Like Archives for Chocolate: MARAC Spring 2018

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The conference began with an opening plenary presented by Trevor Owens, the Head of Digital Content Management for Library Services at the Library of Congress. His presentation was titled Start Today: Digital Stewardship Communities and Collaborations. In his presentation, Owens covered the content of his forthcoming book, “The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation”. Using his 16 axioms of Digital Preservation as his guide, Trevor Owens discussed the importance of thinking simply and taking action.

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  1. Identify what digital stuff you have that you need to keep
  2. Get digital boxes off the floor
  3. Schedule out a plan for improving things and checking in
  4. Read the National Digital Stewardship Alliance Levels of Digital Preservation Paper (
  5. Join the communities of practice
  6. Read Owen’s book and use it as a workbook to start planning your work

After the opening presentation, I planned my conference attendance around sessions related to connecting students to archival collections. From these sessions, I focused on two examples that could translate to Winston-Salem State University students and community.

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During one session, archivists from the University of Pittsburg described their use of the ‘Scholar’s Research Award’ to engage undergraduate students. Each cohort consists of 10 undergraduate students who receive course credit for their research. During the course of the research, students work with a faculty and library/archives mentor to help connect them with the collections and support material. Students also attend 3 workshops to help provide information and build a research community. The program is marketed through ‘show and tell’ events and in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. At the completion of the cohort’s research, the Archives holds a celebration to highlight the work of the students.
As part of a different session, archivists from Towson University detailed a partnership between the archives and The Friends School of Baltimore. Students from the Friends School make 4 visits to the archives as part of their experiential learning opportunities to work with a collection of 200 folders containing WWII service member’s photos and letters. The students transcribe the material and provide metadata through a Google Form. During the process, the students write blog posts and have a reflection day.

Author: Tom Flynn


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