New York Archives Conference 2022

Free virtual conference!
Friday, June 17th, 2022 – 9am to 3:20pm

Thank you for attending this year’s conference!

Session recordings will be made available to registrants in the coming months.

Call For Poster Presentations

Questions? Comments? Email Ryan Perry, NYAC Program Chair.

Schedule at a Glance

Lightning Talks were available to view and discuss from Thursday, June 16 to Saturday, June 18, 2022.

Friday, June 17, 2022

9:00 – 9:10 amWelcome
9:10 – 10:10 amThe Role of Archives in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives: Documenting & Telling the History of St. John’s University
10:10 – 10:20 amMorning Break #1
10:20 – 10:40 amAll Hands on Deck: Navigating Privacy Concerns and Permanent Loan Agreements in Digitization Grant Projects of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor Collection
10:40 – 11:00 amDescribing Transgender History: Community-Based Approaches to Archiving Transgender Experiences
11:00 – 11:10 amMorning Break #2
11:10 – 12:10 pmLowell Thomas and the News: Digitizing Five Decades of 20th Century History
12:10 – 12:40 pmLunch Break
12:40 – 1:10 pmPoster Session
1:10 – 1:20 pmAfternoon Break #1
1:20 – 1:40 pmResearching Urban Renewal with Local Records
1:40 – 2:00 pmImplementing ArchivesSpace from Home-Grown Archival Management Systems
2:00 – 2:10 pmAfternoon Break #2
2:10 – 3:10 pmManaging Digital Content Migrations for the Long Haul
3:10 – 3:20 pmClosing Remarks

Zoom Conference Etiquette

  • Your microphone and camera will be disabled for the conference
  • Use the Q&A module to ask questions of current panelists
  • Change your Chat settings to direct messages to “all panelists and attendees” if you are making a public comment
  • Remember to be courteous and abide by the NYAC Code of Conduct

Program Schedule Details

9:00 – 9:10 am: Welcome

Welcome to our 2022 Virtual Conference!


Ryan Perry, 2022 Program Chair

9:10 – 10:10 am: The Role of Archives in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives: Documenting & Telling the History of St. John’s University

This presentation will discuss the role that archives play in diversity initiatives, which incorporate historical investigations. Between 2016 and 2021, after being appointed to a Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion by St. John’s President Conrado Gempesaw, Pak conducted a historical investigation to study the changing makeup of the University since its founding. The project necessitated a collaboration and negotiation with archivists to address questions raised in the process regarding access policies, privacy and confidentiality, and more. Coen, Pak, and Hennig will share their experiences of the process and talk about the role that archives, archivists, and historians can and do play in making institutions of learning and archives more inclusive through the study of history.


Susie Pak (she/her/hers), St. John’s University
Joseph Coen, C. A. (he/him/his), Roman Catholic (R. C.) Diocese of Brooklyn
Alyse Hennig (she/her/hers), St. John’s University

10:20 – 10:40 am: All Hands on Deck: Navigating Privacy Concerns and Permanent Loan Agreements in Digitization Grant Projects of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor Collection

The Stephen B. Luce Library and Archive has a longstanding commitment to storing and preserving America’s maritime heritage. The library’s most frequently accessed special collection is the Sailors’ Snug Harbor archive. Sailor’s Snug Harbor now operates as The Trustees of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor which is dedicated to assisting retired mariners who need financial assistance. Archival queries for this collection come primarily from genealogists, students and faculty, colleagues at the Noble Maritime Collection and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, and independent researchers. Previous state and federal grants funded digitization efforts which led to disagreements with the Trustees over privacy concerns for decedents of the sailors. This presentation will discuss the grant projects, and issues encountered by the collection being on permanent loan and the missions of The Trustees of the Sailors’ Snug Harbor and SUNY Maritime College being in contradiction of each other.


Jill Kehoe (she/her/hers), SUNY Maritime College
Renae Rapp (she/her/hers), SUNY Maritime College

10:40 – 11:00 am: Describing Transgender History: Community-Based Approaches to Archiving Transgender Experiences

This presentation focuses on the limitations of applying current widespread descriptive practices to describing transgender-related materials and how archivists can address these shortcomings by incorporating community-based approaches into description. With an attention to the ways descriptive practices reflect biases, the first part examines issues with terminology that limit the ability to generate effective descriptive data for transgender-related archival materials. Next, the presentation demonstrates how community-based approaches can address these limitations and improve access to transgender history. While current practices struggle to effectively describe transgender history, community-based approaches provide practical solutions and the opportunity to reconsider how archivists preserve transgender history.


Elliott Hadwin (he/him/his), Pratt Institute, School of Information

11:10 – 12:10 pm: Lowell Thomas and the News: Digitizing Five Decades of 20th Century History

The goal of this presentation is to share the experiences of a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant to make 46 years of “Lowell Thomas and The News” radio news show scripts available to researchers online.

Lowell Thomas is credited with establishing modern journalism by the scholarly community. In 1930, he transformed radio news broadcasts from being solely focused on world events, to the format we see and hear on today’s news programs. Thomas became the most popular newsman of his day and brought the news to an average of 2.4 million homes every weeknight. After 46 years on the air, he retired in 1976.

This session will discuss the process of obtaining and managing a federal grant project during a pandemic, including finding student assistants, digitizing 250,000 pages of radio news show scripts on microfiche, Quality Control, Digital Asset Management, and providing online access to a massive digital collection.


John Ansley (he/him/his), Marist College, Director, Archives and Special Collections
Michaela Cavanagh (she/her/hers), Marist College, 2022 BA in History
Mario Cesareo (he/him/his), The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Archives Assistant

12:40 – 1:10 pm: Poster Session

A Big Deal: One Archive Shifts to an Online Payment Model

For decades, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives at the University accepted payment for photocopying, scanning, and publication and exhibition fees from researchers with cash, check, and credit cards, taking card information over the telephone. These options were disadvantageous to both the department and researchers. This poster will describe how the pandemic helped the department convince the University to allow us to transition to a new, online model for payment. After almost one year of contactless transactions, the new model has proven to be more cost-effective, efficient, and secure.

Presenter: Jodi Boyle, University at Albany, SUNY

A Gamut of Games: Creating the Sid Sackson Portal

The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York recently received an NHPRC grant to digitize 35 years of diaries from prolific American game designer Sid Sackson and make them accessible to researchers worldwide through a dedicated research portal. (Perhaps best known for the hotel trading game Acquire, Sackson developed more than 500 games during his lifetime– about 50 of these were produced by game publishers around the world.) Along with scanning diary pages, this project incorporated the creation of enhanced description terms, photography of related game prototypes and produced games, and links to interconnected archival collections on the final website. This poster will address the project’s workflow, outcome, and importantly–its ongoing crowdsourcing component.

Presenter: Julia Novakovic, The Strong

Face-to-Face With Social Media: One Archivist’s Approach to Engagement

Inspired by the thesis “Engagement Levels on Social Media: A Case Study of Sojourner Truth Library’s Instagram” by Julianna Maiorano, the College Archivist Librarian at SUNY Oswego followed recommendations to increase engagement with distinct communities (internal campus members and external researchers) through the official social media accounts of Penfield Library. The primary finding from Julianna Maiorano’s case study showed that posts including faces in photographs on social media indeed increase engagement, and that libraries should increase featuring faces in social media posts to increase engagement with patrons. Poster information will include engagement strategies, data from the social media platforms, and low-to-no cost recommendations for increasing the social media presence of an archive.

Presenter: Zachary Vickery, SUNY Oswego

Mayfair Games Records: The Game Master’s Experience

“Mayfair Games Records: The Game Master’s Experience” poster will share techniques and tricks to processing a large collection with relative ease. Mayfair Games records arrived at the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, NY on 4 pallets, with 200 linear feet of unprocessed materials documenting the game company’s functional and game design history including board, card, dice, and role-playing games. This collection will provide the backdrop for sharing techniques for processing including having a collection-dedicated archivist, analyzing your inventory, starting with low-hanging fruit, sorting in iterations, avoiding interfiling, and breaking sections into manageable groups.

Presenter: Nicole Pease, The Strong

1:20 – 1:40 pm: Researching Urban Renewal with Local Records

Between 1949 and 1974, the Federal government spent some $13 billion to revitalize America’s cities. About 1,300 communities around the country participated in this program. New York received over $1 billion of this largesse, and 90 communities around the state participated, ranging in size from New York City to small villages like Painted Post.

The records documenting urban renewal projects still exist in many of these communities. This presentation will discuss how to locate these records, what information they contain, and how both appointed historians and publicly-engaged researchers can use them to tell engaging community histories. These records often reveal evidence of discriminatory housing practices like redlining, contract sales, and racially restrictive rental.


David Hochfelder (he/him/his), University at Albany, SUNY

1:40 – 2:00 pm: Implementing ArchivesSpace from Home-Grown Archival Management Systems

The NYS Archives made the decision to implement ArchivesSpace by migrating data from two home-grown systems, designed to support description, accessioning, assessment, and inventory control. The homegrown system from which NYSA migrated consisted of a MySQL database with a browser-based user interface that was initially designed to capture EAD finding aid data and export EAD XML. That system was modified and complemented with a barcode scanning application to manage container home location and off-shelf circulation data. Our ArchivesSpace instance was also populated in part with data from a homegrown needs assessment and preservation system. That system had been used to capture accession transfer data and assessment data relating to the physical condition and accessibility of new and legacy accessions.

Realizing we had the ability to customize ArchivesSpace, we had to consider which of its features were essential to support our existing workflows and which could improve the way we manage records information. We dissected old systems, asking if the data in every field was essential and if so, where in ArchivesSpace did the data best fit? Could unessential data be left behind or tweaked if necessary, to fit in ArchivesSpace? Once data was mapped and the framework adapted, we had to get the data into ArchivesSpace. With no official programmer on staff, there was a lot of community research and local testing, in addition to creative problem solving.

Whereas some institutions that implement ArchivesSpace are beginning with a clean slate or a modest amount of data captured in a similar system, we migrated from a fully and independently developed system containing a massive amount of data. Importantly, we were forced to consider other options for accommodating records usage and circulation management due to the limitations of ArchivesSpace. On the other hand, ArchivesSpace has offered us an opportunity to streamline our workflows and centralize in one system, the collections related data considered by our institution to be authoritative. The NYSA experience can be very instructive to institutions considering implementing ArchivesSpace, but facing similar challenges from the start to the standards and framework of ArchivesSpace.


Corinne Chatnik (she/her/hers), New York State Archives
Andrew Arpey (he/him/his), New York State Archives

2:10 – 3:10 pm: Managing Digital Content Migrations for the Long Haul

Digital content migrations are here to stay! They’ve become an integral part of how we manage and sometimes wrestle with collections for our libraries and archives in order to get collections safely into the hands of the next generation. Fear not, migrations are an opportunity to continually evaluate and strengthen the support structures that ensure continued access and care of our valuable collections. Presenters from four different academic institutions will discuss their experiences managing digital collections and associated metadata, collaborating with teams and colleagues, and the ways in which key decision points are made given institutional staffing and budgets. Together they will offer tips and tricks to help demystify migration projects, which often take years to accomplish, and offer guidance for those new to making decisions about migration workflows, metadata, and new systems decisions.


Jenifer Monger (she/her/hers), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Lisa McFall, Hamilton College
Nicole Scalessa, Vassar College
Joanna DiPasquale, Union College

3:10 – 3:20 pm: Closing Remarks

Thank you for attending the New York Archives Conference!


Ryan Perry, 2022 Program Chair

Lightning Talks

The Meat of the Issue: Archiving and Preserving Pulp Books

How do we save items designed not to last?  Pulp, dime novels, and mass market editions make up important pieces of both literary and queer history. However, by the very nature of their design these items are prone to damage and eventual decay.  This presentations offers a look at the history of pulp, the impact of pulp in queer history, and finally, a possible way forward in preserving pulp novels in archival spaces for the future.


Eirini Melena Karoutsos (she/her/hers), New York City Municipal Archives

Refusal of Inclusion: Evading the Colonial Archive

There are few discussions in archival theory about the agency of the colonized to avoid presence in the archive, but many on how archivists have purposefully ignored those marginalized and told an incomplete and biased story. This is certainly true, but included in this narrative is a solution of its own making: that only archives themselves have created those gaps and themselves can fill them in. This presentation explores instances of intentional hiding in contrast to liberal demands for inclusivity and representation, building on the work of other scholars that focuses on the refusal of certain Indigenous groups and individuals to have their materials and stories archived in Canada’s National Center for Truth and Reconciliation and the Library and Archives Canada Multicultural Initiatives Office. This presentation reads such agency as a rejection of appropriation and incorporation into a settler colonial project, also analyzing the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act in the U.S., an example of the demand for Indigenous sovereignty over their own materials using their own archival or anarchival practices. Drawing from the work of Dr. Jamila Ghaddar and Dr. Karina Vernon, this intervention reads intentional refusal as resistance, contrary to the narrative of archival inclusion as liberatory.


Grace Handy, Queens College

OurStoryBridge: A Student’s Perspective on Connecting the Past and the Present

OurStoryBridge: Connecting the Past and the Present ( is a free resource and tool kit for producing a crowdsourced, online community story project using audio stories and archival photographs. In the last year, OurStoryBridge has worked to collect over 200 unique stories from communities across the United States from New York to Alaska. After completing a semester-long internship with OurStoryBridge I will discuss the value of these stories, how their impact can extend from the archive to the classroom, and provide tips on how to start your own project.


Kelly Bartlett (she/her/hers), University at Albany, SUNY

Conference Sponsors

Thank you to our NYAC 2022 Conference sponsors! 

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