On March 12th, 2020, the members of AHA! held their first general meeting of the year at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. MFAH archivists Marie Wise and Stratton Meyer graciously hosted the event, and offered a tour of the MFAH archives’ new space in the institution’s administration building at 5100 Montrose Boulevard.
Under the care of Wise and Meyer, the MFAH archives have reopened for research following a three year closure. The collections include institutional records and manuscript collections from affiliated and local artists, documenting over one hundred years of institutional and local history. Traffic in the reading room has been consistent since reopening, as researchers from inside and outside the MFAH dig into the archives’ rich historical and cultural resources.
Wise and Meyer worked creatively to configure shelving in the new space, making the most of the former studio spaces now available for archival storage. Using a color coordination system, the archivists deftly managed the move of collection material from two offsite storage locations outside the 610 loop to the museum’s main campus.
Thanks again to the MFAH, Marie, and Stratton for hosting! Visit the MFAH Archives website for more information about hours, available resources, and collections.
The first general meeting of 2020 will be hosted by our colleagues Marie Wise and Stratton Meyer at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Administration Building (5100 Montrose Boulevard) on Thursday, March 12, 2020 at 6:30 pm! After the AHA! business meeting, Marie and Stratton will lead us on a tour of their recently renovated archives space and share with us their experience of moving the archives to their new location.
Parking & Logistics: MFAH Archives are located in the museum’s Administration Building at 5100 Montrose Boulevard. An uncovered carpark is located behind the building. The Archives are on the 2nd floor and signs will be posted to assist AHA folks getting to the right place! Additional details on parking forthcoming.
Our first meeting of the year will be Thursday, April 11 at 6:00 PM at the Woodson Research Center, located in Fondren Library on the campus of Rice University. Dr. Joshua Furman will speak to us about the Houston Jewish History Archive.
Founded in 2017 in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Jewish History Archive is dedicated to the study and preservation of Jewish life in South Texas. By collecting artifacts from all facets of Jewish life, the HJHA sheds light on how Jews in and around Houston have balanced maintaining their traditions and heritage with adapting to life in Texas and the United States.
Prior to Dr. Furman’s discussion, we will have a short business meeting including an update on the upcoming Houston Archives Bazaar. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Lilly Carrel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AHA! Holiday Party and Meeting will take place on Wednesday, December 13 at 6:00 pm at the McGovern Historical Center, 8272 El Rio St. Suite 190 Houston, TX 77054.
This year, we will host a round-robin style event for members to share current archival projects, recent accomplishment, or future plans.
AHA! will supply the main dish, drinks, and tableware for the party, but please feel free to bring your favorite side dish or dessert to share.
CALL FOR CANDIDATE NOMINATIONS!
Nominations (including self-nominations) are now being accepted for AHA! officers, incluiding Secretary, Treasurer, or Vice-President. Contact Emily Vinson with your nomination.
Sandra Yates, AHA! Treasurer, will be collecting membership dues for next year (and beyond). Dues are $10 and can be paid by cash, check, or credit card ($1 convenience fee). If you can’t make it to the meeting, contact Sandra.
Thanks to all who joined us recently for the inaugural monthly AHA! Happy Hour—it was a great evening of discussion and socializing. We had a productive executive meeting and brainstormed ideas for an exciting upcoming year.
One thing that came out of this gathering was a thoughtful review of AHA’s mission statement. Reflecting on the organization’s stated mission energized board members and others present. It also provided guidance as we seek to align AHA’s activities with this mission.
AHA! exists to increase contact and communication between archivists and those working with records, to provide opportunities for professional development, and to promote archival repositories and activities in the greater Houston, Texas area.
As we craft programming and communications for the year, we’ll seek to ensure that all three of these pieces are actively cultivated. Improved communication, increased fellowship, and opportunities for training and knowledge-sharing all seem like areas ripe for connecting and developing our membership. The big-ticket item—the Houston Archives Bazaar—naturally fits the focus of promoting our work within and beyond Houston. By deliberately aligning our activities with the stated mission, it is our hope that we can better serve and connect Houston’s archival community—that’s you!—as well as the communities we serve.
As we look ahead to the year, we’d like to begin by getting your input on what you’d like to see from AHA! Please take a moment to fill out this member survey.
We hope that you’re as excited as we are about the upcoming year!
AHA! Executive Board
Emily Vinson, President
Matt Richardson, Vice-President
Lisa Cruces, Secretary
Sandra Yates, Treasurer