MAC 2018 in Chicago: Blurring Boundaries, Crossing Lines

MAC plenary session speaker Natalie Moore, WBEZ Radio,
speaks about using archives in her research on the history of Chicago's Southside

Midwest Archives Conference
's 2018 Annual Meeting was held in downtown Chicago at the Sheraton Grand hotel. Conference organizers, including Chicago Area Archivists' Local Arrangements Committee, did a stellar job of arranging interesting and educational tours, workshops, and sessions. Click here for the complete program. MAC is a wonderful opportunity to catch up with colleagues and be inspired by the work that they are doing. For instance, did you know about Scalar, an open source scholarly publishing tool that can be used to create digital exhibits? Or did you know the National Archives uses limestone caves in Missouri as storage space? Did you know that running checksum software on large digital collections can take weeks of computer processing time?

If you did not make it to this year's meeting, there's always next year when MAC heads to Motown--Detroit, Michigan. In the meantime, here is a pictorial glimpse of MAC 2018.

MAC's opening reception at the Museum of Contemporary Art

Kate Flynn, Gretchen Neidhardt, and Rachel Shaevel discuss their
creation of a digital exhibits workflow for Chicago Collections
The panelists in the digital preservation session admitted that nobody's doing
digital preservation perfectly, but there are still ways to get started on the right path.
In a session on closed archives, Amber Dushman talks about the responsibilities
of an archivist in an organization where access to the archives is a member
privilege and not a public right.

Envisioning the Future of Catholic Religious Archives, July 11-13, 2018, Boston College

Photograph courtesy of Maryknoll Missionary Archives, New York.

This announcement comes from CARA Member Malachy McCarthy.

Envisioning the Future of Catholic Religious Archives: A Working Conference
July 11-13, 2018 – Boston College campus

Dear Fellow Archivist:

We are delighted to announce the program for the Boston College conference, Envisioning the Future of Catholic Religious Archives. The meeting will be held on the Boston College campus July 11-13, 2018. The program will explore issues surrounding religious collections and discuss available options to preserve and make these significant collections accessible to religious communities, scholars and the larger public. The website provides extensive information on the conference. See:

A working conference. This meeting is the first of its kind, building on the expertise of religious leaders, archivists, and historians and scholars who value our collections. This global approach will provide an opportunity for these groups to meet and chart a course for the future of religious archives in the United States. As archivists you are uniquely aware of the value of your collections and the congregations' contribution to society. We need your experience and expertise to initiate a plan to assure that these archival materials will be permanently preserved.

Space is limited. Providing an opportunity for lively discussion among the three constituencies means that we cannot accommodate everyone. We are looking for active and interested archivists who will contribute to building a plan for the future. If you are interested in attending, we ask that you complete the Interest Application (click on “Conference Information”). The application deadline is April 14. Invited participants will be notified by May 8.

Why apply? Attendees will be asked to enthusiastically participate in the small group discussions to underscore the value of these collections and suggest options to make them more accessible. Our goal is to develop a framework and plan to create a public white paper to promote the development of a national strategic plan to preserve these collections.

Please accept the challenge and consider applying. We have worked closely with Boston College to keep the cost at $250, so that it will be affordable.

If you have questions about the program or the conference details that are not covered on the website, please get in touch at

Thank you,

Malachy McCarthy
Conference Co-chair
Province Archivist
Claretian Missionaries Archives USA-Canada

Application Extended for CAA Archives & Archivists of Color MAC 2018 Travel Fund Award

The application deadline for the CAA Archives & Archivists of Color MAC 2018 Travel Fund Award has been extended to Wednesday, March 15, 2018. The award will cover conference registration and a stipend for transportation and food. Please note that eligibility is open to graduate students and early-career archivists who recognize the importance of expanding the scope of archival collections to reflect underrepresented communities of people of color.

For more information about the award and eligibility criteria, please visit