• 13 Mar 2018 12:13 PM | Anonymous

    In an ongoing series during CAA Steering Committee election time, we hear from Steering Committee member Megan Keller Young about the time and commitment needed for Steering.

    Serving on the Steering Committee is an excellent way to gain experience in leading an organization without a huge time commitment. Steering meets once a month for about two hours, often rotating the meeting location around Chicago. We work together to find a date that works for everyone, taking into account where people live and work. Occasionally we meet by phone depending on everyone’s schedule. Other business outside the meetings is generally handled through email.

    Of course, some roles within Steering may require work outside of the meetings, but this generally averages about 1-3 extra hours per month. I have always found my fellow committee members to be flexible and cooperative of everyone’s needs.

    In our meetings we discuss our finances; our communications to the membership; the subcommittees’ work; and any upcoming events we have, including Chicago Open Archives and Day of Service. It is exciting to see what ideas the subcommittees have and is satisfying to give them the go-ahead to carry out these initiatives to better Chicago’s archival community.

    Ultimately, it’s a small amount of volunteer hours when compared to the experience gained. Joining Steering is an excellent way to help influence and assist archives and archivists in Chicago.

    The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 21.

    Feel free to contact Megan or other Steering Committee members with questions.

  • 13 Mar 2018 11:19 AM | Anonymous

    In an ongoing series during CAA Steering Committee election time, we hear from Drew Davis, the current RAAC liaison.

    It is vital that an archivist at any stage of their career participate in regional or national archives organizations, but attaining leadership roles in those organizations can sometimes be difficult. Due to that, many archivists – and especially young archivists - can feel that their voice is “lost in the crowd.” As a new archivist I personally felt this setback, and began searching for different ways to make an impact in the profession.

    It was during this time that I joined the Chicago Area Archivists, and was pleasantly surprised to find many volunteer and leadership opportunities available immediately. As my interest focuses on advancing the careers of young archivists, I joined the Professional Development subcommittee in 2012. Working in this subcommittee allowed me to help plan programs and workshops geared towards increasing the professional knowledge of CAA members. In 2014, I joined the Steering Committee, providing me the opportunity to help lead CAA. On the Steering Committee, I had the privilege to serve CAA Secretary, and also to represent CAA in the Regional Archival Associations Consortium (RAAC).

    What I find most notable about my CAA experience is that it was possible for myself and several other Steering members to go from new members to officers within three to four years of joining. I also find it impressive that so many young archivists are able to take on and thrive in leadership roles in the subcommittees and on the Steering Committee. If you are an archivist at any point in your career that wants to make a difference in your profession, I highly urge you to run for Steering. There are several seats open this year (including my own), and your views and experiences would be vital in helping CAA grow.

    The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 21.

    Feel free to contact Drew or other Steering Committee members with questions.

  • 07 Mar 2018 9:32 AM | Anonymous

    In an ongoing series during CAA Steering Committee election time, we hear from Jennifer Ho, current Vice Chair.

    One of the most rewarding things about being on the Steering Committee is that you have the support, resources and power to make a project your own. It’s not the only way to make a change, but it definitely gives you an advantage!  You will have a supportive network who will discuss with you the pros and cons, potential outcomes and possible alternatives to your ideas.

    My best personal example of this is the new subcommittee restructuring. Thanks to my seat on Steering, I was able to take action in response to rumblings from within CAA that it would be run more efficiently with a different structure.

    My time on the Steering committee gave me the background knowledge and context, as well as built-in communication with internal leadership, to lead meetings, gather ideas and create infrastructure so that CAA could be reorganized to meet its members' evolving needs.

    If you have ideas for how CAA can be improved, you will experience these benefits as well. I encourage you to run for the Steering Committee and make your mark on the archives community!

    The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 21. Feel free to contact Jennifer or other Steering Committee members with questions.

  • 27 Feb 2018 12:31 PM | Anonymous

    In an ongoing series during CAA Steering Committee election time, we hear from George Kutsunis, current Steering Committee Chair.

    There are lots of groups that advocate for our profession, providing everything from a recognized archiving credential to national advocacy to networking, but there is only one group that is looking out for archivists in Chicago, and that is the CAA.

    The Steering Committee for Chicago Area Archivists is the best way to advocate for your profession at the local level. By joining Steering, you can highlight the work of local archivists, draw attention to local archives in distress and celebrate the collections that are only located here in Chicago.

    Volunteering for the Steering or one of the subcommittees allows you to make an impact for your profession locally, and offers a huge return on your time investment. If you have gone to any of the panels, events or tours that the CAA hosts each year, I don't need to tell you what a perk having a local organization like the CAA is.

    Please help us continue working to advocate our profession in a way that no national organization can. Run for Steering or join a committee. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 21. 

    Feel free to contact George or other Steering Committee members with questions.

  • 21 Feb 2018 11:40 AM | Anonymous

    In an ongoing series during CAA Steering Committee election time, we hear from another Steering Committee member, Amy Belotti.

    If you are a CAA subcommittee member, you should absolutely consider running for Steering. Being a part of Steering allows you to extend your understanding of and your impact on our local professional network. In addition, you will be able to expand upon your leadership skills in an extremely supportive environment.

    I relocated to Chicago in 2016 and immediately joined the Outreach sub-committee, as well as took on the position of co-chair for 2016's Chicago Open Archives. I joined the CAA Steering Committee the following year (2017). This evolution went quick; even I was surprised by it. But within a year I felt like I had a place in the Chicago archival community and was ready to do more. Having gained experience with the subcommittee and a flagship CAA event definitely helped me feel confident in my skills to serve on Steering. However, I also felt like I still maintained a fresh perspective as a new Chicagoan and thought, perhaps that could be a unique positive to bring to Steering and CAA overall. We need Steering members with all levels of experience and leadership, so be sure to consider all aspects of what you'd bring to the table. Having subcommittee experience absolutely brings you some valuable short-hand knowledge of how to be a part of Steering leadership, though.

    If you’ve served on a subcommittee, please consider joining the Steering Committee. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, March 21. 

    Feel free to contact Amy or other Steering Committee members with questions.

  • 13 Feb 2018 2:01 PM | Anonymous

    During CAA’s Steering Committee election, we’d like to hear from Steering Committee members about their work with CAA. Greer Martin serves on the Steering Committee as the Communications Manager.

    When I joined the Steering Committee in 2016, I was new to Chicago and didn't know many archivists in the area. Steering gave me an opportunity to expand my professional network and to learn more about the institutions that house Chicago's history. If you are a "lone arranger" or work at a small institution, Steering will be particularly rewarding - you will feel as though you have more colleagues by your side than before.

    If you are new to CAA or have not served on a subcommittee, I encourage you to run. Steering benefits from new voices and perspectives, and we would be lucky to have yours. Maybe you've been a member of CAA for years, have served on a subcommittees, and have ideas for the organization as a whole. On Steering, you can put these ideas into action, establish programmatic goals and shape new initiatives.

    Whatever your background or history with CAA, serving on the Steering Committee is a personally and professionally rewarding experience, and your contribution will have an impact on this volunteer-run organization. 

    The deadline for volunteering for the Steering Committee is Wednesday, March 21. Feel free to contact Greer or other Steering Committee members with questions.

  • 06 Feb 2018 4:33 PM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    The CAA Archives & Archivists of Color Interest Group announces a travel grant to the 2018 Midwest Archives Conference. 

    For more information, please visit

  • 05 Feb 2018 3:16 PM | Erin Matson (Administrator)
    Are you interested in becoming more involved in the Chicago archives community? Consider volunteering to serve on the Chicago Area Archivists Steering Committee. Not only will you get to work closely with some of your colleagues in the profession, but CAA service is a great way to gain valuable experience in preparation for service in regional and national archival organizations.

    Wonder what the Steering Committee does? The Steering Committee is tasked with:

    • Establishing programmatic goals for the organization
    • Responding to the needs of CAA members
    • Representing CAA within the larger profession and to the general public
    • Setting standards to ensure the sustainability of CAA
    • New this year, expanding communications efforts for the CAA

    Think you aren’t experienced enough to serve on the Steering Committee? Think again: any organization needs fresh viewpoints to remain vibrant. And CAA is meant to serve the needs of all of its members, including those who are new to the profession.

    Worried about over-committing yourself? Steering Committee members are elected to two-year terms that begin and end at the Members Meeting in March/April. The time commitment is relatively minimal, consisting of monthly in-person meetings with occasional business conducted by email.

    Candidates for the four open seats for the 2018-20 term will be elected by a vote of CAA members cast electronically after the Members Meeting on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

    Service on the Steering Committee is open to all CAA members in good standing. To volunteer, submit a brief (1-2 paragraphs) Statement of Interest outlining your background and motivation for serving on the Steering Committee to Please include your full name, title, place of work (if applicable), and preferred contact phone and email address.

    Statements of interest will be distributed to CAA members prior to the Members Meeting. Candidates will also have an opportunity to introduce themselves at the meeting on April 4.

    The deadline to submit your Statement is Wednesday, March 21 at 5:00pm.

    Want more information? Contact information for current Steering Committee Members is available on the CAA Website. Please reach out to one of them and ask about his or her service on Steering. 

    Please send general questions or comments to

  • 07 Dec 2017 2:24 PM | Laura Alagna

    Thank you to everyone who attended the CAA Holiday Party on December 5, 2017. Seventy-two people joined their fellow archivists to eat, drink, and be merry! The party is always a fun way to close out the year. CAA hopes to see everyone again soon in 2018!

  • 14 Nov 2017 10:34 AM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    Thank you to everyone who attended the Endangered Archives Panel discussion on November 9, 2017. Twenty-five people, from the CAA and CARA communities, joined us to hear about the state of various endangered archives in the US.

    Three panelists discussed their work with various archives of religious communities and the effort that is being put in to preserve the history of these groups; an urgent body of work considering the religious community is rapidly decreasing in size. We also heard from a consortium archivist who works closely with a number of institutions in the Chicagoland area to share resources and process collections while providing opportunities to emerging minority archivists. The presentations were followed by a Q&A session.  

    Don’t miss CAA’s upcoming events, including our annual holiday party on December 5!

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