Call for Michigan Archival Association (MAA) session proposals for the 2020 conference

The Michigan Archival Association (MAA) Program Committee is currently seeking session proposals for the 2020 conference on Monday-Tuesday, June 22-23, 2020 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Possible session topics include, but are not limited to:

All things digital (access, preservation, new technologies, etc.)Archivists in non-traditional settings (e.g., private archives, consultants, corporate)Career planning/adviceCataloging and metadataCollections managementConservationDonor relations/cultivationExhibits on a budgetFostering a diverse and inclusive professionFundraising and grant writingInvisible laborProcessingPromoting collectionsRecords ManagementReferenceRepository round-up (short updates on projects presented at past conferences)Web archiving, preserving social media
Please consider using the MAA 2019 Session Proposal Collaboration spreadsheet to find others interested in your topic. 

To submit a proposal, please complete the MAA 2020 Annual Meeting Session Proposal form.  Proposals…

Cyber Security Month

Among other things, October is designated as cyber security month. Every month should be cyber security month. The news reports cyber hacking monthly in big companies, lots of social security numbers and bank accounts being stolen and sold off for nefarious means, or data or funds being stolen or damaged or held hostage, and/or personal information and private images being illegally and embarrassingly shared online. There is still much we should do personally, professionally and in companies of all sizes to improve cybersecurity which continues to evolve and become more sophisticated.

In my class, HST 583 Archives Administration, we discuss the numerous issues with digital records and security is a large, complex issue. I was glad to see a table in the main hall of Park Library this morning about cybersecurity. Here is some info they offered:

Movie plot summary: A young man (a very young Matthew Broderick) finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confus…

Indigenous Peoples Day in Michigan 2019

Gov. Whitmer proclaimed yesterday, Oct. 14, 2019  as Indigenous Peoples Day in Michigan. I did not know this happened until I got a notice about a blog about it  and a colleague posted about it in Facebook. There was no advance notice about it or event at CMU that I heard about. We did not create an exhibit for it, not even a small temporary one in the hallway. There was no knowledge shared about the collections we have on the topic. I wish there had been a CMU campus public presentation or an event. Considering that the Clarke has one of the best collections of primary and secondary resources by and about Native Americans, particularly of Michigan Native Americans, I wish there had been a way we could have worked with the tribal representatives towards something positive and educational. Homecoming happens every year and we go all out to celebrate it, write about it, and create exhibits for it. This proclamation is a once in a lifetime opportunity that we did not address in a really …

Previously undocumented Roman fort discovered in Exeter, England

Recently I read that by accident a Roman fort was discovered in Exeter, England. Archaeologists are very excited as there is no surviving documentation that a fort ever existed there. Because the Romans always built forts following specific rules, what the archaeologists uncovered was 1uickly and easily identifiable as parts of two ditches like those always found immediately outside of a Roman fort. I am constantly amazed that no matter how long information is literally buried, it eventually comes to light. The truth is hard to bury. The Romans and their enemies knew it was there, but for centuries afterwards nobody else knew or documented it. How fascinating archeology is!   Read about it here

Central Michigan Universit MGR/MUSEUM COLLECTIONS position

Central Michigan University - Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
$45,000 - $60,000 a year
Responsible for accessioning, cataloging, preservation, storage, and care of museum collections, collections information systems, grant funding, and development of written collections policies and procedures. Teaches two classes in the Museum Studies and/or Cultural Resource Management Program (undergraduate and/or graduate) per year.
Required Qualifications
Master’s degree in Museum Studies, History, Art History, Cultural Resource Management, Anthropology, or related field.
Three years of experience in museum collections management or curatorial work.
Experience working and teaching in a higher education environment.
Supervisory experience.
Excellent oral and written communication skills.
Strong collaborative and interpersonal skills.
Ability to perform the essential functions of the position.
Preferred Qualifications
Supervisory experience in museum collections management.
Experience …

Datathon @ Columbia University (March 26-27, 2020)

Anti-racist description resources for cataloging archival collections

The Archives for Black Lives in Philadelphia working group recently created a list of anti-racist description resources which is helpful in providing thoughtful ways to consider and address a number of descriptive issues in finding aids and catalog records for archival collections documenting African Americans. These issues result from historical and cultural white bias and most archivists are white. The vast majority of archivists do our best to meet best standards and practices, while being respectful and thoughtful about describing people in collections. I read this resource and will review the finding aids and catalog records for our collections documenting y African Americans and amend those which can be improved.  I'm glad they did it. I sent them a thank you. We need to be aware and work to correct historical perspectives and biases in archival description.

Especially in the last decade there has been an increase at professional conferences of presentations by archivists, l…