2016 Vice-Chair’s Report

Looking back on 2016, the year featured a variety of engaging and enjoyable meetings for Archivists Being Awesome. On April 19th, we met at the Philadelphia History Museum and heard about some of the amazing projects that our colleagues have been working on recently. Speakers included Kelsey Duinkerken, Scott Ziegler, Bryan Dickerson, Christiana Dobrzynski Grippe, and Matt Shoemaker. Their respective topics were, “Women Wanted: Finding and Promoting Women in Archival Collections”, “Open Data at the APS (and Beyond)”, “Digital imaging and its role in a community’s rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy”, and “The Duchamp Research Portal: Moving an Idea to Proof of Concept.

Over the summer, ABA had a special event at the Eastern State Penitentiary. We met up on June 23rd and were treated to a ‘behind the scenes’ tour after regular hours, followed by a personal tour of their archives and special collections led by Erica Harman, ESP’s manager of archives and records. Afterwards, we enjoyed mixing and mingling over refreshments outside of Al Capone’s former cell.

Archivists Being Awesome finished off the year by holding an event at the Union League of Philadelphia that focused on the experiences of recent or current internships. The inspiration for this event came from DVAG’s general meeting in May that featured a discussion on the ethics and responsibilities of archival internships. Our speakers for the November 10th event were Emily Sabol, Chelsea Reed, Jennifer Nieling, and Jo Dutilloy. Each speaker gave a very informative talk about their internships, which included (respectively), work on the Torresdale-Frankford Golf Club records at the Union League, digitizing the William Parker Foulke papers and developing a website for APS’s Eastern State Penitentiary / prison reform materials, mounting costumes for the “Second Skin” exhibition at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and working on the Amy Matilda Cassey Friendship Album and other Friendship Albums at the Library Company of Philadelphia.

In closing, I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to Hillary Kativa and Kelsey Duinkerken for their assistance and encouragement in planning these events. Finally, I must thank the gracious hosts for these meetings: Kelly Murphy at the Philadelphia Museum of History, Erica Harman at Eastern State Penitentiary, and Theresa Altieri at the Union League of Philadelphia. If not for their generosity, these events would not have been possible.

If you would like to share any feedback on these events or have suggestions for the future, please contact vicechairdvag@gmail.com or leave your comments below.


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