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  • 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!

  • 20 May 2022 10:35 AM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Friday May 6, 2022, several members of CAA who attended the Midwest Archives Conference in Madison gathered for dinner and drinks at The Statehouse, a restaurant located 5 minutes away from the conference hotel. 

    Joining CAA Members was G'Jordan Williams, the recipient of the 2020 Travel Fund Award. The Archives and Archivists of Color Interest Group raises funds for this yearly travel grant so it was a pleasure finally meeting G'Jordan after a two year wait.


    Everyone had a great time talking to friends and colleagues and meeting new ones. The restaurant had beautiful views of Lake Mendota which added to the ambience. Although it was a smaller group than previous years, a fun time was had by all. 

    Thank you to everyone who joined us and we hope to continue the in-person gatherings and meet-ups. 

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

    (Photos taken by Jerice Barrios and Doris Cardenas)

  • 10 Feb 2022 3:06 PM | Anonymous

    CAAers, we are currently seeking candidates to run for the CAA Steering Committee!

    Serving on Steering is a great way to meet fellow archivists, hone your leadership skills, and get an "insider's view" into the running of a non-profit organization--all in service to the profession! This is a great time to get involved as well, as CAA will be celebrating its 40th Anniversary in the year ahead and there are lots of changes afoot. The past couple years have called for new ways of operating and connecting with our colleagues, and we will continue to strive to adapt and grow as an organization.

    Regular responsibilities

    • About one meeting per month.
    • Leadership roles (everyone shall choose one role): treasurer, vice chair, secretary, subcommittee and interest groups liaisons, communications specialist.
    • Routine communication with fellow Steering members via Slack channels.
    • Assist in developing new policies and procedures for the CAA.
    • Monthly time commitment of about 5 hours per month, with a little more during the "busy period" of December through March.

    Who can run?

    Any CAA member in good standing can run for Steering committee.

    How to run?

    Simply submit a brief (1-2 paragraph) Statement of Interest outlining your background and motivation for serving on the Steering Committee to Please include your full name, title, place of work (if applicable), and preferred contact phone and email address. 

    The deadline for submissions has been extended to Friday, February 18, 2022 at 5pm.

    Any questions? Please email us at

  • 16 Oct 2021 4:52 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Friday, October 15th, fifteen CAA members attended the Metropolitan Brewing Happy Hour. This was CAA's first in-person event since the start of the pandemic.

    It was great catching up and seeing other fellow archivists. Everyone had fun on the outside patio next to the river while enjoying good food, drinks, and company. 

    Thank you to all who joined us and we hope to have more in-person events down the line. 

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

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