#AskAnArchivist

Yesterday was apparently #AskAnArchivist day on Twitter (not, as some users thought, #AskAnAnarchist), and the resulting thread gave archivists a chance to show off some of the things from their collections and share a bit of their lives with Twitter users.

Lots of archivists simply wanted to communicate the scale of their collections:

Some archivists posted photos of the sorts of things people might not expect in an archive:

User @EKuzina asked archivists to post Halloweeny archival material:

While I think we may have reached the saturation point of “[Inter]National _____ Day” (Oh please let us have reached saturation point!) hashtags like this one offer a distinct opportunity, not only to reach people outside the archival world but to also connect with colleagues outside of a conference environment. That the exchange occurs on Twitter also enables these conversations to continue throughout the year. I would be very surprised if the archives which participated didn’t gain a bunch of followers. Finally, events such as this encourage archivists, who may be weighed down by the everyday grind of processing, to look at their collection in new ways, to recognize the wacky and poignant material that sometimes blurs together. I enjoyed looking through the feed and I suggest you check it out!

Conferences!

This month has been sort of full of professional development, with three very different events providing opportunities to learn from smart people, eat catered food, and network.

On March 8, I went to the Public History Community Forum (PubComm), an annual event put on by Temple’s Center for Public History and Rutgers-Camden’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH). I helped a bit with the event website and helped set up and clean up, but the meat of the work was done by my classmates Cynthia Heider and Chelsea Reed and Rachel Craft of Rutgers-Camden.

Cynthia, Chelsea, and Rachel assembled an amazing little conference (6 workshops, a keynote address, and a panel) on a shoestring budget, and managed to get supremely qualified presenters, including the Lower East Side Tenement Museum’s Annie Polland, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site’s Sean Kelley, and Ismael Jimenez, a high school teacher in Philly and part of the Philadelphia Black History Collaborative.

I spent a lot of my time at PubComm live-tweeting the event and I collected my tweets and those from some other nimble-thumbed folks into a Storify of the day: https://storify.com/theodeomutts/pubcomm17 Continue reading “Conferences!”