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Special Collections staff presentations at the Society of American Archivists



The Society of American Archivists held its annual conference – the theme was “Beyond Borders” – in San Diego, California last week. It was a very full schedule, with three SUL staff members from the Special Collections Manuscripts Division presenting. First up was Laura Williams, currently the project archivist on the Stop AIDS Project. She presented at the MDOR (Metadata and Digital Object) Roundtable to a very full audience on our recent efforts using a new software (PhotoMechanic) and workflow for bulk cataloging of digital image collections. These enhanced digital objects/images have been ingested into the SDR. It was a very successful talk judging by a full table of interested archivists!

Our second speaker was Joe Geller, another project archivist, who is managing the processing of the records of California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) and of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). He was part of a panel on the “Attorney / Archivist Dialog: Crossing Professional Borders to Provide Access to Legal Records” that we organized with Princeton University. Joe’s paper was called “Collaborating for Access: Strategies for Processing the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund and California Rural Legal Assistance Records.” In it he discussed developing an agreement and workflow with both organizations and a Stanford Law student to screen and process legal records in both collections.

The last speaker was Glynn Edwards, head of Manuscripts Division and manager of the Born-Digital Program in Special Collections. She spoke briefly at the Manuscripts Repositories Section meeting on the outcomes and goals of the AIMS Project and on Special Collections’ activities on the born-digital front since the completion of that project. Some of these activities include: training sessions for both University Archives and the Stop AIDS Project team on both capture and processing of born-digital material using forensic tools, creation of a department manual for working with born-digital materials, and our current development efforts with a new email software created by a Stanford computer science graduate student, Sudheendra Hangal, called MUSE.

Slides from these presentations will eventually be posted on the SAA website where available.

by Robert G Trujillo

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March 9, 2016