iSchool Student Publication Highlights Importance of Archives
The Fall/Winter 2020-2021 issue of Archeota, the publication of San José State University’s student chapter of the Society of American Archivists, is now online. The current issue marks the fifth anniversary of the semiannual publication; the first issue appeared in spring of 2015. The publication is entirely produced by students enrolled in SJSU’s School of Information, and both current and past issues are available at SJSU Scholarworks, the university’s open access digital repository.
Managing editor Kelli Roisman and associate editors Alyssa Key and Christine Mahoney all contributed articles to the publication while also editing drafts, fact-checking and proofreading. Contributors Alison Quirion and Monica Nolan also have articles in the issue, which provides coverage of a wide range of topics from the archival world: reports from conferences and virtual events, an armchair tour of 10 archives and a survey of 77 archivists regarding their work experiences.
The publication provides a forum for aspiring iSchool archivists to engage with issues pertinent to the archival field. Two articles, however, are sure to attract interest from the wider community. Key’s article, “An Unprecedented Year: Documenting the college student experience,” introduces Spartans Speak on COVID-19, a specific collection within SJSU’s Special Collections and Archives that documents and preserves “the unique experience of being a college student during a pandemic,” as Key describes the project. Key writes of the need for archives to “cultivate a more diverse and inclusive historical record for posterity’s benefit.”
Following Key’s introduction, Roisman’s piece “Spartans Speak on COVID-19: Our voices, our stories” highlights a few contributions from the ongoing collection of materials documenting the pandemic experience. About 400 students have submitted items to the collection since April 21, 2020, when university archivist Carli Lowe posted the call for submissions. Roisman’s selections from this growing archive include excerpts from personal narratives touching on feelings of both emotional stress and resilience, as well as images showing empty dorm rooms and masked statues.
“Being able to contribute to the journal…has been a learning experience,” says Key. Both she and managing editor Roisman say that despite the challenges of producing a magazine during a busy semester, the rewards are worth it. “I find Archeota to be immensely rewarding,” says Roisman. “I love having the freedom to come up with ideas and getting them into published form.”
iSchool students who are interested in submitting content to a future issue should view Archeota’s submission guidelines and contact the editorial team. “Writing and publishing is a really great way to demonstrate your skills and also your passion for not just archives, but the entire field of LIS and beyond, to prospective employers,” says Roisman.
Additionally, the SAASC does more than just publish Archeota. It hosts a lively schedule of events, maintains a blog, and provides multiple ways for iSchool students to network and build connections with their fellow students and archival professionals. SAASC’s current chair Quirion observes, “You never know if one of those connections will help you get your next job.”
Images are courtesy of San José State University COVID-19 Collection, MSS-2020-04-17, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.