• 03 Oct 2014 3:55 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    The Outreach Subcommittee of Chicago Area Archivists would love to feature stories from your archives related to this year's theme: Leadership and Legacy in History. We are looking for stories around 150-300 words and we are happy to direct readers back to your site and resources. We also welcome any pictures or graphics, as long as they are owned by your institution and we can cite them appropriately. Please email your stories to so that we can put them up on the website.

    The Society of American Archivists also started their own archives awareness project, A Year of Living Dangerously, where you can submit your stories about archives and positive change for Archives month as well. 

    Also don't forget about our archivist happy hour on Tuesday, October 21st! Stop by and mingle with other archivists, see some merchandise from our forthcoming CafePress store, and take home a button or two with our new logo!

  • 03 Oct 2014 10:32 AM | Megan Keller Young

    From a release by the News Bureau at University of Illinois at Chicago:

    Chicago’s commodities exchanges were the first in the U.S. - and heralded the city’s arrival as a commercial center.

    Now the records of two of these exchanges - the Chicago Board of Trade and the MidAmerica Commodity Exchange - are available for research in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago. 

    “This vast archive documents a story that goes well beyond the economic history of the city,” says Mary Case, UIC university librarian. “The files are rich with primary source materials concerning business and government relations, historical accounts from companies, the exchanges’ philanthropic responses to worldwide disasters, and the interactions of prominent business leaders.” 

    The Chicago Board of Trade was established in 1848 in a flour store attic by 82 Chicago merchants and political figures. In 1859, CBOT was granted a charter allowing self-regulation from the Illinois legislature. It merged with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in 2007 to become CME Group. 

    The MidAmerica Commodity Exchange was founded in 1868 as “Pudd’s Exchange” in a field at LaSalle and Washington streets. It offered contracts smaller than those offered by CBOT, thus allowing individuals with smaller assets to trade commodities. It was incorporated as the Chicago Open Board of Trade in 1880.  It became the MidAmerica Commodity Exchange in 1973, was affiliated with CBOT in 1986, and was dissolved in 2003. 

    Commodity trading benefited farmers by stabilizing markets and prices, and consumers by requiring that commodities be inspected and graded. Chicago’s exchanges set worldwide precedents for trading practices and relationships between boards of trade and chambers of commerce. 

    The collections document the exchanges’ history, officers and members, operations, rules and regulations, and statistics. The materials include correspondence, meeting minutes, rulebooks, reports, legal papers, press clips, and publications, as well as photographs and blueprints of the iconic Chicago Board of Trade Building. 

    Additional records will soon be added to the archive. “CME Group plans to add the records of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to UIC Daley Library later this year,” said Lindsay Siens, CME Group public affairs director. 

    The collections are available for use in the Special Collections Department of Daley Library. Some materials are restricted. Visitors are advised to locate materials through the department’s online finding aids, then contact the department at (312) 996-2742 to ensure that the materials are open to the public.

    Photo: Chicago Board of Trade trading floor, 1930. (CBOT records: Series V - Public Relations Department)

  • 30 Sep 2014 2:35 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt
    We're so happy to announce the winner of our logo contest, our own Laura Berfield! Check out the new logo on the website. Congratulations to Laura!

    We also have ordered new buttons with the logo on them and you can pick one up at the Archives Month Happy Hour! Meet up with us onTuesday, October 21st from 6-8pm at the newly reopened Red Lion Pub in Lincoln Park. RSVP on our events page by 10/14. 

    If you have any questions about the event, please email Gretchen Neidhardt ( or Megan Keller (

    We hope to see you there!

  • 09 Sep 2014 12:05 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    The Outreach Subcommittee is looking for a few more members to round out our group! Outreach develops services and materials that facilitate involvement in the profession, recognize professional accomplishments and contributions of its members, increase awareness of CAA within Chicago and regionally, and promote the archives profession. 

    This year, we're working on coordinating an archives crawl for 2015 (along with the Events Subcommittee), publishing stories from area archives, facilitating a new CAA logo and Cafe Press store, as well as many other activities! 

    In order to maintain our Subcommittee status, we must meet at least four times each year, either in person or online. It's a great group and we'd love to have you! If you are interested, please email the Co-chairs Gretchen Neidhardt ( and Megan Keller (

  • 09 Sep 2014 11:59 AM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    We have been making some changes to the website lately and you might have noticed that we have a new section to honor our Janet Olson Award winners! We are honored to create an award in Janet's honor. From her biography:

    Janet's dedication to the local archives community is inspiring.  She was instrumental in the revitalization and optimal functioning of the Chicago Area Archivists organization.  From 1999 to 2014 she has served as chair, treasurer and membership director, and overseen such initiatives as the formation of the steering committee, updating of by-laws, online presence including website, list-serv, and membership directory.  She expertly fostered collaboration and quietly guided steering committee members to explore new ways of fulfilling the organization’s mission.

    Read more about Janet and her achievements and learn how to nominate a fellow archivist for the award!

  • 02 Sep 2014 6:29 PM | Anonymous
    Each year, more than half a million students nationwide participate in National History Day. Students choose topics related to a theme, conduct primary and secondary research, analyze and interpret their sources, and present their work in original papers, websites, exhibits, performances and documentaries. Projects are evaluated in competitions at the local, state, and national levels during the spring.

    In Chicago, the process starts in the fall, when the Chicago Metro History Fair begins preparing teachers and students for History Fair competitions in Chicago and suburban Cook, Lake, Kane, and DuPage counties.

    Participation in History Fair helps students improve their reading, writing, thinking, and presentation skills as they learn history. It’s also an opportunity for them to use Chicago’s diverse archival collections, in person or online.

    CAA encourages local archives, museums, historical societies, and libraries with primary sources related to “Leadership & Legacy in History” to support history education by sharing relevant collection information with Chicago Metro History Fair by 5 September. If you can’t share by that date, becoming familiar with relevant holdings is still a way to for your organization to prepare for potential student researchers later in the school year. Or, use “Leadership & Legacy” as the topic of a staff reference activity or discussion for American Archives Month in October.

    Top: Chart illustrating the theory of concentration. In Francis W. Parker’s Talks on Pedagogics: an outline of the theory of concentration (1894). Public domain. See more at

    Bottom: Dr. Albert Sabin (left) and leaders of Rotary International announce Rotary’s goal of eradicating polio at a press conference in 1985. Copyright Rotary International. All rights reserved.
  • 02 Sep 2014 11:16 AM | Gretchen Neidhardt
    Registration is now open for SAA’s two-day workshop, “Managing Architectural, Design, and Construction Records,” November 6th-7th at the University of Chicago Library’s Special Collections Research Center. The workshop will be led by Tawny Ryan Nelb and Waverly B. Lowell, co-authors of Architectural Records: Managing Design and Construction Records.

    Details and registration information are available on SAA’s website:

    In this two-day workshop, participants will learn how to identify, manage, preserve, and provide access to design and construction records. The first day addresses the process of design, legal issues, appraisal, types of records, arrangement, and description. The second day focuses on media and support identification, preservation, reformatting, reference, and patron use. Taking into consideration the access needs of different types of repositories, as well as the reality of limited space and budgets, participants will learn ideal practices as well as practical solutions.

  • 27 Aug 2014 1:03 AM | Anonymous

    The minutes from the July 29, 2014 CAA Meeting have been approved and are available to view online here.

  • 29 Jul 2014 8:20 PM | Anonymous

    The minutes from the June 17, 2014 CAA Meeting have been approved and are available to view online here.

  • 18 Jul 2014 9:28 AM | Anonymous member
    The CAA Steering Committee is seeking a volunteer to fill the open position created when our colleague Lisa Calahan resigned to take a new job as Head of Processing at the University of Minnesota. Lisa was serving a two year term that ends in March 2016.

    This is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking for leadership experience within the profession. And It's also not an overwhelming time commitment: the CAA Steering Committee meets monthly in or near downtown Chicago. Please consider volunteering to fill this vacant seat.

    The CAA Steering Committee will be following the current by-laws, Article V, Section 4 to fill the vacancy: “In case of a vacancy, the Steering Committee shall appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the unexpired term.” To help ease the process of selection, we ask that you submit a written Statement of Interest: one or two paragraphs outlining the reasons you would like to serve on the CAA Steering Committee.

    Please send the Statement of Interest to with "CAA Steering Committee" in the subject line by Monday, July 21, 2014. The CAA Steering Committee will be reviewing all submissions at our next meeting on Tuesday, July 29, and will keep the membership informed regarding the selection process.
    Please feel free to contact me directly at if you have any questions.


    Andy Steadham
    2013-15 Steering Committee Chair
    Chicago Area Archivists

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