Patricia Carroll Joins Custodia, ACWR's New Working Group

CARA member Patricia Carroll has joined a new working group of the Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious (ACWR) called Custodia. Its purpose is to gather information and facilitate discussion on issues and obstacles that arise for congregational archives when there is a decision to close or merge.

ACWR’s mission statement includes a commitment to “advocate for the protection of the historical records of women religious.” To that end, Custodia is researching best practices and models of possible solutions that would ensure proper storage and future accessibility of congregational records.  Patricia’s emphasis is to reach out to college and university archivists to document collection parameters and learn if and how closing congregational archives might fit within their institutional collections.

The other members of Custodia are ACWR President Sarah Cantor, ACWR Vice President Elect Dee Gallo and ACWR Members-at-Large Jennifer Head and Colleen McFarland Rademaker. If you are an archivist of a community considering a merger or closure of your archive within five to ten years, please get in touch to share information about your situation and your needs.  Custodia also welcomes conversation with those who have already merged, consolidated, or closed their archives.

You can contact Patricia at carrollp [at] or parocarroll [at]

MAC 2016 in Milwaukee

MAC members gather in the Milwaukee Art Museum
The Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) was held April 27-30, 2016, in Milwaukee, WI. The conference featured workshops, panels, and site visits, including a behind-the-scenes tour of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Archivist and Librarian Heather Winter welcomed MAC members as they arrived at the museum, and Chief Conservator Jim DeYoung led the way to a massive freight elevator (large enough to fit an automobile) to take the group to the conservation lab.

Milwaukee Art Museum's Chief Conservator Jim DeYoung
leads a tour of the conservation lab
DeYoung spoke of the need for fundraising, grant writing, and advocacy when building and staffing the conservation lab. He also shared his professional background and training and had this advice for anyone wishing to pursue a career in the very competitive field of conservation: internships are key!

After the tour, MAC members were generously allowed free admission to the museum, which houses a world-class collection of art in a breathtakingly beautiful structure designed by Kahler and Calatrava.

MAC's opening reception was held at the Garage of the Harley-Davidson Museum, and attendees were given passes to the museum to view a spectacular collection of vintage motorcycles.
Harley-Davidson Archives
The Harley-Davidson Archives, although not open to the public, was visible through a viewing area and contained its own impressive collection of vehicles.

Beyond tours and receptions, MAC provides invaluable insight into the current trends in archives: the plenary session and the first day of panels emphasized the need for diversity in the profession, both in terms of hiring strategies and collections policies. The growth of popular culture collections, the discovery of women's history in traditionally male-dominated collections, the openness to unusual archival collaborations, all of these point to a growing interest in diversity in the historical record. Attending MAC is great way to keep archivists informed and inspired.

CARA Meeting on June 24 at North Park University

North Park University's Brandel Library. Photo courtesy of
North Park University.
CARA's next meeting will take place on June 24, 2016. Kajsa Anderson, North Park University Director of Archives, will host, and the guest speaker will be Aaisha Haykal, University Archivist at Chicago State University Archives and Special Collections. The details are as follows:

When: June 24, 2016, 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m.
Where: North Park University, Brandel Library, 5114 N. Christiana, Chicago, IL 60625. Parking: A limited amount of lot parking will be available, as well as plentiful street parking.
What: Presentation and archives tour. Aaisha Haykal will speak about her work with POWRR (Preserving digital Objects With Restricted Resources), followed by a round table discussion about the realities of digital preservation at religious archives. After the discussion, Kajsa Anderson will lead a tour of North Park University's F.M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections.

1:00-1:30 p.m. Arrivals and refreshments
1:30-2:30 p.m. Presentation by Aaisha Haykal
2:30-3:00 p.m Round table discussion
3:00-3:30 p.m. Tour of archives

This meeting is free for CARA members and other interested individuals. Please RSVP to Jerice Barrios ( to help us with seating and refreshments plans. We hope to see you all there!