• 14 Jul 2020 2:10 AM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Monday, June 29th, twenty-six CAA members attended the fifth virtual event in the What's Your DAM? series. Mel Leverich, Archivist and Collections Librarian for the Leather Archives & Museum, gave an enlightening presentation. 

    Mel began by giving a brief history of the organization and how she was familiar with the system that they now use, CollectiveAccess. She stated that she learned by doing and goes on a forum and wiki for information when needed. Mel had to learn how to edit and read PHP and customize the system with an XML format.  

    Mel discussed the pros and cons of the system and illustrated how she uses it to process collections. Many attendees were impressed with how the system can conceptualize events, not just items. According to Mel, CollectiveAccess is very flexible and customizable, but that can also be a downside. 

    Thank you to everyone who attended this event. A special thank you to Mel for taking the time out of her day to give us an informative and interesting presentation! 

  • 06 Jul 2020 2:32 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Wednesday, June 24th, thirty-three CAA members attended the fourth virtual event in the What's Your DAM? series. Alison Hinderliter, the Curator of Modern Manuscripts and Archives, and Jennifer Thom Dalzin, the Director of Digital Initiatives and Services, from the Newberry Library joined us to discuss their search for a new system.

    Alison began by providing background information on the current system, Piction. After eight years of using Piction, the Newberry Library has outgrown the system and Piction is nearing its end of life. She also explained that they use other systems, such as CONTENTdm, in order to handle other content. 

    Jennifer continued by explaining the needs of the Newberry and how they began the process. A cross-institutions committee was created as well as needs assessment and product evaluation documents.

    The Newberry Library hopes to migrate and implement a new system by 2020-2021. Alison and Jennifer concluded by stating that they are glad to share their documentation with others who are undertaking the same venture. 

    Thank you to everyone who attended this event. A special thanks to Alison and Jennifer for their wonderful presentation and showing members what it takes to undergo this endeavor!  

  • 29 Jun 2020 8:23 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, June 16th, thirty-one CAA members attended the third virtual event in the What's Your DAM? series. Justine Tobiasz, the archivist for WBEZ Archives, gave an engaging presentation and began by telling us about her Fine Arts background and how she arrived in the world of archives. 

    Attendees were shown how WBEZ uses CollectiveAccess, an open source software, and learned that the archives are for internal use only. According to Justine, CollectiveAccess has its strength in complex cataloging, but is not intuitive. 

    Towards the end of the presentation, Justine shared a gem from the collection and played a recording of an interview of Christa McAuliffe, who died in the Challenger Disaster. 

    Thank you Justine for your fantastic presentation and thank you to all who attended the event! 

  • 16 Jun 2020 6:30 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Thursday, June 4th, thirty-nine CAA members attended the second virtual event in the What's Your DAM? series. Sara Chapman, the Executive Director of Media Burn Archive, was the guest speaker.

    Sara gave an overview of the organization and explained that the collection starts in 1970. It is mostly documentary videos, but Media Burn also has short videos, experimental videos, and narrative animation. 

    Sara illustrated how she uses the Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP) template database which was started in the 1990s. It is a Filemaker Pro database which can be exported to either Dublin Core or MARC.  

    Thank you everyone who attended the virtual event and showed great interest in the talk with their comments and questions. A special thanks to Sara for taking time out of her day to speak to CAA members!

  • 27 May 2020 5:12 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    Last Thursday May 21st, twenty CAA members attended the first virtual event in the series What's Your DAM? Jenai Cutcher, the founding Executive and Artistic Director for Chicago Dance History Project, gave an insightful and interesting talk. 

    Jenai provided a personal background and discussed the various roles she has as an artist, tap dancer, writer, and journalist and now as an archivist. She spoke about her use of SalesForce, a customer relations management system and how it was customized to suit her needs. Attendees were shown how SalesForce works and Jenai gladly answered all questions and welcomed comments. 

    Thank you so much to everyone who attended the event and special thanks to Jenai for taking the time to speak to CAA members!

  • 02 Apr 2020 4:33 PM | Hathaway Hester

    Dear Colleagues,

    The results are in! Introducing your new CAA Steering Committee members for 2020-2022:

    Ashley Howdeshell

    Assistant University Archivist

    Loyola University Chicago Archives and Special Collections


    Erin Matson

    Librarian and Archivist

    Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago 


    Andy Meyer

    Director of Archives and Special Collections

    North Park University    


    Andrew Thompson

    Accessions Supervisor

    University of Chicago, Special Collections

    Thank you to everyone who volunteered to run for Steering Committee and thank you to those who voted!
  • 23 Mar 2020 2:13 PM | Jerice Barrios

    The Archives and Archivists of Color interest group is very pleased to announce G'Jordan Williams as the winner of the 2020 Travel Fund Award.

    G'Jordan is a graduate student as well as Archives Associate and Education Programs Coordinator at DuSable Museum of African American History. In their application essay they wrote, "I plan to apply all skills gained, and all relationships formed to aid my mission to assist Black communities in safeguarding culture by applying transformative information science. Further, I plan to use the professional network acquired at the conference to help secure funding and resources appropriated for those who will take on the privilege of culture curation." 

    Congratulations to G' Jordan, and many thanks to CAA members and friends for making this award possible. In light of the cancellation of MAC 2020, the Travel Fund Award will be used in the coming year to send G'Jordan to the archives conference of their choice. More details will be shared as they become available.

    Update:  G'Jordan Williams used the Travel Fund Award to attend the 2022 MAC meeting in Madison, WI. See

  • 20 Mar 2020 8:59 AM | Jill Waycie

    Congratulations to the Chicago Area Archivists 2020 Member of the Year Award winner Carol Ng-He! 

    Carol initiated the Curating and Exhibitions Interest Group, recognizing that there was not a local professional group focused on exhibits and displays in libraries, archives, and special collections institutions. Since its official inception in 2019, she has recruited nearly 40 individuals to the group, and hosted four programs both on site and virtually to maximize impacts and attendance. 

    By identifying a local need for our profession and working within CAA to provide opportunities for members, Carol has contributed to the growth of the CAA community and expanded professional development and scholarship.

    Congratulations Carol! Her win was announced at Wednesday's members meeting. Carol will receive a framed Member of the Year certificate. For more information on both the Member of the Year Award and the Janet Olson Award, check out the Awards page. 

    Carol Ng-He is currently the Exhibits Coordinator at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. She was formerly the School and Community Program Manager at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Aside from her involvement with CAA, she also co-leads the Exhibitions Special Interest Group and serves on various committees at the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA). Carol has published articles and chapters on library exhibitions, art and museum education, and community art development in the Journal of Museum Education, Teaching Artist Journal, and Visual Inquiry, among others. Carol holds an MA in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute is Chicago and a certificate in Museum Studies from Northwestern University. Carol is a 2019 ALA Spectrum Scholar and a MLIS candidate at San Jose State University.   

  • 16 Mar 2020 3:14 PM | Jill Waycie

    CAA's #JoinCAA2020 Membership Drive ends in TWO DAYS! We’ll announce the drawing winners during the virtual meeting on March 18.

    Enjoy some more quotes from the Holiday Party Sound Booth, and make sure to join, refer, or renew!  

    “My favorite part of any CAA event is when I look out over the crowd and I hear everybody’s talking to each other, everybody’s having a good time, everyone is engaged and this is obviously a vibrant and thriving organization.” -- Janet Olson

    "I really love being a member of Chicago Area Archivists because it's just such a great group of people. You know, even if I fell out of the archives world, I would still want to see these people." -- Nathalie Wheaton

    Prizes and incentives include:

    • New members: The first 10 new members to sign up before March 18 will receive a CAA-branded journal!All new members who join during the drive will be entered into a drawing to win a swag item from the CAA Shop!

    • Referring membersIf someone referred you to CAA, add their name in the Referring Member field and they could win too! We’ll hold a drawing during the members meeting for 3 referring members to win a $15 Starbucks gift card. 

  • 16 Mar 2020 10:37 AM | Hathaway Hester

    CAA Steering Committee elections are just over a week away. Voting will open on March 25 and run through April 1. Read candidate statements at this link.

    Candidates will also have a chance to introduce themselves at this Wednesday's CAA Annual Members Meeting, which will take place virtually. Register for the meeting here.

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