AAC Travel Fund Award Recipient Attends MAC

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.

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