• 31 Jul 2012 7:30 PM | Anonymous member

    On 19 July, 10 people gathered at the Union League Club of Chicago to brainstorm ways to promote their collections and services during Archives Month. A lively discussion about on-site and virtual options resulted in a variety of ideas, including:

    • Create a myth-busing video that uses primary sources in the collections to refute (or verify) stories about an organization’s history. Universities and members organizations can use students and members, respectively, as actors and for other support in making and promoting the video.
    • Host an artifacts and family papers care day. Invite a conservator to consult with patrons and the public about their personal items.
    • Create a listening station where people can stop by and listen to sound recordings from the collections. Doing this in person is an opportunity for patrons to see original objects (e.g., wax cylinders) and engage you in a conversation about them. You can also create a virtual experience with streaming audio or downloads and show still images.
    • Contact local media and talk up a particularly interesting donation or sound recording for a local interest story.
    • Facilitate visits by students who are participating in National History Day. The 2013 theme is “Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events.” With a little help from you, the Chicago Metro History Education Center can help make teachers and students aware of collections with material that might relate to this year’s theme.
    • Post a show slideshow of your favorite photographs or artifacts on your organization's internet. Make staff in other departments aware of and interested in your collections and services by sharing a few of the things that excite the archives staff.

    Do you have other ideas? Share them below in the comments section. All outreach ideas for all times of year are welcome.

    Other resources and ideas that can help you plan an Archives Month activity that is suitable for your institution are listed below. You can add to this list by posting in the comments section.

    • Society of American Archivists
      Provides ideas and practical tips on developing programs for Archives Month and enhancing your collections public awareness. You can also explore what other archives are doing for Archives Month and public awareness.
    • Society of Ohio Archivists
      Includes suggestions on Archives Month activities as well as a list of past events.
    • Wisconsin Historical Society
      Consists of Open House tool kits (including templates for press releases, signs, and invitations), program ideas, an event calendar, and access to past Archives Month ideas.
    • Council on State Archivists
      A resource for how state archives celebrate Archives Months; includes a directory of past events.
    • Sacramento Archives Crawl
      Sacramento Archives Crawl is an annual Archives Month event that takes place the first Saturday in October. Participants tour among four host archives in Sacramento, gathering stamps in their passports as they view treasures from dozens of archives and special collections libraries, visit with archivists, and go on special behind-the-scenes tours.
    • 31 Day Blogathon
      To celebrate Archives Month 2011, Archives throughout the Smithsonian Institution participated in a month-long Blogathon, with posts highlighting stories from the archives as well as challenges and issues facing archives.
  • 30 Jul 2012 9:00 PM | Anonymous member

    Mike Arbagi has accepted a position as archivist for the Society of St. Columban near Omaha, Nebraska.

    Lisa Labovitch has accepted a potion as a historian for the City of Everett, WA. Labovitch was previously the Director of Library and Archives at the Union League Club of Chicago.

    Heather Stecklein has accepted a position as University Archivist at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, Wisconsin. She will also serve as a Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society's Area Research Center, managing the historic records of three local counties. Stecklein served as archivist at Rush University Medical Center from 2005-2012.

    Congratulations Michael, Lisa, and Heather!

    Do you have a new job, certification, graduation, or other professional achievement to announce? Share your good news with the Chicago archives community. Send your information to, subject line member news.

  • 09 Apr 2012 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Lisa Labovitch greatly enjoyed her first experience as a Chicago Metro History Fair judge and urges other CAA members to participate in 2013. Labovitch felt that the website judging was a very simple and interesting assignment that most CAA members could do in their spare time. For those who have evenings or weekends free, the on-site judging affords volunteers the opportunity to interact with students to learn more about their research interests and methods and learn what motivates them to pick their topics.

    The National Archives at Chicago is pleased to announce that two of its staff members, Glenn Longacre and Stephanie Phillips, passed the Certified Archivist exam in August 2011. Learn more about the Academy of Certified Archivists at

    Samip Mallick, formerly of the Ranganathan Center for Digital Information (RCDI) at the University of Chicago Library, has accepted the position of the President of the Board of Directors of the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA). SAADA is a startup non-profit organization with a mission to document, preserve, and provide access to South Asian American history through a digital archive, available at

    Rush University Medical Center archivists Heather J. Stecklein and M. Nathalie Wheaton contributed to the December 2011-January 2012 issue of Against the Grain: Linking Publishers, Vendors and Librarians (Volume 23, Number 6). The theme for the issue is “Trends in Health Sciences and Biomedical Sciences Information Provision.” Their article, “Mutual Advocacy: Developing Shared Outreach Programs with Institutional Partners,” encourages librarians and archivists to collaborate with other departments within their institution and take advantage of opportunities to participate in their events, publications, and committees. They provide examples from their own experiences at Rush University Medical Center. The archivists’ goal is to extend the Rush Archives’ visibility on campus and approach everyone on campus as a potential user or donor. Check out the article online, a password may be required:

    The article also featured profiles on both authors. The Against the Grain website recently selected Wheaton as its “Star of the Week.”

    Have you changed jobs, published an article, or presented at a conference? The CAA Outreach Subcommittee would like to spread the good news in next month’s Member News. We invite members to share their honors, appointments, and promotions. Please submit your information to; subject line “CAA Member News.”

  • 02 Mar 2012 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Michael Arbagi recently published “The Catholic Church and the Preservation of Mesoamerican Archives: An Assessment” in Archival Issues (Volume 33, Number 2). The article examines the role of the Catholic Church in the destruction and eventual recreation of manuscripts, oral histories, and other records of the indigenous civilizations of Mesoamerica.

    Valerie Harris, Associate Special Collections Librarian and Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), published an article in The American Archivist  (Volume 74, Number 2). “Politically Charged Records: A Case Study with Recommendations for Providing Access to a Challenging Collection” examines how the Special Collections Department implemented new collections management policies and procedures in the wake of a public relations crisis during the 2008 presidential election season. The article was co-authored with Kathryn Stine and adapted from a presentation at the MAC Annual Meeting in 2009. Check out the article online, a password may be required:

    Elizabeth Myers, Director of the Women and Leadership Archives at Loyola University, has been appointed adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University. Myers will teach LIS 775: Archival Administration and Services this summer.

    Scott Pitol has joined the University of Illinois at Chicago as the University Archivist and Assistant Professor. He was previously the Corporate Archivist at The Pampered Chef, Inc.

    Congratulations to Michael, Valerie, Elizabeth, and Scott!

    Have you been promoted, published an article, or presented at a conference? The CAA Outreach Subcommittee wants to applaud professional honors and accomplishments in Member News. Please submit your information to; subject line “CAA Member News.”

  • 09 Feb 2012 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    Collection and Archive Out of Storage

    The Park Forest Local History Collection and Archive is out of remote storage, after five years of captivity in PODS!! The Park Forest Historical Society and Park Forest Public Library are working together to lease a space for the archive and the Society office and Digital Lab in the Church of St. Mary Catholic Church, 227 Monee Road on the southern edge of Park Forest, Illinois. The Village of Park Forest has contributed through a grant to the Society.

    Part of the collection, inlcuding 270 subject files, catalogued books on Park Forest and reports by the Village of Park Forest are housed at the Library at 400 Lakewood Blvd. As the collection in St. Mary’s gets better situated, more materials may be transferred from the Library. The Society is still storing some materials in another nearby church, as well.

    For an account of the move, with photos, read our latest newsletter on the website, accessible from the home page.  Free at last!

  • 10 Oct 2011 2:00 PM | Anonymous
    Merle Branner is now the Coordinator of Instructional Technology at Woodlands Academy in Lake Forest, IL. Additionally, Merle is the Webmaster and will provide her expertise to the Alumni Director who manages the School’s Archives housing 153 years of history.

    Laura Fu
    , Digital Assets Specialist at Sears and Graduate Student at UW-Milwaukee has recently published “The Government Response to 9/11: Communications Technology and the Media” in Library and Archival Security (Volume 24, Issue 2; page 103-118).

    You can check out her article online; the site may require a password:

    Congrats to Merle and Laura!

  • 27 Aug 2011 2:01 PM | Anonymous

    For those of you attending the SAA conference, you may notice that there are a lot of attendees who are getting nervous about making it home to Washington, D.C., North Carolina, or elsewhere along the eastern seaboard due to Hurricane Irene. As official and unofficial hosts, Chicago Area Archivists wanted to post a few suggestions of inexpensive places to stay … just in case they’re needed.

    Arlington House, Lincoln Park  (Chicago Getaway Hostel), 616 W. Arlington Place

    H.I. Hostel, downtown Chicago, 24 East Congress:

    HostelWorld – list of cheap places to stay in Chicago – including hotels

    University of Chicago – International House (for short-term guests)

    Please feel free to post other ideas in the comments.  And let your fellow SAAers know about this blogpost!

  • 12 May 2011 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    The Chicago Area Medical Archivists (CAMA) are proud to announce their new blog! It not only features the usual news and event information, but also serves as a research gateway.

    Many of the historical figures in Chicago’s medical history spent their time at more than one institution. The blog’s “Historical Notes” will help researchers and other archivists track down these overlapping collections. Also, “Historical Notes” will be the place to share information about hospitals or medical and nursing schools that have closed or been absorbed by other institutions. This ongoing feature will serve as a “one-stop shop” for these frequently asked questions.

    The blog also features “Research Tips.” CAMA members will share their tips on navigating their collections or finding relevant material outside of Chicago.

    Please take a look, and let us know what you think. If you would like to contribute to the CAMA blog, please contact CAMA Web Moderator, Nathalie Wheaton, at

  • 21 Apr 2011 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Malachy McCarthy, archivist at the Claretian Missionaries Archives, has been chosen to receive the SAA’s Sister Claude M. Lane  Award for his significant contribution to the field of religious archives.  A well-deserved compliment to one of our local archivists, who has contributed so much to the life of Chicago’s archival community, in addition to establishing the Chicago Area Religious Archivists (CARA). Read Joan Sweeney’s article on the CARA blog: 
  • 08 Apr 2011 11:00 AM | Anonymous

    The CAA Spring Member’s Meeting was held on Thursday, March 31st with thirty-two people in attendance. The election for the two open vacancies for the 2011-2013 CAA Steering Committee Terms was so close that a run-off election took place. Rob DeLand and Andy Steadham were elected to fill the vacancies.

    All present voted to approve the revised by-laws – these are now posted. Please note that the Steering Committee received feedback regarding Article III, Section 3 which includes the statement: “Voting shall take place at the Annual Meeting and results shall be based on a majority of members present.” Members asked the Steering Committee to provide electronic voting in the future for people who are unable to attend the meeting.

    At the meeting the formation of three subcommittees were approved: Events, Professional Development, and Outreach. 

    Minutes were taken but have not yet been approved. Once approved these minutes will be posted.

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