Thursday, April 30, 2015

News from the American Institute of Physics: Processing Grants in Physics, Astronomy, and Allied Fields

The American Institute of Physics provides grants of up to $10,000 annually to help process archival and manuscript collections in physics, astronomy, and related fields.  The deadline for 2015 is August 15.  Since its inception in 1998 the program has helped to fund over 60 processing projects. For guidelines and a list of previous recipients see: .  Grants may be used to convert legacy finding aids to EAD, as well as the other activities included in the guidelines.
We fund three or four grants a year, and to the best of our knowledge the AIP Grants to Archives programs is unique.  For more information contact us at

Joe Anderson
Director, Niels Bohr Library & Archives
American Institute of Physics 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

News from the West Virginia Caucus: Archival Challenges in West Virginia

The West Virginia Caucus of MARAC has always been the smallest in membership of the caucuses in our region.  There are several reasons for this, in my opinion, and the purpose of this article is to explore some of the challenges that have kept our membership small and to throw out some possible solutions for discussion.  The geography of the Mountain State, the presence of only a handful of large academic institutions, small federal offices or agencies outside of the federal court system, few large municipalities and a small State Archives and History Department are all contributors to the low density of archival practitioners in the state.
In the past year (2014 – 2015), the Preservation Roundtable of the West Virginia Library Association has presented two archives-oriented sessions at the WVLA’s Spring ‘Fling’ Conference.  The first was a workshop in April of 2014 which focused on the identification and preservation of photographic images that might be found in (or be donated to) small academic or public libraries.  This workshop attracted a relatively small number of participants, but received great reviews.  The second session was this month and was entitled “What do you do when it is not a book?” and focused on very basic archival principals and methods to deal with small manuscript collections which, again, can be found in smaller libraries.  This session was very popular, having 25 attendees, many who stayed after the session to get more information.
The popularity of these sessions has reinforced my personal belief that there are librarians of all stripes in the Mountain State that deal with archival and manuscript collections on a daily basis.  Most of these librarians and their staffs have had little training on applying the best practices to deal with preservation, organizing and providing access to their ‘hidden treasures’.  My ‘plan of action’ to improve this situation is very simple – use the forum of the WVLA Preservation Roundtable to continue to provide pertinent archival workshops, informational sessions, and outreach to the librarians of West Virginia. 
So… I am throwing out the challenge to the MARAC members of the WV Caucus to send me ideas, suggestions for workshops, volunteer to present a session at a future WVLA conference, or tell me that I am ‘full of ramps’!  Based on our recent successes, my sense is that there is a definite need for this type of professional outreach to the librarians of West Virginia and that we, the professional archivists and records managers of MARAC, have the knowledge, expertise, and determination to make this succeed!

Nat DeBruin
West Virginia Caucus Representative


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Call for Submissions: Arline Custer Memorial Award

DEADLINE: July 31, 2015

Arline Custer Memorial Award
Presented by the MARAC Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee, this award honors the memory of Arline Custer (1909-1975), MARAC member and editor of the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.
The Arline Custer Memorial Award recognizes the best books and articles written or compiled by individuals and institutions in the MARAC region – the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
Works under consideration include, but are not limited to, monographs, popular narratives, reference works and exhibition catalogs using archival sources.
Individuals or institutions may submit up to two works published between July 2014 and June 2015.
Works must be relevant to the general public as well as the archival community. They also should be original and well-researched using available sources. In addition, they should be clearly presented, well-written and organized. Visual materials, if used, should be appropriate to the text.
Preference will be given to works by archivists.

Up to two awards may be given, with a maximum value of $200.00 for books and $100.00 for articles. The 2015 awards will be announced at the Fall 2015 Conference in Roanoke, Virginia.
How to submit an entry
Please send two copies of each submission with a letter of nomination to the Senior Co-chair of the Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee:
Tammy L. Hamilton
Hershey Community Archives
63 West Chocolate Avenue
Hershey, PA 17033
Entries must be received by July 31, 2015.
For additional information about this award and a list of previous award winners, see the Arline Custer Memorial Award website: