An Archivist’s Tale

An Archivist’s Tale Archivists in conversation with archivists, discussing their work and passions. Hosted by husband and wife team Karen Trivette and Geof Huth.

Episode 119: Let's Get One of Those Archivist People (Anne-Flore Laloë)
06/10/2020
Episode 119: Let's Get One of Those Archivist People (Anne-Flore Laloë)

Episode 119: Let's Get One of Those Archivist People (Anne-Flore Laloë)

Anne-Flore Laloë, Archivist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, tells us how a masters of English and one in geology led her to archives, what it is like to work with helpful molecular biologists, how she, as a lone archivist, manages an organization with facilities in multiple countries...

Rosemary Pleva Flynn, the Chair of the Society of American Archivists' Dictionary Working Group, talks about the origins...
05/31/2020
Episode 116: Archives is Trending (Rosemary Pleva Flynn)

Rosemary Pleva Flynn, the Chair of the Society of American Archivists' Dictionary Working Group, talks about the origins of this just-released Dictionary of Archives Terminology, an online-only dictionary for archivists, explains how entries are created, and details the rich features of the dictionary. Find DAT at dictionary.archivists.org.

Rosemary Pleva Flynn, the Chair of the Society of American Archivists' Dictionary Working Group, talks about the origins of this just-released Dictionary of Archives Terminology, an online-only dictionary for archivists, explains how entries are created, and details the rich features of the dictiona...

Episode 118: Healing Deep Wounds: Enlightening People about the Past and the Present (Saad Eskander)
05/31/2020
Episode 118: Healing Deep Wounds: Enlightening People about the Past and the Present (Saad Eskander)

Episode 118: Healing Deep Wounds: Enlightening People about the Past and the Present (Saad Eskander)

Saad Eskander, former National Archivist of Iraq, speaking to us from Iraqi Kurdistan, tells an inspiring story about his work running his nation's archives and his struggle to repatriate national records taken by the US government and even journalists, and he explains how archives can show us a way...

Episode 117: The Box Has Meaning (Karen Trivette and Geof Huth)
05/27/2020
Episode 117: The Box Has Meaning (Karen Trivette and Geof Huth)

Episode 117: The Box Has Meaning (Karen Trivette and Geof Huth)

Karen and Geof, hosts of the podcast, return alone together to discuss how their work has changed and how it has remained the same during the coronavirus pandemic. They discuss what they learned about their operations and how they might change when they return to work.

Episode 115: Advocacy on a Bone-Deep Level (Tamar Zeffren)
05/04/2020
Episode 115: Advocacy on a Bone-Deep Level (Tamar Zeffren)

Episode 115: Advocacy on a Bone-Deep Level (Tamar Zeffren)

Tamar Zeffren, Archival Collections Manager at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, tells us how archives kept her from becoming a lawyer, explains how she worked odd archives jobs when beginning her career during the Great Recession, and explains how her archives team continues their w...

The purpose of archives is knowledge. We may enjoy their beauty, but the reason we keep these fragments of the dismember...
05/01/2020

The purpose of archives is knowledge. We may enjoy their beauty, but the reason we keep these fragments of the dismembered past is to protect and to extend knowledge. A human body may release its knowledge in death, but with archives we can revive it in the future. #Archive30

The goal of our archives project, now five years in, is a strange one for an archivist. Our plan is to transfer most rec...
04/30/2020

The goal of our archives project, now five years in, is a strange one for an archivist. Our plan is to transfer most records to another repository and focus the work at this location on a small body of records, because we don’t have the facility necessary for its care. #Archive30

The courts touch everyone in some way, as a defendant, a plaintiff, a judge or juror, so these records document men, wom...
04/29/2020

The courts touch everyone in some way, as a defendant, a plaintiff, a judge or juror, so these records document men, women, the rich, the poor, and all races—even the Indians and blacks who fought for freedom in 1712, failed, and died, as recorded in this minute book. #Archive30

Hacking is the basis of archival labor. We reduce the opacity of records to make them knowable, by creating systems to s...
04/27/2020

Hacking is the basis of archival labor. We reduce the opacity of records to make them knowable, by creating systems to show the meaning of data on every side of a parchment writ and by simplifying the dating of records carrying only regal or year of independence dates.

#Archive30

Usually, the most frightening part of archives is evidence of the ignorance of our predecessors, who repaired documents ...
04/27/2020

Usually, the most frightening part of archives is evidence of the ignorance of our predecessors, who repaired documents by taping or silking them, who could not understand hot and dry or humid and hot climates would destroy records, who stored parchments on the floor. #Archive30

Episode 114: History is the Story of People (Greg Hunter)
04/26/2020
Episode 114: History is the Story of People (Greg Hunter)

Episode 114: History is the Story of People (Greg Hunter)

Greg Hunter, Professor at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science at Long Island University, tells the stories of his career, stories of almost always starting from scratch and creating archival improvements for the United Negro College Fund, ITT, the Academy of Certified Archivists, th...

We have little related to fashion in the early court records of New York, but my wife, Karen Trivette (⁦‪@kjtrivette‬⁩),...
04/25/2020

We have little related to fashion in the early court records of New York, but my wife, Karen Trivette (⁦‪@kjtrivette‬⁩), runs special collections at the Fashion Institute of Technology and she brought home a cache of fashion sketches to scan during the pandemic. #Archive30

‪My workspace now is my dining room table, since I’ve worked in my office only one day in the last 47. From here, I mana...
04/25/2020

‪My workspace now is my dining room table, since I’ve worked in my office only one day in the last 47. From here, I manage staff around the state, update finding aids, figure out how to reduce my budget by millions, define archives terms, and proofread my upcoming book. #Archive30‬

‪My workspace now is my dining room table, since I’ve worked in my office only one day in the last 47. From here, I mana...
04/25/2020

‪My workspace now is my dining room table, since I’ve worked in my office only one day in the last 47. From here, I manage staff around the state, update finding aids, figure out how to reduce my budget by millions, define archives terms, and proofread my upcoming book. #Archive30‬

The smallest whole record I recall finding is a writ of error written onto a slender piece of unfolded parchment sent by...
04/24/2020

The smallest whole record I recall finding is a writ of error written onto a slender piece of unfolded parchment sent by the Supreme Court of Judicature to the Court of Common Pleas—but smaller still are thousands of tiny fragments of documents that have fallen away. #Archive30

History is always missing, it is always inexact and incomplete. We create narratives of the past out of fragments of rec...
04/23/2020

History is always missing, it is always inexact and incomplete. We create narratives of the past out of fragments of records only partially reliable even if totally authentic. The richness of the past has fallen away, leaving us with but a few bricks to remember it by. #Archive30

People believe archives are forever, truth rather than mere evidence, boring, places holding the information desire, pla...
04/22/2020

People believe archives are forever, truth rather than mere evidence, boring, places holding the information desire, places they are forbidden to enter, ancient, riddled with weird and annoying people, unfriendly—yet they only sometimes represent these states of being. #Archive30

Among the unusual records found in our archives are a few record volumes that someone shot through with a pellet gun. Ev...
04/21/2020

Among the unusual records found in our archives are a few record volumes that someone shot through with a pellet gun. Evidence on the scene pointed to the crime being committed in the archives itself, though we don’t assume any archivists were involved in the attack. #Archive30

Archivists tend to see archives as founts of knowledge, but knowledge accrues in the mind, not the record, which merely ...
04/20/2020

Archivists tend to see archives as founts of knowledge, but knowledge accrues in the mind, not the record, which merely records and awaits transmogrification into knowledge stored in a brain. A body of records is a keeper mysteries because we never know what it holds.

#Archive30

Episode 113: My Work is My Hobby (Pat Franks)
04/19/2020
Episode 113: My Work is My Hobby (Pat Franks)

Episode 113: My Work is My Hobby (Pat Franks)

Pat Franks, Professor, and Program Coordinator of the Masters of Archives and Records Administration program at San Jose State University, tells us how a grant opportunity from the New York State Archives led her to records and information management and eventually into a rich career of teaching and...

Life varies, so days of work vary, but if I am working with our oldest archives—left too long undisturbed—my life is abo...
04/19/2020

Life varies, so days of work vary, but if I am working with our oldest archives—left too long undisturbed—my life is about dirt and dust, requiring me to wear masks, gloves, and aprons, because my form of processing is arrangement, description, and cleaning.‬
‪#Archive30 ‬

The building holding the archives I most often work with is a beautiful Beaux Arts structure built to be a hall of recor...
04/18/2020

The building holding the archives I most often work with is a beautiful Beaux Arts structure built to be a hall of records, and which it remains to some degree, three different archives being squeezed into its ancient contours and clumsy but sturdy old storage units.

Don’t use iron-gall ink, don’t leave documents exposed to the sun, don’t store records in hot and dry environments, don’...
04/17/2020

Don’t use iron-gall ink, don’t leave documents exposed to the sun, don’t store records in hot and dry environments, don’t leave parchments near the radiator, don’t let rodents eat the wheat paste affixing seals to writs, don’t fold case papers, and do not not dust. #Archive30

Few archives are about everything, and ours fit this rule, so we have nothing related to sports, though we do conduct pl...
04/16/2020

Few archives are about everything, and ours fit this rule, so we have nothing related to sports, though we do conduct plenty of sportslike physical activity when we move boxes, or climb to the tops of shelves, or stack boxes as high as we can until we run out of room. #Archive30

Environment protects records or leads to their degradation. While dealing with poorly kept archives, I have discovered t...
04/15/2020

Environment protects records or leads to their degradation. While dealing with poorly kept archives, I have discovered the aporia that undermines our archival practice is how alluringly beautiful deteriorated records can be and how the beauty of destruction haunts us. #Archive30

Although the goal of my archives work—years in the making—is to give the records away, to donate them to repositories be...
04/14/2020

Although the goal of my archives work—years in the making—is to give the records away, to donate them to repositories better prepared to care for archives, we give away records while reaching out to the media, so we can build a base of users anxious to use the records. #Archive30

Objects may be records or parts of a one, as with many civil case files of the New York County Supreme Court, which ofte...
04/12/2020

Objects may be records or parts of a one, as with many civil case files of the New York County Supreme Court, which often include exhibits of various kinds, often of fabric, such as this small purse folded into case papers and holding a document that is folded into it.

#Archive30

04/12/2020

Archives are people, the people who work within them, those who created them, those who lived through the events recorded within them, those who arrive within them to search for enough information to make knowledge, and those who pass through them without realizing it.

#Archive30

Episode 112: We Have the Power to Change Ourselves for the Good (Cliff Hight)
04/11/2020
Episode 112: We Have the Power to Change Ourselves for the Good (Cliff Hight)

Episode 112: We Have the Power to Change Ourselves for the Good (Cliff Hight)

Cliff Hight, Head of Special Collections and the University Archivist at Kansas State University, sits down to discuss his life as an archivist, how his archives was prepared for working at home for covid-19 because of another disaster they had experienced, and shows how his career and ours have int...

Our archives are about drink when about public drunkenness or the sale of liquor to the enslaved of New York, but our mo...
04/10/2020

Our archives are about drink when about public drunkenness or the sale of liquor to the enslaved of New York, but our most interesting (yet unarchival) find was the remains of a larder stored deep in the bowels of ancient storage equipment and abandoned decades ago.

#Archive30

The only secret in our archives is the information we have lost: the records accidentally destroyed or misplaced, the pa...
04/09/2020

The only secret in our archives is the information we have lost: the records accidentally destroyed or misplaced, the parchment left near a radiator turning the record dark brown and wrinkled, the minute books rotted away at their corners, leaving angel wings of text.
#Archive30

The biggest celebration for our archives was when we donated 1500 cubic feet of records to the New York State Archives t...
04/09/2020

The biggest celebration for our archives was when we donated 1500 cubic feet of records to the New York State Archives to fill a large gap in their collection and ensure the preservation of these records, because sometimes we best care for records by giving them away. #Archive30

ARKYVEs#pwoermds#vispwoermds#InterNaPwoWriMo
04/09/2020

ARKYVEs
#pwoermds
#vispwoermds
#InterNaPwoWriMo

Famous records we hold include those relating to The Crown v. John Peter Zenger, wherein the  governor sued Zenger in th...
04/07/2020

Famous records we hold include those relating to The Crown v. John Peter Zenger, wherein the governor sued Zenger in the Supreme Court for libel. Zenger's defense was that his newspaper had merely published the truth, which won the day and led to our First Amendment.

(Since I am now in constant pandemic isolation, I could not find an image from the court records for the trial. Here instead is Zenger's plea asking the Worshipful Mayor, Recorder, Alderman and Assistants of the City of New York to improve his conditions in prison.)

#Archive30

Most of the records series we have end in 1910, so a new record for us is this glass plate negative from about 1911, whi...
04/07/2020

Most of the records series we have end in 1910, so a new record for us is this glass plate negative from about 1911, which documents the poor storage for our records before they were moved from a basement to the upper floors and attic of our building across the street. #Archive30

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Desde sus inicios hasta la era digital los archivos custodian el patrimonio documental. En el Día Internacional de los Archivos te indicamos cómo puedes encontrar documentos históricos.