Newberry Seminar on Religion and Culture in the Americas - February 2, 2018

Aerial view of the Newberry Library and Washington Square Park.
Image courtesy of the Newberry Library.

The Newberry Library's Religion and Culture in the Americas Seminar explores topics in religion and culture broadly and from interdisciplinary perspectives including social history, biography, cultural studies, visual and material culture, urban studies, and the history of ideas. It examines how religious belief has affected society, rather than creedal- or theological-focused studies.

The Seminar provides an opportunity for scholars to share works-in-progress, and encourages papers that use new methods, unveil archival discoveries, or need feedback in preparation for book and journal article publication.

The February Seminar focuses on a paper presented by Daniel J. Gorman of the University of Rochester. The paper, “Sarah Fenster’s Neighborhood: Demography, Community, and One Child’s Life in 1900 Jewish Philadelphia" focuses on recreating this urban neighborhood.

The paper blends quantitative and qualitative methods to tell the story of the Russian Fenster family, their daughter Sarah, and one block of Philadelphia’s Jewish Quarter in the summer of 1900. What sorts of people, places, and cultural forces shaped Jewish Philadelphia? How did children perceive the Quarter’s impoverished living conditions, vibrant culture, and diverse inhabitants? Using the 1900 census, death records, benevolent society archives, city atlases, and city directories, Gorman recreates Sarah’s life cycle and shows that her neighborhood was not a mere slum, but rather a vibrant refuge, reflecting the United States in miniature.

Respondent: Tony Michels, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Friday, February 2, 2018
Center for American History and Culture Programs 
Newberry Library, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, Illinois.

Attendance is free and open to all interested parties. Newberry Scholarly Seminars are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, email

SAA and MAC Awards Inviting Applications

The SAA's Awards Committee is seeking nominations for the Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award. This award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of religious archives. It is named in honor of Sister M. Claude Lane, the first professionally trained archivist at the Catholic Archives of Texas in Austin, who served there from 1960 until her death in 1974. The award is sponsored by the Society of Southwest Archivists, in conjunction with Society of American Archivists.

Nomination forms and guidelines are available online, and can be submitted via email. To download the nomination form, please visit This page also includes more information on the award and list of past winners. The deadline for submitting nominations is February 28, 2018.


The application period for the Society of American Archivists’ (SAA) Mosaic Scholarship is currently open, with a deadline of February 28, 2018.

The Mosaic Scholarship was established to provide financial and mentoring support to minority students pursuing graduate education in archival science, to encourage students to pursue careers in archives, and to promote the diversification of the American archival profession. The award is given to applicants who demonstrate excellent potential for scholastic and personal achievement and who manifest a commitment both to the archival profession and to advancing diversity concerns within it.

For more information on the scholarship, eligibility requirements, and application instructions, please visit:

The Donald Peterson Student Travel Award Subcommittee invites applications from archival science students and recent graduates of archival programs. The award subsidizes travel to the SAA Annual Meeting for students presenting research or actively participating in an SAA-sponsored committee, section, or roundtable.

Application details are below. The application deadline is February 28, 2018. Applications will only be accepted online. Application materials can be found here: If you have any questions regarding the award or the application process, please contact Veronica Denison, Donald Peterson Student Travel Award Committee Chair, at


The J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award Subcommittee of the Society of American Archivists is asking you to create a nomination for the 2018 J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award.

Established in 1989, this award honors an individual, institution, or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archival activities or programs.

Nominations should be sent through the online submission system by February 28, 2018 at


The application period for the 2018 Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award is currently open, with a deadline of February 28, 2018.

The Pinkett Award was established in 1993 to recognize and acknowledge minority graduate students, such as those of African, Asian, Latino or Native American descent, who, through scholastic and personal achievement, manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of the Society of American Archivists.

For more details or to download the application form please visit:


The Brenda S. Banks Travel Award Subcommittee invites applications for a new SAA award. The Brenda S. Banks Travel Award recognizes and acknowledges individuals of color, such as those of African, Asian, Latinx, Native American, Alaska Native, or Pacific Islander descent, who are employed in archives and who manifest an interest in becoming active members of SAA. Recipients receive full complimentary registration and related expenses for hotel and travel to attend the SAA Annual Meeting during the year in which the award is received. In addition, recipients receive a complimentary one-year membership in SAA.

Application materials can be found here: Applications must be received by February 28, 2018.

Questions? Please direct them to Kathi Neal, Chair of the Brenda S. Banks Travel Award Subcommittee, or (510) 642-8173.


MAC is soliciting applications for the 2018 Archie Motley Memorial Scholarship for Minority Students. The scholarship is designed to provide financial assistance to minority students pursuing graduate education in archival administration and to encourage ethnic diversification of the MAC membership and of the archival profession as a whole. Two $750 scholarships, accompanied by one-year memberships to MAC, will be awarded. Applications are due March 1. Further details can be found at this site

SAA's Women's Collections Section Call for Blog Posts

Cenacle sisters gathering firewood at their property in Ronkonkoma, NY, 1932.
Courtesy of the Archives of the North American Province of the Cenacle.
The Women's Collections Section is seeking to publish a series of short articles (300-500 words) on their blog to highlight collections, projects, and events related to women’s and gender history. Previously published articles may be submitted with credit given to the original place of publication. We especially encourage pieces that highlight diversity among women and women’s collections, as well as diverse gender and sexual identities.

Please submit articles for consideration to, along with any photos or links to references you wish to include.