (MIT) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Development of an Ontology of Functional Activities for Records Management and Archival Systems
Georg Gaenser (University of British Columbia) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

The State of Reappraisal and Deaccessioning in Archives
Marcella (Wiget) Huggard (University of Kansas), Laura Uglean Jackson (UC Irvine) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Providing Access to Community Archives within Government Archives
Patricia Galloway (University of Texas at Austin) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Crowdsourced Transcription of Handwritten Mental Health Records
Unmil P. Karadkar (University of Texas at Austin) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

In Search of Longitudinal Health Data: Bridging the Divide Between Historical Medical Records and EHRs
Lorrie Dong (University of Texas at Austin) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Digital Preservation Storage Criteria: Community Document for Discussion
Gail Truman (Truman Technologies) , Kate Zwaard (Library of Congress), Sibyl Schaefer (UC San Diego), Jane Mandelbaum (Library of Congress), Nancy McGovern (MIT), Steve Knight (National Library of New Zealand), Andrea Goethals (Harvard University) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Understanding (Mis)perceptions of Archives
Kelsey Duinkerken (Thomas Jefferson University) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Gender Identity and Performance in Library Work
Tatiana Bryant (University of Oregon), Hilary Bussell (Ohio State University) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Juggling Priorities: Lessons Learned During a Community Documentation Project
Tammi Kim (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Emily Lapworth (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Mix and Match: Exploring Processing Efficiencies for Born-Digital Materials
Karla Irwin (University of Nevada, Las Vegas), Cyndi Shein (University of Nevada, Las Vegas) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster] [Notes]

Moving Image Social Tagging: Professional vs. Amateur Production Comparison
Edward Benoit (Louisiana State University) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Decisions Are Never Easy: Establishing Processing Priorities
Amy Cooper Cary (Marquette University), Pam Hackbart-Dean (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Collections, Discovery, Users, and Use: A Systematic Assessment of Statistics for the University of Nevada, Reno Special Collections
Jeremy Floyd (University of Nevada, Reno), Jessica Maddox (University of Nevada, Reno) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Fostering Stakeholder Engagement by Building Archivist Competencies in Technology: A Preliminary Discussion
Amanda Jamieson (Western University), Anne Daniel (Western University), Amanda Oliver (Western University) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Festival Caravan: Diversity in Action
Nathalie Proulx (Carson Brierly Griffin Dance Library) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Capturing the Current Scope: A Holdings Survey Initiative at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Research Library and Archives
Danae Dracht (Detroit Institute of Arts) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Manuscript Cookbooks Survey: Building a Research Portal for Manuscript Cookbooks and Kitchen Artifacts
Alyse Hennig (Manuscript Cookbooks Survey) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Edit This! Enhancing Collaborative Public Programming Through Wikipedia Events
Rose Sliger Krause (Eastern Washington University), James Rosenzweig (Eastern Washington University), Logan Comporeale (Eastern Washington University) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster] [Handout]

Student Employment Matters: Mapping Literacies and Learning Outcomes in Special and Digital Collections
Erin Passehl-Stoddart (University of Idaho) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Extracting Metadata from Digital Records Using Computational Methods
Ann Marie Mesco (Carnegie Mellon University), Kate Barbera (Carnegie Mellon University) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

BitCurator NLP: Natural Language Processing for the Rest of Us
Christopher (Cal) Lee (UNC-Chapel Hill) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Where Are the Original Documents?: Comparison of Several “Captured Japanese Air Technical Documents” Lists
Yayoi Tsutsui (Hototsubashi University) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster] [Notes]

Paradigms & Possibilities of Incarceration-Related Records
Rhiannon Cates (Portland State University) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Archival Description and Network Analysis
Cory Nimer (Brigham Young University) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Using the Archiving Lab: Values, Impacts, and Discourses
Amy Wickner (University of Maryland, College Park) [Abstract/Bio] [Poster]

Help OCLC With Their Research Agenda

Dear Colleagues,

OCLC Research is currently shaping our next research and learning agenda to address challenges and opportunities for special collections, archives and distinctive collections in research libraries. Led by our Practitioner Researcher in Residence, Chela Weber, we are taking a transparent, iterative approach to building this agenda by seeking substantial input from the OCLC Research Library Partnership (RLP), as well as the broader archives and special collections community. An early-stage draft was workshopped with representatives from RLP institutions and other invited professionals at the RBMS Conference last month in Iowa City, and a similar workshop will focus on the current draft at Archives 2017, the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists this month.

We are inviting you today to play a role in the next steps of shaping the agenda, and asking for your feedback on the current draft of the agenda by August 28thWe are happy to hear thoughts on any element of the draft agenda, but in particular, are interested in hearing comments on the following questions:

  1. Proposed Research Activities: do you have ideas for activities in areas that are left blank in the current draft? Are there other research activities or questions you would like to see addressed within each of the outlined topical areas of investigation?
  1. Relevant Existing Work in the Community: Is there current or early-stage work going on that addresses any of the topical areas of investigation and that we should be aware of?
  1. Priorities for OCLC: OCLC Research will be able to address only a small portion of the issues and activities outlined in the agenda, and wants to put its resources and expertise to best use. Which of the topical areas of investigation and proposed research activities would you most like to see OCLC take on, and where do you think they can make most impact?

Please find the draft agenda either as a Google Doc or as a PDF. You are welcome to add comments in the Google Doc itself, or submit comments via email to RLPStrategy@oclc.orgWe welcome feedback and comments through August 28th.

Jackie Dooley
Program Officer, OCLC Research
office/home 949-492-5060
mobile 949-295-1529
dooleyj@oclc.org

New/Recent Publications

 

Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture: Archives on Fire: Artifacts & Works, Communities & Fields

Archives and Creation: New Perspectives on Archives. This workbook reports on the work carried out during the third stage (2015-2016) of the project “Archives and creation: new perspectives on archival science.”

Teaching and Learning in Virtual Environments: Archives, Museums, and Libraries, by Patricia C. Franks, Lori A. Bell, and Rhonda B. Trueman.

A Matter of Life and Death: A Critical Examination of the Role of Official Records and Archives in Supporting the Agency of the Forcibly Displaced, by Anne J. Gilliland.

Framing Collaboration: Archives, IRs, and General Collections, by Amy Cooper Cary, Michelle Sweetser, Scott Mandernack, and Tara Baillargeon.

https://mla.hcommons.org/deposits/item/mla:1023/

Digital Heritage. Progress in Cultural Heritage: Documentation, Preservation, and Protection, 6th International Conference, EuroMed 2016, Nicosia, Cyprus, October 31 – November 5, 2016, Proceedings, Part II, Editors: Ioannides, M., Fink, E., Moropoulou, A., Hagedorn-Saupe, M., Fresa, A., Liestøl, G., Rajcic, V., Grussenmeyer, P.

Developing a Primary Source Lab Series: A Collaboration Between Special Collections and Subject Collections Librarians, Adam Rosenkranz, Gale Burrow, and Lisa L. Crane.

A Modern Look At The Banco De’ Medici: Governance And Accountability Systems In Europe’s First Bank Group, by Marco Fazzini, Luigi Fici, Alessandro Montrone, and Simone Terzani.

Archives, memory and colonial resistance in the work of the Portuguese filmmakers Margarida Cardoso and Filipa César, by Antonio Marcio Da Silva.

Sailing into Metrics: Rethinking and Implementing Metrics and Assessment in Archives, by Amy C. Schindler.

Practical Digital Curation Skills for Archivists in the 21st Century, presentation by Myeong Lee, Mary Kendig, Richard Marciano, and Greg Jansen.

Memory hole or right to delist? Implications of the right to be forgotten on web archiving, by Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Andrés Guadamuz.

What are we talking about when we talk about sustainability of digital archives, repositories and libraries? by Kristin R. Eschenfelder, Kalpana Shankar, Rachel Williams, Allison Lanham, Dorothea Salo, and Mei Zhang.

Mapping the UK information workforce in the library, archives, records, information management, knowledge management and related professions, by Hazel Hall and Robert Raeside.

The retrieval of moving images at spanish film archives: the oversight of content analysis, by Rubén Domínguez-Delgado and María-Ángeles López Hernández.

The Case of the Awgwan: Considering Ethics of Digitization and Access for Archives,
Peterson Brink, Mary Ellen Ducey, and Elizabeth Lorang

Guest Post, Part 1: Are Archives Graduate Programs Adequately Preparing Students for Publishing, Researching, and Writing in the Profession?

Thank you to Joshua Zimmerman, lecturer at San Jose State University’s iSchool, for this fantastic post. His in-depth perspective is in 2 posts and I encourage everyone to read it thoroughly. Josh has great strategies to help emerging professionals prepare for and contribute to the intellectual discourse of archival scholarship. (Read Part 2)

________

Are archives graduate program adequately preparing students for the profession? As an adjunct lecturer in the Masters of Archives and Records Administration (MARA) online master’s degree program in San José State University’s iSchool, this is a question that I’m constantly asking myself as I hear from students and other professionals. For readers of this blog, perhaps a more relevant but related question would be: are archives graduate programs adequately preparing students for publishing, researching, and writing in the profession? As the one responsible for teaching MARA 285 Research Methods in Records Management and Archival Science, I’m extremely concerned with this question. I thought that readers might be interested in how our research and publishing culture is being taught in one small corner of the profession.

As you read this, I want you to think back to how you were introduced to the norms of researching and publishing in our profession? Were these skills taught in your graduate program, did you already have them, or did you have to pick them up later? Finally, what do you wish you would have learned about writing, researching, and publishing in the archives profession as a graduate student? Keep the answers to these questions in mind as you read below. I’d love to know how MARA 285 stacks up to your experiences, good or bad.

Assignments and Assignment Format

The overall structure and framework of MARA 285 is one that I inherited from a colleague, Jason Kaltenbacher who is also an adjunct professor in the MARA program. While my lectures significantly differ from his, I’ve kept the assignments and overall structure basically the same. Other research courses in the iSchool (and in other MLIS programs), I have found, employ a similar assignment format. I ask students to complete an annotated bibliography, topic proposal, literature review, and final proposal. These assignments build on each other and help students complete the steps in putting together both a formal proposal and the framework of a major research project. Since the internet survey has become the preferred data gathering tool of the profession, I also ask them to complete a group survey project where they develop a short internet survey, cover letter, and rationale statement for each question. 

Social Science Focus

When I first took this course on and looked at the assignments and overall structure, I felt that I wanted to radically change the end project to a publishable article. This would be immediately usable to students as they could submit it to journals and present it elsewhere at conferences or on professional or personal blogs. Within the last couple years, my alma mater (Western Washington University) changed their MA thesis requirement to a much smaller publishable article which, I think, seeks to address this aim. Yet, after using the old proposal assignment structure that I inherited for two years, I’ve completely changed my tune.

I discovered just how important it was to snap students out of what I call the “term paper mentality,” an assignment format that most students are particularly used to and, as I’ve discovered, often revert to if given the chance. This course structure offers students the chance to approach a topic systematically, more like a project than a paper. Instead of writing a term paper and trying to wrap up all the loose ends up by the end of the semester, the objective is only to build the structure in order to execute it after the course concludes. This means, that they design the research, but they stop short of sending out the survey, conducting the field work, or digging into records in an archives. I feel that this format ties in better with the assigned textbook chapters that break down different aspects or approaches to research. It also forces students to step back and formalize what they are doing and more importantly, how they plan on doing it. They are asked to put together a research schedule and justify why they are qualified to conduct this research as part of the final proposal.

Challenges, Problems, and Issues

One problem that I encountered during the first year concerned appropriate topic choices. Other courses in the MARA program such as Enterprise Content Management and Digital Preservation or Management of Records and Archival Institutions have clearly defined topic limits. These are built into the course. For instance, you probably can’t write a term paper on medieval recordkeeping for the Enterprise Content Management and Digital Preservation class.

MARA 285, however, is wide almost wide open as far as potential research topics go. That medieval recordkeeping topic is fair game in MARA 285. While there are endless opportunities for topics, there are nevertheless some limitations. I ask that students choose a topic related to the archives, RIM, or library science fields. I encourage students to bring in their interests and give it a records twist. For instance, last year, one military historian in the class designed a project around military recordkeeping. Though the course is taught from a social science perspective, I want students to specifically engage the professional literature of archives and RIM. This year, in addition to some clarifying language and a preemptory blog post on the MARA program website, I’ve added the typology of archives research topics by Couture and Ducharme (1). This typology spells out all the flavors of research conducted in the archives profession (and by extension, RIM). This seemed to have helped students frame their research within the profession.

Another problem that occurred this year was students’ lack of confidence in their professional experience. Unfortunately, due to scheduling, some students take this class as a first year student and in their first semester. To those working in the profession, this might not be a big issue, but for someone who is brand new to the profession, this course might be a bit daunting because it asks students to choose a topic in the profession and develop it over the course of the semester. As mentioned above, I provide guidance on choosing topics in the lecture, but especially for the literature review which asks students to isolate the major literature on their particular topic, this has been stressful or at least it has been related to me as such. This is sometimes daunting for seasoned archivists, let alone first year students. 

Incorporating Perspectives

In addition to the assignments and readings mentioned above, I’ve added a video series called Research in the Wild. In it, the class gets to hear about the research and writing process from other archivists and records managers. I launched it late in the course in 2015 with a few videos, mostly 5-10 minutes. This year, I have a video for nearly each module and hopefully a lot more for next year. Video submissions have addressed specific project-related research challenges as well as more broadly, research agendas, theses, the editing process, differences in publishing in and out of school, and Fulbright Scholarship research among others. In my own archival program, I enjoyed hearing from guest lecturers and talking with archivists and RMs on field trips and it’s these experiences that I’ve tried to recreate. I felt a bit uncomfortable asking archivists and records managers to do free work for me, so I decided to donate to SAA’s Mosaic Scholarship on behalf of those who submit videos. If you’d like to submit a video for next year or know someone who might, please let me know (zimmerj6@gmail.com). From some early feedback from students this year, I’ve learned that the writing process might be more important than I initially thought. So as a result, I’ll be seeking archivists and RIMs who want to talk about this aspect of the profession.

Be a Part of My Book!

Be part of the Society of American Archivists’ new and forthcoming Archival Fundamentals Series! Cheryl Oestreicher, who is authoring the Providing Reference and Access Services in Archives and Manuscripts book, seeks real-world examples and photos that represent the wide variety of institutions, staffing levels, policies, and procedures that exist throughout the profession. Contributions need not be formally written as standalone pieces, as they will be integrated throughout the book itself. Send an e-mail, a couple of paragraphs, or a few sentences about a practice or experience that you found especially useful. Personal photos, website links, social media blurbs, and other online references are welcome. Copies of internal policies and procedures are helpful, and nothing will be published without your explicit permission. Contributions also can be anonymized upon request. Depending upon the amount of and types of suggestions, some may not be included in the final book.

Simply send an email to: ccoest@gmail.com with the subject line “Reference and Access Book Contribution.” Thank you for helping us to produce a better book!

The following is a list of potential contributions:

  • reading room photos
  • access policies
  • loan policies
  • accessibility of facilities/ADA compliance
  • virtual reading room
  • copyright, registration, reproduction, publishing, etc. forms
  • ethical decisions about access
  • dealing with difficult patrons
  • unusual patron types and experiences
  • unusual disciplines/research projects
  • how do institutional staff use/request records, what materials are they looking for and why
  • reference manuals
  • when archivists do research (beyond standard reference interactions)
  • reference training documents/procedures
  • copying/reproduction policies
  • internal metrics, tracking statistics
  • assessment of reference interactions; post-visit surveys
  • how do you staff reference services: rotation, designated reference desk, subject/curatorial specialists, etc.
  • marketing and outreach strategies (not examples of individual activities, but overall strategies)