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Special Interest Group Archive: Archives SIG 9/15/2020

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.


The Archives SIG was held on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 via Zoom.

Meeting Notes

How is everyone managing? What is your organization working on?  


  • Working on new exhibits & scanning. 
  • Learning how to work with a new virtual environment -- providing scans of materials long-distance. 
  • Library is at half-capacity ; some tents are available to teach outside. This can be a challenge for professors who need more technology. 
  • Libraries have 103 virtual hours. 
  • Newburgh: created an imovie on the 1918 pandemic. 
  • Vassar: opened the library at half-capacity. A lot of tents around campus - very reminiscent of the 1918 photos. There is some recording equipment inside the tents, and they have laptops available. 
  • Finished designing and publishing an exhibit on suffrage. 
  • Hopefully starting to open up the library to in-person appointments. 
  • Everyone is doing the best they can! 

Are students behaving?


Are you working at home or following a hybrid model?


  • With virtual reference, there have been more questions. Some of these have been from individuals outside of the library community. 
  • With the online chat, they can make a ticket which can be followed up on. A half an hour to an hour can be spent on reference questions. 
  • Keep some things in FAQ and in files so they can be referenced regularly. 
  • There is usually an assumption that everything is digitized and able to be sent right away. However, there are a lot of things that haven’t been digitized yet. ‘

Academic libraries: are you serving the general public?


  • Vassar: not open to the public at this time. 
  • Have different phases of re-opening; not sure when the college will move to having guests. 
  • Ordered a camera to stream for teaching: Logitech C90 Pro Webcam Model 960-000764

EmpireADC update: 


  • Have been working on creating a statewide finding aid project. It would aggregate finding aids from across the state. 
  • This can be challenging as there is no pre-existing software to provide the needed functionality. 
  • Have been working on a new front end for the service, which will launch this fall.
  • Working on creating a form tool so libraries can create finding aids without having to know/encode EAD.
  • It can also harvest EAD finding aids from institutions that can produce them.
  • Form tool only requires 12 pieces of information and then you can attach pdf finding aids. The form tool is helpful because small institutions or non-specialists would be able to input information. 

How do people publish their finding aids locally?


  • Some EAD producing orgs, don't have indexing/display systems so they convert their EAD to HTML pages.
  • ArcLite is an open-source technology designed to read EAD. 
  • Some publish PDFs on their websites.
  • Working on getting EmpireADC to harvest directly from ArchivesSpace. 
  • Implementing ArchivesSpace is a challenge especially if you need to migrate existing EAD/finding aids into the system.

Next meeting: Tuesday November 17th at 2 pm 


Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065