News

  • 23 Jun 2017 3:30 PM | Erin Matson (Administrator)
    On Thursday, June 22, 12 CAA members traveled to Batavia for a tour of Fermilab and its archives, hosted by fellow CAA member and Fermilab archivist Valerie Higgins. 

    Valerie led attendees through Fermilab's archives, providing an overview of the collections and a history of its development, and answering questions from the group. The tour also included a stop at Fermilab's linear accelerator (LINAC) and an artwork exhibited gathered from the archives, as well as a look at some other items and artifacts of interest from the collections. 

    Attendees also received a nice surprise when Fermilab's deputy department head of operations provided an impromptu overview of the science conducted at Fermilab and some of the challenges of building and maintaining the high-tech and highly sensitive equipment required for those tasks. 




    If you missed this event, don’t worry – there will be more events throughout the year at a variety of dates, times, and locations.

    Coming soon:

    • CAA @ SAA Meet-Up : July 28, 20174-6 p.m. Coopers Hall, 404 SE 6th Avenue, Portland Ore. 
    • CAA Summer Cookout : August 6, 2017. More details coming soon!
    Have an idea for a CAA event? Contact the CAA Events Subcommittee at info@chicagoarchivists.org with your suggestions.


  • 26 May 2017 10:03 AM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    Many of Chicago’s cultural institutions have used grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to preserve, promote, and provide access to their collections. In response to the proposed elimination of funding for these federal agencies, CAA asked members to submit stories highlighting the projects that their institutions have undertaken with support from the NEH, NEA, and IMLS. We hope these stories will inspire a dialog among Chicagoans about how we can advocate for and better protect our cultural heritage.

     

    Today’s submission is from Media Burn Archive. Media Burn Archive collects, restores and distributes documentary video and television created by artists, activists and community groups. Media Burn is a project of the Fund for Innovative TV (FITV), which has been producing challenging documentary video and television since 1990. With the support of funding from the NEH and NEA, Media Burn has made a staggering amount of historical video footage available to the general public.

     

    In 2011, Media Burn was awarded a $79,000 federal grant from the NEH Save America’s Treasures program in order to preserve and make available one-of-a-kind documentary footage of the 1992 presidential election and the U.S. senatorial election in Illinois. The Media Burn Archive holds the largest single collection of documentary footage of the 1992 election cycle–over 450 hours of footage. The 120 videotapes chosen to be preserved include behind-the-scenes footage of then-Governor Bill Clinton’s early campaigning with his wife Hillary, and dozens of hours with Clinton’s strategic team. The collection also includes footage from other campaigns that ran at the same time, including that of President George H.W. Bush, and the videos were produced by some of the best independent videomakers in the country. These videos can be publicly accessed on the Media Burn website.

     

    In 2015, the NEA awarded a grant of $50,000 to FITV/Media Burn for a project dedicated to digitizing and creating access to 239 videotapes from three rare, unfinished or previously unreleased collections from the Kartemquin Films archives that document artistic communities and the role of art in society. The three collections include A Year on Teen Street (1996), Chicago Crossings (1994), and When Art Makes a Difference (1991). More details about this project can be found on Media Burn’s blog.

    To learn more about Media Burn Archive, please visit http://mediaburn.org/.


    Do you have a story about your federally funded project and its significance to your community? Submit your stories to info@chicagoarchivists.org.


     



  • 15 May 2017 2:10 PM | Hathaway Hester (Administrator)

    Thank you to everyone who attended CAA mini-MAC at CPL-Lincoln Belmont on May 2nd. Twenty-two people joined us to hear from Chicago-area colleagues who presented at MAC. CAA would like to thank the panelists who dedicated their time and expertise to this great program: Joanna Russ, Morgen MacIntosh-Hodgetts, Anita Mechler, Julie Wroblewski, and Laura Alagna. Those who attended also grabbed a peek at the promo video for MAC Chicago 2018. Panelists and attendees gathered afterwards to chat with colleagues at The Green Lady. This program was so great it left those who attended a little sad that MAC will be in Chicago next year…but only a little.

    Didn't make it to this event? Don't worry - there will be more events throughout the year at a variety of dates, times, and locations.  Stay tuned for more event announcements from CAA. -Amber Dushman

  • 09 May 2017 9:58 AM | Erin Matson (Administrator)
    Thank you to everyone who attended the CAA tour of the Lenhardt Library at the Chicago Botanic Garden on April 25th. 13 people joined us to learn about their amazing collections. Thank you to Leora Siegel, Senior Director of the Lenhardt Library for hosting us!

    Didn't make it to this event? Don't worry - there will be more events throughout the year at a variety of dates, times, and locations. Coming soon:




  • 01 May 2017 8:17 PM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    Many of Chicago’s cultural institutions have used grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to preserve, promote, and provide access to their collections. In response to the proposed elimination of funding for these federal agencies, CAA asked members to submit stories highlighting the projects that their institutions have undertaken with support from the NEH, NEA, and IMLS. As of Monday, May 1, the newly proposed budget would not cut funding to these organizations, and in fact would slightly increase these budgets. This will be need to be officially approved by lawmakers on May 5th. We will continue to post these stories in the hopes that they will inspire a dialog among Chicagoans about how we can continue to advocate for and protect our cultural heritage.

    Today’s submission is from the Chicago Film Archives (CFA), who has depended upon the NEH and NEA funding for operational and special arts and preservation projects throughout its 13-year existence.

    Each year CFA applies to the NEH for a $6,000 small preservation grant. All of CFA's archival shelving has been funded by this grant. NEH has also funded Operational Consultants for the organization. These grants have allowed CFA to operationally strengthen and grow over the past decade.

    CFA has also gotten grants from the NEA to process, stabilize, digitize, describe and stream online the entire Ruth Page Collection, which consists of nearly 1,000 films. Currently, several hundred of those films are streaming from the Ruth Page Finding Aid on the CFA website. This site is used for dance reference on a routine basis by scholars, historians and dancers.

    The NEA also funded a retrospective on the late Howard Alk, a filmmaker and editor who directed the documentaries JANIS and MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON.  Even to date, Alk is relatively unknown, in spite of these accomplishments.

    To learn more about the Ruth Page Collection, please visit bit.ly/2n7qpwV.

    To learn more about the 2009 retrospective Howard Alk: A Life on the Edge, please visit bit.ly/2nRYQI3.

    Image: "Bolero" (1928) [Ruth Page Collection]

    Do you have a story about your federally funded project and its significance to your community? Submit your stories to info@chicagoarchivists.org.

  • 24 Apr 2017 9:31 AM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    Many of Chicago’s cultural institutions have used grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to preserve, promote, and provide access to their collections. In response to the proposed elimination of funding for these federal agencies, CAA asked members to submit stories highlighting the projects that their institutions have undertaken with support from the NEH, NEA, and IMLS. We hope these stories will inspire a dialog among Chicagoans about how we can advocate for and better protect our cultural heritage.


    Today’s story comes to us from the Chicago History Museum, who received IMLS funding in 2016 to digitize and upgrade the storage of its historically significant yet rapidly deteriorating cellulose nitrate negatives. Expected to conclude in 2018, the project’s goals are to implement urgently needed steps to arrest the degradation of the Museum’s nitrate holdings while also improving CHM’s overall physical, intellectual, and administrative control over these materials.


    Containing over 35,000 negatives in more than 70 individual collections, CHM’s nitrate holdings document Chicago and its neighboring communities, as well as select people, places, and moments in American history, from the 1890s through the 1950s. These materials help us connect with the history of Chicago’s steel and railroad industries, social service agencies, and built environment; the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and 1933-34 A Century of Progress International Exposition; Chicago neighborhoods including Pilsen, Lincoln Park, the Loop, and the Near West Side including Maxwell Street; the 1919 Chicago Race Riot and Republic Steel Strike of 1937; and a broad range of other newsworthy topics, people, and events represented in the Chicago Daily News photographic archive. The vast majority of these materials do not exist in any other format.


    The project is the third and final phase of a multiyear effort to identify and address the challenges posed by CHM’s nitrate holdings. Project activities have included digitizing the negatives to reduce the potential of damage due to handling; making the digital surrogates available for use; enhancing information in electronic records to improve access; and upgrading the storage environment to achieve preservation conditions. IMLS funds have been used to purchase the equipment necessary for rapid capture digitization and the freezer storage required to house the original negatives and arrest film base deterioration.


    Through the support of the IMLS grant, the project will ultimately result in:


    • Nearly 28,000 new digital files with embedded administrative and descriptive metadata

    • Approximately 376 enhanced catalog records will be available in ARCHIE, CHM's online public access catalog, and the corresponding digital images will be accessible in CHM's Collections Online portal.

    • Over 35,000 nitrate negatives packaged and transferred into long-term preservation storage in safe laboratory-grade freezers.






    Image Credits (Left to right, top to bottom): 1) Conservation Lab, Chicago History Museum. © Chicago Historical Society; 2) The World's Columbian Exposition dedication, 1892. Copyright Notice: No known copyright restrictions; 3) National Sewing Machine Company, circa 1923-1936. Copyright Notice: No known copyright restrictions; 4) Near North Side general views, Chicago, Illinois, 1932. © Chicago Historical Society; 5) Nitrate Storage, Chicago History Museum. © Chicago Historical Society; 6) Construction, Wrigley Building, Chicago, Illinois, 1888-1950. © Chicago Historical Society.


    Do you have a story about your federally funded project and its significance to your community? Submit your stories to info@chicagoarchivists.org.

  • 11 Apr 2017 3:22 PM | Amber Dushman

    Thanks to everyone who came out on Thursday, March 30! CAA met at the Green Room at Symphony Center.  We had a great turnout; 61 members joined us despite the rain. The Steering Committee will distribute the official minutes soon, but in the meantime here are the meeting highlights:

    • The Steering Committee shared our 2016 annual report.
    • The Events, Outreach, and Professional Development subcommittees shared all of the great projects they worked on this year, and announced exciting new projects for 2017. It’s not too late to get involved! Email our subcommittee chairs for more information.
    • Gretchen Neidhardt shared the 2016 Chicago Open Archives report; Steering is still looking for a leader to take COA into the future; if you’re interested email info@chicagoarchivists.org.
    • This year we introduced the Members of the Year award! Congratulations Amy and Sarah!
    • Ashley Gosselar, Susan Hanf and Morgen MacIntosh-Hodgetts introduced CAA’s Day of Service. Registration is now open!
    • MAC 2018 will be held in Chicago! Look for future posts at mac2018.wordpress.com!
    • We heard from the nominees for Steering Committee, 2017-19. We had a strong ballot! Thank you to all who ran and thank you to the CAA members who voted in this year’s election. Elected to serve are:

    Amy Belotti

    Andrew Bullen

    Kara Jefts

    Megan Keller Young

    2017 will mark 35 years for CAA! So let’s make it a great year! Thanks again to all of our volunteers and members.


    MAC 2018 Local Arrangements Committee Co-Chairs, Andrea Bainbridge and Andy Steadhman address gathered CAA members [Photo courtesy of Amy Belotti]

  • 10 Apr 2017 11:08 AM | Laura Alagna (Administrator)

    CAA thanks all who attended the CAA@MAC meetup on April 7 in Omaha. 24 people - both CAA members and friends of CAA - joined colleagues after the MAC members' meeting to catch up over beverages and French fries. A few former CAA members who relocated elsewhere in the Midwest made appearances, and everyone enjoyed showing #OMAMAC how to have a good time!


  • 03 Apr 2017 10:31 AM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the Chicago Area Archivists 2017 Member of the Year Award winners Amy Belotti and Sarah Yarrito! 

    Sarah and Amy served as Co-Chairs to the 2016 Chicago Open Archives event. COA would not have been all that it was without their dedication and commitment. Both were very new members of CAA but answered the call for leadership for COA quickly and without hesitation. They worked tirelessly to keep the group and the event on schedule and ensured its success.

    The winners were announced at last Thursday's members meeting and each received a certificate and a CAA Member of the Year tote bag. This was the first year this award was presented and we look forward to continuing to recognize the important work of our members in the years to come. Look out for the 2018 nomination announcement later in the year, and check out the Awards page for nomination guidelines for both the Member of the Year Award and the Janet Olson Award. 

    Congrats and thank you, Amy and Sarah!


  • 22 Mar 2017 1:03 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    We have a great slate of candidates for the 2017-2019 Steering Committee positions! See the candidates below.

    Leo L. Belleville

    Amy Belotti

    Andrew Bullen

    Kara Jefts

    Matthew Messbarger

    Emily Minehart

    Sutton Skowron

    Justine Tobiasz

    Megan Keller Young


    Only members in good standing may vote; if you are a member and need another copy of the candidates' Statements of Interests please email info@chicagoarchivists.org. All of the candidates will be introduced at the annual members meeting on Thursday, March 30th. Please RSVP before Thursday, March 23rd if you plan on attending.

    Can't make it to the meeting? You can still vote! Voting for 2017-19 Steering Committee will be held online following the meeting. Watch your email inbox for more information. 

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