• 20 Sep 2019 9:31 PM | Carol Ng-He (Administrator)

    The CAA Curating & Exhibitions Interest Group had its second meet-up on September 20, 2019 at the University of Chicago’s Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) with the participation of the Interest Group member, Patti Gibbons, Head of Collection Management at the SCRC and Anne Flannery, Head of Museum Archives at the Oriental Institute. 

    The event started with Patti giving an overview of the exhibition gallery and ways of the SCRC incorporates preservation into the gallery design. She talked about the technical aspects of exhibition development, including the features and variety of the display case design, planning schedule, item selection process with curators and other exhibition collaborators, as well as the exhibition publicity and outreach efforts. Anne then shared her role as the curator of Discovery, Collection, Memory: The Oriental Institute at 100 exhibition at the SCRC (opening from September 16 - December 13, 2019) and the notion of archives as  cultural heritage preservation. She talked about the launch and outcomes of the Oriental Institute’s Cultural Heritage Experiment in its first year, and the power of the object-based lending program. Following a slideshow presentation, Anne led the group to tour The Oriental Institute at 100 exhibition and outlined the curatorial process and narrative development in collaboration with Patti and the SCRC. 

    A bonus activity was a behind-the-scene tour led by Patti to the Joe and Rita Mansueto Library located adjacent to the SCRC. The group checked out its underground high density storage facility on campus, see the “robots” that store archive materials and books, and the library’s circulation system. The group saw the art installation aeon, a series of translucent image of the Oriental Institute’s artifacts affixing the library’s massive glass dome which is part of the centennial celebration.

    Special thanks to Patti for hosting the group! Here are the event snapshots:

  • 14 Sep 2019 1:02 PM | Jill Waycie (Administrator)

    Gretchen Neidhardt led a productive discussion on critical cataloging at Beermiscuous on September 10. We shared about our own projects, discussed existing resources on the topic, and talked about actions we can take, from micro-level changes to large-scale projects. Resource list here: Critical Cataloging Resources and Projects

    We also discussed continuing resource sharing and discussion via Google Groups. Gretchen has created one here:!forum/critical-cataloging. All are welcome to view and/or join. (Posts are publicly viewable, but to post your own content, you’ll need to join the group.)

    Thanks to all who joined us and thanks to Gretchen for leading!

    If you have photos from this event, please feel free to share them here!

  • 12 Sep 2019 10:08 AM | Allison Schein Holmes (Administrator)

    About 10 members showed up at the Haymarket Pub and Brewery on September 3rd to discuss current and upcoming projects!

    This also gave both groups a chance to meet new people and discuss each groups membership and activities.

    Didn't make it to this one!  No worries, we have plenty of events on the horizon!

  • 06 Sep 2019 10:40 AM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Wednesday August 28th, Chicago Area Archivists and Chicago Collections Consortium held a joint genealogy event at the Harold Washington Library. Archivists and collection managers shared rich perspectives from their archival holdings and provided approaches to genealogy research. 

    Each panelist works with a different type of collection such as cultural, religious, or medical. Thus their viewpoints on genealogy research centered on these specific areas.   

    Pat Bearden, from the International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry, brought a quilt depicting images of formerly enslaved individuals who lived in Chicago.

    The event concluded with a Q&A session. Some audience members stayed afterwards to speak to a particular panelist. This event was well-attended so thank you to all who were able to join us! 

    If you were present at this event and took photographs, please consider sharing and uploading them here.

    (Photos taken by Elise Fariello and Doris Cardenas)

  • 04 Sep 2019 9:37 AM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    Thank you to everyone who came out to the 3rd Annual Chicago Area Archivists Summer Cookout on Sunday August 25th! It was a beautiful day with lots of great food and a fantastic tour of the Pullman neighborhood. 

    An extra special thank you to Andrew and Linda Bullen for opening up their home to us and being wonderful hosts! 

    If you attended this event and took photos, please consider sharing and uploading them here

  • 01 Aug 2019 4:57 PM | Anonymous

    CAA Business Archives Group members enjoyed a day at the ballpark on July 25.

    On Thursday, July 25th, the Business Archives Group toured Wrigley Field and attended a presentation by Chicago Cubs Manager of Authentics and Archive at the offices of the Cubs. Manager Pat Manaher. Pat discussed the unique nature of a MLB team’s collection and relationships with donors, the team, the league and the public. He also shed light on the interesting collecting policy of a professional team and how a winning (or losing) season affects what and how much is collected. Thank you to all who attended and participated in the conversation!

    Members of the CAA Business Archives Group tour the historical displays in the Wrigley Field concourse with Manager of Authentics and Archives, Pat Manaher.

    This event was organized by the CAA Business Archives Group. If you are interested in this CAA interest group or others, please visit the webpage for more information.

  • 22 Jul 2019 11:23 AM | Jill Waycie (Administrator)

    If you're attending this year's joint CoSA and SAA conference in Austin or plan on following from afar, CAA will have lots of ways to keep up with the action! 

    New this year, we're putting out a call for members to help out the social media team and sign up to promote your fellow CAA members' work at the conference. You can email the social media team your content or tweet/post your own content for sharing or retweeting. Sign up sheet and social media info here.

    We also invite you to:

    • Use the #CAAatSAA2019 hashtag when posting content on social media.
    • Follow our posts on Facebook and Twitter about conference activities, including CAA members’ participation in workshops and panel and poster presentations.
    • Join us at the CAA at SAA meet up at Corner Restaurant on Sunday August 4 from 6-8 pm! Register here.
  • 24 Jun 2019 10:01 AM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Wednesday June 19th, eight members of the Chicago Area Archivists paid a visit to the Visual Resources Center at the University of Chicago. Staff members Bridget Madden and Kat Buckley gave an insightful tour of the Imaging Lab and explained how they handle their vast collection of slides and the equipment they use to digitize. 

    Later in the afternoon members were taken to a classroom where Bridget illustrated the front and back end of LUNA, which is the main database for art images used by the university. Kat illustrated how she uses social media in order to promote the department among faculty and students.


    The event concluded with a Q&A session and a lively discussion on challenges members face and how they approach their collections. Thank you to Bridget and Kat for being fantastic hosts and providing snacks and beverages during the event and also thank you to all who attended!

    If you attended this event and took photos, please consider sharing and uploading them here.

  • 07 Jun 2019 12:25 PM | Jill Waycie (Administrator)

    The Outreach and Member Engagement Subcommittee held its latest CAA Reacts meeting last night, June 6, at Empirical Brewery. Five members attended, and we had a wide-ranging discussion on decentering whiteness in archives. We used Michelle Caswell and Gracen Brilmyer’s poster pages ( as jumping-off points, and also talked about some of our own past and current projects.

    Topics ranged from description (reparative processing, undoing "sanitized" descriptions, community assistance in identifying metadata, the role of memory in collecting) and appraisal (power structures inherent in being the collector); to access and use (requiring ID, experiences and treatment of people of color in archival reading rooms) and professional life (is CAA doing enough?).

    Due to the wide range of points discussed, notes with links can be found here: 20190606 CAA Reacts notes if anyone is interested. 

    Our next CAA Reacts will be September 10, and we welcome input on topics or speakers!

    Feel free to upload any other photos taken at this event to our photo folder.

  • 23 May 2019 12:38 PM | Carol Ng-He (Administrator)

    The Curating & Exhibitions Interest Group hosted a two-hour Strategies for Exhibit Content Development webinar on Friday, May 10th, 2019 which went successfully. In addition to the CAA listserv, the event was promoted through other outside channels, such as the Chicago Museum Exhibitors Group (CMEG), RAILS and ILA Marketing Group, Chicago Hands-on Educators Group (CHOE), and direct emails. Twenty-five participants, including 12 CAA members and 13 non-members, attended to the webinar via Zoom. Based on the poll at the beginning of the webinar, half of the attendees was from libraries/archives, and another half was from museums.

    The webinar was led by experienced exhibit developers, Tricia O’Connor and Charity Counts, with a focus of the processes, best practices, considerations, and tips in exhibit story development. Key areas that were covered in the webinar are ways of capturing the audiences, what science tells us about visitors that influence the exhibit design, tools and strategies on organizing content, writing labels, prototyping for best results, and recommendations on working and communicating with designers for building a strong collaboration for each exhibit projects. The webinar was concluded with a Q&A session, with questions from the attendees about the time needed for the planning, guidelines for exhibits on the web, and suggestions for creating interactive exhibits in small and open spaces and more. All participants receive templates and a list of resources developed by the facilitators.

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