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Annual Meeting

Manuscript Repositories Newsletter

Spring 2009

Section Updates

  • From the Chair
  • Draft Revision of Section Bylaws
  • Nominations Sought For Section Leadership
  • News from Members

  • The Matthew Shepard Web Archive: An Online Resource from the American Heritage Center
  • Naval History Society Collection Processed
  • Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection Open for Research
  • Denver Public Library Awarded NHPRC Grant for Colorado Diverse Heritage
  • State Library of Massachusetts Special Collections Processes Multiple Legislative Collections
  • "Ashes of Waco" Blog Documents Digitization & Online Exhibit Project
  • Midwest Archives Conference to be Held in St. Louis, April 29-May 2
  • Northwest Digital Archives Completes Digital Program Needs Assessment, Advances Planning

  • Leadership and Next Newsletter Deadline


    Section Updates

    From the Chair
    Mat Darby

    As I write this, I find it hard to believe that this year's annual meeting here in Austin is less than five months away. This year's theme, "Sustainable Archives," is particularly fitting for a city that has been dealing with its own issues of sustainability for a decade or more. I do hope that many of you are able to attend.

    Though the preliminary program has yet to be released, I can tell you of a few offerings of which to take note. In the fall, the steering committee endorsed two session proposals, both of which the Program Committee accepted:

      "How We Appraise: When Theory Meets Reality," proposed by Tara Laver, LSU Special Collections, and the Acquisitions and Appraisal Section
      "More Product, Less Process (MPLP) Revisited: Choosing the Right Processing Strategy for Your Repository and Collections," proposed by Jeffrey Suchanek, Public Policy Archives, University of Kentucky

    An additional session, "Consortia: Models for Creating Sustainable Collaborations," developed by steering committee member Rebecca Bizonet and proposed by the section, also was accepted. The workshop "Rare Books for Archivists," developed by steering committee member Katie Salzmann and instructor Michael Laird, with valuable input from committee member Helice Koffler and section members Jennifer Schaffner and Jim Cartwright will be one of the pre-conference offerings.

    This year's section meeting will be held on Thursday afternoon, August 13, 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Though still in the formative stages, we are considering a program that addresses how this uncertain economic climate is affecting archivists and manuscript repositories and what we're all doing about it. The section's annual business meeting, reporting of election results, and an opportunity for member announcements will round out the agenda.

    As you will notice later in the newsletter, Karen Spicher and the nominating committee are beginning to compile a slate of candidates for section leadership. This is a great opportunity to be more involved with the section and SAA. I especially encourage archivists new to the profession to get more involved. If you'd like to throw your hat in the ring, contact Karen at .

    I am glad to see a number of contributions to the Spring newsletter, but I'd like to hear more from you. If you have ideas for activities or initiatives the steering committee should undertake, please don't hesitate to e-mail me ().

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    Draft Revision of Section Bylaws
    Karen Spicher, Past Chair

    The Steering Committee is seeking comments from Section members on the draft revision of our bylaws (see below). This revision mainly concerns implementation of electronic voting; see especially sections V and VII. Also, formatting has been revised and numbering added for easier reference.

    Following the comment period, a final version will be posted in the summer newsletter, and the Section will vote by electronic ballot to ratify the revision.

    Comments may be sent to Karen Spicher at , or posted to the Section discussion list. (To participate in the discussion list, you must update your default settings; see SAA E-Mail Lists for more information.) Please send comments by May 1, 2009. Thank you!

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    Draft Revision to Manuscript Repositories Section Bylaws

    I. Membership

      1. Membership in the Manuscript Repositories Section of the Society of American Archivists is open to any member of SAA who has an interest in repositories that collect and administer holdings not generated by the organization or the institution of which the repository is a part.

    II. Officers

      1. Officers of the Manuscript Repositories Section consist of a chair and a vice chair.
      2. A new vice chair is elected each year and serves for one year as vice chair, succeeding automatically to the office of chair for the subsequent year. If the vice chair is unable to succeed the chair, a new chair is elected following the same procedures as for the election of the vice chair.
      3. The chair presides at meetings of the Section and the steering committee; represents the Section in its relations with SAA in general and with the Council and other groups within the Society; appoints Section committees as needed; submits an annual report of Section activities to the SAA executive office; and issues three newsletters annually to the Section membership.
      4. The vice chair serves as acting chair in the absence of the chair.

    III. Steering Committee

      1. The steering committee consists of the officers and six members.
      2. The members serve two-year terms, three members being elected at each annual meeting with additional members elected if unexpired terms need to be filled.
      3. The steering committee serves in an advisory capacity to the chair, and its members may be assigned specific responsibilities by the chair. The steering committee plans each annual meeting of the Section.

    IV. Web Liaison

      1. The web liaison is appointed by the chair and approved by the steering committee.
      2. The web liaison serves three years, consisting of one year as co-liaison, one year as solo liaison, and a final year working with the new co-liaison. If no one comes forward to take the co-liaison position during the solo year, the web liaison's term can be renewed until another candidate is identified.

    V. Election of Officers and Steering Committee

      1. Only members of SAA and the Manuscript Repositories Section may be nominated to serve as officers or steering committee members. Only members of the Manuscript Repositories Section may vote.
      2. The nominating and elections committee consists of the immediate past chair of the Section (serving as chair of the committee) and the three steering committee members whose terms are not expiring at the conclusion of the next annual meeting.
      3. The committee calls for nominations at least three months prior to the annual meeting.
      4. The committee ensures that there is at least one nominee for vice chair and that the number of nominees for the steering committee is not less than the number of positions to be filled.
      5. The committee announces the nominees in the last newsletter prior to the annual meeting.
      6. The committee publishes an electronic ballot at least four weeks before SAA's annual conference. The ballot will include a provision for write-in candidates. Members may request a mail-in ballot from the committee in place of an electronic ballot. The deadline for receipt of electronic or mail-in ballots will be one week before the first day of SAA's annual conference.
      7. Winners are determined by the majority of votes cast by the deadline. The committee determines results and announces the results at the annual Section meeting. If an election results in a tie, the committee conducts a runoff election at the annual Section meeting.
      8. Elected officers and steering committee members assume office at the conclusion of the annual meeting of the Section.

    VI. Meetings

      1. The Manuscript Repositories Section meets once a year at the annual SAA meeting at the time and place scheduled by the SAA program committee and executive office. A steering committee meeting is usually held immediately after the Section meeting.
      2. Additional meetings of the entire membership or the steering committee may be scheduled by the chair if needed to carry out the business of the Section.
      3. For the section meeting, the vice-chair takes minutes; for the steering committee meeting, the past chair takes minutes. Minutes are made available to the Section within six weeks of the annual meeting.

    VII. Amendments

      1. Any member of the Manuscript Repositories Section may propose amendments to these bylaws. Proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the chair.
      2. The chair will distribute proposed amendments to the membership through one of the Section newsletters. Amendments will appear on the electronic ballot that the committee publishes at least four weeks before SAA's annual conference. As with the election of officers, members may request a mail-in ballot from the committee in place of an electronic ballot. The deadline for receipt of electronic or mail-in ballots will be one week before the first day of SAA's annual conference. Only members of the Manuscript Repositories Section may vote. 
      3. A majority of the votes cast is required to amend the bylaws.

    VIII. Enactment

      1. These bylaws were revised in 2009.

    SAA Manuscript Repositories Section Steering Committee Assignments

    Note: This list is by no means exhaustive; it merely highlights certain assignments that are normally given to officers in the Section.

    1. Steering Committee (1st year): service on Nominating Committee; participates in Steering Committee meetings at SAA; helps set the agenda for the year; contributes to the newsletter or other activities. Is expected to attend SAA annual meeting.

    2. Steering Committee (2nd year): assists Chair and Vice Chair/Chair-elect in getting sessions of interest to Section members on the SAA program for the following year; assists in planning for the annual meeting; is in a position to contribute in other ways such as liaison work with other organizations, contributions to the newsletter, etc. Is expected to attend SAA annual meeting.

    3. Vice-Chair/Chair elect (1-year position): normally acts as newsletter editor; works with the Chair and Steering Committee in establishing an agenda for the year; works to ensure that sessions of interest to Section members appear on the SAA program for the following year; prepares for term of service as Chair in the following year; takes minutes during the annual Section meeting. Must attend SAA annual meeting. (Candidates for this position are often drawn from the membership of the Steering Committee.)

    4. Chair (1-year position): with other officers sets the Section's agenda for the year; organizes and runs the annual meeting of the Section at SAA; is the key contact person between the Section and other bodies such as the SAA Council; attends special committee meetings at SAA annual meeting; exercises overall supervision and responsibility for Section activities such as special projects, the newsletter, etc.; handles administrative matters such as writing an annual report and budget request to SAA Council, etc. Must attend SAA annual meeting.

    5. Immediate past chair (1-year position): responsible for forwarding files and other information to current officers or to the SAA Archives as appropriate; acts as chair of the Section's Nominating Committee; is responsible for publishing electronic ballots and announcing the results of the balloting at the Section's annual meeting; assists as needed with ongoing work of the Section; takes minutes during the annual steering committee meeting. Is expected to attend SAA annual meeting.

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    Nominations Sought For Section Leadership
    Karen Spicher, Chair, Nominations and Election Committee

    The Nominations and Election Committee is seeking candidates for the following positions:

    Vice Chair/Chair Elect:

    Serves as Vice Chair from the conclusion of the 2009 meeting through the 2010 meeting; serves as newsletter editor; works with the Chair and Steering Committee in establishing an agenda for the year; works to ensure that sessions of interest to Section members appear on the SAA program for the following year; prepares for term of service as Chair in 2010-2011; takes minutes during the annual Section meeting. The Vice Chair/Chair Elect must attend the SAA annual meeting.

    Steering Committee (3 members):

    Serve for two years from the end of the 2009 meeting through the 2011 meeting; serve on the Nominations and Election Committee for 2010; assist in planning for the 2011 annual meeting; participate in Steering Committee meetings at SAA; help set the agenda for the year; and contribute to the newsletter or other activities. Steering Committee members are expected to attend the SAA annual meeting.

    Candidates must be members of SAA and the Manuscript Repositories Section. Elections will be held by electronic ballot four weeks before SAA's annual conference in Austin, August 11-16, 2009, and winners will be announced at the Section meeting in Austin.

    Please send suggestions for candidates to any member of the Nominations and Elections Committee:

      Karen Spicher ()
      Barbara De Wolfe ()
      L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin ()
      Elizabeth Russey ()

    The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2009. Thank you for participating!

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    News from Members

    The Matthew Shepard Web Archive: An Online Resource from the American Heritage Center
    Laura Uglean Jackson, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

    The American Heritage Center (AHC) at the University of Wyoming (UW) is pleased to announce the completion of the Matthew Shepard Web Archive, made possible by a grant from the University of Wyoming's President's Advisory Council on Minorities' and Women's Affairs.

    Matthew Shepard was a gay student at the University of Wyoming. He was brutally beaten on the night of October 7, 1998, by two men, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. He died four days later in a hospital in Ft. Collins, CO. Since Shepard's murder ten years ago, the AHC has been collecting material such as photos, news clippings, UW President's correspondence, memorial banners, pamphlets, and ephemera to document the murder and events that followed. At the same time, people throughout the world were affected by his murder and used the World Wide Web as a place to document, reach out, create, organize, and share. Web sites are thus an important part of the societal memory of Matthew Shepard, his murder, and related events and issues.

    With a one-month subscription to Archive-It (a service from the Internet Archive that assists archives in preserving web sites) the AHC captured seventy web sites that broadly document the ten year mark since the murder of Matthew Shepard and related lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues. Included in the archive are blogs, wikis, videos, memorial web pages, a MySpace page, and Flickr photos. It also includes the web sites of organizations, films, books, music, and events related to Matthew Shepard.

    The Matthew Shepard Web Archive can be accessed through the University of Wyoming's online library catalog, and through a finding aid in the Rocky Mountain Online Archive. Archive-It provides access to the collection with keyword searching and browsing capabilities through their web site. Preservation of the web sites will be managed by Archive-It. It is hoped that the archive will not only enhance the AHC's existing material on Matthew Shepard, but will be valuable to the general public as a unique resource.

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    Naval History Society Collection Processed
    Celia Hartmann, New-York Historical Society

    The Naval History Society Collection (1721-1995; bulk 1781-1936) has been processed, supported by funding from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. The Collection consists of 53 individual collections, many named for renowned naval officers or vessels. These include correspondence, letter books, journals and diaries, lectures, essays, account books, biographical writings, genealogical information, scrapbooks, orders, notes, articles and clippings, photographs, manuscripts, and ships' logs, as well as the organizational records and correspondence of the Naval History Society itself. The majority of the collections document American naval engagements and commercial maritime pursuits, personalities, and vessels; a few collections of British and French documents are included. The Collection as a whole provides primary sources on American naval involvement in hostilities from the American Revolution to the Spanish American War, as well as routine commercial and naval shipboard life, naval design, navigation, education and officer training. The Society's records document the founding, management, and activities of a collecting and publishing organization in the first third of the 20th century.

    An EAD finding aid for the collection is available at and MARC records for each of its 53 constituent series are accessible through the Society's online catalog:

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    Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection Open for Research
    Courtney Chartier, Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc.

    The Archives & Special Collections of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., is pleased to announce the recent release of a significant portion of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection. The collection was purchased in 2006 by a group of prominent Atlantans on behalf of Dr. King's alma mater, Morehouse College. As the sole academic library of Morehouse College, the Robert W. Woodruff Library was named custodian of this unique and valuable resource.

    The collection consists of handwritten and typed manuscripts, correspondence, index cards and office files, and over 1,100 volumes from Dr. King's personal library. Materials span the length of Dr. King's career as a student at Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary and Boston University, as a minister at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and Ebenezer Baptist Church, as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and as a leader of the civil rights movement.

    Iconic documents include handwritten annotations to a first edition of "Letter from Birmingham City Jail;" an early draft of Dr. King's speech at the March on Washington titled "Normalcy Never Again;" and several drafts of King's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech and lecture. Major series are correspondence, with letters, cards and telegrams sent to King after his stabbing in Harlem and to the King family after his assassination, and writings by Martin Luther King, Jr., with handwritten and typed drafts of Dr. King's books, sermons and speeches.

    To date, approximately 43 feet of collection material has been arranged and described at the item level. The finding aid has been encoded in EAD and is available at Manuscript items in the current release of the collection have been scanned and matched to concurrent metadata. Using a script to automatically harvest descriptive information from the EAD record, metadata was then matched to the correct scans within CONTENTdm, the digital content management system already used by the Library. These digital surrogates are available only in the reading room of the Archives & Special Collections. The book collection has been catalogued, but not digitized, and is available for research in original form.

    The team working on the Morehouse King Collection (project manager, two archivists, an archives assistant, a cataloger, and a digital technician) collaborated with multiple institutions across the country. Locally, the team has sought advice and technical support from the Digital Library of Georgia and the Archives and Records Management Department of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Nationally, the Library collaborates with the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center (HGARC) at Boston University and the King Papers Project at Stanford University. With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Archival Collaborative aims to create a web site that highlights the holdings of both the Morehouse King Collection and HGARC's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Archive via a search engine that will compile results from both institutions' finding aids. Undergirding this work are the extensive scholarly records already created by the King Papers Project.

    For more information, please contact the Archives at (404) 978-2052 or .

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    Denver Public Library Awarded NHPRC Grant for Colorado Diverse Heritage
    Ellen Zazzarino, Denver Public Library

    In January 2009, the Denver Public Library, Western History/Genealogy Department began work on the grant Colorado's Diverse Heritage, awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The Colorado's Diverse Heritage grant will enable the Library to process five archival collections that cover individuals and organizations representing Latino, African American, and American Indian populations. These collections demonstrate the highly significant contributions of these diverse communities whose original historically important documents are underrepresented in accessible manuscript collections. Included are documents detailing the inception of the Hispanic labor movement in the United States including original letters from national leaders such as César Chávez. The history of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado is documented in the collection of civil rights activist Clarence Holmes. The collection of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) honors the contributions of American Indians as the nation's first engineers and scientists, and also details the history of this organization's work in helping to develop new generations of American Indian leaders in the fields of engineering and science. The five archival collections of individuals and organizations document the diverse heritage of Colorado.

    Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales (June 18, 1928- April 18, 2005) was a Mexican American boxer, poet and political activist. He convened the first-ever Chicano youth conference in Colorado (March 1969), which was attended by many future Chicano activists and artists. The conference also promulgated the Plan Espiritual de Aztlan, a manifesto describing self-determination for Chicanos. As an early figure of the movement for the equal rights of Mexican Americans, he is considered one of the founders of the Chicano Movement. He financed the publication of Denver's first barrio newspaper, Viva, beginning in the late 1950s.

    Tim Flores (b. January 30, 1915) is one of Colorado's highly respected historical figures. He has a place of honor with other famous Colorado icons in a mural on the south side of the Convention Center in downtown Denver. While serving as the representative for the Steelworkers Union 2101, Flores caught the attention of Herrick Roth, President of the Colorado AFL-CIO. In 1972, Roth chose Flores to be the lobbyist for the Colorado AFL-CIO. It was a major change in that no other Chicano had previously held such a position in the Colorado AFL-CIO chapter. Flores was also instrumental in the founding and operations of the AFL-CIO sponsored Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). He was an active participant in everything that affected the oppressed. He organized the Coors Strike in the mid 1970s and worked with César Chávez and Dolores Huerta of the United Farm Workers in their boycott strikes of grapes, wine and lettuce.

    Denver native Dr. Clarence Holmes (1892-1978) was a dentist and leader of the city's civil rights movement in the first part of the twentieth century. He helped found the Denver branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In the 1920s he was a leader in the struggle against Colorado's Ku Klux Klan. Born in Denver on May 21, 1892, Holmes was a graduate of Manual High School in 1913, received his Bachelor of Science degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1917 and his doctorate from the Howard School of Dentistry in 1920. He was active in many civic groups and served on the Denver Commission on Human Relations, the Citizens Budget Committee and the Citizens Health and Housing Commission.

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) is, as described on the web site of the Smithsonian Institution, a "national, nonprofit organization which nurtures building of community by bridging science and technology with traditional Native values. Through its educational programs, AISES provides opportunities for American Indians and Native Alaskans to pursue studies in science, engineering, business and other academic arenas. The trained professionals then become technologically informed leaders within the Indian community."

    The Latin American Research and Service Agency (LARASA) was formed in the early 1960s after a multicultural group of community leaders envisioned an agency that would address the disparities that existed between Colorado's Latino community and the mainstream community. Their vision led to the incorporation of the Latin American Research and Service Agency (LARASA) in March 1964 as the first Latino community-based 501(c)(3) non-profit agency in the nation. The mission of LARASA is to lead and influence change to improve the quality of life for Latinos in Colorado. LARASA's primary goal is to strengthen the capacity of the Latino community to achieve economic, educational, and physical well-being.

    Preserving and creating access to these significant papers in Denver's history will sustain an informed and engaged citizenry, both locally as well as nationally. Manuscript Processing Project: Colorado's Diverse Heritage will preserve this documentary heritage and promote its distribution and use.

    Y M C A football team Anderson 1206 15th St. Denver.

    YMCA football team, Anderson 1206 15th St., Denver

    During war protest in front of capitol "Corky" Gonzales is far left under banner

    During war protest in front of capitol "Corky" Gonzales is far left under banner

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    State Library of Massachusetts Special Collections Processes Multiple Legislative Collections
    Paige Roberts, State Library of Massachusetts

    The State Library of Massachusetts Special Collections department holds records related to Massachusetts history, government, and politics including the personal papers of former Massachusetts legislators. With a new, minimal approach to processing, several collections of legislative papers have recently been processed and are now open for research. These include the collections of the following legislators: Edward Kirby (a Republican from Plymouth), Paul Demakis (a Democrat from Boston's Back Bay neighborhood), George Rogers (a Democrat from New Bedford), Andrew Natsios (Republican from Holliston), Patricia Walrath (Democrat from Stow), and Carol A. Donovan (Democrat from Woburn). The collections include material relating to a wide array of topics of public concern including indoor air pollution, abortion rights and buffer zones for abortion clinics, Massachusetts turnpike air rights, domestic partnership (gay rights), Wampanoag casino, affordable housing, public education (including school construction, enrichment programs, and standardized testing), elderly affairs, aversion therapy, home rule, taxation limitation, victims' rights, environmental issues related to hazardous waste, budgetary issues, public safety, and constituent issues. Collections date from 1970 to 2004.

    Researchers interested in seeing a guide to any of the collections should contact Special Collections staff at 617-727-2595 or Staff are working on posting finding aids for these and other collections on the State Library's new web site.

    The collections are open for research Monday-Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm at the State Library of Massachusetts Special Collections department, State House Room 55, Boston, Massachusetts. For more information about the State Library of Massachusetts Special Collections, see

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    "Ashes of Waco" Blog Documents Digitization & Online Exhibit Project
    Joel Minor, Texas State University-San Marcos

    Last fall The Wittliff Collections started a blog to help document the progress of a grant project digitizing and displaying online the research materials for the book, The Ashes of Waco, in the Dick J. Reavis Papers. The funding came through the Texas State Library and Archives Commission's TexTreasures grant program. The grant period started last September and ends this August. (See the Fall 2008 issue of Manuscripts Repositories Newsletter for more details on the project.)

    As almost everyone knows by now, there are numerous free blogging services out there to get first-time bloggers like us started. However, we wanted "Ashes of Waco" to be affiliated with the Alkek Library at Texas State University-San Marcos, since The Wittliff Collections are a part of the library. Plus, the library has staff that maintains other blogs for library users, so we had a home for it and resources available that would help us create and maintain a professional blog.

    Alkek reference librarian Lisa Ancelet was a big help, first in setting up the blog and then customizing the look of it. The first six posts were written by me and informational in nature (e.g., grant details, software choices, copyright concerns). Since then, Kurt Johnson, the digitization intern for the project, has been posting sample documents, images, and audio and video clips, with commentary on how they fit into the larger scope of the incident and of the research materials. I will continue to post on project developments.

    A supplementary purpose of "Ashes of Waco" is to provide a forum for researchers and other interested persons to ask questions and leave comments. We felt a blog would be a good way of generating buzz among interested parties about the online exhibit before it appeared, and a more appropriate forum (rather than the exhibit itself) for online discussions about a topic whose embers are still burning across the Internet.

    To raise colleagues' awareness of the blog, we requested its feed and URL be added to, "a syndicated collection of blogs by and for archivists." We notified co-workers and others of its existence via e-mail, and posted it on the library's blog page, the Southwestern Writers Collection homepage, and the Dick J. Reavis Papers finding aid page. We are also publicizing the blog by asking owners of other web sites permission to provide links to their URLs on our site.

    Visit the blog at: We hope to keep it going with news and discussion well after the work on the grant project is done.

    Screenshot of the blog, Ashes of Waco, 1/9/09

    Screenshot of the blog, Ashes of Waco, 1/9/09

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    Midwest Archives Conference to be Held in St. Louis, April 29-May 2
    Miranda Rectenwald, Washington University Libraries, Archives

    The Midwest Archives Conference 2009 program will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, at the beautiful Hyatt Regency St. Louis Riverfront, April 29 -- May 2. Open to all, this year's sessions range from ethics to video preservation, donor policies, and more. Of particular note, is the session "Avoiding Turbulence: Donors, Deeds, and Descriptions," offered on Friday. This panel will examine potential unintended consequences related to manuscript collections that were acquired, processed, and made available to users under legacy procedures and policies. Several pre-conference workshops and tours are also offered.

    The Midwest Archives Conference is open to anyone in the records management and archival fields, and at only $75.00 for advance registration ($65 for MAC members) this three-day conference is an exceptional value. To take advantage of this special rate, your registration must be postmarked by April 10, 2009. Full program descriptions are available at

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    Northwest Digital Archives Completes Digital Program Needs Assessment, Advances Planning
    Jodi Allison-Bunnell, NWDA Program Manager

    The Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA), a program that provides enhanced access to archival collections and facilitates collaboration among archives, libraries, and museums in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska, has completed its first phase of long-range planning for a digital services program.

    NWDA's Digital Program Working Group, led by Michael Paulus of Whitman College, recommended that the Alliance develop a program to include hosting digitized content for access, hosting born-digital and digitized content for preservation, offering a meta-search across digital content systems, and scanning and reformatting services. Surrounding these services is a commitment to sustainable business planning and to creating services that can be supported through budget shifts rather than new funding. The governing council of the Orbis Cascade Alliance integrated these recommendations into its strategic agenda at its February 2009 retreat.

    NWDA has received a $38,844 Collaborative Planning Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to advance the second stage of planning, in which the group will determine solutions to specific problems that are currently impeding the development of sustainable digital programs. The project is a collaborative effort of the Alliance, Washington State University, Lewis & Clark College, Whitman College, the Montana Historical Society, and Whitworth University. Advisory board members to the project are Terry Reese, Oregon State University; Fynnette Eaton, independent consultant; and Leigh Grinstead, .

    Founded with NEH and NHPRC funding in 2002, NWDA became part of the Orbis Cascade Alliance in 2007. Members pay annual fees based on institution type that cover the costs of technical, administrative, and fiscal support services.

    Current NWDA member institutions are the Eastern Washington State Historical Society/Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Gonzaga University, Idaho State Historical Society, Museum of History & Industry, Whitman College, Montana Historical Society, University of Montana, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Western Washington University, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Washington, Washington State University, Lane Community College, University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Alaska State Library's Historical Collections, Whitworth University, Lewis & Clark College, the University of Idaho, the Seattle Municipal Archives, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Willamette University, Western Oregon University, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Central Oregon Community College, and Oregon Institute of Technology.

    For more information, contact Jodi Allison-Bunnell, NWDA Program Manager, Orbis Cascade Alliance by phone at (406) 829-6528 or email at .

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    Leadership and Next Newsletter Deadline

    Manuscript Repositories Section




    News items, articles, letters to the editor, and comments are welcome.


    Next Newsletter deadline: June 25, 2009


    Send to Sammie Morris

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    Society of American Archivists
    Manuscript Repositories Section
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    Web Liaison |
    Co-Web Liaison |
    Created | 9 April 2009
    Last Updated | 9 June 2009