Adventures in Archives

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Where are we going and where have we been in preservation, digitization and local history

Archivists, Preservationists, Genealogists and Local historians are engaged every day in the real work of documenting and revealing our past. This work - which is art and science requires great attention to detail, planning and commitment to the voices of the past. It demands endless technologies and continued funding. The breadth and depth of this work is evident in evolving physical and digital spaces. The contributions and impact of this work are immeasurable. It is a footprint that belongs to all of us.

Join us August 11, 2021, for Adventures in Archives - Where are we going and where have we been in preservation, digitization and local history. Throughout this day, a variety of peers and experts will explore the process, planning, progression and directions taken by librarians engaged in documenting history today. Don’t forget, as a benefit of Amigos Library Services membership, attendance is FREE at all online conferences!

For more information about this conference, contact Erin Gray, or (972) 340-2896.

You will have access until August 31, 2022 to view the conference past recordings.

Please Note: If you were registered for the live event, you already have access to the conference past recordings. For viewing the past recordings, login with the credentials provided for you to attend the conference.

Register for the past recordings here:

Session Links
10:00 am
Keynote - Charting New Courses in Community Driven Archives: Reflecting on the Southern Historical Collection's Four-Year Community Driven Archives Grant
Chaitra Powell
11:00 am
11:15 am
Making Space for Students in the Archives - Foundations Towards Representation and Agency
Abra Schnur
11:15 am
Word of Mouth: Transcribing an Oral History Collection
Erin Rose and Heidi Margold
11:15 am
Using an Online Book Club to Enhance Access to a Local History Collection
Emily Jaycox
12:00 pm
12:15 pm
OurStoryBridge: Connecting the Past and the Present
Jery Huntley
12:15 pm
The El Paso Women's History Coloring Book: Community Engagement through Art and Archives
Abbie Weiser, Claudia Rivers and Adrian Morales
12:15 pm
Mass Digitization and Copyright in the Audiovisual Archive
David Jones
1:00 pm
Lunch Break
2:00 pm
Navigating the Atlantic – in 3D! Digitizing Domino Danzero's Original 1900-1901 Stereograph Cards at Missouri State University
Shannon Mawhiney, Leslie James and Hannah Fuller
2:00 pm
History Moment Videos
Chuck Voellinger
2:45 pm
3:00 pm
Archival Workforce Challenges and Transitions
JJ Compton
3:00 pm
Forward, Together: Distributed Digitization and Equipment Sharing
Marisa Wood and Elizabeth vonTauffkirchen
3:00 pm
100 Years of Service: HCPL Digital Archive and Exhibits
Cecilia Williams, Alyssa Grieco and Terrin Rivera
3:45 pm
4:00 pm
Combined session / Missouri Digital Heritage and Midwest Genealogy Center
Matt Butler and Cheryl Lang
4:00 pm
What Becomes Canada: Critically Reviewing Digitized Settler Accounts of Colonization
Patricia Geddes, Brooklyn Cribdon and Stephanie Marston
4:00 pm
DIY Local History Online
Sharon Barnes

Chaitra Powell portrait

Keynote Speaker: Chaitra Powell - UNC Libraries, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill -

Session Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. CST

Session Title: Charting New Courses in Community Driven Archives: Reflecting on the Southern Historical Collection's Four-Year Community Driven Archives Grant

Session Description: In this keynote address, Chaitra Powell will share the story of her department's close to 1-million-dollar Mellon grant to explore tools and strategies for community driven archives. She'll discuss her team's work with partner communities, outreach efforts, and programmatic elements, including the archivist in a backpack prototype and the web-based toolkit. Chaitra will conclude with a vision for community driven archives as an approach to collection development specifically, and libraries in general, that can refine and transform the role of formal repositories in shaping collective memory.

Speaker Bio: Since 2014, Chaitra Powell has served as the African American collections and outreach archivist for the Southern Historical Collection at The University of North Carolina (UNC) Libraries. She works to engage African Americans in the archival process by managing a community driven archives program, African American Family Documentation Initiative, and individual consultations with collection donors. Prior to this position, she worked as an archival consultant and archival processor with various community-based organizations in Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois. Chaitra’s research in archival methodology has an emphasis on context, as she has written about the relevance of the backgrounds of archivists and the legacies of archival institutions. Chaitra earned her master's degree in library science as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from the University of Arizona, in Tucson, Arizona.

Abra Schnur portrait

Speaker: Abra Schnur - Trinity University -

Session Time: 11:15 - 12:00 p.m. CDT

Keynote Session Title: Making Space for Students in the Archives - Foundations Towards Representation and Agency

Session Description: The University Archives, part of the Special Collections and Archives unit of Coates Library at Trinity University, documents the history of the university and plays a central role in advocating for the preservation of its records. Bringing together a comprehensive institutional history of Trinity is dependent upon relationships built between the archives and Trinity communities, organizations, and departments. This includes making space and place for students in the archives. This presentation will discuss ways the university archives has worked to establish student experience in archival work and influence in the documentation of student life on campus.

Speaker Bio: Abra Schnur is the university archivist at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to Trinity, she was the processing archivist at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center. She is outgoing president of the Texas Oral History Association and serves on its board of directors. She is also serving on the Oral History Association Emerging Professionals Committee.

Heidi Margold portrait

Speaker: Erin Rose - Illinois Heartland Library System -
Speaker: Heidi Margold - Illinois Heartland Library System -

Session Time: 11:15 - 12:00 p.m. CST

Session Title: Word of Mouth: Transcribing an Oral History Collection

Session Description: This presentation will outline the technological aspects of undertaking a larger-scale oral history transcription project (250+ interviews, 180+ hours). These aspects include developing guidelines, researching tools, ways to transcribe an oral history, researching the content of the oral histories, the process of uploading the materials to the Illinois Digital Archives (IDA), which is a CONTENTdm-based repository, and all the challenges inherent in this type of project.

Speaker Bio: Erin Rose is the metadata cataloger at the Illinois Heartland Library System, where she has worked since April 2018. She has experience in metadata, archives, and digitization from special, academic, and system libraries.

Speaker Bio: Heidi Margold has been a cataloger with the Cataloging Maintenance Center (CMC) at Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) since March of 2020. Prior to being a cataloger with the CMC she attended University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana to receive her Masters of Library and Information Sciences. During her studies she had my hands in many pots; she was a special collections digitization technician, she worked as a special collections conservation intern, she spent time working on a digitization and metadata project at a museum, and she also served as collections care coordinator after being the graduate assistant for that role.

Emily Jaycox portrait

Speaker: Emily Jaycox - Missouri Historical Society -

Session Time: 11:15 - 12:00 p.m. CST

Session Title: Using an Online Book Club to Enhance Access to a Local History Collection

Session Description: The Missouri Historical Society (MHS) has an extensive collection of published memoirs, letters and diaries which have the potential to help researchers locate first-hand accounts of nationally-experienced events such as wars or the Great Depression. They can also enhance understanding of local events such as the building of the Arch. However, this information isn't likely to be reflected in the catalog record: the little slice-of-life moments and memories are buried within the longer life story. MHS launched a project to provide topical access to these books and engage volunteers at the same time. Unlike traditional book clubs that all read the same book, members of the "Biography Book Club" pick and read a memoir of their choice and answer some standardized questions about the experiences it covered. The first two goals of the project (improving future research access to our collection via an online search index; collecting this data via a web form) were always envisioned to be in online form. With the pandemic, the second two goals (providing reading copies of the books; holding book club meetings) moved online as well. This presentation will describe Year 1 of the project and plans to tweak the project moving forward.

Speaker Bio: In her work as head Librarian of the Missouri Historical Society, Emily Jaycox works day to day with local history and historic documents as well as being active on several collaborative projects related to digitization. She regards herself is a map nerd and gardens for fun and food.

Jery Huntley portrait

Speaker: Jery Huntley - Keene Valley Library -

Session Time: 12:15 - 1:00 p.m. CST

Session Title: OurStoryBridge: Connecting the Past and the Present

Session Description: OurStoryBridge: Connecting the Past and the Present, released September 2020 at, is a free resource and tool kit for producing a crowdsourced, community story project emphasizing audio history collecting and sharing. It replicates the success of the model, Adirondack Community: Capturing, Retaining, and Communicating the Stories of Who We Are ( in other communities across the country. OurStoryBridge is a community-building program that uses the skills and resources of archivists to 1) capture the rich cultural history of communities, especially rural struggling communities, with a focus on recording older generations before their histories are lost, and 2) build civic pride and engagement among students to encourage their growth as involved community members. By posting three- to five-minute audio stories told by local residents, stories that can be produced at a low cost, on a website that appeals to both young and old, they are accessible to all. Part time jobs have been created. Additionally, we have found special value in this kind of online story project in times of crisis like COVID-19, as residents listen to stories of previous disasters and gain comfort in hearing about long-term community strength, plus tell their own pandemic stories.

Launched by the Keene Valley Library and its Archives (Keene Valley, NY), OurStoryBridge brings into focus all the moving parts needed to make a community's story project a success.

Speaker Bio: Jery Y. Huntley received her MLS at the University at Albany, but her career took a different turn after her start as a school and public librarian on Long Island. She moved back to Albany to work for the New York State Assembly, then headed to Washington, District of Columbia for a position in the U.S. House of Representatives. This led to opportunities in environmental lobbying, issues management, 20 years as a trade association CEO, and training in meeting facilitation. She lives in the district and Keene Valley, NY, and her volunteer work now includes OurStoryBridge and Adirondack Community for the Keene Valley Library and as a member of the DC and Essex County, New York Medical Reserve Corps on a COVID-19 test and vaccination sites.

Claudia Rivers portrait

Speaker: Abbie Weiser - University of Texas at El Paso -
Speaker: Claudia Rivers - University of Texas at El Paso -
Speaker: Adrian Morales - El Paso Community College-Valle Verde -

Session Time: 12:15 - 1:00 p.m. CST

Session Title: The El Paso Women's History Coloring Book: Community Engagement through Art and Archives

Session Description: To celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of U.S. women's suffrage, staff at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and at El Paso Community College (EPCC) created the bilingual El Paso Women's History Coloring Book Volume II (in print and online at is external)) in 2020. Abbie Weiser, Assistant Head of UTEP Special Collections, will discuss the project and locating historical images in UTEP Special Collections. Adrian Morales, librarian at EPCC – Valle Verde, will speak about turning historical photographs into coloring book images. Head of UTEP Special Collections, Claudia Rivers, will present about the editing process, legal permissions, and outreach activities related to the coloring book.

Adrian Morales portraitSpeaker Bio: Abbie Weiser, CA, is the assistant head of Special Collections at the University of Texas at El Paso Library. She has a BA in history from The George Washington University, a MSIS from The University of Texas at Austin, and a MA in history from The University of Texas at El Paso.

Speaker Bio: Claudia Rivers is the head of Special Collections at the University of Texas at El Paso Library. She has a BA in anthropology and a MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin and is a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists. She has worked in El Paso since 1992 and speaks English and Spanish.

Speaker Bio: Adrian Morales, Librarian, Assistant Professor at the El Paso Community College, Valle Verde campus library, has been working as a librarian in higher education for over five years. He earned his Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of North Texas. He has also worked at a military academy library and an art museum library. This summer, he completed a second Master's in Education, with an Emphasis in General Administration, through the University of North Texas (UNT).

David Jones portrait

Speaker: David Jones - University of Calgary Archives and Special Collections -

Session Time: 12:15 - 1:00 p.m. CST

Session Title: Mass Digitization and Copyright in the Audiovisual Archive

Session Description: This presentation looks at the copyright risks, ethics and opportunities afforded by mass digital migration projects by examining the case study of the EMI Music Canada Fonds – a large-scale acquisition of audiovisual and textual records of all kinds, located at the University of Calgary Archives and Special Collections in Alberta, Canada.

In 2015 a large-scale preservation, digitization, digital migration and digital asset management project was undertaken to preserve and make records available to researchers and communities-of-interest. This project received funding support from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and ongoing support from the corporate donor and copyright holder, Universal Music Canada. The audiovisual assets, whether videocassettes, audiotape reels, compact discs or demo tapes, offer distinct and varied copyright risks as well as ethical challenges to making them publicly accessible. While mass-migration makes item-level impracticable, there are archival approaches that can help minimize risk and respect the creative role of artists in the handling of their work.

This presentation is a case study subject to Canadian copyright law, however, it does not focus on the specifics of laws which are similar across Berne Convention nations but rather seeks to offer insight and real life examples of issues and solutions in the management of a large audiovisual archival project.

Speaker Bio: David Jones is project archivist for the EMI Music Canada Fonds at the University of Calgary. He graduated in 2019 from the University of Toronto Faculty of Information with a Master of Information (MI) in Archives and Records Management. During his studies he was employed by as a Media Production Technician at the University of Toronto Information Commons, and as a student intern at the University of Toronto Media Commons Archive. He completed a practicum at V-Tape artists distribution centre and volunteered as an associate editor for the iJournal (the student peer-reviewed journal). He published an essay, Interoperability in Theory and Practice: The Case of Ontario's eHealth Fiasco in the iJournal. In March 2019 he traveled to Geneva to volunteer as a student observer of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) diplomatic conference at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) headquarters.

Shannon Mawhiney portrait

Speaker: Shannon Mawhiney - Missouri State University -
Speaker: Leslie James - Missouri Secretary of State's Office -
Speaker: Hannah Fuller - Missouri State University -

Session Time: 2:00 - 2:45 p.m. CST

Session Title: Navigating the Atlantic – in 3D! Digitizing Domino Danzero's Original 1900-1901 Stereograph Cards at Missouri State University

Session Description: When faced with a library system migration, it can be daunting to know where to begin with data cleanup. In many cases, there is a long list of tasks to tackle before switching to a new system and not enough time to perform them all. Therefore, it is important to target your efforts to the most impactful areas. In this presentation, Rebecca will provide guidance on deciding where to focus your available time for metadata cleanup. She will present metadata assessment criteria that will help you know what to be looking for in your data that could potentially cause issues during a migration. Finally, she will share analysis techniques and examples to show how to look for those issues in your metadata, drawing on her experience performing this work for her library's recent migration.

Speaker Bio: Shannon Mawhiney is the digital archivist for Special Collections and Archives at the Missouri State University Libraries. She has a B.A. in anthropology from Missouri State University and a master’s in library and information science from the University of Missouri, as well as Digital Archives Specialists Certification from the Society of American Archivists. Shannon has worked in Special Collections and Archives for over 16 years and has a personal interest in three-dimensional presentation, from historical uses to present-day photogrammetry and virtual reality.

Speaker Bio: Leslie James has been with the Missouri Secretary of State's Office and its Local Records Preservation Program for over 15 years and is a certified archivist with the Academy of Certified Archivists. Prior to working for the Secretary of State, she worked for Missouri State University within Special Collections and Archives of the Missouri State University Libraries. She received her undergraduate degree from Southeast Missouri State University in historic preservation and her graduate degree from the University of Missouri in information science and learning technologies.

Hannah Fuller portraitSpeaker Bio: Hannah Fuller is an alumna of Missouri State University, where she graduated magna cum laude with her B.S. in History. She has completed archival and curatorial internships with Missouri State University’s Special Collections and Archives and Springfield’s History Museum on the Square. She is currently a graduate assistant and M.A. candidate in Missouri State’s History department. Her research interests focus on public history, LGBTQ studies, and oral history.

Chuck Voellinger portrait

Speaker: Chuck Voellinger - Denton Public Library -

Session Time: 2:00 - 2:45 p.m. CST

Session Title: History Moment Videos

Session Description: While the Denton Public Library was partially closed to the public during Covid-19, Special Collections Librarian Chuck Voellinger came up with the idea of filming short one to two minute videos highlighting local Denton history subjects as a way for the Special Collections Department to stay engaged with the community. Covid-19 restrictions necessarily limited the number of people who could be involved so, having one person research, film, edit and submit the videos to the City's social media director fit the restrictions. Each video was done by one person using an iPhone, iMovie on a Mac laptop and using resources that any patron would be able to access using their library membership such as the local newspaper or our photo collection on the Portal To Texas History. So far, 14 have been created with social media views per episode ranging from 3-400 to 6000+. Feedback from patrons and the public has been overwhelmingly positive.

Speaker Bio: Chuck Voellinger has been a special collections librarian for the Denton Public Library for ten years and has worked at DPL for over 22 years in various roles. He has served as Chair of the AGLHRT Roundtable of the Texas Library Association (2016-2017) and as a member of the Denton County Historical Commission (2013-2016).

JJ Compton portrait

Speaker: JJ Compton - Oklahoma Christian University -

Session Time: 3:00 - 3:45 p.m. CST

Session Title: Archival Workforce Challenges and Transitions

Session Description: JJ is currently working on her Ph.D. from Swansea University, Wales and her research deals with how workforce transitions affect institutional memory and organizational culture in archives within the state of Oklahoma specifically. She will present on how to handle retirements, staffing gaps, generational differences in archival work and some thoughts on how we can network to overcome and partner with our communities. And how we should transition without losing the memory of the previous archivist, volunteers and/or staff.

Speaker Bio: JJ Compton, MLIS, CA, Ph.D. Candidate is an associate professor of Technical Services & Archives at Oklahoma Christian University's Beam Library, where she has been employed since 2001. She graduated with her BA in history, with honors, from Oklahoma Christian in 2000, her MLIS in summer of 2002 from the University of Oklahoma, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in archival history at Swansea University, Wales, UK. Upon being hired, she helped transition the archives from a faculty collected dream hidden in a closet, into a large, organized, and searchable collection for all the Special Collections, including the University Archives, the Restoration History collection (a religious collection from the university's faith heritage) and a small, rare book collection. In 2013, the Oklahoma Christian University Archives received a Cultural Heritage Stewardship Award for Preservation Efforts, including a citation from the Governor of the state of Oklahoma, under her leadership. In the summer of 2017, she became a certified archivist from the Academy of Certified Archivists. In January 2018, she rotated off the Faculty Advisory Council for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education after serving a two-year commitment. Later that year, she helped co-lead the University’s ILS data migration from SIRSI to OCLC's WMS, where the data loss was less than 0.3%. She is an active member of the Society of Southwest Archivists; Beta Phi Mu, Lambda Chapter; Christian College Librarians; and the Oklahoma Archivists Association. She is passionate about libraries, archives, history and preservation and holds a deep love for her husband, 2 children, 3 dogs and all things coffee.

Marisa Wood portrait

Speaker: Marisa Wood - Colorado State Library -

Session Time: 3:00 - 3:45 p.m. CST

Session Title: Forward, Together: Distributed Digitization and Equipment Sharing

Session Description: Colorado State Library's (CSL) CVL Collections program was launched in 2018 to help small, rural libraries create and maintain a Content Management System that meets the requirements of participation in the Digital Public Library of America. CSL's Marisa Wood will discuss CVL Collections, the subsequent creation of circulating Digitization Kits, and the impact on capacity and representation in the digital landscape for less-resourced institutions. She will be joined by Pine River Library's Elizabeth vonTauffkirchen, who will share her library’s experience with the program, and the challenges and rewards of preserving local heritage through the creation of a digital collection.

Speaker Bio: Marisa Wood is the collaborative programming coordinator at the Colorado State Library where she works to identify, research, and coordinate technology programs and initiatives among libraries and cultural heritage organizations across the state.

Speaker Bio: Elizabeth vonTauffkirchen is the digital services & media hub manager at Pine River Library in Bayfield, Colorado, where she manages the Digital Archive in addition to the eCollection, Databases, and more.

Cecilia Williams portrait

Speaker: Cecilia Williams - Harris County Public Library -
Speaker: Alyssa Grieco - Harris County Public Library -
Speaker: Terrin Rivera - Harris County Public Library -

Session Time: 3:00 - 3:45 p.m. CST

Session Title: 100 Years of Service: HCPL Digital Archive and Exhibits

Session Description: In 2021, the Harris County Public Library (HCPL) celebrates 100 years of service to the residents of the largest county in Texas. As part of a yearlong celebration, HCPL launched a Digital Archive, a collection of photographs, reports, scrapbooks, and videos documenting the system's history. The Digital Archive uses exhibits to tell the stories of our 26 branch libraries and their communities, as well as a custom map visualization of the 200+ locations served by HCPL over time. This presentation covers the challenges of launching such an ambitious project during COVID-19 and how we are establishing long-term value to our community.

Cheryl Lang portrait

Speaker: Matt Butler - Missouri State Library -
Speaker: Cheryl Lang - Mid-Continent Public Library -

Session Time: 4:00 - 4:45 p.m. CST

Session Title: Missouri Digital Heritage and Midwest Genealogy Center

Session Description: Missouri Digital Heritage, in partnership with many libraries and historical institutions throughout the state, works to facilitate access to digital resources focusing on Missouri's history. Join Missouri State Library Digitization Consultant Matt Butler to learn more about recent projects Missouri Digital Heritage has supported, such as statewide newspaper digitization and Civil War and World War I efforts, and plans for the future. Current bicentennial programming and strategic priorities will also be discussed. Part of the Mid-Continent Public Library, the Midwest Genealogy Center (MGC) provides free access to three-quarters of a million on-site materials for genealogy and local history research. The collections offer resources that span the United States and countries around the world. MGC also houses a uniquely expansive circulating collection and almost completely open stacks. You will find access to databases, scanning and digitization stations, oral history recording kits, microfilm reader scanners, and more. Come learn about these resources and how you can research for free!

Patricia Geddes portrait

Speaker: Patricia Geddes - Vancouver Island University -
Speaker: Brooklyn Cribdon - Vancouver Island University -
Speaker: Stephanie Marston - Vancouver Island University -

Session Time: 4:00 - 4:45 p.m. CST

Brooklyn Cribdon portraitSession Title: What Becomes Canada: Critically Reviewing Digitized Settler Accounts of Colonization

Session Description: In this presentation presenters will share processes, lessons, and reflections from reviewing digitized historical narratives of settlement, trading, and colonization in special collections at Vancouver Island University Library. This will include the collection review process, considering and creating a contextual awareness statement, and ongoing efforts to ground this work in our experiences with, and understandings of, local Coast Salish teachings. Questions such as: whose voices are privileged in or omitted from these materials; how do we engage in this work in a good way; what is our responsibility in stewarding this collection; and more, will be discussed.

Stephanie Marston portraitSpeaker Bio: Patricia Geddes (she/her) is the librarian and coordinator for Indigenous Initiatives at Vancouver Island University. She has a master's in library and information studies with a First Nations Curriculum Concentration from the University of British Columbia's iSchool.

Speaker Bio: Brooklyn Cribdon (she/her) has worked in both academic and public libraries in Vancouver and Victoria, BC since 2017. Currently, she acts as a reference librarian for Vancouver Island University. Brooklyn is a settler living and working on the traditional territory and unceded land of the W̱SÁNEĆ and Lekwungen peoples.

Speaker Bio: Stephanie Marston (she/her) is a reference and instructional librarian at Vancouver Island University. Stephanie is a settler living and working with gratitude on the traditional territories of Snuneymuxw, Snaw-naw-as and Stz'uminus.

Sharon Barnes portrait

Speaker: Sharon Barnes - South Central Kansas Library System -

Session Time: 4:00 - 4:45 p.m. CST

Session Title: DIY Local History Online

Session Description: Libraries – even very small ones – are sometimes custodians of local history items, or they may be an intersection for community members and organizations who have historical information. See how several Kansas public libraries' participation in an ongoing regional digitization project has allowed them to digitize and publish online a wide variety of objects and images. The project uses a framework of low-cost but effective software and hardware, an open-source digital asset management platform (Omeka), and training and support from the regional library system to create uniquely adapted windows into their communities' past.

Speaker Bio: Sharon Barnes joined the South Central Kansas Library System team as technology consultant in 1999, after working for 21 years in a small public library. Her lifelong passion for history was a good match with the opportunity to develop and manage the SCKLS Digital Library Initiative with startup funding from a 2014 IMLS grant. That effort currently supports digitization projects for 18 member libraries serving populations ranging from 250 to 20,000.