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  • 26 Nov 2019 1:07 PM | Allison Schein Holmes (Administrator)

    On November 5th, 14 CAA members gathered at Northwestern for a triple threat event: an archives tour, an overview of EAD/XML and a peek at their ArchiveSpace instance. Lead by Karen Miller and Benn Joseph.

    Overview of the afternoon's agenda.


    Karen Miller, Monographic Cataloger/Metadata Specialist at NUL. Karen reviewed the basics of EAD and XML, offered tips, challenges and answered questions.




    Benn Joseph, Head of Archival Processing at Northwestern University discussed NUL's ArchivesSpace instance, demonstrated both the public and and employee views while answering questions about the customization and workflows.




    If you were present at this event and took photos, please consider sharing and uploading them here.

  • 21 Nov 2019 2:24 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Saturday, November 2nd, more than 15 people gathered at the home of Estrella Alamar, Founder of the Filipino American Historical Society of Chicago (FAHSC) to inventory and conduct a preliminary inspection for a collection of 16 mm films and large-format banquet photos.  Nine volunteers with Chicago Area Archivists and Chicago Film Society joined more than 6 volunteers from FAHSC. We were a small but motivated group!

    Rebecca Hall (DoS co-organizer) and Julian Antos from the Chicago Film Society gave an introduction to amateur film production history and showed the group how to identify evidence of damage or deterioration when inspecting films. 

    Becca Hall demonstrating film inspection to volunteers. 

    Then we organized into groups: 2 tables were set up for film inspection with 3-4 people at each table and a photograph inspection table with 6-8 people participating in photograph inventory. 

    Fifteen 16mm films were thoroughly inspected and 78 photographs were inventoried and their condition noted.

    FAHSC members Amando Bocales, Estrella Alamar, and Terese Guinsatao Monberg identifying people in one of the banquet photographs with CAA Volunteer Becca Smith.

    The highlight of the day was the opportunity to project one of the silent 16mm films that had been inspected and determined to be in good condition. The content included social gatherings in Calumet Park, Montrose Park, and Elk Grove between 1938 and 1947 filmed by Estrella's uncle. Her uncle provided excellent contextual information on the storage container and with caption cards, plus Estrella and other volunteers were able to identify many of the people in the film, including Estrella herself! 

    Film projection. FAHSC founder and DoS hostess, Estrella Alamar (right).

    Volunteers enjoying the impromptu film screening (Merle Salazar, Ari Negovschi, Meredith Payne, Julian Antos, and Andi Altenbach).

    We will be providing FAHSC with a report that includes a summary of the day and inventory findings, as well as advice on next steps in caring for their films and photographs.

    Thanks to everyone who participated!

    Amando Boncales

    Andrea Altenbach

    Anthonie Tumpag

    Ari Negovschi

    Becca Smith

    Estrella Alamar

    Jessica Goodman

    Julian Antos

    Kristin MacDonough

    Meredith Payne

    Merle Salazar

    Rebecca Hall

    Rene Aranzamendez

    Ruben Salazar

    Terese Guinsatao Monberg


  • 18 Nov 2019 9:07 AM | Allison Schein Holmes (Administrator)

    In late October, 9 CAA members joined Julie Synder and Julianna Oberlin for a tour and photography demonstration and a discussion about their DAM system and image specification.

    Julie leads through the great hall exhibit.


    Julianne walking us through her photography workflow.


    Stepping into the anechoic chamber!!!

    There are plenty more pictures here http://bit.ly/2pxLEhe

    Were you there?  Add them to the above linked folder! Thank you to our hosts for taking the time to share their work!  Not a member?  Join now!

  • 11 Nov 2019 11:46 AM | Carol Ng-He (Administrator)

    The Curating and Exhibitions Interest Group hosted a 90-minute webinar on the “Strategies for Seeking Audience Input to Build an Effective Exhibit Lineup” on November 2, 2019, presented by experienced museum exhibit developers Charity Counts and Tricia O’Connor. The webinar introduced different data collection methods, tips and tools that help organizations or libraries in gauging their target audience’s interests in designing and scheduling exhibits. All participants received a workshop toolkit that included read-to-use worksheets, surveys, interview questions, and a calendar for audience research. A recording was shared with the registrants after the event.

  • 24 Oct 2019 3:47 PM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Tuesday October 15th, seven members of the Chicago Area Archivists visited the archives of Paul Natkin, Chicago's premier music photographer.

    Paul discussed how he began his career in the 1970s and mentioned some of the musicians and celebrities he has worked with over the years. 

    He talked about how he began his relationship with Getty Images ten years ago and illustrated how he scans photographs and the Getty database he uses to upload images and include metadata. 

    The event concluded with Paul giving his take on the photography world today and members shared a bit about themselves and the type of work that they do. Thank you Paul for being a fantastic host and welcoming us to your home studio archive and also thank you to all who attended!

    If you were present at this event and took photos, please consider sharing and uploading them here.

    (Photos taken by Rene Aranzamendez, Jerice Barrios, and Doris Cardenas)

  • 04 Oct 2019 3:01 PM | Jerice Barrios (Administrator)


    On October 3, 2019, six CAA members joined Columbia College Associate Professor Melissa Potter at the Glass Curtain Gallery for a fascinating, personalized tour of the exhibit "Let's Do It: Twenty-Three Years of Book and Paper."


    A few of the beautiful pieces of book and paper art on display at Columbia College's Glass Curtain Gallery. 

    Professor Potter, herself a specialist in hand paper making and print making, explained the history of how the exhibit came together and shared anecdotes about some of the pieces in the gallery. You can learn more about the exhibit at the "Let's Do It" web page, and there is still time to see it for yourself; the exhibit is open until October 23.


    Associate Professor Melissa Potter and CAA members examine a case containing items from the Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts archives.

    Professor Potter also talked about how important the archives of the Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts was in shaping the exhibit, and how she envisions the collections in the archives as a research resource for future students and artists.


    An exhibit case containing materials from the archives

    The curator of the exhibit, Jessica Cochran, considered the inclusion of archival materials vital to illustrating the full breadth of the history of the Center of Book and Paper Arts.

    Thank you to all who attended this event, and special thanks to Professor Melissa Potter for a wonderful hour of art and education!

    If you missed out on this event, don't worry, there are other events planned throughout the year. If you have an event or program you'd like to suggest, please send it to info@chicagoarchivists.org. If you attend a CAA event and have photos to share, please consider uploading them to the CAA Image folder on Google Drive.

  • 20 Sep 2019 9:31 PM | Carol Ng-He (Administrator)

    The CAA Curating & Exhibitions Interest Group had its second meet-up on September 20, 2019 at the University of Chicago’s Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) with the participation of the Interest Group member, Patti Gibbons, Head of Collection Management at the SCRC and Anne Flannery, Head of Museum Archives at the Oriental Institute. 

    The event started with Patti giving an overview of the exhibition gallery and ways of the SCRC incorporates preservation into the gallery design. She talked about the technical aspects of exhibition development, including the features and variety of the display case design, planning schedule, item selection process with curators and other exhibition collaborators, as well as the exhibition publicity and outreach efforts. Anne then shared her role as the curator of Discovery, Collection, Memory: The Oriental Institute at 100 exhibition at the SCRC (opening from September 16 - December 13, 2019) and the notion of archives as  cultural heritage preservation. She talked about the launch and outcomes of the Oriental Institute’s Cultural Heritage Experiment in its first year, and the power of the object-based lending program. Following a slideshow presentation, Anne led the group to tour The Oriental Institute at 100 exhibition and outlined the curatorial process and narrative development in collaboration with Patti and the SCRC. 

    A bonus activity was a behind-the-scene tour led by Patti to the Joe and Rita Mansueto Library located adjacent to the SCRC. The group checked out its underground high density storage facility on campus, see the “robots” that store archive materials and books, and the library’s circulation system. The group saw the art installation aeon, a series of translucent image of the Oriental Institute’s artifacts affixing the library’s massive glass dome which is part of the centennial celebration.

    Special thanks to Patti for hosting the group! Here are the event snapshots:






  • 14 Sep 2019 1:02 PM | Jill Waycie (Administrator)

    Gretchen Neidhardt led a productive discussion on critical cataloging at Beermiscuous on September 10. We shared about our own projects, discussed existing resources on the topic, and talked about actions we can take, from micro-level changes to large-scale projects. Resource list here: Critical Cataloging Resources and Projects

    We also discussed continuing resource sharing and discussion via Google Groups. Gretchen has created one here: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/critical-cataloging. All are welcome to view and/or join. (Posts are publicly viewable, but to post your own content, you’ll need to join the group.)

    Thanks to all who joined us and thanks to Gretchen for leading!



    If you have photos from this event, please feel free to share them here!

  • 12 Sep 2019 10:08 AM | Allison Schein Holmes (Administrator)

    About 10 members showed up at the Haymarket Pub and Brewery on September 3rd to discuss current and upcoming projects!

    This also gave both groups a chance to meet new people and discuss each groups membership and activities.



    Didn't make it to this one!  No worries, we have plenty of events on the horizon!

  • 06 Sep 2019 10:40 AM | Doris Cardenas (Administrator)

    On Wednesday August 28th, Chicago Area Archivists and Chicago Collections Consortium held a joint genealogy event at the Harold Washington Library. Archivists and collection managers shared rich perspectives from their archival holdings and provided approaches to genealogy research. 


    Each panelist works with a different type of collection such as cultural, religious, or medical. Thus their viewpoints on genealogy research centered on these specific areas.   

    Pat Bearden, from the International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry, brought a quilt depicting images of formerly enslaved individuals who lived in Chicago.

    The event concluded with a Q&A session. Some audience members stayed afterwards to speak to a particular panelist. This event was well-attended so thank you to all who were able to join us! 

    If you were present at this event and took photographs, please consider sharing and uploading them here.

    (Photos taken by Elise Fariello and Doris Cardenas)

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