Educational Session II

Thursday, May 21 - 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

No One’s First and You’re Next: Deciding What to Digitize and Why That’s More Important Than We Sometimes Pretend

By deciding what to digitize in special collections and archives, we choose what narratives to promote, what history to highlight, and what legacies to further. How can we make these decisions in ways that prioritize diversity, inclusion and ethically responsible use of collections? Scott Ziegler, Stephanie Becker, Verónica Reyes-Escudero & Megan Senseney will speak about their successes, challenges, and lessons learned from efforts to standardize selection policy. Based on use cases from three different universities, speakers will discuss how understanding institutional histories of exclusion can inform current policy and explore strategies for amplifying underrepresented voices while respecting cultural sensitivity. In considering institutional power and underrepresented voices, speakers will examine our role in building relationships with community archives. Workflow considerations will include establishing evaluation rubrics and distributing responsibilities to improve equitable decision making, and questions of inclusion will extend to accessibility of digital content for both human and machine readers.

If These Walls Could Talk: Using Archives For Preserving Historic Structures

Abstract: Speakers will discuss using archives for conducting research and raising awareness about historical buildings. This diverse panel is composed of archivists and non-archivists who will explore the important role of archives in documenting architectural works and preserving historical buildings. The John Rogers and Georgette DeBruchard Collection at UNT contains an unprecedented glimpse of architecture across Texas from the late 1940s-1970s. This collection has been used as a part of modTexas, an Instagram project led by Amy Walton, whose objective is to draw attention to mid-century architecture in Texas. Kate Singleton is a former municipal Historic Preservation officer who saved the Rogers/DeBruchard Collection from destruction. Tim Gieringer is a Digital Newspapers Metadata Coordinator at UNT, and has conducted extensive research on historic buildings, and is the author of the Texas Historical Commission landmark marker for an architecturally significant home in Denton.

Latinx Lions: Using Collaborative Exhibitions to Highlight Diversity and Minority Groups at TAMUC

This session will describe the process of creating an exhibit that highlights the history of the Latin American community at Texas A&M University-Commerce.  The presentations will discuss the establishment of the collaborative partnership with a new campus department, the research process, completing and installing the exhibit, and lessons learned throughout the process about intra-institutional outreach, time management, and our collections.  The goal of the session is to inform attendees of possible partnership opportunities that can exist within an institution and will provide more chances to promote archives to the different communities they serve.  It also supports the concept of visionary archives by focusing on non-traditional partnerships that will increase access to and collections held by archives for minority groups.  The session will be particularly useful for archivists who are seeking innovative ways to showcase their collections to new audiences in academic and other institutions with many departments.