Bookend: Stranger than Fiction

May 2, 2022

In early 2020, University of Southern California (USC) Libraries acquired Sullivan’s personal archive of 1,200 photographs and 50 meticulously annotated case files: murders, assaults, stick-ups, forgeries, grifts, kidnappings, and other criminal acts spanning from the 1930s through the 1960s. “Given the rest of our holdings—which focus on the social and cultural history of Los Angeles … Continue reading Bookend: Stranger than Fiction



T-Kay Sangwand, digital collection development librarian at UCLA Library and host of radio show The Archive of Feelings.

Bookend: The Right Track

November 1, 2021

Sangwand’s monthly show on nonprofit internet station dublab features curated sets that often highlight albums from countries she has visited; she started her record collection while studying in Brazil in 2007. One of her favorite sets kicks off with “A Dream of Los Angeles with Clear Blue Skies” by the Life Force Trio—a quintessential local … Continue reading Bookend: The Right Track


The Sphere, a sculpture by Fritz Koenig, survived the collapse of the Twin Towers partially intact. The unrestored sculpture now sits in New York City's Liberty Park near the National September 11 Memorial Museum. (Photo: Michael Rieger/FEMA)

What Was Lost

September 1, 2021

Kathleen D. Roe, chief of archival services at New York State Archives in Albany at the time and now retired, says her team was prepared to deal with wet or dusty records or damaged collections. “We pretty quickly found out that either collections were pretty much okay because they were in a safe building that … Continue reading What Was Lost


Shalom Sabar, professor of Jewish art and folklore at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, presents a program at the 2021 AJL Digital Conference.

What We Keep

July 8, 2021

Shalom Sabar, professor of Jewish art and folklore at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, opened the conference with the session “The Hidden Treasures of Jewish Ephemera.” Sabar challenged attendees by asking, “What do we put in our museums? What treasures of cultural heritage are worthy of preservation for the future?” Discarded everyday items, he explained, are … Continue reading What We Keep


Historical photos of Black men participating in civic life from the Black Male Archives.

Chronicling the Black Experience

June 1, 2021

“I felt there weren’t enough stories portraying positive Black men,” says Freeman, director of Riviera Beach (Fla.) Public Library. “If people, mainly white people, saw us in a more holistic light, as fathers, husbands, and leaders, they wouldn’t automatically assume we are criminals, monsters, and demons.” To fill this need, Freeman created the Black Male … Continue reading Chronicling the Black Experience



Items from the Greenpoint collection, including a newspaper, a photo of an implosion of natural gas storage tanks, and an award presented to Greenpoint Against Smell and Pollution. (Photos: Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library, Brooklyn Collection)

A Movement Grows in Brooklyn

March 1, 2021

Greenpoint, New York, a historically working-class Polish immigrant community, sits at the confluence of the East River and Newtown Creek, at the northwest edge of Brooklyn. This neighborhood of more than 34,000 has also been home to decades of industrial pollution. The Greenpoint Library and Environmental Education Center, a branch of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library … Continue reading A Movement Grows in Brooklyn


A drawing of Iroquois games and dances by Jesse Cornplanter resides in Amherst (Mass.) College’s collection of Indigenous materials.

Responsive and Responsible

January 4, 2021

Various efforts—including Northern Arizona University’s 2007 “Protocols for Native American Archival Materials,”  which was endorsed by the Society of American Archivists in 2018—have sought to remedy this. Still, appropriate handling of Indigenous collections remains sporadic. As a result, institutional claims of ownership and principles of access are sometimes jeopardized. In response, a burgeoning number of … Continue reading Responsive and Responsible



Honoring and Respecting Relationship: Rethinking Library Praxis

Decolonizing Knowledge

June 25, 2020

Camille Callison, Indigenous strategies librarian at University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, commenced the American Indian Library Association President’s Program “Honoring and Respecting Relationship: Rethinking Library Praxis” June 25 at ALA Virtual by introducing herself as member of the Tahltan Nation and recapping some of the racist and problematic actions Canada has inflicted upon Indigenous people. … Continue reading Decolonizing Knowledge


Treasure Hunters at Libraries? Why Not!!

Treasures to Take Home

June 24, 2020

Hong Yao, president-elect of the Chinese American Librarians Association and director of technical services at Queens (N.Y.) Public Library, moderated a discussion on increasing engagement and investment in archives and community education during “Treasure Hunters at Libraries? Why Not!!,” a June 24 session at ALA Virtual 2020. A map to the best information Accurate, timely … Continue reading Treasures to Take Home