• 23 May 2019 12:38 PM | Carol Ng-He

    The Curating & Exhibitions Interest Group hosted a two-hour Strategies for Exhibit Content Development webinar on Friday, May 10th, 2019 which went successfully. In addition to the CAA listserv, the event was promoted through other outside channels, such as the Chicago Museum Exhibitors Group (CMEG), RAILS and ILA Marketing Group, Chicago Hands-on Educators Group (CHOE), and direct emails. Twenty-five participants, including 12 CAA members and 13 non-members, attended to the webinar via Zoom. Based on the poll at the beginning of the webinar, half of the attendees was from libraries/archives, and another half was from museums.

    The webinar was led by experienced exhibit developers, Tricia O’Connor and Charity Counts, with a focus of the processes, best practices, considerations, and tips in exhibit story development. Key areas that were covered in the webinar are ways of capturing the audiences, what science tells us about visitors that influence the exhibit design, tools and strategies on organizing content, writing labels, prototyping for best results, and recommendations on working and communicating with designers for building a strong collaboration for each exhibit projects. The webinar was concluded with a Q&A session, with questions from the attendees about the time needed for the planning, guidelines for exhibits on the web, and suggestions for creating interactive exhibits in small and open spaces and more. All participants receive templates and a list of resources developed by the facilitators.

  • 13 May 2019 10:54 AM | Anonymous

    On Thursday, May 9th, the Business Archives Group met at Hopewell Brewing Company to meet fellow archivists over a beer in Logan Square. Archivists from Studio Gang, Motorola Solutions, North Shore Congregation Israel, Shure Incorporate, Art Institute of Chicago, Gallagher, Allstate and the AMA joined us. Topics included how to get support from IT, how to navigate corporate hierarchy when you are at the bottom, what to do with an ever-changing corporate website and different DAM and digital asset learning opportunities. Thank you to all who attended and participated in the conversation!

  • 07 May 2019 9:06 AM | Allison Schein Holmes (Administrator)

    On Friday May 3rd, members of Chicago Area Archivists, International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives, the student chapter of Audio Engineering Society of Columbia College  and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections gathered at Columbia College Chicago for a fruitful discussion around time based media preservation challenges and solutions.  Thank you to all who attended and participated in the conversation!

    If you missed out on this event, don't worry, there are other events planned throughout the year!

    Did you attend this event? Upload and share your photos here

  • 02 May 2019 2:00 PM | Carol Ng-He

    Job title: Library Exhibition Designer, University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center

    Description: The Library Exhibition Designer provides leadership and coordination for the Special Collections exhibition program and displays across the library, including all phases of planning and production for physical and digital exhibitions. The Library Exhibition Designer works with the Special Collections exhibition team to conceptualize gallery and digital exhibitions and to set production calendars. In collaboration with exhibition curators and staff, the Library Exhibition Designer produces online exhibitions and works to enhance and develop the Library’s Web exhibits. The Library Exhibition Designer acts as the project manager and oversees multiple production deadlines. For each exhibition the Library Exhibition Designer develops the overall graphic design themes, develops floor plans for the gallery and case layouts, and creates posters, signage panels, and related visual materials. The Library Exhibition Designer oversees all aspects of exhibition planning, preparation, production, and de/installation according to accepted preservation best practices. The Library Exhibition Designer coordinates exhibition-related services including photography, scanning, in-house and outsourced graphic production, media production and reformatting. The Library Exhibition Designer trains and manages part-time student assistants and freelance preparators. The Library Exhibition Designer participates in the conceptual and design development and production of printed exhibition publications and in planning outreach events associated with the exhibition program.  The Library Exhibition Designer works with the Library Director of Communications in the development of news stories and other publicity materials related to exhibitions.

    Hiring manager information: Patti Gibbons, Head of Collection Management

    Application deadline: position posted until filled

    Official link to the job announcement:

  • 24 Apr 2019 11:36 AM | Jerice Barrios

    The view from the MAC hotel, the Marriott Renaissance Center in Detroit. Photo by Rebekah McFarland.

    Attending MAC 2019 in Detroit this year was an EXPERIENCE. The wow-factor began the moment I got into my hotel room, opened the curtains, and found myself looking over a glistening river at Canada. I took a quiet moment to reflect; I had never been to MAC and had never been to Detroit. Winning the Chicago Area Archivists’ Archives and Archivists of Color Travel Fund Award allowed me both opportunities, and I only vaguely knew what to expect from either. I took in the view and my expectations--then my phone rang, and things kicked into fast gear.

    It’s hard to sum up an experience that I am still absorbing. I feel like I had a whirlwind conference: meeting up with fellow archivists for the first time, attending incredible presentations, spending time with friends, seeing the city, participating on a panel, attending the reception at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, a rare quiet moment walking along the river, running into colleagues I hadn’t seen in years--I’m still revisiting it all.

    Rebekah McFarland on the Imposter Syndrome panel at MAC 2019. Photo by Derek Potts.

    I have to say that the moment which most affected me was participating in the panel My Comeback Story: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome in the Archival Profession with April Anderson-Zorn, Amber Dushman, Britt Farley, Jennifer Ho, Beth Loch, Danielle Nowak, and Alison Stankrauff. Presenting itself was a personal accomplishment--I had never participated on a panel before--but getting to know my fellow presenters and hear their stories has really made a lasting impact on me. Though we unfortunately didn’t have time to hear other stories during the allotted time I am still floored by the amount of support and reflection provided by people who approached me to talk afterward. I hope we all began a conversation that will keep on going.

    I am so happy to have attended MAC this year. I came away feeling like a part of something bigger--a feeling I always welcome, especially as a lone arranger. I’m excited for others to have this opportunity through the Travel Fund Award, and for my own continued participation in MAC.

  • 24 Apr 2019 10:53 AM | Jerice Barrios

    MAC 2019 by FakhreldinMAC Members gathered at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, April 3-6, 2019. Photo by Kheir Fakhreldin.

    I had a great time at the Midwest Archives Conference in Detroit on April 3-6, 2019. I enjoyed the inspirational plenary by Viranel Clerard, creator of The Detroit Museum of Public Art, a robust project that grew from a tumblr page to a major documentation of Detroit’s public art and architecture. His vision and perseverance serve as a reminder that when necessary, great memory work can be done with a minimum of resources.

    I identified with many of the speakers at the panel on impostor syndrome, particularly my Chicago Area Archivists colleagues Amber Dushman, Jennifer Ho, Beth Loch, Rebekah McFarland, and Danielle Nowak. See their upcoming presentation on this topic at SAA in Austin and read follow-up discussion here.

    Other highlights included Lori Donovan’s panel on using Archive-It for the preservation of websites by public libraries, which is very important for the local history contained in online news articles and obituaries. I also was blown away by a panel on community oral history projects with Lindsay Hiltunen, Lindsay Mattock, Aiden M. Bettine, and Camron Amin. One note I took in that session says: “The archival impulse has to come from within the community. Community should have full control and ownership regarding preservation, etc.”

    Before the conference, four of us visited John King Books, where I found a book that relates directly to a local history project of mine. My hometown, La Grange, Illinois, was founded in the 1870s by a former slaveholder from La Grange, Tennessee, who came north during the Civil War. The book was Slavery’s End in Tennessee, 1861-1865 by John Cimprich. I was grateful for the contextual information it gives my research, and because in the Amazon era, we rarely experience the thrill of serendipitous discoveries in used bookstores. If you’re ever in Detroit, don’t miss John King.

    John K. King Books in Detroit. Photo by Jerice Barrios.

  • 16 Apr 2019 9:14 AM | Jill Waycie (Administrator)

    Code4Lib Chicago announces their spring meeting and a call for talks and breakout sessions! Registration is free, and slots for 7-15 minute talks or breakout sessions are now open. Links and more information below:

    Registration is now open for the 2019 Spring Code4Lib Chicago meeting. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 21st at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Richard J. Daley Library in Room 1-470 from 9 AM - 4:30 PM. You can register for the conference here:

    Submission for talks at the 2019 Code4Lib Chicago spring meeting is also now open. Talks are encouraged around a wide variety of topics related to library technology. Just gone through an ILS migration? Has your Special Collections department received a large donation of born digital materials that you suddenly had to figure out how to accession? Have you created a script to automate a thorny regular task? Past talks at Code4Lib Chicago have included topics such as metadata evaluation tools and workflows, Tableau, Omeka and Docker. You can find more information about past Code4Lib Chicago meetings here:

    Slots for talks are open in 10 minute intervals. You can pick one slot to do a 7 minute talk with 3 minutes for questions or pick two slots for a 15 minute talk with 5 minutes for questions. 

    Breakout sessions are times to discuss a topic with a group of your peers that you may know a bit about but would like to dig into more. Past topics for breakout sessions have included UX/Design Thinking, Vue.js and Institutional Repositories. There are currently five spaces booked for breakout sessions but can book more depending on interest.

    There is no formal review process, simply fill in your name and the topic for your talk or breakout session in the schedule document, which you will find here:

  • 12 Apr 2019 11:28 AM | Jerice Barrios

    On Friday, April 5, 2019, members of Chicago Area Archivists who attended the Midwest Archives Conference in Detroit gathered for drinks and dining at Townhouse, a restaurant 10 minutes away from the conference hotel.

    CAA @ MAC at Townhouse Detroit on April 5, 2019. Photo by Derek Potts.

    The event was very well-attended, so much so that the accommodating staff at Townhouse had to add another table so that everyone could fit! All together, 30 people joined the gathering: 27 CAA members and three guests. It made for a convivial evening, and a great time was had by all.

    The staff at Townhouse Detroit did a wonderful job of ensuring all 30 guests had a great time. Photo by Jerice Barrios.

    If you missed out on this event, don't worry, there are other events planned throughout the year, including the Business Archives Group Happy Hour on May 9. If you have an event or program you'd like to suggest, please send it to

    For more of what CAA members did at MAC, see our Twitter and Facebook accounts and check the hashtag #CAAatMAC2019. Also, if you attended MAC and have photos to share, please consider uploading them to the CAA Image folder on Google Drive.

  • 03 Apr 2019 10:31 AM | Brittan Nannenga (Administrator)

    The 2019 Midwest Archives Conference has begun! If you’re already in Detroit or heading there soon, there are lots of ways to virtually connect with fellow CAA members at the conference.

    We will be posting on Facebook and Twitter about conference activities, including CAA members’ participation in workshops and panel and poster presentations.

    We invite everyone to share and connect their own MAC-related social media posts by using the #CAAatMAC2019 hashtag.

    You can also easily share any photos you take in the CAA photo folder.

    If you can’t make it to MAC this year but want to keep up with what’s going on, just follow #CAAatMAC2019!

    And for those who are interested in making in-person connections with CAA at MAC—we will see you at the CAA @MAC Meet-up!

  • 25 Mar 2019 2:19 PM | Jerice Barrios

    Kara Jefts, Chair of the CAA Steering Committee, leads the Annual Members' Meeting. Photo by Brittan Nannenga.

    On March 13, 2019, 34 CAA Members gathered at UIC's Richard J. Daley Library to attend the Annual Members' Meeting. Kara Jefts, Chair of CAA's Steering Committee, opened the meeting by introducing the rest of the steering committee and talking about the governing structure of CAA and how the various committees work together to keep the organization running smoothly. She also celebrated the spirit of volunteerism that makes CAA such a vibrant resource for the Chicago archives community.

    2019 CAA Annual Members' Meeting. Photo by Brittan Nannenga.

    The 2018 Annual Report was unanimously accepted by the membership. Some highlights from the report include the increasing importance of communication via social media and the possibility of raising membership dues to account for rising expenses. All subcommittees made calls for new members, especially the Special Events Subcommittee that runs Chicago Open Archives. Meeting attendees offered ideas on how to make Chicago Open Archives sustainable, as it has traditionally been an ambitious and labor-intensive event. One idea was to make it a virtual event via podcasts. If you would like to volunteer to help with Chicago Open Archives, Programming, or Outreach, please contact

    Candidates for Steering Committee were given a chance to speak at the meeting, and the election was held from March 14-March 21. The 2019-2021 Steering Committee cohort are Rene AranzamendezDan Harper, Michelle McCoy, and Rebekah McFarland. Kheir Fakhreldin has been appointed to serve from 2019-2020. Thank you to all of the candidates for supporting CAA leadership.

    For more details on the Annual Meeting, please read the minutes.

    2018-2019 CAA Steering Committee, from left to right: Andrew Bullen, Kara Jefts, Nathalie Wheaton, Ashley Gosselar, Hathaway Hester, Megan Keller Young, Jerice Barrios [Laura Alagna not pictured]. Photo by Brittan Nannenga. You can find all of the photos from this article in the CAA Photo Folder. Consider uploading your own photos from CAA events there!

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