Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Institute of Jazz Studies Archives Fellowship Program

Rutgers University, June 12 to June 23, 2017

The John Cotton Dana Library at Rutgers University-Newark is home to the Institute of Jazz Studies (“IJS”), the world’s largest and most comprehensive jazz library and archives. With significant collections of monographs, periodicals, sound recordings, manuscripts, artifacts, photographs, and oral history interviews, continues to expand access to its collections and outreach programs employing the latest technology.
In 2012, IJS established the Jazz Archives Fellowship Program to support archival career development. With three archivists and other faculty and staff, the Institute of Jazz Studies is in a unique position to provide practical training in archival organization and processing within the multifaceted collections, as well as a number of seminar-type learning opportunities.  Fellows will work closely with IJS and Dana archivists, librarians, and staff to gain an overview of the role of an archive within an urban university library on a campus noted for its diversity, and to learn practical archival skills while working with the Institute's world renowned collections.
The program consists of a two-week residency at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark from June 12th to June 23rd, 2017. Major components include a general orientation, a visit to several New York metropolitan area music archives, discussions and learning opportunities about archival and digital collection management issues, and meetings with Rutgers faculty, staff and administrators about diversity and how it can be served by a specialized archive like IJS. In addition, Fellows will have the opportunity to explore the Institute’s unique holdings and to arrange and describe a representative collection under the supervision of IJS’s archivists.  Fellows will develop a digital project stemming from their arrangement and description work. 
FUNDING: Three fellowships are available, each supported by a $1400 stipend which is intended to cover travel, meals and incidentals. Lodging will be covered directly by the Institute of Jazz Studies.  Funding is generously provided by longtime IJS supporter John Van Rens. 
ELIGIBILITY:  Candidates should be currently enrolled in or have recently graduated from an ALA-accredited master’s program in library and information science or an accredited master’s program in archival studies. Candidates should demonstrate an interest in jazz and/or African American history and a commitment to a career as an archivist. Candidates should be committed to contributing to the university's goals of diversity and inclusion. Please see:
Candidates from under-represented ethnic minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.
TO APPLY:  REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS AND INTERVIEWS WILL BEGIN IMMEDIATELY. The deadline to apply for selection is February 15, 2017. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by March 15, 2017.  SUBMIT RESUME, COVER LETTER that addresses candidate’s interest in jazz as well as commitment to an archival career, and NAMES OF THREE REFERENCES to:  Barbara Weldon (Jazz Fellowship), Senior HR Manager, Rutgers University Libraries, 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1163, email:, FAX: 732-932-7637
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. Qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, genetic information, protected veteran status, military service or any other category protected by law. As an institution, we value diversity of background and opinion, and prohibit discrimination or harassment on the basis of any legally protected class in the areas of hiring, recruitment, promotion, transfer, demotion, training, compensation, pay, fringe benefits, layoff, termination or any other terms and conditions of employment.

 The Libraries are strongly and actively committed to diversity, and seek candidates who will contribute creatively to the University’s multicultural environment.

Friday, December 2, 2016

MARAC Annapolis Meeting: Reflection

I recently attended the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference in Annapolis, MD.  While there I attended a session titled “How Can I help You: The Changing Nature of Reference in the 21st Century”.  A panel of seven—including reference archivists, school teachers, and genealogy researchers—presented.  They provided a variety of viewpoints on reference assistance in archives.  Through their presentations they identified common themes experienced across perspectives.  
The importance of knowledgeable reference personnel was one of the most common themes. Several presenters opined that having experts who know the collections well is very helpful to researchers for both discovering materials, narrowing topics, and focusing research.  It was mentioned, more than once, that researchers often don’t know that materials exist or which collections to search. However, consulting reference archivists knowledgeable about repository collections was a great way to discover materials and narrow down useful sources for research projects.  This being the case, the panel agreed that the archive reference interview was still a very valuable tool for helping researchers.
Other common themes discussed include the idea of customer expectations, changes in customer demographics, and challenges researchers face using digitized collections.  Reference archivists cited technological advancements have changed customer behaviors. Customers expect quicker responses and online access.  They said customers often don’t plan to visit the archival institution at all, but want to remotely access any materials of interest.  Several panelists also pointed out that younger people, even children, are becoming interested in primary resources--resulting in a younger clientele.  With more and more archival materials being offered online, both reference archivists and archives users agreed having reference help available was still a need.  It was said more access means more difficulty finding what’s wanted. It also was pointed out that researchers might need help finding context and the larger collection associated with a picture or document that they find through a Google search.

All in all, the discussion and the Q&A session afterwards were very informative and helping all of us improve the user experience at our archives.  The tone was educational, but lighthearted.  The variety of viewpoints was well thought out and useful for me (an archivist) to hear.  I was impressed with the quality of information that I was able to get out of the session and thought it was well worth the time.

Abigail Sattler
Archivist – Liberty University

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Call for Participants: Business or Religious Archives

Whether you neglected the CEO's new initiative, grossly overspent your budget, or overestimated your capabilities, the Newark Business Archives session "Mistakes...I've made a few" provides a forum for presenters and attendees to share cringe-worthy experiences.  Adapted from a recent session at AAM, the session begins with panelists sharing one or more of the biggest mistakes they have made in their professional career and the lessons learned.  In contrast to the session "The Best Idea I Ever Had," we invite you to share your mistakes...after all...we've all made a few.
MARAC is engaging in crowdsourcing to populate the panel for this session.  The panel will consist of 3 presenters who will share their most cringe-worthy experience that can be presented in 10 minutes.  To participate, please email a description of your experience as well as a brief biography to Tammy Hamilton at by Friday, December 2nd.  All submissions will be reviewed and potential participants contacted by Friday, December 16th.
Event details are listed below.  For further information about this session please contact Tammy Hamilton at the email listed above or 717-508-1988.
Event details:
What: Business Archives Forum:  A daylong gathering of business archivists from the MARAC region to discuss and share information aligned with the conference theme of Adaptable Archives: Redefine, Repurpose, and Renew.
Where: Best Western Robert Treat Hotel, Newark, NJ
When: Thursday, April 20, 2017

Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

At the conclusion of one of the most divisive elections in recent U.S. history, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) proudly reaffirms its longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. MARAC is committed to the importance of diversity and inclusion in our organization, our profession, and the communities we serve. Our organization serves individuals who protect intellectual freedom, privacy, confidentiality, and equitable access to information  We strongly reject any acts of hate, discrimination, bias, or intimidation against anyone on the basis of ability, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identification, sexual orientation, or religion.  Accordingly, we have charged a Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, who will soon make recommendations in support of providing an inclusive and safe organization for all of our members. You can learn more about their work at:

Brian Keough