Workshop Abstracts

Workshop 1

Personal Information Management and Personal Digital Archiving
Vanessa Reyes (Simmons College)
Monday, July 13, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
MITH Conference Room

Recommended Prerequisite Readings for Attendees:

  • Beagrie, Neil. 2005.”Plenty of Room at the Bottom? Personal Libraries and Digital Collections.” D-Lib Magazine 11.6.
  • Cox, Richard J. 2008. Personal archives and a new archival calling readings, reflections and ruminations. Duluth, Minn.: Litwin Books.
  • Jones, William P., and Jaime Teevan. Personal Information Management. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007.
  • Marshall, Catherine C. “Challenges and Opportunities for Personal Digital Archiving.” In I, Digital: Personal Collections in the Digital Era, ed. by Christopher Lee. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2011, 90-115.
  • _____.“How People Manage Information Over a Lifetime.” In Personal Information Management, ed. by: William Jones and Jaime Teevan. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007, 57-75.
  • “Personal Archiving: Preserving Your Digital Memories.” Library of Congress, Digital Preservation, 2013.” (accessed April 12, 2013).
  • Reyes, Vanessa. 2013 “We Created It, Now How Do We Save It? Issues in Preserving Personal Information, A Review”. Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture. 42 (3).

According to Neil Beagrie (2005), “personal digital archives,” describes informal, diverse, and expanding collections accumulated and maintained by individuals. The focus is on personal collections as a form of personal archiving. Additionally the act of archiving this information is called personal digital archiving, which is composed of information and content assembled by people from their private activities, work, and external communities. The archives can be used in the private and public spheres to reflect what Beagrie (2005) calls the “public and private personas of individuals.” The act of managing one’s own personal records is a form of preservation¬-so long as plans are made for the maintenance of the records. According to William Jones and Jaime Teevan (2007), “PIM is both the practice and the study of the activities people perform to acquire, organize, maintain, retrieve, use, and control the distribution of information items, such as documents (paper-based and digital), Web pages, and e-mail messages for everyday use to complete tasks (work-related and not), and to fulfill a person’s various roles (as parent, employee, friend, member of community, etc.)” (p. 2).

Richard Cox (2008, p. vii) suggests that personal archives might be assuming a new importance in society as the technical means for creating, maintaining, and using digital documents to become more cost effective than paper-based ones. As families seek to preserve their pasts, they are now storing and collecting what used to be in paper form, in digital form. However, personal digital archiving raises an array of concerns about their sustainability. Cox (2008) urges archivists to establish new partnerships that would allow the public to learn from archivists the basics of preserving their digital materials. The Library of Congress (LOC) and British Library share this goal. The LOC has created a web page for the public’s use that focuses on personal digital archiving and the importance of preserving one’s digital memories. How to preserve digital photographs, audio, video, electronic mail, personal digital records, and websites, are some of the topics covered.

This workshop will focus on creating an awareness of PIM by defining key problems and challenges associated with preserving personal digital information. Participants are encouraged to share issues they encounter while preserving personal digital collections so as to establish conversations on ways to make a sustainable difference in the PIM field.

Workshop objectives:

  • Defining what PIM is, and new research directions.
  • Introducing standards and frameworks for PIM.
  • Promoting PIM as a valuable field of inquiry.
  • Exploring ways in which PIM can be addressed in preservation and archives courses.

Workshop 2 

Retooling the Archival Workforce
Snowden Becker (University of Texas Austin), Janet Ceja (University of Arizona), and Karen Gracy (Kent State University)
Monday, July 13, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
HBK 3210

Immediately preceding this year’s AERI conference, the International Council on Archives’ Section on Research Institution and University Archives will convene in Chapel Hill, NC. As their conference site notes, “Despite growing recognition of the complexities of managing audiovisual archives and the urgency of tackling the challenges, few universities and research institutions have adequate resources to address the myriad difficulties faced by archivists grappling to preserve and facilitate the use of this valuable documentation.” This theme is explored throughout their program, which includes a thread on “the knowledge, skills, and capacity challenge”: put briefly, “how do we provide members of the profession at large with the necessary skills to manage audiovisual archives?” This is a question that has come up repeatedly, if peripherally, at AERI since its first instance, and one that we as a community have not yet succeeded in fully engaging.

Accordingly, we propose a half-day workshop models a three-stage, iterative approach to innovative pedagogy and curriculum revision that is focused on this very specific knowledge, skills, and capacity challenge. While our focus will be on unique needs and core competencies related to archival A/V (film, video, audio, and digital media), the tools and techniques discussed here will still be broadly applicable to teaching challenges in any archives program. Stage one consists of identifying and prioritizing core competencies needed by archives professionals; stage two explores how those core competencies can be addressed in and across graduate curricula, courses, or other programming as part of a retooling process for the next generation of archival practitioners; in stage three, data from evaluation and critical reflection are incorporated into an action plan for continued innovation.

Workshop 3 

You Don’t Have to Be a Professor: A Workshop Exploring Alternate Career Paths
Kimberly Anderson (Iowa State University), Christopher Colwell (University of Technology, Sydney), Andrew Lau (University of Maryland/UCLA Extension), and Tonia Sutherland (University of Pittsburgh)
Tuesday, July 14, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
HBK 0211

Required Documents:

  • A copy of your CV

Required Equipment:

  • Mobile phone or laptop (for a workshop exercise involving live polling, which can be completed via SMS or through the poll website)

Recommended Readings:

This workshop is designed to provide an introduction to alternative career options for PhDs. Whether you’ve never intended to become full-time faculty, found that professorship wasn’t for you, prefer applied work, want a better work/life balance, or just became disenchanted with academia, this workshop will present some of the alternate paths available to recent graduates or current faculty looking for other career options.

We’ll explore career options in: administration, allied fields, archival/RIM practice, post-doctoral research, research collaboratives, industry, and independent scholarship (i.e. authorship). We’ll identify the challenges and opportunities of these choices, the losses and gains, and how you can prepare now to pursue an alternative or para-academic career.

Workshop leaders consist of: 1) someone who left academia and returned to practice; 2) someone currently engaged in post-doctoral work; 3) someone who entered administration in an allied field; and 4) a current student who is pursuing a PhD as a complement to a fully-fledged career outside of professorship. Workshop leaders will discuss their own career pathways and observations about career development, career options outside of the full-time faculty track, and ways to leverage PhD experiences, skills, and knowledge in other organizational or institutional environments.

The format will include facilitated discussions, small group activities, CV analysis, writing, and personal reflection. Participants are expected to engage in the discussion within the safe-space of the workshop. The workshop will employ the Chatham House Rule to maintain safety in openness in discussion, and participants are expected to adhere to the Rule, which reads: When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will have: 1) gained awareness of career options outside of tenure-track/full-time faculty; 2) developed skills in translating or distilling existing academic/faculty-oriented experience to administrative, research, or practice settings; and 3) reflected on what kind of career will truly serve personal, career, and life goals as a first step toward greater fulfillment and where the PhD might fit in that trajectory.

Workshop 4 

#BlackLivesMatter @Maryland: The Ferguson Twitter Archive and Using Social Media in Humanities Research 
Edward H. Summers, Trevor Muñoz, and Porter Olsen (Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities); Matt Burton (University of Pittsburgh); and Bergis Jules (UC Riverside and EASP Scholar)
Wednesday, July 15, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM | 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
MITH Conference Room


There will be some hands on exercises so please bring a laptop with web browser. Participants must also register for an account on Github prior to the workshop. Email your github and twitter handles to ehs [at]

Recommended Sites:

Participants may be interested to review the following work on the Twitter #BlackLivesMatter data:

The Narrative of Terrorism in #Charleston

#FreddieGray – Social Media Imagery in the Archive

Archiving Video from #Ferguson

Documenting the Now

An Invitation to Study Ferguson

On Forgetting and Hydration

In this workshop we will explore the mechanics and methodologies for archiving social media content for use in humanities research. Specifically we will look at work done at the University of Maryland in building a collection of 13 million tweets related to the events around the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Additionally we will examine the use of the Digital Humanities Incubator series to engage faculty and student research in using this collection.

In the workshop you can expect to learn about:

  • the variety of tools that are available for collecting social media content
  • approaches to managing the social media data
  • the ethical and rights issues around social media collections
  • strategies for engaging the research community
  • approaches to using social media into larger scale web archiving programs

Workshop 5 

Workshop on Archival Studies Masters Degree Curriculum
Paul Conway (University of Michigan)
Thursday, July 16, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM | 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
MITH Conference Room

In addition to our role as research scholars, an important aspect of our work as faculty is professional training, which encompasses a mix of archival theory/conceptualization and archival work processes that span the analog and the digital. It is becoming increasingly clear that archival science faculty face a number of explicit challenges in fulfilling this teaching role, including flat or declining enrollments, varying levels of estrangement from the professional associations that still accredit or monitor our programs, and an emerging ennui concerning the organizational contexts of professional employment.  

The AERI 2015 workshop on archival studies graduate curriculum seeks to forge a shared understanding about who and what we teach and where our curriculum should be going in the wider context of the higher education schools and departments within which archival studies exist. The half-day workshop will start with brief presentations and a wide ranging discussion of the state of graduate level education in archives and records management. A working lunch will feature small group exercises to focus on options for collaboration in curriculum innovation. The final after-lunch session will focus on co-developing an action plan for research, advocacy, and engagement on graduate level education.

It would be best (but not required) if all participants came to the workshop with a brief statement on the existing archival studies curriculum at their universities and its relationship to the wider curriculum in their school or department, plus any supplemental information that they wish to share. This background will initially be presented as a one-sentence statement (“burning issue on your mind”) as part of the introductions.

11:00 – 11:15 Introductions and order lunches              
  • Introduce yourself: name, rank, and serial number
  • State in one sentence one burning issue on your mind
  • Order lunches from menu for delivery after noon
11:15 – 12:00 Brief contextual presentations
  • Rebecka Sheffield: archival studies in ALA accredited schools
  • Donald Force: records and info management in higher education
  • Jane Zhang: RM/ERM in the archival curriculum
  • Carolyn Hank: digital curation curriculum and archives
12:00 – 12:30 Open discussion on the state of the art
  • Consolidate major points from brief presentations.
12:30 – 2:00 Working Lunch (in situ)
  • Each table chooses one issue involving potential collaboration from a list and delve as deeply into the question as time and interest permits.
  • Develop two action items for the AERI that might address the question.
2:00 – 3:00 Action planning (subject to on-the-fly adjustment)
  • Consolidate and augment action items from lunch discussion
  • Question: local/individ. curriculum development versus coordinated effort
  • Question: graduate degree versus archival path/specialization/focus
  • Question: what about professional association education interest groups
3:00-3:30 Wrap up and follow up ideas
  • List major take away points and “immediate” next steps (e.g., task group, survey research, position paper, liaison with iConference)