That Darned Boles Article, Libraries, and Archives

Wonderful articles on libraries, archives, and genealogy to keep yourself informed this week.

Courtesy of Archivist Memes.

Hello everyone! I have a number of articles I’d like to share with you this week. I’m gutting the previous format and turning this into paragraphs instead.

First and foremost I put together a Twitter moment about the response from archivists to the horrid article by Frank Boles that the Society of American Archivists (SAA) promoted with a brown bag lunch. After outcry from archivists, pointing out the flawed argument, which said that archives should not pursue “social justice” as part of their missions, the lunch event was cancelled. Although it is not known what will happen going forward, this was a positive action by archivists, while some falsely cried “political correctness” when this was really about ensuring that someone who spewed hatred, especially a former SAA president, was not promoted by archivists and part of a push for more diverse perspectives than just from White men.

Secondly, I wrote a set of articles about my ancestor, Joseph Winfield Packard. The first of these articles discussed the mystery of his life, which ended tragically in 1910 when he was run over by a train, after likely drinking. The one that followed showed how family stories of his death were wrong and speculated on what that could be the case. Every family has their stories, but you can’t always take them at face value.

Thirdly, I’d like to share an interview that fellow genealogist Becks Kobel did with Zoe Kranik of Hollywood Genes, who is driven in her research by connecting with families, her interest in Italian history, the importance of history, the reason behind the naming of her blog. I have known about the blogs of Zoe and Becks before, of course, but this interview was still interesting and fascinating, so I recommend you check it out.

Another post I came across this week was by Meredith Farkas. She talks about her struggles, experience as a mid-career librarian, and realizing her place in the world. I can relate to it a bit as a person new to the library and archives field, but not as much as other people. Still, since there are some librarians who are part of the mailing list for this newsletter, I thought I’d include it.

This week, like always, Hack Library School came out with a set of great posts. One person wrote about their search for a job in the library field for six months, trying to change their expectations of what they are looking for. Other posts talked about digital projects in libraries, the importance of taking classes outside the core curriculum of your MLIS program, provided advice for library school students with a focus on experiential learning rather than school full-time, and how it shouldn’t be a shame that someone is a librarian who doesn’t work at a library.

Finally, apart from the interview with Brad San Martin, Digital Archivist for Harlem’s Apollo Theater and the post by Becks about the Kobel v. Kobel case, the ramifications for herself, and what it means of her, there was an interesting post by Suzanne Isaacs, Community Manager of the National Archives Catalog. She noted how you can refine your search by record group, a new feature that NARA is trying out on their catalog.

And that’s it, folks! Enjoy the rest of your week.

- Burkely