Ellen Keith, director of the Chicago History Museum Library, displays items related to the Great Chicago Fire. Photo by Rebecca Lomax/American Libraries

Bookend: Archiving the Aftermath

June 1, 2021

“It’s just amazing how much the aftermath was documented,” says Ellen Keith, director of the museum library. The library’s holdings include period maps and stereographs (an early form of three-dimensional photographs popular in the 19th century) depicting the burned areas of the city, transcripts of the 1871 fire department hearings, a 1997 mayoral resolution exonerating … Continue reading Bookend: Archiving the Aftermath


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


Lori Nyce, librarian at the National Toy Train Library in Ronks, Pennsylvania. Photo: Eric Forberger

Bookend: All Aboard

January 4, 2021

“Our focus is anything toy trains and model railroading,” says librarian Lori Nyce (pictured). “We get calls sometimes wanting us to look up information on real locomotives—we tend to have to refer them.” Nyce and Library Assistant Tyler Keck stay on track answering reference questions (mostly from TCA members, authors, and hobbyists hoping to identify … Continue reading Bookend: All Aboard



A flier from New York Public Library's Dorot Jewish Division. Photo: Dorot Jewish Division/New York Public Library

By the Numbers: Jewish American Heritage Month

May 1, 2020

2006 Year that US President George W. Bush proclaimed May Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM). The month celebrates the contributions Jewish Americans have made since they first arrived in New Amsterdam in 1654. 5th and Market Intersection in Philadelphia where the National Museum of American Jewish History—since 2018, the home of JAHM—is located. JAHM events … Continue reading By the Numbers: Jewish American Heritage Month


Photo: Emily Uhrin, archivist at the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media

Newsmaker: Emily Uhrin

February 7, 2020

With renewed attention on the pioneering host, including an Oscar-nominated Hollywood portrayal, Uhrin spoke with American Libraries about Rogers’s legacy and coming to know him through his work. Describe the holdings of the archive. Do you have a favorite? We house Fred Rogers’ personal and professional papers. The collection includes correspondence (he was a prolific … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emily Uhrin


Beth M. Lander, college librarian at the Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, poses with a human skull set on green velvet. (Photo: Kriston Bethel)

Bookend: Medical Marvels

January 2, 2020

“That’s an excellent example of what it is like to work here,” she says. “You never know what might happen next.” The college shares its library with the Mütter Museum, an institution known for its macabre medical materials, which span centuries. Sometimes those artifacts find their way into the hands of playful coworkers, so keeping … Continue reading Bookend: Medical Marvels


The University of Michigan’s Computer and Video Game Archive. Photo: Alan Pinon

Librarians, Start New Game

November 1, 2019

The University of Michigan’s (UM) Computer Video and Game Archive (CVGA) in Ann Arbor boasts more than 8,000 videogames and 60 consoles dating back to the 1970s. “Because we have such a large collection, there are many examples from which to pull and get inspiration, things [students] would never be able to afford on their … Continue reading Librarians, Start New Game


Photo: Megan Rosenbloom.

Newsmaker: Megan Rosenbloom

October 22, 2019

Rosenbloom, a medical librarian at University of Southern California (USC) and obituary editor for the Journal of the Medical Library Association, is a leader in the “death positive” movement and the Order of the Good Death, a group of “funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists exploring ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their … Continue reading Newsmaker: Megan Rosenbloom


Society of American Archivists Archives*Records 2019 Conference logo

Creating Accessibility within LGBTQ Collections

August 8, 2019

Linda J. Long, curator of manuscripts in special collections and university archives at University of Oregon Libraries, provided background on the history and politics of archiving LGBTQ collections and examined the roadblocks that have impeded the accessibility of these collections. University of Montana Digital Archivist Erin Baucom discussed how the use of language incompatible with … Continue reading Creating Accessibility within LGBTQ Collections


Society of American Archivists Archives*Records 2019 Conference logo

SAA 2019: Building New Traditions

August 8, 2019

Francesca Marini, programming and outreach librarian at TAMU’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives (CMLA), moderated the session and gave the introductory presentation, providing background information about CMLA’s efforts and collections. Beginning with a brief history of some of the racism at the university, Greg Bailey, university archivist, provided a historical timeline of the integration of … Continue reading SAA 2019: Building New Traditions