COA Hidden Stories: Workshop Wrap-up and News

16 Aug 2017 9:54 AM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

Thank you to everyone who attended the Chicago Open Archives (COA) Spotlight Event Workshop on Tuesday, August 8 at DePaul University. Eight joined us to hear more about COA 2017: Hidden Stories and the changes to this year's format. Working Group chair, Morgen MacIntosh-Hodgetts welcomed the group and introduced the new format:

  • A month-long celebration
  • Spotlight Events

Working Group committee members Amber Dushman and Meg Hall were on hand to demonstrate examples of Spotlight events:


The gathered participates had an opportunity to brainstorm ideas and ask questions:

COA Working Group member, Meg Hall and participant, Virginia Jung, OSB discuss potential COA ideas

Q: Are students allowed to events?

A: Yes! COA is intended for audiences of all ages. Host sites decide the appropriate audience for their program.


Q: Can I have an event in the evening?

A: Based on feedback we received last year, the working group opened up COA to the whole month, including weekends and evenings. When filling out the registration form, host sites pick the day and time most convenient for them!


Q: Will CAA promote my event?

A: Yes, all events will be included on the CAA calendar, and Spotlight events will be featured on the Facebook and Twitter pages.


Q: My collections are difficult to get to, can I hold the event  somewhere else?

A: Yes, consider holding an event in an nearby meeting space.


Q: My institute is thinking of doing a general tour and a spotlight event, is that okay? And should I fill out two registration forms?

A: Yes! We invite host sites to hold multiple events if they are willing.


Q: I want to hold a spotlight event, but I won’t know the specifics by the August 22 deadline, can I still register?

A: Yes, Absolutely!


Leo Belleville and Laura Berfield, Working Group members, also announced other changes for COA 2017: Hidden Stories:

  • An Online Trivia Game: visitors will use clues gathered from the COA sites to answer trivia and win a prize! (details to follow)
  • All promotional materials will be digital and distributed to host sites via email this year. This will give participating sites the opportunity to customize the material using images from their collections. Host sites will receive customizable promotional materials as PDF files in early September.

COA Working Group Chair Morgen MacIntosh-Hodgetts discuss promotional materials with CAA Steering member Kara Jefts


All events must be submitted by August 22, 2017. Submit your event for Chicago Open Archives 2017. Have questions? Please email


For more information and to register, visit the Workshop events page.

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