Thursday, February 11, 2016

EAD Finding Aids Now Available at UMBC

The Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)  is excited to announce the release of new and updated records for the Library’s archival collections, a major milestone in providing easier searching of the holdings. The 16-month-long project creates collection-level records and implements an Encoded Archival Description (EAD-XML) compliant workflow for the collections. 

As of January 2016, Library staff have successfully updated over 100 finding aids and collection-level records, and created new collection-level records for nearly 50 previously-undescribed archival collections. A workflow was created to convert records to both EAD-XML and MARC-XML formats using national descriptive standards. These records will be made available in multiple access systems including the Library Catalog, the Special Collections Search (PastPerfect Online), and through union catalogs such as OCLC’s ArchiveGrid and the National Library of Medicine’s History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium. The updated records will facilitate access to UMBC’s archival collections and help to more effectively reach the researchers, scholars, students, and community members that are seeking the unique materials held at UMBC.

Screenshot of the new online finding aid for the American Society of Cell Biology records, Collection 8. 

Newly-described collections contain a wide range of materials, including:

These new and updated collections are now searchable from the Special Collections page on the Library’s redesigned website, as well as through the Library Catalog. Users can also browse the full list of archival collections on our new Finding Aids page.

The project is funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the granting agency of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), as a part of their Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records program. Library staff from the Special Collections, Bibliographic & Metadata Services, Library Information Technology Services, and Reference departments partnered on the creation and accessibility of the records. In future months the project will allow us to further streamline the updated workflow and continue to create and update new collection records.

To find out more or to view these materials, check out the Special Collections website, or stop by and visit us! Learn more about the Library's NHPRC grant and finding aid work be viewing these previous posts:
Albin O. Kuhn Library awarded $23,000 grant, May 21, 2014
Encoded Archival Description in Special Collections, August 24, 2015

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Pittsburgh Popups

Dear MARAC members,

The experiments with the traditional meeting model that began in Roanoke continue to Pittsburgh with “Pittsburgh Popups” - two sessions offering presenters and attendees alike a potpourri of archival topics, issues and projects to inspire and engage with the latest research and projects taking place throughout the region.  To this end, the program committee has set aside slots on Saturday, April 16 (S19 and S24) for presenters to share the latest and greatest going on in their own volunteer, work, study, or research spaces. No need to organize a cohesive panel, just tell us what you’re working on!

What are we looking for? Just about anything, really. Some tracks to consider may be:
·         All Things Digital -- technical archives and digital projects, ideas, and issues
·         Outreach Innovations -- innovative archival programming
·         Archival Leadership -- archival management
·         Outside the Box -- non-traditional archives, collections, or services
·         New & Noteworthy -- the latest and greatest from around MARAC
Presentations should be approximately 15-20 minutes apiece.
What does this mean? About six weeks before the conference, you’ll receive a link to a Google form to submit a brief proposal for your submission to the Pittsburgh Popups. All proposals will be due by Monday, March 28 at 9am. Descriptions should be no more than 250 words long.

About two weeks before the conference, MARAC members will vote on proposals. Those with the highest vote counts will be assigned to a Pittsburgh Popups session and selected panelists will be notified by end of day, Friday, April 8.

We hope all MARAC members - regardless of rank or experience - will view this as an opportunity to experiment with new ideas and get feedback on projects that have recently ended or may be ongoing still. Positions on all panels are open to everyone, regardless if you are presenting elsewhere in the program.

Questions? Please contact either Lora Davis ( or Deirdre Joyce (, PopUp Session Coordinators.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Library and Archives Canada newsletter: Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World

Check out the latest issue of the "Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World" newsletter, which is now online. The cover theme is “The Information Advantage: Unlocking Value from Information”.

The newsletter can be found here: 

For those who are interested in receiving this free online newsletter please send an e-mail to

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

MARAC Pittsburgh Information

If you're attending MARAC Pittsburgh this spring (April 14-16, 2016), you may be interested in our rideshare/roomshare spreadsheets, our navigator program, and our informal networking happy hour.  Please see below for information on all three opportunities.  Please don't hesitate to let me (Sara Borden, know if you have any questions.  Also, please feel free to share this with anyone who may not be on this list.

MARAC has created two Google spreadsheets to help you find rides and roommates for the upcoming conference in Pittsburgh.  Further information is listed below and on our upcoming conferences webpage. Please email Membership Development Committee Chair Sara Borden if you have any difficulty using the spreadsheets.


Use the following spreadsheets to find fellow MARAC Pittsburgh attendees to share rides and hotel rooms. These spreadsheets are editable by anyone and all attendees are welcome to use them. Once you have found a ride or roommate, please come back and edit your information accordingly.

The spreadsheets are intended for informational use only. This is not a matching service; you need to use the information on the spreadsheets to find people with whom to share rides and rooms. Please use good judgment and common sense when reaching out to strangers. MARAC and MARAC officers are not responsible for the contents of these spreadsheets or for any actions that result from using these spreadsheets. The spreadsheets will be deleted on April 23, 2016, one week after the MARAC conference ends.

Click here for the rideshare spreadsheet

Click here for the roomshare spreadsheet

Navigator program
Do you have advice to give about making the most of a MARAC conference?  Are you looking to get advice on how to make the most of a MARAC conference?  The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Membership Development Committee is offering a navigator matching service for the Spring meeting in Pittsburgh, PA (April 14-16, 2016). Navigators will agree to meet with new members before or during the meeting to help them take better advantage of the networking and educational opportunities the meeting has to offer.

Please fill out the form if you're interested in serving as a navigator or would like to be matched with a navigator.  Please note that we cannot guarantee that you will be matched if you fill out the form.

Networking happy hour
If you’re planning to attend MARAC Pittsburgh (April 14-16, 2016) and you’re looking for a more informal networking opportunity, the Membership Development Committee will meet for drinks and chats with our fellow meeting attendees before the Friday reception on April 15.  Join us in the Omni William Penn’s Tap Room between the end of Friday’s final session and before the reception at the Heinz History Center.  If you have questions about school, getting started in the profession, career advancement, or anything else you can think of, and you’d like a more relaxed atmosphere, this will be the place to be.  No need to RSVP, we’ll be totally informal, hanging out and talking until we’re ready to head to the reception.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me ( with any questions.  Hope to see you in Pittsburgh!

MARAC Job Bank
You may also wish to take a look at the newly renovated MARAC Job Opportunities page.  It is currently the most up-to-date resource for job hunters in the mid-Atlantic region and will be updated frequently.  Be sure to take advantage of this great new resource MARAC is offering its members.

MARAC Membership Development Committee Chair

Sara A. Borden, CA