• 14 Feb 2017 10:33 AM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    In an ongoing series during CAA Steering Committee Election time, we hear from Steering Committee member Gretchen Neidhardt about the time and commitment needed for Steering.

    Joining Steering Committee has been a volunteer opportunity that has been fun, rewarding, and valuable. The time commitment for Steering is certainly something to take into account but has never felt burdensome or overwhelming. We meet one evening per month at rotating locations, and everyone’s work schedules, work locations, and homes are taken into account. There are many different roles within the Steering Committee and those require different levels of commitment, but I have found the committee to be incredibly accommodating of all of our needs.

    Our monthly meetings last approximately two hours and depending on what else is going on with CAA, the time commitment outside of those meetings is around 1-3 hours a month. During meetings, we discuss membership, financial outlook, subcommittee activities, and other projects as they are occurring, including initiatives like Chicago Open Archives.

    Joining the Steering Committee is an incredibly rewarding experience for a relatively small time commitment and I recommend it highly as a way to connect more with your archival community and affect change in our archival area.

    The deadline for volunteering for the Steering Committee is Thursday, March 16. Feel free to contact Gretchen or other Steering Committee Members with questions.

  • 10 Feb 2017 11:16 AM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    CAA thanks all who attended the event Creating a Web Archiving Program, last Thursday, February 2! 14 people attended and learned about how to plan for, implement and grow a web archiving program. Attendees walked away with some useful tips on gaining support for a web archiving program and a basic understanding of the tools and software that are available, such as the widely used Archive-It. 

    Thanks to the presenters Andy Steadham, of Rotary International, Jennifer Ho, of the Chicago Community Trust, and Laura Alagna of Northwestern University. Also, a shout out to Karl-Rainer Blumenthal of Archive-It who was in attendance and took part in some Q & A after the presentations. 

    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: 

    Have an idea for a CAA event?  Contact the CAA Events Subcommitee at with your suggestions.

  • 09 Feb 2017 2:12 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

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

    We need you and your ideas on the CAA Steering Committee! If you are a CAA subcommittee member, please consider running for Steering. You will find it to be a valuable experience. Being on the Steering Committee has not only given me the opportunity to cultivate leadership experience, I have also continued to learn more about the archives landscape in Chicago and substantially expand my network.

    I joined the CAA Steering Committee last year (2016) after having served on the CAA Events Subcommittee for a few years. I was a member of Events and then became Chair. I hadn’t planned on running because I still felt very new to the field and to Chicago, but one of its members reached out to me and said that my experience with Events would be an asset. So, if you’ve served on a subcommittee in the past, I’d like to point out that you have an advantage! We need Steering members with all levels of experience and leadership.

    If you’ve ever thought, “why doesn’t CAA…” or “it would be nice if CAA…,” this is a wonderful opportunity to put your ideas into action. You’ll be working with a kind and supportive group of people while building your skill set as an archivist and as a leader.

    If you’ve served on a subcommittee, please consider joining the Steering Committee. Deadline for submissions is Thursday, March 16.

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

  • 08 Feb 2017 10:19 AM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    CAA is pleased like to announce a new Referring Member field on our membership form. When you refer a friend or colleague to join CAA you can win small prize such as a $15 gift card to Starbucks. Prizes will be given out to the first 3 members who are named as referring members at the CAA Members Meeting on March 30. Can't make it to the Members Meeting? Don't worry, we will work with you to make sure you get your reward!

    When new members sign up, they can simply add your name to the Referring Member field. This field is completely private and so it will not show up on the new member's public profile. Please note, at this time this initiative only applies to new members who join online, not those who send in the new member registration in the mail.  

    Not sure who to refer? CAA is not strictly for archivists! Consider colleagues who may work with archives in some way but do not consider themselves archivists: students, records managers, rights and images staff, librarians, historians, or others who simply have an interest in archives and want to learn more. CAA's workshops and behind the scenes tours offer insight into the Chicago archives world which may be of interest to a broader audience. Just don't forget to ask them to put you down as their referring member!

  • 06 Feb 2017 4:53 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    During CAA’s Steering Committee election, we’d like to hear from Steering Committee members about their work with CAA. Greer Martin joined the CAA Steering Committee last year.

    I was new to both Chicago and CAA when I joined Steering in 2016. Although I was a longtime listserv subscriber, I had only been a member for about a month. Running for Steering seemed beyond my reach: I did not know very much about CAA, hadn't served on a subcommittee, and knew very few Chicago archivists. But when the call went out for candidates, a colleague encouraged me to put my name in the running. 

    Serving on the Steering Committee is an excellent compliment to a first-year experience, be it in CAA, in Chicago, or in the profession. I learned how the organization is run, what its subcommittees do, and most importantly, I got to know other Chicago-area archivists. I met a lot of people very quickly, and my professional network of local archivists - people who can answer questions, tell you about their collections, offer advice - expanded outside of my institution's archives unit. 

    It's important for Steering to represent new members, recent grads, and the newly-arrived, as they make up much of the membership. I would encourage other newcomers to join the Steering Committee. Your input is valuable, and you will get so much out of it! 

    Deadline for submissions is Thursday, March 16.

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

  • 01 Feb 2017 10:41 AM | Anonymous

    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

    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. 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 2017-19 term will be elected by a vote of CAA members cast electronically after the Members Meeting on Thursday, March 30 2016.

    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 March 30.

    The deadline to submit your Statement is Thursday, March 16 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

  • 09 Jan 2017 12:00 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    Ever have a reference question that you think might have been discussed on CAA's listserv before? Saw a job posting, but can't remember the details? If you are subscribed to CAA's listserv, you are also able to search through its archives!

    To search the listserv archives, go to and follow the instructions to set up a non-Northwestern password for the email address you used to subscribe to the CAA listserv. Confirm the new password, then log in on the main Northwestern Listserv page. Click on "Subscriber's Corner" at the top left and you'll see "CHI-AREA-ARCHIVISTS," where you can access the archives.

    You can see more information about the CAA Listserv in the Resources -> CAA Listserv tab.

  • 06 Jan 2017 9:49 AM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    CAA is pleased to announce a new initiative which aims to increase recognition of the excellent work of our members. As such, we are now taking nominations for CAA Member of the Year!

    All CAA members in good standing may submit their nominations by sending an email to with the name of the nominee and a brief paragraph explaining why they should be nominated. 

    A couple of rules/considerations: 

    1. This award is meant to recognize excellence within CAA; it is meant for CAA members who have gone above and beyond to serve the organization. In particular, its meant to award those working behind the scenes, so current chairs of Steering or of Subcommittees are not eligible. 

    2. Though this is really meant for individual members, there may also be nominations for projects or groups consisting of a 2-3 CAA members. 

    3. Winners will be announced at the CAA members meeting in March, given recognition on the website, and will win some sort of CAA Swag . 

    4. This is different than the Janet Olson Award, which is not intended to be an annual award, but one given out for significant contributions to the organization over many years of service. Think of the Janet Olson Award more as a lifetime achievement award.  We are also accepting nominations for the Janet Olson Award! Submission instructions are the same. The criteria for consideration are available on our website: 

    5. Please send nominations by February 15. CAA's Outreach Subcommittee will select the winner(s), who will be notified about a week before the members meeting in March. If for any reason the Outreach Committee decides that they have not received enough nominations which meet the qualifications, they may choose not to present an award for this year. 

  • 21 Dec 2016 3:21 PM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    The Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution just announced a new resource for those interested art historical research: Chicago's Art-Related Archival Materials: A Terra Foundation Resource.

    This project is the product of an extensive survey of the holdings of area institutions undertaken between February 2014 and April 2015. It offers records of nearly 900 individual collections of archival materials relating to American art and design, inviting primary research on the wide-ranging history of art and design in Chicago. The project has been generously supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art in Chicago, and it was made possible by the cooperation and expertise of archivists, librarians, curators, and other staff members at each of more than 75 area institutions. 

    Explore the Chicago's art related archival collections here: 

  • 12 Dec 2016 10:17 AM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    CAA thanks all who attended the Holiday Party on December 8, 2016! 68 people attended and enjoyed catching up with friends and new acquaintances over pizza and drinks. See some great photos of everyone enjoying Andy's last performance as the party emcee!

    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: 

    • Archives Salon, February (details announced soon) 
    • CAA Annual Members Meeting, March (details announced soon)
    Have an idea for a CAA event?  Contact the CAA Events Subcommitee at with your suggestions.

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