Category Archives: Uncategorized

AHA! Recommends Closure of Houston Libraries and Archives

Archivists of the Houston Area (AHA!) recommends that libraries and archival institutions in the Houston area cease public operations in adherence with national and local guidelines regarding the spread of COVID-19 and in solidarity with national, regional, and local professional organizations and ensure fair compensation for staff during the ongoing situation.

We commend the libraries and archival institutions that have closed in order to protect our communities from the spread of COVID-19, follow social distancing guidelines intended to “flatten the curve,” and, we hope, save lives.

Nationally, the United States Government and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend social distancing measures and working from home whenever possible. Locally, the City of Houston also recommends working from home whenever possible, avoiding gatherings of over 10 people, and avoiding discretionary travel. The Society of American Archivists also urges leaders and administrators to act swiftly to close archival institutions and support employees in work from home plans stating, “the valued labor of archivists is not more important than the health of the people doing that work.”

AHA! recommends the SAA Accessibility & Disability section’s “Archivists at Home” document to assist in devising work from home plans and tasks for archivists and staff. If you are concerned about the effect of COVID-19 on your workplace status, income, or access to sick time and family leave time, please consider filling out the Contingent Archival Workers and COVID-19  anonymous survey. SAA has also created a resource page to help the archives community navigate this global health crisis.

Stay safe and healthy,

AHA! Board

AHA! visits the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston!

Stacks area at MFAH Archives. Photo by Joe Lueck.

By Joe Lueck, AHA! Secretary

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.

Reading Room at MFAH Archives. Photo by Lilly Carrel.

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.

Stacks area at MFAH Archives. Photo by Lilly Carrel.

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.

Job Opportunity: Digital Archivist at Rice University

https://library.rice.edu/digital-archivist

Fondren Library seeks a service-oriented, well-organized, technically savvy, and self-motivated digital archivist. This position will work to update, expand, and maintain the digital preservation program in the library’s special collections department, the Woodson Research Center. This position will report to the head of special collections and collaborate closely with professional archivist staff.

Archival Advocacy Opportunity- Contact the House in Support of Increased Funding for NARA and NHPRC

RAAC is seeking individuals to contact their Member of Congress in the House of Representatives in support of increased funding for NARA and NHPRC by signing on to a Dear Colleague letter to the House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees NARA.  

As seen below, the National Coalition for History has a thorough explanation about the “ask” and the process.   

Please note that the deadline to sign on to the letter is March 13.

Dear NCH member representative,

The National Coalition for History (NCH) has worked with Congressmen John Larson (D-CT)Don Young (R-AK), and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) to seek support for additional funding in the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2021 budget for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

They recently circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to their fellow representatives urging them to show their support. The letter will be sent to the chair and ranking member of the House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee which has jurisdiction over NARA and the NHPRC’s budgets. 

We need the members of your organization to contact their representatives and ask them to sign on to the letter in support of additional funding for NARA and the NHPRC. We have prepared a one-page briefing paper that summarizes the funding challenges facing these two agencies that are so vital to historians, archivists and other stakeholders. Click here to access an on-line version. 

More detailed instructions on contacting your Member of Congress and background information are available from the NCH website by clicking here.Our colleagues at the National Humanities Alliance have prepared an email that you can send directly to your representative. To send a letter, click here.

Please contact me if you have any questions. The deadline for representatives to sign on is March 13 so please don’t delay in sharing this information with your members!

Thanks in advance for your assistance in getting the word out. Please note that I am back in AHA’s renovated headquarters so you can once again contact me on my office phone.

Finally, be aware that if you reply to this email, everyone on the mailing list will see it. Please contact me separately via email if it is something you don’t want to share with everyone else.

Lee White
Executive Director

National Coalition for History
400 A St. SE
Washington DC 20003
(202)544-2422 x-116

Summer Meeting July 26 at Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research

Mark your calendars for our summer meeting, coming up Thursday, July 26 at 6pm at the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research. Part of the Houston Public Library Special Collections, Clayton is at 5300 Caroline, and parking is free! More details to come, hope to see you there!

Texas Historical Records Advisory Board Summer Workshops

The Texas Historical Records Advisory Board is sponsoring two free workshops this summer. “Grant Proposal Writing” will be offered at SFA on July 24 and at UTEP on August 21.  Each workshop will cap at 25 participants and THRAB requests only one seat per institution. For more details and to register, please visit: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/workshops

Description:

This course surveys the types of state, federal, and private foundation grants available and provides information about researching and writing grant proposals. Topics include types of grants, types of funders, elements of a grant proposal, the grant review process, managing your grant project, reporting requirements, and funding resources.

Who Should Attend?

Archivists, librarians, and staff members at Texas archival repositories who have a responsibility to explore and an interest in funding resources for preservation, processing, digitization and similar projects. An emphasis on NHPRC and other federal grants is stressed.