Webinar Recording

Presentation Slides


When: April 14, 2021

Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. – 12:00pm PT)

Where: Zoom 

This webinar was recorded and made available on the ArchivesSpace YouTube channel. 

Webinar description:

In this webinar, Sam Meier, Cindy Summers, and Liz Garcia will discuss the ongoing efforts of Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library Special Collections and Archives to implement the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials; their vision for applying the Protocols to archival arrangement and description as well as rearrangement and redescription; logistical, technological, and resource issues with regards to updating legacy archival description in ArchivesSpace; and the design, implementation, and progress to date of the Archival Description Internship developed to help make this work possible.

Background information:

In April 2006, Northern Arizona University (NAU) in Flagstaff, Arizona hosted a gathering of Native American and non-Native American cultural heritage professionals who together drafted the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, a professional best practices document which outlined guidelines for culturally responsive care of Native American archival materials held by non-tribal institutions. NAU’s Cline Library and Special Collections and Archives formally endorsed the Protocols in 2006. Since then, the staff members of Cline Library Special Collections and Archives (SCA) have sought to integrate the guidance put forth by the Protocols into all aspects of their work, including collection development, collections management, and archival arrangement and description. 

In 2019, SCA’s newly hired Archivist for Discovery, Sam(antha) Meier, began revising the department’s draft Arrangement and Description Policy to address issues common to academic archives and special collections, such as an extensive and growing backlog of unprocessed materials and outdated and inaccurate legacy description. Supported by colleagues at Arizona State University, she began to explore the possibility of using ArchivesSpace to more rapidly gain collection-level control over new acquisitions, update existing legacy finding aids, and transition the department’s EAD finding aids hosted in Arizona Archives Online from EAD 2002 to EAD3. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Meier collaborated with Library Assistant Manager Cindy Summers to begin a holistic review of SCA’s legacy finding aids to prepare for their eventual ingest into ArchivesSpace for revision and correction. Meier and Summers found ways to continue this critical work remotely, as neither were initially working in Cline Library.

Cognizant of the need to implement the Protocols at every step in archival processing, including re-description, re-arrangement, and re-processing, in the winter of 2020 Meier and Summers developed a fully remote paid graduate internship, the Archival Description Internship, intended to support an MLIS student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. The internship was designed to function as a “pilot project” for the department, allowing Meier and Summers to explore how to apply the Protocols to their legacy finding aids along with intern Liz Garcia.

Presenter Information:

Elizabeth (Liz) Garcia is an MLIS student and Knowledge River Scholar at the University of Arizona’s School of Information with a concentration in archival studies. In addition to her work as the Archival Description Intern at Cline Library Special Collections and Archives, she is also the Graduate Assistant Archives Specialist at the University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections. Her research interests include archival theory, social justice in libraries and archives, and digital curation.

Cindy Summers is an Assistant Manager at Cline Library Special Collections and Archives where she supervises volunteers, student employees, and interns. Cindy works closely with the Archivist for Discovery (Samantha Meier) to oversee collections processing, which has led to the ambitious project of updating all of SCA’s legacy finding aids and ingesting them in ArchivesSpace. Despite her employment history in many different units of Cline Library over 23 years, she feels fortunate to have become a staff member of Special Collections and Archives where she is surrounded by fascinating history, inspired by incredible coworkers, and encouraged by the aspirations of future archivists.

Sam(antha) Meier is the Archivist for Discovery at Cline Library Special Collections and Archives, where she oversees arrangement and description of the department’s archival collections. Prior to coming to Cline Library, Sam worked as an archival technician with the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress and as a contract archivist with the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Library & Archives. She received her Masters in Archival Studies, First Nations Curriculum Concentration, from the University of British Columbia in 2018.  

Who should attend:

Anyone interested in implementing the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials, using ArchivesSpace to facilitate redescription of legacy finding aids or assessing archival backlog, or anyone managing graduate students and interns performing core functions in ArchivesSpace.

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