Spring Archeota Touches on Diversity, Employment in Archival Field


The spring issue of Archeota, the open-source digital publication of the Society of American Archivists Student Chapter, features articles on conservation, diversity, post-graduation employment, and upcoming events.

The spring 2016 issue of Archeota, the open-source digital publication of the Society of American Archivists Student Chapter (SAASC) at the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information (iSchool), is now available, featuring articles on conservation, diversity, post-graduation employment, and upcoming events.

Rebecca Leung, chairwoman-elect of the SAASC and a student in the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program, said she wants readers to see the newsletter as a source of knowledge and insight.

“I hope that students are able to learn about all of the different facets of the archival profession and also develop a sense of ownership that each person’s contribution is meaningful,” she said.

Something the chapter is looking to improve upon for next year’s volume is to enable comments for feedback, according to Catherine Folnović, SAASC chairwoman. Interviews with practicing archivists are well-received, she said, and she hopes to include more images in future issues.

“I would love to see a photojournalism series with each issue featuring photographs from different archival repositories. I think it would be beneficial for students to see what different archival repositories look like,” said Folnović, who graduates from the Master of Archives and Records Administration program this year.

The latest issue features editorial writing by graduate students studying archival practices and library science at the SJSU iSchool, as well as interviews with archival professionals.

Hannah Tashjian, the head of the conservation treatment division in the preservation department at the University of California, Berkeley Library, told Leung for Archeota that learning shouldn’t end with a diploma.

“No matter one’s specialty, I think education should be a lifelong commitment as there are always new (and old) techniques and materials to learn about,” Tashjian said.

In an interview with SAASC Secretary-elect Amanda Mellinger, Liz Phillips, the associate archivist of processing at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives at Stanford University, stressed the importance of internships and experience.

“Entry level archivists should also have strong organizational and problem solving skills in addition to the ability to work successfully as part of a team,” Phillips told Mellinger, who began the MLIS program in 2014.

Rebecca Hankins, an associate professor and a certified archivist/librarian at Texas A&M University, teaches courses on the use of primary sources for research on the subjects of African diaspora, women and gender studies, and Arabic language and culture. She told Tiana Trutna, SAASC vice-chairwoman, that the fields of libraries and archives should encourage diversity.

“One of the most pressing issues is ensuring that we do have diverse representation within these institutions, that includes collections and people,” Hankins said.

She also encouraged Archeota readers to embrace diversity on a more personal level.

“Get out of this country to learn an appreciation of diversity in all of its complexities and intersections,” Hankins told Trutna, an MLIS student. “Go to a place for at least a month or more where you are in the minority.”

SAASC membership is not required to contribute to Archeota. Submissions may include summary or opinion pieces on relevant items in the news; interviews with practicing archivists; archives-themed comics, illustrations, and puzzles; insights from internship experiences; and links to student work online. The publication will issue a call for content through SAASC platforms including the chapter’s blog, Canvas, Facebook, and Twitter near the start of the spring and fall semesters.

SAASC is one of the student chapters of professional associations available to SJSU iSchool students. For more information on how to get involved in the various organizations, please visit the student groups page.