Welcome to MAC 2014 Kansas City

On behalf of the Program Committee and the Local Arrangements Committee, welcome to the blog pages for The Syncopations of History, the Midwest Archives Conference Annual Meeting to be held in Kansas City, Missouri, April 24th through 26th, 2014.


To register, please come to the registration table at the conference:

April 23rd, 3-6PM
April 24th, 7AM-5PM
April 25th, 7AM-5PM
April 26th, 7AM-12PM

Any problems or concerns with the registration process can addressed to: conference@midwestarchives.org


Sessions: Saturday, April 26th

Six more fantastic sessions to close out MAC 2014, The Syncopations of History::

8:30-10:00AM Concurrent Sessions

  1. The DAO of Processing: Applying MPLP to Electronic Records Workflows. Electronic records: do they require artisanal or mass processing? Brad Houston (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and panelists Edward Benoit III (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Brian Dietz (North Carolina State University), Jason Evans Groth (North Carolina State University), and Daniel W. Noonan (The Ohio State University) examine the ways various institutions are collecting, processing, and preserving electronic records according to the principles of More Product, Less Process while still adhering to appropriate digital preservation standards.
    [Pershing Place East & West, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  2. Show Me Out of the Closet: Approaches to Preserving Missouri’s LGBT History. Efforts to capture and preserve the history of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender population in Missouri’s three largest cities (St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield) have yielded not only a wide-ranging trove of remarkable historic value but also distinct approaches to building the archival collections. Join Stuart Hinds (University of Missouri-Kansas City) and panelists Anne M. Baker (Missouri State University) and Steven L. Brawley (St. Louis LGBT History Project) as they discuss their techniques for reaching LGBT communities, what they’ve been able to collect, and how they make it available to their users.
    [Pershing Place South, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  3. Spinning the Classics: Using Archival Materials to Bridge the Gap from the Past to the Present. Connecting the old with today’s interests is not for the passive. Join Kathy Gaynor (Webster University) and panelists Carol Street (Ball State University) and Sara Harrington (Ohio University) as they show how archival material can have relevance to our present-day lives and can spur discussion of current society and values. Come learn how classroom activities such as using historical architectural drawings to create physical models with cutting-edge 3-D printing technology, discussing changing social mores through an examination of student handbooks, and composing contemporary alma maters inspired by the existing institutional anthem can all bridge the past-present gap.
    [Pershing Place North, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]

10:30AM-12:00PM Concurrent Sessions

  1. “Don’t Knock the Rock”: Making Popular Music Collections a Part of Your Archives. Documenting local and regional popular music scenes is not an easy task. Come hear Scott Schwartz (Sousa Archives and Center for American Music) and panelists Heather Fox (University of Louisville), Rory Grennan (Sousa Archives and Center for American Music), Gino Pasi (Wright State University), Elizabeth E. Reilly (University of Louisville), and Jennie Thomas (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) explain some of the difficulties is collecting this sort of material. More importantly, however, come and hear how to make this task less daunting. Among the topics to be addressed are donor relations, community outreach, accessibility, documentation strategies, and making the case for collecting these materials to administration, peers, and library friends groups. The session will focus on the music scenes in Champaign, Illinois, Dayton and Cleveland, Ohio,  and Louisville, Kentucky.
    [Pershing East & West, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  2. Syncopation of Social Media: New Ways of Using, Improving, and Evaluating Social Media. The title of this session says it all! Dana Gerber (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and panelists Laura Farley (Wisconsin Historical Society), Danielle Spalenka (Northern Illinois University), and Eric Willey (Filson Historical Society) will address three strategies to improve your institution’s involvement with social media: 1) targeting existing subgroups of overall users, 2) reaching out to new users, and 3) using statistical tracking in social media platforms to evaluate the success of the social media programs. Whether or not social media is already a part of how your organization relates to its users, this is the session to help you with next steps.
    [Pershing Place North, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  3. Working in Harmony: Conducting Your Role as a Contract Archivist. What are the challenges of the contract archivist? How does one successfully keep all the duties and expectations of a job in order? Join Troy Eller English (Wayne State University) and panelists Rebecca Bizonet (The Henry Ford), Andrea Gietzen (General Motors), and Alexandra A. A. Orchard (Wayne State University) as they look at 1) planning and prioritizing work, 2) negotiating relationships with coworkers, funders, donors, and the materials, 3) engaging within the workplace and the profession, and 4) communicating roles and engaging and managing the expectations of funders.
    [Pershing Place South, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]

More information is available in the conference program (pdf) or at mac2014.sched.org

Attention SNAP and all its friends

The Students and New Archives Professionals (SNAP) Roundtable would like to invite current students, new professionals, and any friends of SNAP to a happy hour (or SNAPpy hour, if you will) at the Westin Hotel’s Brasserie Bar Lounge on Thursday (4/24) at 5:00pm.

We will mingle for a bit and then head to the opening reception together. Hope to see you there!


Lisa Huntsha
Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center
Augustana College | Rock Island, Illinois

The future, the present, and learning something new

The Future

Friday, April 25th, 1-5PM  &  Saturday, April 26th, 8:30AM-12PM

Be sure to drop by the future of our profession and see what interesting work graduate students are doing. The students will be available for questions and discussion on Friday from 3-3:30PM:

  • Interpreting the Wisconsin Thematic Panels Project
    Michelle Dubert-Bellrichard
    School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Action, Cooperation, and Independence: A Survey of Community Archives and History-Making Organizations in the Midwest
    Adrienne Evans
    School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • The Media History Digital Library: A Collaborative and Open Access Model
    Laurel J. Gildersleeve
    School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • The Archives Experience: Introducing Archival Materials into Undergraduate Education
    Ellen LeClere
    School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Small Museums and Archives: Mission and Challenges
    Michele Loran
    School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Documenting Cultural Objects and Preserving Digital Heritage: The Importance of Using Indigenous Knowledge Databases
    Lindsay Morecraft
    University of Iowa
  • A Honey of a Practicum: Digitization and Outreach at Wisconsin Historical Images
    Lotus Norton-Wisla
    School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • German-Speaking Migrants and the Great War
    Ariel Rhines
    University of Kansas
  • A National Agenda for Digital Stewardship
    Jaime Schumacher
    Northern Illinois University
  • Applying Principles of Information Architecture to Digital Collections
    Gwendolyn Sieja
    School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Public History and Archival Coursework in Undergraduate Programs: A Comparison
    Emily Swenson
    School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Lewis Jacobs and Experimental Cinema at the WCFTR
    Willie Thurlow
    School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

[Roanoke Foyer, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]

The Present

Friday, April 25

Join your fellow MAC members at this year’s Member’s Meeting!
Catch up on what has been going on with MAC over the past year and learn about future plans for the organization during MAC president Amy Cooper Cary’s annual “State of MAC” address.
You will also learn about upcoming meetings in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, and Lexington, Kentucky.

[Century Ballroom A, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]

Something New

Friday, April 25th

The MAC Education Committee presents three 45-minute educational opportunities during Friday’s lunch break.

Bring your lunch and learn something new:

  1. Social Media: What’s Happening and What’s Coming Next? with Amy Bishop (Iowa State University), Anne Thomason (Lake Forest College), and Colleen Theisen (University of Iowa)
    [Shawnee Room, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  2. MPLP for Audiovisual Materials with Laura Sullivan (Iowa State University), Marcella Wiget (Kansas Historical Society), Dennis Meissner (Minnesota Historical Society), and Nancy Sherbert (Kansas Historical Society)
    [Mission Room, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  3. Outreach and Marketing for Your Archives with Jennifer Johnson (Cargill) and Abby Magariel (Watkins Museum of History)
    [Century Ballroom A, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]

Sessions: Friday, April 25th

Arbor Day is chock-full of intriguing sessions. Here’s a quick overview of what’s going on:

8:30-10:00AM Concurrent Sessions

  1. Finding Harmony: Pathways for Access to Oral History Collections. Concerned about opening your oral history holdings to researchers? Come hear what Sarah Milligan (Kentucky Historical Society/Kentucky Oral History Commission) and panelists Doug Boyd (University of Kentucky), Sarah-Jane Poindexter (University of Louisville), and Anne Ryckbost (Northern Kentucky University) have determined to be the important aspects of providing access to oral history collections within the boundaries of the law and ethical standards as collection professionals. Bringing together the institutional and risk management understanding of managers and the intimate collection knowledge of employees can result in greater access to legacy collections.
    [Mission Room, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  2. Hangin’ with the Cool Cats: Enhancing Archives Access through Digital Humanities. What’s the connection between Digital Humanities and Archives? Let Virginia Connell (Concordia College) and panelists Ellen Engseth (University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Libraries), John Faundeen (US Geological Survey), Matt Herbison (Drexel University College of Medicine), Joy K. Lintelman (Concordia College), and Lisa Sjoberg, (Concordia College) give you some insight into how you: establish archivist and faculty collaborations to integrate digital humanities projects into courses, use aerial imagery and topographic maps for geolocation of archival materials, build a local history encyclopedia as a digital history project and participate in a new campus digital humanities lab, and develop an online system that extends an existing digital collections website into something more student-friendly.
    [Century Ballroom A, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  3. The Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums Project: Bringing LIS Students and American Indian Communities Together to Learn through Sharing and Community. Come and learn about the TLAM Project and how its seeks to engage with underrepresented areas of our field and develop mutually beneficial relationships with tribal cultural heritage professionals. Mary Wise (University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies) and panelists Omar Poler (University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies), Sara Summers-Luedtke (Oneida Nation Museum), and Lotus Norton-Wisla (University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies) will share the TLAM model in order to encourage practicing professionals and educators to consider ways of engaging with tribal partners.
    [Shawnee Room, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]

10:30AM-12:00PM Concurrent Sessions

  1. Becoming a Suzuki-Approved Repository: Training Archival Students. Shinichi Suzuki extended native language acquisition to learning to play the violin. The same underlying idea that an environment can be used to aid learning and by extension training future archivists will be explored by Tom Steman (St. Cloud State University) and panelists Katie Blank (Marquette University), Alexis Braun Marks (Eastern Michigan University) and Rachel Vagts (Berea College). Topics include practical experience and how it correlates to job placement, whether small shops benefit by offering meaningful student work experiences, and how a union environment has defined the roles of personnel who staff the archives and its impact on recruiting interns and the assignment of projects.
    [Shawnee Room, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  2. Digital Preservation at the Crossroads. Preserving and managing digital collections does not often have a one-size-fits-all solution. Erik Moore (University of Minnesota) and panelists Aaron Collie (Michigan State University), Ben Goldman (Penn State University), Benn Joseph (Northwestern University), and Mike Shallcross (University of Michigan) will relate experiences planning and implementing digital preservation solutions in unique environments. Come and learn what has worked, what hasn’t, and how the practices of each institution continue to evolve.
    [Mission Room, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  3. Part Theory, Part Therapy: Archival Management Lessons from the Trenches. A lightning round format will allow Cliff Hight (Kansas State University) and eight panelists — Stephanie Bennett (Iowa State University), Ruth E. Bryan (University of Kentucky), Gary Cox (University of Missouri), Tamar Chute (The Ohio State University), Sammie Morris (Purdue University), Trista Raezer (North Dakota State University), Adonna Thompson (Avila University), Anke Voss, (The Urbana Free Library) — to address numerous topics regarding archival management. Lots of experience and tips on everything from workflows to task assignments, working with different personalities to challenges of higher education archives, donor relations to student assistants, and digitization to allowing the archivist time to think, research, and write!
    [Century Ballroom A, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]

1:30PM-3:00PM Concurrent Sessions

  1. Creative Solutions: Oral History on a Budget. Making the ends meet of an oral history project can be a challenge. Listen to Deborah Dandridge (University of Kansas) and panelists Rob DeLand (VanderCook College of Music), Jeremy Feador (Baldwin Wallace University), Kevin Grace (University of Cincinnati), and Judith A. Wiener (The Ohio State University Health Sciences Library) as they share tips on utilizing resources and technology in a cost-effective and budget-friendly manner. The oral history projects under discussion include the Navy V-12, nursing, urban studies, folklore, and the preservation of audio cassettes from a 1970s master’s thesis.
    [Mission Room, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  2. Crossed Swords at the Crossroads: The MAC 2014 Debates. Join moderator Daria Labinsky (National Archives at St. Louis), and debaters Timothy Achee (Saint Louis University), Shannon M. Erb (University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee), Jennifer A. Head (Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary), Katherine Burger Johnson (University of Louisville), Christopher O. Magee (National Archives at Kansas City), and Samantha Smith (Loyola University at Chicago) as they lay out arguments on two controversial archival topics: 1) that archivists have a professional responsibility to be politically active and 2) that the  cost of using volunteers in archival institutions outweighs the benefits. I’m sure we all have our opinions on these two topics. Now come and see how a formal, “modified Oxford-style” debate will add new perspectives to your views!
    [Century Ballroom A, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  3. Managing the Syncopations of Socially Connected Collections. In the always new, always attention-grabbing world of social media, three questions resonate loudly in the world of archives, libraries, and musems: 1) How do we seek out and integrate collaborators across departments or institutions? 2) How do we effectively craft a clear identity with so many competing interests? and 3) How do we communicate our goals and expectations as we expand to a team of content creators? Come hear Janet Carleton (Ohio University) and panelists Robert Garrett (Archives of Michigan), Sasha Griffin (Luther College), and Colleen Theisen (University of Iowa) relate their success with social media management in government, college, and university collections and how they manage to maintain a clear voice with multiple partners and content creators.
    [Shawnee Room, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]

More information is available in the conference program (pdf) or at mac2014.sched.org

Lone Arrangers Social

Lone Arranger Colleagues,

Planning to attend the Midwest Archives Conference annual meeting next week?

Make time to be a part of the Lone Arrangers Social on Friday, April 25th from 6:00PM to 9:00PM.

We’re going to be eating at the wonderful Pierpont’s in the historic Union Station. They have a Lounge Menu Friday at 7:00 p.m. that is very reasonable – and tasty: www.pierponts.com/menus.php. See also a tantalizing photo of their bar here: profp.tumblr.com/image/82382893263.

The beautiful building has fascinating origins as a key transportation hub in America – and has recently celebrated its 100 year anniversary. Here’s a timeline to learn more: www.unionstation.org/timeline .

We’ll meet in the meeting’s hotel lobby – the Westin Crown Center – at 5:45 p.m. to walk over together.

See the full MAC 2014 annual meeting program here: www.midwestarchives.org/assets/documents/2014_spring_program.pdf .

It’ll be great – our chance to connect, share ideas, eat great good in a fun setting with great and fun fellow lone arrangers!

Sessions: Thursday, April 24th

After what should be an inspiring keynote address by Chuck Haddix, this year’s conference kicks off with three fantastic sessions:

  1. Road Trip! Archives and Heritage Tourism asks the question “How can archives support and benefit from heritage tourism?” Join Morgan Gieringer (University of North Texas) and panelists Sarah D’Antonio (Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics), Michael Everman (Missouri State Archives–St. Louis) and Heather J. Stecklein (University of Wisconsin–Stout) as they present three specific projects that have put the cultural tourist front and center.
    [Mission Room, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  2. Digital Projects on the Civil War Sesquicentennial across the Kansas-Missouri Border will give you a look at how three cultural organizations have brought digital technology to bear on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Eli Paul (Kansas City Public Library) and panelists Michael Church (Kansas Historical Society), David LaCrone (Kansas City Public Library), Abby Magariel (Watkins Museum of History, Lawrence) and Jason Roe, (Kansas City Public Library) will share their experiences in engaging the public with regional history that still resonates to this day. Come hear about the 1863 Commemorate Lawrence initiative and much, much more!
    [Century Ballroom A, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]
  3. Improvisations of Processing: Confronting the Unforeseen in Large Processing Projects. Part and parcel of the large, archival processing project is facing unexpected challenges: anything from contaminated papers to unfamiliar electronic file formats. Airen Campbell-Olszewski (Michigan Technological University) and panelists Rachael Bussert (Michigan Technological University), Daniel Michelson (Michigan Technological University), Brandon Pieczko (South Dakota State Historical Society–State Archives) and Marcella Wiget (Kansas Historical Society) will share their strategies and policies is handling unanticipated issues of preservation and access with large processing projects.
    [Shawnee Room, Ballroom (3rd) Floor, Westin at Crown Center]

All three session run concurrently from 3:30PM-5PM. More information is available in the conference program (pdf) or at mac2014.sched.org

You can’t go wrong with whichever session you choose!