• 08 Jun 2016 2:38 PM | Laura Alagna

    CAA thanks everyone who attended our recent tour of the WFMT Audio Archives, hosted by CAA member Allison Schein, on June 1. Fifteen people attended the event, and with several people on the waiting list, we may have to reschedule another tour here in the near future!

    Allison first took the group on a tour of the television (WTTW) side, which included a visit to the Chicago Tonight studio. The video librarian took the group through the video tape library, which included 15,000 programs stored in a variety of formats. WTTW is currently in the first year of a three-year program to digitize around 8,000 episodes of Chicago Tonight. 

    Next came the tour of WFMT, which included stops at production studios and the station’s massive music library. Allison discussed the station’s efforts to digitize and make available to the public the station’s extensive tape archive, including some of the tools and strategies to help move the project forward. 

    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:

    Grant Park Music Festival, Millennium Park, June 22, 5 p.m.

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

  • 10 May 2016 9:54 AM | Stephanie Giordano (Administrator)

    CAA thanks all who attended the CAA @ MAC Meet-Up on Friday, April 29, 2016 during the Midwest Archives Conference Spring 2016 meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Though we had some competition for space in the pub where we originally planned to meet, 32 people successfully relocated to the lounge upstairs to catch up with old friends and colleagues and meet some new ones. Check out the photos below, kindly taken by Laura Alagna (and check out our new sign!).

    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:

    Creating Successful Conference Proposals, May 26, 2016

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

  • 02 May 2016 3:22 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    For those of you were unable to make it to Milwaukee this year for the annual Midwest Archives Conference, CAA has got you covered via our Twitter feed @ChicagoArchvsts.

    Big thanks to Kat Antonelli, CAA's Social Media Content Producer!

    The most popular Tweet of the week by far was on the Plenary speech by Dennis Meissner: 

    Dennis Meissner at #mac16 plenary: diversity is a fact, inclusion is a choice. Must shift our focus from diversity to inclusion. #CAAatMAC16

    And of course we had to give a shout outs to the number of CAA'ers who presented this year. Just to name a few:

    End #mac16 with a bang! Hear CAA's Heidi Marshall on #s601 establishing an archives//Anne Thomason on #s602 unusual collections #CAAatMAC16

    Good morning #mac16! It's double trouble w/ CAA's Megan Keller on #s501 processing & Alison Hinderliter on #s503 record mgmnt #CAAatMAC16

    Also, a plug for CAA wouldn't be complete without a plug for Chicago Open Archives!:

    Thanks Sarah Cain for the Chicago Open Archives shout out! Learn more here:   #CAAatMAC16 #mac16

    Live Tweeting at MAC drew a lot of attention to CAA and its fairly new social media presence, and we gained many new followers over the course of the week. Check out our Twitter feed for some quick takeaways on the poster presentations, sessions, tours, award recipients, and other highlights from MAC in Milwaukee.

  • 26 Apr 2016 2:08 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    The MAC 2016 Annual Meeting officially starts tomorrow! Keep an eye on our twitter handle, @chicagoarchvsts, and our hashtag, #CAAatMAC16. We'll be live tweeting the meeting so you can follow along at home. Or, if you're attending this year, join us by using our hashtag when you tweet. Thanks, and see you in Milwaukee!

  • 18 Apr 2016 9:52 AM | Gretchen Neidhardt

    CAA is seeking host sites for our second annual Chicago Open Archives. This three-day event in October is a great opportunity for archives, museums, and historical societies to engage with a broader audience than is usually possible. Our inspiration comes from similar events in Portland, Sacramento, and Cambridge, as well as CAA’s successful inaugural event in Chicago in 2015.

    This year’s event will take place 6-8 October. Our theme, Yours to Explore, invites Chicagoans interested in history and cultural heritage to explore the stories that your collections tell, the role of your institution in your community, and the many different types of materials that archives hold. Your institution can participate by offering an activity that highlights your collections and programs in the way that best suits your situation.

    Last year, 26 Chicago-area institutions offered a wide range of activities, from behind the scenes tours to gallery talks to workshops. The Newberry Library took visitors to the manuscripts and archives processing space where they viewed materials and discussed the Library’s collaboration with the Chicago Dance History Group. At Media Burn Independent Video Archive, which is normally not open to the public, visitors learned how the organization is making historic footage available online and enjoyed a short screening. At the Benedictine University Archives in Lisle, more than 45 visitors stopped by for an open house that offered an opportunity to see historic photos and view highlights from the rare book collection.

    Please join us as host site for Chicago Open Archives: Yours to Explore. Sign-up begins in mid-April and runs through June. Learn more at

    “I think this event is a great idea, it encourages researchers to investigate these hidden gems in Chicago.”

    “I really enjoyed seeing the National Archives for the first time. [Staff] provided a fantastic tour of the facilities and highlighted many interesting archival materials.”

    Photo: Chicago Open Archives tour at the Newberry Library, 2015. Courtesy of Kelly Kress/Alison Hinderliter/Catherine Grandgeorge.

  • 01 Apr 2016 1:08 PM | Gretchen Neidhardt
    Thanks to everyone who came out on Wednesday! The Steering Committee will send out the official minutes soon, but in the meantime here are the meeting highlights:
    • The Steering Committee shared our annual report for 2015
    • The Events, Outreach, and Professional Development subcommittees shared all of the great projects they worked on this year. All committees, but particularly Events and Professional Development, put out a call for new volunteers
      • Aaisha Haykal and Hathaway Hester will continue as co-chairs for Professional Development
      • Erin Matson will be the new chair of Outreach
      • Kristin MacDonough and Laura Alagna will be the new co-chairs of Events
    • Morgen MacIntosh Hodgetts shared a report from last year's very successful Chicago Open Archives!
    • Sarah Yarrito and Amy Belotti shared this year's COA theme (Yours to Explore), dates (Oct. 6-8) and noted that we will start soliciting participating sites very soon
    • We shared the results of our member survey, including a summary
    • Four members are running for the four open spots on the Steering Committee - we'll vote next week for Drew Davis (incumbent), George Kutsunis (incumbent), Greer Martin, and Martin Firestein
    • The bid to host MAC in Chicago in 2018 is well underway

    Thanks to everyone again and here's to a great 2016 with CAA!

  • 15 Mar 2016 3:06 PM | Anonymous

    Don't forget the deadline for Steering Committee submissions is tomorrow, March 16!  

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

    While serving on the governing board of an organization like CAA might sound like an enormous time commitment, the reality is less daunting. And the time invested pays back dividends in experience.

    Because we are all volunteers with other jobs, steering members strive to be respectful of one another’s time. We typically meet once a month, usually on a weekday evening at different locations in the city. Meetings typically last about two hours and consists of reviewing reports summarizing changes in membership, our financial outlook, and the activities of our three subcommittees. The reports are then followed by discussion of ongoing projects, most of which have to do with administration and governance. In between meetings, Steering conducts some business by email.

    Over the last five years, the primary task of Steering has been supporting our subcommittees by providing guidance and direction as they plan and implement CAA activities. Between steering and the subcommittees, responsibilities are distributed broadly, so that no one person bears too much of the burden of keeping the organization running smoothly.

    It takes a team of members with initiative and motivation to have a real impact on what CAA does and how successfully it operates. Please consider joining the Steering Committee. Deadline for submissions is tomorrow, March 16.

    Feel free to contact Andy or other Steering Committee Members with questions.

  • 14 Mar 2016 9:06 AM | Anonymous

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

    When I joined the Steering Committee in 2014, I had lived in the Chicago area for all of 4 months and I had only been out of school and in the archival profession less than three years. Considering that, I would not have even considered putting my name in for the committee if I hadn’t been prodded by another archivist. What could I possibly contribute? I barely knew much about the profession or the area myself.

    “You should do this. You would be good at it.”

    What I learned very quickly on Steering is that the CAA is here to serve all of its members, including those who are new in town and new to the profession or not even out of school yet. In some ways these members have the most to gain from the CAA. Likewise the Steering Committee only benefits from having voices from all over the profession. Who can better advocate for the needs of recent graduates than a recent graduate? Or recognize the importance of networking opportunities than someone who doesn’t yet have a network of their own?

    So let me take the opportunity to prod all the out-of-towners, recent grads and students, and even those who have had to take a job out of the profession: you should join Steering, your voice would be good for us

    If you’re new to Chicago or the profession, don’t let that discourage from joining Steering, please consider joining the Steering Committee. Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 16.

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

  • 03 Mar 2016 9:51 PM | Megan Keller Young

    RAAC is participating in Educopia's IMLS grant project known as Mapping the Landscapes regarding continuing education and professional development (CE/PD). The Mapping the Landscapes project is the first comprehensive effort to establish a national dataset related to CE/PD within and across the library, archives, and museum sectors. This project is a joint effort of the Coalition to Advance Learning in Archives, Libraries and Museums ("Coalition"), the Educopia Institute, and TrueBearing Consulting, funded through a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

    You are invited to complete the Mapping the Landscapes survey between now and March 24, 2016. This survey is designed to gather important information on common and unique individual wants and needs for CE/PD across these three sectors. The information gained from this project will advance efforts to make CE/PD more relevant, accessible, and effective in supporting professional development for you and your colleagues.

    As a professional who relies on CE/PD resources, this is an opportunity for your voice to be heard! To take the survey right away, just click the following link (one response per device, please)​:

    Take the Mapping the Landscapes Survey

    If you want to learn more, see the Frequently Asked Questions at this link: Mapping the Landscapes FAQs

    The survey will be available until March 24, 2016. If you have any questions about this project, please contact Dr. Nathan Brown, Project Research Lead, at

  • 03 Mar 2016 12:34 PM | Anonymous

    During CAA’s Steering Committee Election, we’d like to hear from Steering Committee members about their work with CAA. Gretchen Neidhardt joined the CAA Steering Committee in November 2015, making her the most recent member to join, however, she’s been an active participate in CAA since 2013.

    While my time with Steering has been brief, I have worked with the committee closely for most of my involvement with CAA. With Megan Keller, I co-chaired the Outreach subcommittee from 2014-2015. We worked with the Steering committee to implement lots of great activities for CAA, including starting social media accounts (and creating the policies to make sure those accounts are sustainable) and creating a Chicago Open Archives working group to plan the great event we held in October of last year.

    In the time I have been on Steering, I’ve been able to help set into motion further social media involvement with our community, streamlining our communications procedures, and setting up a working group for this year’s Open Archives event. It’s great to be able to continue my Outreach efforts on the Steering committee and I’m very excited to participate in future endeavors to benefit local archives and archivists! You’re also working with a very kind and enthusiastic group who are very passionate about promoting archives in the Chicago area.

    If you’re interested in working on projects and programs to benefit area archivists, please consider joining the Steering Committee. Deadline for submissions is Wednesday, March 16.

    Feel free to contact Gretchen or other Steering Committee Members with questions.

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