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  • 15 Jun 2024 7:00 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On May 7, 2024, the Chicago Collections Consortium and Chicago Area Archivists co-sponsored a virtual presentation by Kaetrena Davis Kendrick on links between low-morale experience development and burnout in library and archives workplaces.  Over forty attendees learned about self-care strategies, as well as ways to support their professional colleagues and communities. 

    Attendees said that in addition to learning new strategies, they also had their feelings of stress and burnout validated.  You can learn more about Kaetrena and her work on her website,

    Thank you to everyone who attended the virtual event and showed great interest in the talk with their comments and questions. A special thanks to Kaetrena for taking the time to speak to CCC/CAA members!

  • 13 Jun 2024 2:35 PM | Laura Berfield (Administrator)

    Ayah Elkossei, the 2024 recipient of the CAA Archives and Archivists of Color (AAC) Travel Fund Award, shares her experience attending the Midwest Archives Conference Annual Meeting in Des Moines, Iowa.

    Attending my first Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) was an immensely rewarding experience that enriched my understanding of archival practices and community collaboration. Although I could not sit in every session, the sessions I’ve attended provided invaluable knowledge and practical skills that will be instrumental in my journey to become an archivist, with the ultimate goal of opening my own archive for Middle Eastern collections.

    The workshop "CLI for GLAM: A Command Line Workshop for Absolute Beginners" was particularly enlightening. As a newcomer to the command line interface, I gained essential skills using the GitBash terminal application, which will enhance my archival processes and allow me to manage digital archives more effectively.

    Sessions like "Cultivating Collaborative Partnerships Between a Campus and Its Community" and "Community Outreach, Community Input: The Milwaukee Women's Art Library Ambassador Experiment" highlighted the importance of building strong relationships between archives and their surrounding communities. The successful case studies from Bowling Green State University, Indiana University Northwest, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee showcased how collaborative efforts and community involvement can lead to impactful exhibits and enhanced representation of underrepresented communities. These examples inspired me to pursue similar partnerships and outreach efforts in my future work, fostering inclusivity and representation in Middle Eastern collections.

    Aside from the informative sessions, my favorite part of MAC was engaging with fellow archivists and future archivists. I relished the opportunity to share experiences, exchange insights, and learn from their diverse backgrounds.

    Overall, my first MAC experience emphasized collaboration, preservation, and community engagement, reinforcing my commitment to expanding archival collections to reflect diverse communities. This conference significantly enriched my professional development, equipping me with the tools and inspiration to make meaningful contributions to the field of archives, particularly in preserving and promoting Middle Eastern cultural heritage.

  • 06 May 2024 3:55 PM | Laura Berfield (Administrator)

    The Chicago Area Archivists held a meetup at the Midwest Archives Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, May 2, 2024. Six archivists from institutions around Chicago attended and enjoyed a meal at the Mulberry Street Tavern. Among the attendees was Ayah Elkossei, the 2024 recipient of the CAA Travel Fund Award, which seeks to send a student or early-career archivist to MAC. Be on the lookout for another CAA meetup at MAC in Minneapolis in 2025!

  • 28 Jun 2023 3:41 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Thursday June 22nd, thirteen CAA members attended the Newberry's exhibit Pop-Up Books Through the Ages. Attendees were greeted by Dr. Suzanne Karr Schmidt who is the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Newberry Library. She led guests on a tour of the exhibit and pointed out various interesting displays.    

    After spending time in the galleries, Dr. Karr Schmidt led everyone to the upper floors of the library where she had unique items set aside. She provided detailed descriptions of the items along with fun facts and stories. Attendees were permitted to handle the materials and take photos. 


    Thank you to all who joined us and a very special thanks to Dr. Suzanne Karr Schmidt for taking the time to lead us through a beautifully curated exhibit! 

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

  • 14 Jun 2023 10:39 AM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, May 16th, eighteen CAA members attended the DePaul/Lincoln Park Walking Tour. This event was a collaboration between Programming and the Archives and Archivists of Color special interest group. Members met at the John T. Richardson Library and were welcomed by Instruction and Outreach Archivist, Derek Potts. The event began with Derek giving a brief overview and answering questions. Guests were then given an opportunity to engage with a pop-up display of archival materials in the Special Collections and Archives reading room.

    After spending time in the reading room, everyone received a handout in order to better understand the walking tour and make sense of the community sites of occupation and protest. Members embarked on a 1.5 mile historical walking tour of Lincoln Park related to the Young Lords, Urban Renewal, and activism in the late 1960s.

    An informal Happy Hour took place at Kelly’s Pub after the event. Members had fun on the back patio and enjoyed good food, drinks, and company. The day could not have been more perfect. 

    Thank you to all who joined us and special thanks to Derek Potts for being such a great host and tour guide!

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

  • 01 Jun 2023 11:57 AM | Gretchen Neidhardt (Administrator)

    We had over 100 attendees join us for our Zoom panel "Public Records in Chicago: Acquisition and Accessibility," co-hosted with Chicago Collections. Our panelists included Douglas Bicknese, Director of Archival Operations, National Archives at Chicago; Matthew Messbarger, Archival Specialist, Office of the City Clerk, City of Chicago; Johanna Russ, Librarian IV, Unit Head, Special Collections, Chicago Public Library; and Deborah Witzburg, Inspector General, City of Chicago. Each shared access tips for their own institutions, along with strategies for research roadblocks and hidden gems of their collections. You can view the recording of the session and take a look at the resources mentioned by each panelist. Many thanks to our panelists, the Antiracism Working Group, Chicago Collections, Chicago Area Archivists Steering and Events, who all helped us coordinate this event.

  • 09 May 2023 4:02 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    I locked my bike outside of the MAC venue when Natalia told me she got a chai for me. I later exchanged her chai with my birthday gift for her. 

    My first time going to MAC isn’t as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be, because I think of all the archive-ancestors I had. Ancestors made them sound so old, I mean it in a way that they are protective of me and generous of their energy towards my endless questions. I met Natalia Gutierrez-Jones and Benn Joseph nearly one year ago, and last Friday I gently held Natalia’s hand during a panel we were sitting in, and gave Benn a hug when he was on his way to some busy MAC affairs. 

    During poster discussion sections, I chewed on my gigantic chocolate cookie and walked too close to the archival boxes and materials that the vendors were promoting; feeling I am doing something terribly wrong, but- what a thrill. 

    I walked among talkative archivists, eavesdropping on them being excited about various projects, and I glanced at all these eager faces wondering if any of their subject guides and finding aids were the ones I have looked at for reference. It’s not like I remember exactly what they wrote, but I remember the carefulness of descriptions, the consistency of languages, and the gentleness of acknowledgements. 

    As much as I enjoyed all the panels I went to, listening to the three Emeritus Awardees talking about their gratitude towards MAC and the significance of receiving the award in Chicago, where MAC was started was the most enjoyable. As a foreigner in the States, as an ocean-oriented body in Midwest, I received the most perfect gift from all the archivists who are willing to pass on their knowledge and of course, BIPOC archivists who are willing to aid us in finding our identities in the archive industry. 

  • 09 May 2023 3:41 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    Photo caption: Opening slide from Deep Processing: Emotional Labor in the Archives. Photograph by Angelica Hernandez.

    As a first time attendee to the 2023 MAC Annual Meeting, my experience was filled with powerful conversations, community building, and sharing space.

    My journey started at the DEI Unconference, held at the Newberry Library here in Chicago. This was my first unconference experience and it was unlike anything I'd ever encountered. As opposed to the traditional session format, the unconference featured roundtables where all participants were able to brainstorm, recommend tools, and share moments of catharsis. Everyone spoke about the challenges, complex situations, and the moral and ethical implications of archival work, which made me feel less alone as a new professional in the field.

    In addition to sharing honestly and openly about my experiences, I was able to expand my knowledge by attending various sessions across numerous topics. From accessibility issues, to project management, to the power of community archives, I was able to learn both practical tools and be inspired by the work of others. Archivists from across the Midwest were eager to ask difficult questions and seemed willing to sit with the uncomfortable in order to welcome change within a profession rooted in colonial ideals.

    One particularly impactful session was Deep Processing: Emotional Labor in the Archives, bringing the archivists back into focus and addressing the emotionally difficult situations we all find ourselves in, but that often go unnoticed. Each and every conversation stressed the idea that while archivists do important work to uplift and serve our communities, we must also advocate for community care if we want to continue to do the work we love. I walked away from MAC with a notebook filled with ideas, thoroughly inspired by my peers, and determined to push forward when I got back to my institution. 

  • 23 Apr 2023 6:50 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    Members of the Archives and Archivists of Color interest group gather at MAC 2023. From left to right: Kheir Fakhreldin, Doris Cardenas, Kristen Melkonyan, Jennifer Ho, Angelica Hernandez, olivier, Rene Aranzamendez, Jerice Barrios, Rebekah McFarland, and Jesse Koontz.

    On April 14, 2023, members of the Archives and Archivists of Color (AAC) interest group gathered at the Level Two Restaurant in the Hyatt Centric Hotel, the site of this year’s Midwest Archives Conference. AAC members enjoyed drinks while discussing the latest developments in archival practice. Special guests included Angelica Hernandez and olivier, winners of the 2023 AAC Travel Fund Award. They will be sharing their conference experiences in a future news post, but for now, we send them our warmest congratulations. Also present was Jennifer Ho, a founding member of the AAC interest group and the creator of the Travel Fund Award. Jennifer has moved out of the Chicago region to California, so this was a wonderful opportunity to catch up. All in all, it was a lovely evening, and we look forward to our next chance to meet in person.

  • 29 Mar 2023 5:05 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the winners of the 2023 Archives and Archivists of Color Travel Fund Award

    The Archives and Archivists of Color interest group is pleased to announce that the winners of the 2023 Travel Fund Award are Angelica Hernandez and olivier.

    Angelica Hernandez- Angelica is the archivist for the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) community archive. In her personal statement she wrote, “My interests, as an archivist and member of my communities, include participatory archival practices, post-custodial models, and community archives. I want to be a part of the new generation of archivist activists who prioritizes the stories, experiences, and memories of those often silenced by traditional archives and archival practices. I am beyond inspired by Black archivists and Indigenous archival practices that seek to upend archives as we currently know them. My career goals are deeply rooted in community building, establishing ethics of care, and social justice.”

    olivier- olivier is an artist researcher for Sixty Inches From Center, as well as a collection assistant at the Art Institute of Chicago and an archival processing assistant at McCormick Library of Special Collections and University Archives at Northwestern University. In their personal statement they wrote, “As Sixty Inches From Center’s artist-researcher, I have learnt that my passion lies in community archives, especially for BIPOC. MAC’s workshops like A Metadata Tool for Oral History Projects will be instrumental, and so is Archives as Community Assets. My writing on “care” in archives was recently awarded the Community Award of 2022 by up//root, a publication of WeHere, an organisation for BIPOC in libraries. I am excited about listening to different people with their passions and projects in archives, and how they will impact my investigations in this feverish industry.”

    The Travel Fund Award will pay for registration to the 2023 MAC Conference being held in Chicago April 12-15. Thank you to everyone who contributed towards this award, especially the award selection committee of Rene Aranzamendez, Jerice Barrios, Doris Cardenas, Kheir Fakhreldin, and Rebekah McFarland.

    CAA members, if you're going to MAC this year, please be sure to say hello to Angelica and olivier!

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