AAC Travel Fund Award Winner Kheir Fakhreldin Reports on MAC 2019

24 Apr 2019 10:53 AM | Jerice Barrios (Administrator)

MAC 2019 by FakhreldinMAC Members gathered at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, April 3-6, 2019. Photo by Kheir Fakhreldin.

I had a great time at the Midwest Archives Conference in Detroit on April 3-6, 2019. I enjoyed the inspirational plenary by Viranel Clerard, creator of The Detroit Museum of Public Art, a robust project that grew from a tumblr page to a major documentation of Detroit’s public art and architecture. His vision and perseverance serve as a reminder that when necessary, great memory work can be done with a minimum of resources.

I identified with many of the speakers at the panel on impostor syndrome, particularly my Chicago Area Archivists colleagues Amber Dushman, Jennifer Ho, Beth Loch, Rebekah McFarland, and Danielle Nowak. See their upcoming presentation on this topic at SAA in Austin and read follow-up discussion here.

Other highlights included Lori Donovan’s panel on using Archive-It for the preservation of websites by public libraries, which is very important for the local history contained in online news articles and obituaries. I also was blown away by a panel on community oral history projects with Lindsay Hiltunen, Lindsay Mattock, Aiden M. Bettine, and Camron Amin. One note I took in that session says: “The archival impulse has to come from within the community. Community should have full control and ownership regarding preservation, etc.”

Before the conference, four of us visited John King Books, where I found a book that relates directly to a local history project of mine. My hometown, La Grange, Illinois, was founded in the 1870s by a former slaveholder from La Grange, Tennessee, who came north during the Civil War. The book was Slavery’s End in Tennessee, 1861-1865 by John Cimprich. I was grateful for the contextual information it gives my research, and because in the Amazon era, we rarely experience the thrill of serendipitous discoveries in used bookstores. If you’re ever in Detroit, don’t miss John King.

John K. King Books in Detroit. Photo by Jerice Barrios.

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