Archivists in Chicago

Last week, Herb, Dorothy, and I attended the 2011 annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists in Chicago.

saa trading cards

My (incomplete) set of cards. The archivist on the bottom right, Bob Warner, is one of Herb's favorite archivists. Warner was Archivist of the U.S. and Director of the Bentley Library in Michigan. The commemorative tin on the right I managed to collect from a nice exhibit hall vendor.

SAA is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Hoorah! SAA leaders honored this in a number of ways but my favorite was that they sold packs of trading cards of well-known old-time archivists and places and things significant in SAA’s history. Archivists (including me) bought up these packs. Walking around, I often saw small groups (not including me) furiously trading these cards on tables near the SAA bookstore. At least one archivist who works for our fierce in-state rival university proudly proclaimed to me to have completed a full set of 75 cards.

Also celebrated was the 25th anniversary of the Congressional Papers Roundtable. CPR is one of SAA’s most active groups and its members discuss all things congressional and political papers-related. Every year, Dorothy, Herb, and I look forward to CPR’s day-long pre-conference program. This year, we met at a branch of Loyola and heard speakers (including our own Herb Hartsook!) talk about CPR history and discussed current CPR projects and initiatives. We topped off the day with cake. Gotta love that. With this meeting, I rotated out of the leadership for CPR but look forward to staying active in other ways.

At SAA proper, I went to several excellent sessions including “Pay it Forward” about supervising interns and volunteers (love my students!) and “EAD and the Global Information Environment” (which made my head spin but that’s sometimes necessary to learn new things). I went to a meeting of the Oral History Section and listened to a delightful group of teachers and articulate young high-schoolers talk about their experiences interviewing Vietnam veterans.

For fun, I attended “Archives in the Movies,” a screening of–you guessed it–archivists and archives in the movies, complete with a tux-wearing emcee, the grand conference reception at The Field Museum with hostess “Sue” (a T-rex), and Cubs v. Braves at Wrigley Field with 210 colleagues. As a baseball enthusiast who had never been to Wrigley, this was thrilling to say the least.

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field! I was fascinated by all the unique little perches fans sat in, the overhangs, the poles that obscured my view of part of the basepaths, the classic scoreboard...

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