• 02 Dec 2014 9:23 AM | Deleted user

    On Thursday, November 20th, the Chicago Area Archivists Professional Development Committee sponsored a panel discussion entitled “Archive Professionals in Non-Traditional Archival Settings” with panelists Laura Fu, who is the Digital Content Manager at Sears Holdings Corporation; Lauren Breyer, who is the Archivist at State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company; Allan Berry, who is the Web Application Developer at the UIC Library with the Chicago Collections Consortium; Andrew Altepeter, who is the Information Governance Analyst at Motorola Solutions, Inc.; and was moderated very well by Drew Davis, who is the Historical Resources Specialist at Motorola Solutions Heritage Services & Archives as well as a CAA steering committee and professional development subcommittee member.

    Each panelist provided a description of their career paths, discussed what they do in their current positions, and tips for individuals who are looking to either change careers or entering the job market. Some of the important tips from the panel included

    For Job Seekers

    • Job applicants need to able to translate their skills
    • Be brave and take risks. Andrew talked about this in relation to moving from an public history background to information governance position. 
    • Don’t be afraid to create your own position. An institution may not even know they need an archivist or a records manager until you point it out to them. Therefore, you have to package your skill set and tell a story about how your skills will fit in with their business.
    • Call and/or contact people who have positions that you want. This means that if you are traveling to a new city, reach out the library, museum, or archives there to schedule a visit.

    For All Employees

    • Advocate for your users to the administrative stakeholders in doing so you create advocates for your unit, which is useful when there are issues or budgetary cuts.
    • The parent institution/company drives the nature of your own business therefore, see how your unit can benefit the overall mission of the institution and look for ways you can add value to another unit (two examples provided by the panelists were: The old Sears catalog photos or the old State Farm photos)
    • “Always be kind, be gracious.  Never burn your bridges.” This will refers to the fact that the profession is small and you never know when you may need to call upon someone for assistance. These can be people who are your personal advocates or may be the housekeeping staff of your institution who know where the clean-up supplies are when you have a disaster.
    • Don’t doubt the role of soft skills in the hiring process, one can teach technical skills, but soft skills are to teach. These soft skills include: writing, communication, research, learning agility, accountability, critical thinking skills, building relationships, openness, friendliness, etc. (see here for a longer list
    • Understand the lens that you view through and then look at your work critically through your lens.  Look at it like a camp site: you leave it better than you found it. 
    • Challenge your own perspective and understand the difference between the ideal and the reality. 
    • Be sure to keep current by reading professional journals, attend conferences, take courses/workshops either online or in person. A couple of good online possibilities include and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

    Places to look for positions

  • 17 Nov 2014 12:26 PM | Anonymous member

    I am pleased to announce that Anita Mechler has joined the Chicago Area Archivists Steering Committee. Anita responded to our call for volunteers to fill the open seat for the 2014-16 term created when our colleague Lisa Calahan resigned to take a new job as Head of Archival Processing at the University of Minnesota.

    Anita is the Director of the Library and Archives at the Union League of Chicago and has expressed a drive to help support the local archives community. Thanks to Anita for joining our team.

    CAA members interested in the Steering Committee should watch for a forthcoming call for volunteers to fill open seats for the 2015-17 term. Voting for the 2015-17 term will be open to CAA members only and will take place online in the month prior to the Annual Meeting in March (exact date, time, and location to be determined).

    Questions or comments can be sent to

    Andy Steadham, Steering Committee Chair (2013-15)

  • 11 Nov 2014 8:54 PM | Anonymous
    The minutes from the October 7, 2014 CAA Steering Committee Meeting have been approved and are available to view online here.

  • 26 Oct 2014 3:30 PM | Anonymous
    The minutes from the August 26, 2014 CAA Meeting have been approved and are available to view online here.

  • 18 Oct 2014 1:25 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    Roosevelt University is proud to announce the release of Roosevelt UniversityThe Campus History Series published by Arcadia Publishing. The book includes over 200 still images from the Roosevelt University Archives’ collection and tells the story of Roosevelt’s groundbreaking founding and historical influence on racial and religious inclusivity, support of teaching and learning on equal-terms, equal-opportunity, and its pioneering mission of social justice across the curriculum.


  • 16 Oct 2014 2:20 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt
    The Regional History Center and University Archives at Northern Illinois University will have on display historical cookbooks, recipes, and ephemera from its collection for its exhibit: “You Are What You Eat: Cookbooks as ingredients to shape identity and community.” Cookbooks and recipes often reveal more than just a list of ingredients. Ethnic recipes help preserve a cultural heritage and demonstrate different cultures that exist in an area. Passing along a favorite family recipe helps keep the memory of family members alive. We will explore how cookbooks have created a sense of identity in the northern Illinois region. The exhibit, which is being curated in conjunction with American Archives Month and the 50th anniversary of the University Archives, will be on display through November 15th on the first floor of Founders Memorial Library.

    To celebrate these events and make the exhibit more interactive, the Center will be hosting an exhibit grand opening and reception on October 16th for NIU staff, faculty, students, and the public. 

    ·         Thursday, October 16, 2014

    ·         4:30 to 6:30 PM

    ·         Exhibit in Founders Memorial Library foyer

    ·         Reception in the Regional History Center, room 400

    ·         Light refreshments will be served


    Parking is available in the NIU visitor’s lot located to the west of the library, off of Carroll Avenue.


    The staff will be re-creating a few of the recipes featured in the exhibit, and copies of these recipes will be available for guests to take home. We will encourage visitors to make these recipes, share photos and stories, or share their own favorite recipes on our Facebook page throughout the month of October. We will also have a photo gallery on our Flickr site. For more information, links to our social media sites, and to view our digital exhibit, visit:

  • 08 Oct 2014 3:01 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    From the National Archives at Chicago September 2014 Newsletter:

    American Indian Schools in the Great Lakes Region

    Saturday, November 8, 9:30 – 11:00 AM

    Learn about Native Americans through the Bureau of Indian Affairs records with National Archives at Chicago archivist Katie Dishman. The National Archives has many government documents related to how American Indians were educated and housed from the late 19th through the early 20th century. This workshop will tap into the wealth of genealogical information about the students and their families and provide insights into the operations of the schools.

    Treats, Treasures, and the Gift of History

    Saturday, January 10, 9:30 – 11:00 AM

    Discover rarely seen treasures of the National Archives at Chicago and gain tips for accessing these textual records with an insightful presentation from Director of NARA-Chicago, Doug Bicknese. Ideas for sharing your genealogical research with your loved ones also will be discussed.

    Ancestry Presents Ancestry

    Saturday, May 9, 9:30 – 11:00 AM

    It’s a family affair! Loretto “Lou” Szucs and her daughter Juliana Smith will provide an overview and strategies for searching the world’s largest online family history resource.

    BAMM! Business, Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Mortality Census Schedules

    Saturday, June 13, 9:30 – 11:00 AM

    BAMM! Add “explosive” details to your genealogy by utilizing non-population Census schedules of Business, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Mortality. Authorized by Congress, these records cover very specific time periods and locations during the 19th and 20th centuries and provide unique insights into the communities where our ancestors lived and worked. Kris Maldre Jarosik, Education Specialist at NARA-Chicago, will help you learn about these records.

    Sign Up!

    Each workshop is free and will be held at our facility near Ford City Mall at 7358 South Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL. Space is limited, so please RSVP to save a seat by sending an e-mail to . Please indicate in your e-mail which workshop you are interested in attending.

  • 07 Oct 2014 2:55 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt
    From the Midwest Nursing History Research Center:

    Julie Fairman, PhD, RN, FAAN, will present the Harriet Fulmer Lecture on October 21, 2014


    Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

    University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Nursing - 3rd Floor Event Center

    Dr. Fairman is the Nightingale Professor of Nursing and Director of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania.  Julie Fairman’s current work involves the history of the intersection of health policy and nurse practitioners in the United States from 1980 to the present. In 2009 she served as the IOM/AAN/ANF Scholar in Residence. In other words, she is an internationally known leader in the field of nursing history. We are delighted to welcome her to UIC.

    Dr. Fairman’s talk will center on the history of regulation and scope of practice for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses with a focus on the Federal Trade Commission and advanced practice nurses.

    Immediately following Dr. Fairman’s talk, there will be a short commemoration of the life of Dr. Martha Pitel.  Dr. Pitel, who died on April 19 2014, was a nurse researcher and educator. At a time when few nurses earned graduate degrees, Dr. Pitel was awarded a PhD in anatomy at the University of Minnesota and continued her research at the University of Paris. During her long career Dr. Pitel taught at several of the nation’s premier universities, including UIC, and chaired the Nursing Departments at the University of Kansas and at Chicago’s Northwestern University. We are proud to hold her papers at the MNHRC.  In her memory and through her support, the Center will open the The Martha Pitel Illinois Training School digital collection. The event will conclude with refreshments and optional tours of the Midwest Nursing History Research Center.

    Please register for this free event through eventbrite(Registration gives us a rough headcount for refreshments.)

  • 07 Oct 2014 2:44 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    Submitted by Anita Melcher, Union League Club of Chicago:

    On October 1, 2014, the Archives Subcommittee of the Union League Club of Chicago marked the centenary of the outbreak of World War I with an event that included a presentation and lecture on the Club’s involvement in World War I. We had musical accompaniment by the ULC Brass Ensemble, playing music from that time period. We were honored to welcome Mr. Herbert Quelle, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany to our presentation.

    This event was the culmination of six months of research by myself and two ULC members. We utilized the Club’s archival collections, Club histories, local newspaper reports, and posters.  Bruce Grant’s Fight for a City - The Story of the Union League Club of Chicago and its Times (published for the Club’s 75th anniversary in 1955) was a particularly valuable resource for accounts of the Club’s activities during this period.

    What the Club did in the Spanish-American War, although different in scale and scope, served as a template for actions in the First and Second World Wars including the establishment of a War Committee that would: coordinate Club support of the national government in its war aims; support members of the armed services; and facilitate enlistments. 

    During our research, it began to become very clear to us the poor condition of the WWI War Committee’s scrapbook from which we pulled many images and the binder that housed the War Committee meeting minutes.

    We treated surfaces that were showing displays of red rot with “Cellugel” and I rehoused the 100-page scrapbook of the War Committee. The scrapbook pages were extremely brittle and acidic paper. Over the course of about 30 hours, I removed as much of the acidic paper as possible, replacing it with acid-free paper, and enveloped the items in archival polypropylene page protectors.

  • 03 Oct 2014 4:01 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    Submitted by Baha'i National Center:

    A little over 100 years ago, at the age of 52, Chicagoan Susan Isobel Moody was so moved by her new-found Baha’i Faith that she finished medical school, learned to speak Persian, and moved to Iran to establish a hospital and school for girls.

    Susan Moody was born in 1851 in Amsterdam, New York. As a young woman, in addition to the responsibilities of caring for her five orphaned younger siblings, she studied voice and fine arts in Chicago, New York and Paris. The young Miss Moody considered becoming a doctor, but abandoned medical studies because she couldn’t stand the dissecting room.

    The Baha’i Faith began in Persia in the 1860s. The first mention of it in America was in Chicago in 1893 at the Columbian Exposition’s World Parliament of Religions.  In 1903, after much study and prayer, Susan Moody joined a growing cluster of Chicago believers and embraced the Faith and its teachings of the oneness of humanity.

    In 1909 she visited Palestine to meet ‘Abdul-Baha’, the son of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Faith, who taught that the height of virtue is to serve others.  She learned of the poverty and need of the Persians, and vowed to do what she could to alleviate their suffering. She re-enrolled in medical school and learned the language before moving to Tehran.

    Dr. Moody became a beloved figure in Tehran, where she worked for 25 years to help women overcome poverty and ignorance. Her patients, lacking knowledge of basic health and hygiene, often came to her with chronic, untreated conditions because they would not remove their veils for male physicians. Moody stayed faithful to her work there despite anti-Baha’i and early anti-American sentiments.

    On her return visits to the United States, Dr. Moody also played a leadership role as part of a group of women who helped select the site and raise money to build the Baha’i Temple in suburban Wilmette, Illinois.  She died in Tehran in 1934. 

    Photos courtesy of the National Baha’i Archives, United States



    Dr. Moody with Baha’i women in Tehran, 1910. These women were some of the first to appear in public without a veil.


    Dr. Moody and Baha’is in Tehran, 1920.


    Funeral for Dr. Susan Moody, Tehran, 1934. Hundreds attended, including many of her students.

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