Highlights from the 23rd Annual Archives Month Conference:
Processing, Privacy and Preservation
Last month, the Committee for the Preservation of Local History hosted the 23rd Annual Archives Conference at the Brentwood Country Club. This year, the speakers came from near and far to discuss the challenges of processing and access while working with medically related archives. A big thank-you to speakers Jamie Saragossi, Kristen Nyitray, Barbara Niss, Steven Novak and Arlene Shaner. We were all thrilled to have the distinguished Dr. Max Fink in attendance and blown away by his taking a few minutes to discuss his contribution to the Stony Brook University archive. During one of the breaks, the Committee honored JoAnn Raia, Huntington Town Clerk, for her professional accomplishments with the Town Clerk's Archives and her personal dedication to the archives profession. The afternoon wrapped up with a tour of the Long Island Psychiatric Museum with docent Sara Kalvin. Thank you to all of the attendees and Committee members who help guide the conference to success. See also page 2.
Long Island Archives - November./December 2018 - p. 1
Volume 25 Issue 5
Long Island Archives
Page 1 clockwise from top left: Getting the day going after breakfast at the Brentwood Country Club; Kristen Nyitray presents; Dr. Max Fink takes a few moments to discuss his collection at Stony Brook University; panel presenters Barbara Niss, Stephen Novak, and Arleen Shaner; Huntington Town Clerk Jo Ann Raia is honored by the Committee for the Preservation of Local History; Centerpieces were created with scanned pages from the New and Complete American Family Herbal published by Samuel Henry, Botanist, 1814.; Jamie Saragossi, presenter, takes a minute to chat with Nicole Menchise. Page 2 clockwise from top left: Panels from the traveling exhibition "Two Hundred Years on the Erie Canal" which will be available to libraries beginning in mid-November; an engaged audience looks on; a diorama of the Pilgrim State Hospital Campus c. 1934 created NYU School of Architecture students; panoramic image of one of the rooms at the Long Island Psychiatric Museum. Images by N. Menchise and E. Cirrone for LILRC, 2018.
Thanks to our sponsors!
Long Island Archives - November./December 2018 - p. 2
Time To Be Grateful For....Regional Archival Services!
LILRC's Regional Archival Service provides members with the following free services:
Site visits by the Regional Archivist to make recommendations and provide information for historical societies and others organizations that preserve Long Island’s history
Provide information and training on how to join the LILRC Regional Digitization Program which is a part of the New York Heritage Digital Collections, a consortia service of the Empire State Library Network (ESLN)
Provide letters of support for grant applications relating to archival materials
For additional information, please contact Nicole Menchise at (631) 675-1570 x2004.
Best practices and sound advice from SAA's
Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research - Part V
If you cannot view the materials you want via the repository’s website or through the above-mentioned methods, you will need to visit the archives in person. Whether you are traveling a long distance to visit the archives or visiting a local one, it is always a good idea to plan ahead for your visit. Here are some arrangements to consider:
Inform the archival staff of the date(s) that you intend to visit and the materials you would like to see. The staff can notify you of any special circumstances where either the facility or the materials are unavailable. Many archives store materials in off-site facilities, typically due to space constraints. If the materials you are requesting are stored off-site, they may take several hours or days to retrieve. Alerting the staff to your visit and the materials you want to see may enable you to access those materials upon your arrival instead of having to wait for them.
Confirm the repository’s scheduled visiting hours. Are there any special closings on the dates you intend to visit? If the hours are too limited to accommodate your schedule, can any alternative arrangements be made? Many repositories lack the staffing and funding required for having extensive hours, but some may offer options to meet researcher needs. If a repository has weekend and evening hours, professional archival staff may not be present at those times. This may limit the services available (such as photocopying, material retrieval, etc.), so ask if any services are limited during those hours. Additionally, ask whether there are any entrance fees to conduct research there.
Examine the available options for accommodations, food, and transportation. The archives may have special arrangements that researchers can utilize. Inquire about parking near the repository if you are bringing a vehicle with you.
Check to see whether there are any limits on the amount of materials you may request or specific request times. Some archives may allow you to have multiple boxes of materials at a time; others only a single box, book, or folder at a time. The amount of materials you may access could impact your work flow and time spent at the archives, so it is best to inquire ahead about material request limits. The times when material requests may be placed can also vary by repository.
Review guidelines for using materials at the archives. Look for these to be posted on the repository website, or ask a staff member. Typical repository guidelines will be explained in more detail in the next section, but guidelines between archives will vary.
Examine the reproduction policies of the archives. Regulations and fees for requesting photocopies, scans, digital photography, microfilming, and reproductions of photos and audio-visual materials vary among archives.
Ascertain whether the archives offers Internet access and accommodates personal laptop computers, and clarify the Internet access procedures. If Internet access is not available, determine the nearest location where researchers may access the web.
Ask whether any materials in the collection circulate or are loaned out. Are there other libraries nearby that offer guest library accounts? Sometimes a local library will have resources to aid your research that are available for loan or accessible when the archives is closed.
Inquire whether any opportunities for research grants or funding are offered by the archives. Extensive research projects may require spending a large amount of time at one or several archives. Some repositories (or related organizations or academic institutions) may offer financial assistance to researchers.
Schedule some additional time for the unexpected. Discoveries and new questions unearthed during research may lead you down different avenues than you had originally anticipated. Certain tasks—like deciphering hard-to-read handwritten documents or researching primary materials—may take more time. Also, consider the option of a return visit to the archives in case you need to verify information, check additional materials, or pursue something you had not thought of earlier.
From Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research by Laura Schmidt, reprinted with permission from the Society of American Archivists (https://www2.archivists.org/usingarchives).- accessed 10/31/2018.
Regina Feeney, Co-Chair
Antonia Mattheou, Co-Chair
F. Jason Torre
Thank you to the professionals that have given their time
to be a part of the Committee for the Preservation of Local History
If you are interested in joining this or one of the other LILRC Committees, please take a look online at https://www.lilrc.org/Committees for more information or call 631-675-1570.
Long Island Archives - November/December 2018 - p. 3
Digitization Best Practices and Metadata Basics
This is a NEW hands-on workshop offering the attendees the resources to begin a digital project and learn about commonly used metadata fields. This class will be for anyone wishing to learn more about these topics and is required for joining the New York Heritage digital collections website. Registration is limited to 10 people per class. The following dates are set for February - June of 2019. More classes will be offered throughout the year as needed:
Riverhead Public Library - Thursday, February 21st, 1:00PM-4:00PM
Hempstead Public Library - Monday, March 21st, 1:00PM-4:00PM
Bayport-Blue Point Public Library - Thursday, May 9th, 1:00PM-4:00PM
Northport-East Northport Public Library - Monday, June 10th, 9:30AM-12:30PM
Long Island Archives - November/December 2018
Editor: Nicole Menchise, Regional Archivist, LILRC, 627 N. Sunrise Service Rd., Bellport, NY 11713, www.lilrc.org.