• 26 Sep 2018 8:54 AM | Jill Waycie (Administrator)

    Chicago Open Archives 2018 is fast approaching! Just one more week until #askanarchivist day (10/3) and 10 days until the first Chicago Open Archives event (10/6)! 

    To get you in the COA frame of mind, four more interviews are up in the COA podcast series: Catherine Grandgeorge talks about the Newberry Library's work with COA, Julie Wroblewski discusses her experience with COA at the Chicago History Museum and Benedictine University, Ashley Gosselar with the University of Chicago talks about open archives, and Sara Chapman talks about Media Burn and its COA events.

    Check the interviews out on Soundcloud here, and find the list of over 20 COA events on our Events  page. 

    (Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages too for more COA promotion!)

  • 06 Sep 2018 9:08 AM | Brittan Nannenga (Administrator)

    As part of this year's Chicago Open Archives, a few members of the Special Events Subcommittee have been working on a series of audio interviews with local archivists who have hosted COA events in the past.

    In the first three interviews, we hear from Virginia Jung, Community Archivist for the Benedictine Sisters, Julie Lynch, Librarian from the Northside History Collection of the Chicago Public Library, and Meg Hall, Director of Archives and Records at the Archdiocese of Chicago's Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives and Records Center.

    You can listen to the interviews here.

    It’s not too late to host your own COA event! The registration deadline is Friday, September 7. You can find more info and a link to register here.

  • 30 Aug 2018 3:55 PM | Jill Waycie (Administrator)

    The Chicago Open Archives (COA) Brainstorming Session happened earlier this month. CAA Steering Committee Member and representative from the IL State Library Andrew Bullen joined us to talk about the Illinois bicentennial. He shared many resources for archivists, historians, students, researchers and the public, and provided the summary below. If you missed the event, but are interested in the COA theme, we hope you find this helpful!


    The Illinois State Archives and the Illinois State Library are celebrating the bicentennial in a variety of ways. The State Library has developed a directory of authors who were born in or lived in Illinois ( Recently, we have moved it to a database platform that allows us to (among other things) map authors to cities and towns all over the state. The Archives and the Library along with Illinois State Historical Society has developed an Illinois authors book of the month club. For August, the book is “Bloody Williamson” ( We have also collaborated with to create an Illinois Authors poster featuring the names and home locations of more than 200 Illinois authors. The poster will be out shortly.

    The Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board ( ) has chosen the bicentennial as its theme for its statewide October Archives month poster.

    The Archives will shortly unveil an on-line exhibit featuring the 100 best documents at the Archives. The exhibit is designed to showcase the 200 year plus history of the state of Illinois and features such documents as the four Illinois Constitutions, several Lincoln documents and records related to the I & M Canal, the founding of Chicago and the Haymarket Riot. The Archives has been a part of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission from its beginning and has actively worked on its projects. 

    The Library has an online directory of Illinois Businesses that have been in  existence for at least a century at The recognition of efforts include a celebration of Centennial (1918) efforts as well. The Library has digitized a number of works from the Centennial ( and has digitized the official state opera written for the Centennial, “The Masque of Illinois” (

    Finally, 2018 is also the Centennial of another important event in Illinois’ history, the ending of the First World War. Both the Archives and the Library have been a part of the official World War One Illinois Centennial Committee (


    For more information on COA 2018 and to register, please visit our page.

    Thank you to Andrew and all who attended!
  • 23 Aug 2018 11:23 AM | Jill Waycie (Administrator)

    Nathalie Wheaton, Archivist at Rush University Medical Center Archives, assisted Brenna Farrell in her work on a recent Radiolab episode. 

    The episode, “Poison Control,” explores the history and function of poison control centers.

    The first poison control center in the United States was developed in 1953, led by pharmacist Louis Gdalman, at St. Luke’s Hospital, a predecessor hospital of Rush University Medical Center.

    You can learn more about Louis Gdalman and the origins of poison control centers in this blog post Nathalie contributed to the Rush InPerson blog:

    To listen to the Radiolab episode:

    Viatorian Community Archivist (Clerics of St. Viator) Joan Sweeney sends this summary of Archon Day, led by the Archon Users Collaborative: Archon Day 2018 was held at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, on June 29 with participants from institutions in Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, and Ohio. Next year we hope to enable participation from Archon users outside the Midwest by hosting a virtual meeting. Archon users hail from New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and other states from the West and the South.

    The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the future viability of Archon, the availability of alternative tools; their utility for Archon users in particular; and the Archon Users Collaborative future work in 3-5 years.

    The group formed teams focusing on research, code development, and user community communication. Each team has specific objectives and welcomes new team members.

    Ideas that were generated include:

    - Explore updating Archon code to work with PHP 7, building off what Calvin College has already completed.

    - Hold Archon Day 2019 virtually and work on communication to get others outside of the Midwest actively involved.

    - Create a comprehensive directory of Archon users to include international institutions for posting on our website.

    - Find partners and look for funding for future development.

    For the full meeting report and for more information, visit

    Morgen MacIntosh Hodgetts, Special Collections Instruction Librarian at DePaul University, co-authored "Teaching the Teacher: Primary Source Instruction in American and Canadian Archives Graduate Programs," published in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of American Archivist. Read it here:

    Are you publishing, presenting, organizing, or otherwise working on something professionally awesome? Let us know about it! Email or the co-chairs of the Outreach and Member Engagement Subcommittee: Brittan Nannenga ( and Jill Waycie ( 

  • 21 Aug 2018 2:09 PM | Brittan Nannenga (Administrator)

    Amber Dushman, Meghan P. Kennedy, and George Kutsunis recently shared their thoughts on starting and maintaining association archives, collecting digital materials, and leveraging historical assets in an article in the August issue of Association Forum Magazine. You can read the full article here.

    Congratulations to Amber, Meghan, and George!

    This article was a joint effort by archivists of CAA’s Membership and Association Interest Group. If you are interested in learning more about the interest groups, please visit their page. Joining an Interest Group is easy! Email for more information.

  • 13 Aug 2018 1:16 PM | Brittan Nannenga (Administrator)

    Going to SAA this year? Chicago Area Archivists invites CAA members, friends, and fellow travelers to a meet-up during the annual Society of American Archivists (SAA) conference in Washington, D. C., at Duke's Counter.  Join us for dinner or a drink (each person is responsible for their own food/drink), chat about the conference, catch up with old friends and meet a few new. 

    WHAT: CAA @ SAA Conference Meet-Up

    WHEN: Friday, August 17, 2018, 6:00-8:00 pm

    WHERE: Duke's Counter, 3000 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008

    WHO: CAA members, students, significant others, fellow travelers, and old friends and new are welcome to attend.

    Register here!

  • 23 Jul 2018 9:36 AM | Brittan Nannenga (Administrator)

    It’s time for CAA’s 2nd Annual Summer Cookout! Please join your fellow archivists for an afternoon of food and fun in one of our beautiful local forest preserves. The Summer Cookout is potluck-style, so everyone is encouraged to bring something to share. Please add what you plan to bring on the potluck spread sheet.

    WHAT: CAA Summer Cookout

    WHEN: Sunday, August 5th, 12 p.m.

    WHERE: La Bagh Woods Forest Preserve, 5275 Cicero Ave., Chicago IL

    CAA has reserved Picnic Grove 3

    Friends and family are welcome to join us for this event! CAA has reserved a picnic shelter, so the cookout will go on, rain or shine, and bring lawn games if you’d like. Alcoholic beverages are allowed in Cook County Forest Preserves as long as they are NOT in glass bottles. Cans or boxes are allowed. Any type of food/beverage or supplies like ice/coolers/charcoal are welcome. We will be grilling so any meat or veggies for the grill are encouraged!

    Register Here!

    For more information about this event contact

    Can’t make it to this event? Don’t worry – there will be more events throughout the year at a variety of dates, times, and locations

  • 01 May 2018 10:15 AM | Hathaway Hester (Administrator)

    CAA thanks all who attended the Tour of SAIC’s Fashion Resource Center on April 26.  11 people attended and saw a lot of cool materials from their 3,200 fashion publications, scholarly texts, fashion magazines, contemporary designer biographies & interviews, and more than 800 videos of ready-to-wear and couture runway presentations, technical instruction, interviews, fashion history, and annual student fashion shows. Alex Aubry, the Director of the Fashion Resource Center, also showed us samples from their garment collection.

    If you missed this event, don’t worry – there will be more events throughout the year at a variety of dates, times, and locations.

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

  • 13 Mar 2018 1:53 PM | Erin Matson (Administrator)

    To all members of Chicago Area Archivists:

    Please consider joining a CAA subcommittee! If you are looking to become involved in Chicago’s archives community, this is a great opportunity to gain experience while expanding your network. Leadership opportunities are also available as subcommittee chairs are needed as well. CAA is a great way to gain local leadership experience while giving back to your professional community.

    This is an exciting time to be involved in CAA because we have reorganized our subcommittee structure in order to more effectively serve and engage with the archives community. This was done with thoughtful input by the subcommittees themselves and with the overall goal of streamlining our programming.

    Subcommittees are a great way to become more acquainted with local archivists, make changes at the ground level, and implement your ideas. CAA has experienced significant increase in size as well as in its diversity of programming in recent years, and we encourage your participation in this growth.

    Beginning with CAA’s new term on April 4, 2018, CAA’s new Subcommittee structure will be as follows:

    • Programming Subcommittee will be responsible for programming geared toward our member base, including social events, archives salons, panels, lectures, tours, and Day of Service.
      • New members needed

    • Outreach and Member Engagement Subcommittee will be responsible for social media coordination, membership recruitment and analytics, new member referral incentive planning, and advocacy.
    • New members needed
    • Chair or co-chairs needed

    • Special Events Subcommittee will be responsible for the planning and execution of Chicago Open Archives.
    • New members needed
    • Chair or co-chairs needed

    More information will be shared at the CAA Annual Members’ Meeting on April 4 (registration closes 3/28). You will also have an opportunity to speak to current CAA leadership. If you have any questions in the meantime, or to volunteer to chair or become a member of a subcommittee,  please contact

  • 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.

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