From left: Melinda Shelton, Jefferson Bailey, and Makiba Foster discuss the Community Webs archiving program at DPLAfest 2019 in Chicago. Photo: Carrie Smith/American Libraries

Community Collaboration at DPLAFest 2019

April 22, 2019

Archiving the local web In order to maintain their local collections, public libraries are looking to web archiving. “Community Webs: Empowering Public Librarians to Create Community History Web Archives” explored how two public libraries are using the Internet Archive’s Community Webs program. Jefferson Bailey, director of web archiving and data services at the Internet Archive, … Continue reading Community Collaboration at DPLAFest 2019


Tracie D. Hall (center), director of the culture program at the Joyce Foundation, moderates a discussion between danah boyd (left) and Elaine Westbrooks. Photo: Carrie Smith/American Libraries

Facing the Past, Strengthening the Commons

April 22, 2019

DPLA has undergone changes since the nonprofit was founded nine years ago as an access point to a network of libraries’ digital holdings. Bracken emphasized that its core values would remain: collaboration; a belief in the transformational power of technology; and a commitment to being a better partner to communities, “especially those who have been … Continue reading Facing the Past, Strengthening the Commons


Jeremy Brett, curator of Texas A&M University’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives's Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection.

Bookend: An Archive of Ice and Fire

March 1, 2019

Martin’s relationship with Texas A&M began in the 1970s, when he first visited Aggie­Con, a science fiction and fantasy convention held at the university, says Jeremy Brett (right), curator of the library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection. In 1993, Martin began shipping items to the archives, which now include more than 50,000 pieces. The … Continue reading Bookend: An Archive of Ice and Fire


Columns Society members at University of Mississippi tell visitors about the Committee on History and Context plaque placed at Barnard Observatory.

What’s in a Building Name?

March 1, 2019

With the goal of reconciliation and justice, institutions across the US are increasingly undertaking formal measures to review who they’ve memorialized—evaluating names of buildings and monuments to determine connections to white supremacy and other forms of discrimination. Unsurprisingly, university librarians and archivists are finding a role in these discussions, providing historical materials on the buildings … Continue reading What’s in a Building Name?


Clifford Anderson, associate university librarian for research and learning, at the Vanderbilt Television News Archive.

Bookend: News to Peruse

November 1, 2018

This year the archive of more than 1.1 million abstracted segments—including the only known coverage of its kind of the Vietnam War, the Apollo spaceflight program, and Watergate—celebrates its 50th anniversary. “We want people to have an objective record of what has been broadcast,” says Clifford Anderson (pictured), associate university librarian for research and learning, … Continue reading Bookend: News to Peruse


Judith A. Downie poses with growlers from CSUSM Library’s Brewchive. Photo: Brandon Van Zanten (Brewchive)

Tapping into Beer History

November 1, 2018

“Who’s collecting San Diego’s beer history?” This question—asked by Char Booth, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) Library associate dean, during a brewing science certificate proposal review in 2016—launched what would become the Brewchive at CSUSM Library. In 2018, the archive received the American Library Association’s John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award. With the … Continue reading Tapping into Beer History


Lalitha Nataraj, former adult education librarian at Escondido (Calif.) Public Library, describes the creation of “Home: A Living Archive Exhibition.”

Archive with Care

October 1, 2018

At “Proceed with Care: Steps Toward Building Trust with Marginalized Communities,” a September 29 session at the third National Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in Albuquerque, New Mexico, two former Escondido (Calif.) Public Library (EPL) employees shared with attendees how they created a participatory archives to engage marginalized communities and put “justice-seeking, caregiving, and … Continue reading Archive with Care


Lights, Camera, Libraries!

June 25, 2018

Daardi Sizemore Mixon, university archivist and special collections librarian at Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU), and her colleague Monika Antonelli, outreach librarian, explained how, as part of the university’s 150th anniversary celebration, the MSU library produced a 50-minute documentary titled Two Weeks in May. The basis for the film was Out of Chaos (Minnesota State University Mankato Foundation, … Continue reading Lights, Camera, Libraries!


Sarah Simms and Hayley Johnson of Louisiana State University discuss their research on the Camp Livingston internment camps at "The Accidental Researcher: a Case Study in Librarian-led Historical Research and Social Justice" on June 24 at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference.

How Two Academic Librarians Became Accidental Historical Researchers

June 25, 2018

For Hayley Johnson and Sarah Simms, speakers at “The Accidental Researcher: a Case Study in Librarian-led Historical Research and Social Justice” on June 24 at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference, their research on the Camp Livingston internment camps started with a May 2016 newspaper article on letters from interned World War II–era Japanese American children. Johnson, head of … Continue reading How Two Academic Librarians Became Accidental Historical Researchers


Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero in conversation at the American Library Association (ALA) 2018 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans

The Librarian and the Archivist

June 24, 2018

The two immediately began playing a friendly game of one-upmanship. Hayden kidded Ferriero about the Library of Congress (LC) being older (established in 1800) than the National Archives (1934). Then Ferriero mock-complained that in 1935, then–Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam refused to relinquish LC’s copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to the … Continue reading The Librarian and the Archivist


Left: Christina Bryant holds an invitation from the Mistick Krewe of Comus (1900); top left: a dance card issued by the Twelfth Night Revelers (1899); bottom left: a costume design from the Léda Hincks Plauché Collection. (Photos: Susan Poag (Bryant, butterfly); New Orleans Public Library (costumes))

Bookend: Conservator of Carnival

June 1, 2018

“The invitations are definitely one of the highlights,” notes Christina Bryant, department head of the library’s Louisiana Division/City Archives and Special Collections. “They are each a miniature work of art and sometimes engineering,” she says of the elaborately paneled and intricately drawn creations. Other standouts in the Carnival collection, dating back to the 1860s, include … Continue reading Bookend: Conservator of Carnival


Nancy Down, head librarian of the Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies at Bowling Green (Ohio) State University Libraries.

Bookend: Pop Culture Paradise

May 1, 2018

When researchers need to study these or other pieces of American ephemera created after 1876, they head to the Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University Libraries. Founded almost 50 years ago, the library holds one of the largest comics collections in the country, as well as … Continue reading Bookend: Pop Culture Paradise