NYAC Online Conference 2023

Free virtual conference!
Friday, June 23rd, 2023 – 9am to 3:30pm

Conference Registration via Zoom

Schedule at a Glance

Friday, June 23rd

9:00 – 9:10 AMWelcome
9:10 – 10:10 AMBringing Inclusive Digital Materials into the Classroom
10:10 – 10:20 AMMorning Break #1
10:20 – 10:40 AMAre You Sure We Should Be Showing This?: Police Records, Privacy Restrictions, and Activism Research
10:40 – 11:00 AMIntro to Fedora:
An Open-Source Digital Repository Solution Featuring OCFL
11:00 – 11:10 AMMorning Break #2
11:10 AM – 11:40 AMInto Archipelago Commons:
Access, Innovation and Community in Modern Archives
11:40 AM – 12:10 PM  Digital Library Migration:
Celebrations, Frustrations, and Lessons Learned
11:40-12:10 PMLunch Break
12:10 – 12:40 PMPoster Session
12:40 – 12:50 PMAfternoon Break #1
12:50 – 1:10 PMTreading Water:
Recovering the Collections from a Flooding disaster
1:10 – 1:30 PMSocial Justice in Cancer Education: Exploring the History of Henrietta Lacks with High School Students
1:30 – 1:40 PMAfternoon Break #2
1:40- 2:40 PMActs of Care, Acts of Balance:
Experimentation in Archival Fellowships 
2:40 – 3:00 PMHackman Research Residency Grant Opportunities at the NYS Archives
3:00- 3:20 PMIt Takes A Village…
3:20 – 3:30 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 2023 Virtual Conference!


Laura Montgomery, 2023 Program Co-Chair
Heidi Ziemer, 2023 Program Co-Chair

9:10 – 10:10 am: Bringing Inclusive Digital Materials into the Classroom

Creating digital collections can sometimes feel like you’re building a field of dreams that you hope will be used. Getting your resources into classrooms can be especially challenging. Consider The Source is an online community that connects educators across New York State to the valuable primary sources and materials found in museums and other repositories. This session will describe the challenges and successes of Consider the Source’s recent IMLS-funded expansion and focus on underrepresented communities. Participating educators will offer feedback from using local history primary sources in their curriculum.


Ryan Perry (he/him/his) – Central New York Library Resources Council
Jordan Jace (he/him/his) – Archives Partnership Trust

10:20 – 10:40 am: Are You Sure We Should Be Showing This?: Police Records, Privacy Restrictions, and Activism Research

Police records are an amazing resource for information on activism, political movements, and crime. However, “police records” encapsulates everything from indexed court documents to loose bullet shells in folders, and such materials often have confidential information buried under piles of paper. How should archivists navigate these records and best serve our patrons as we juggle access restrictions against the needs of a community? This presentation will cover an overview of current standards and policies for accessing police records, examples of current collections, and applications for using police records in research.


Eirini Melena Karoutsos (she/her/hers) – New York City Municipal Archives
Cristina Stubbe – New York City Municipal Archives

10:40 – 11:00 am: Intro to Fedora: And Open-Source Digital Repository Solution Featuring OCFL

In July 2021 Fedora 6.0, was released. This new version is a major rewrite of the popular, widely-used digital repository platform. The release was guided by three themes: enhanced digital preservation sensibilities, migration support, and improved performance and scale. With an emphasis on digital preservation standards, Fedora 6incorporates the Oxford Common File Layout (OCFL) as a preservation data standard. OCFL specifies digital object storage that is parsable, robust against errors and corruption, versionable, and functional across diverse storage solutions.

We will highlight the newest features included in Fedora and their importance for providing enhanced digital preservation within your repository. We will explore OCFL as a standard and the implications for the long-term storage of data. Attendees will understand how this combination of Fedora and OCFL provides the tools and infrastructure to ensure a robust, long-term digital preservation solution for any institution.


Arran Griffith (she/her/hers) – Lyrasis

11:10 – 11:40 pm: Into Archipelago Commons: Access, Innovation and Community in Modern Archives

Union College and RPI each have utilized a new flexible, customizable, open source repository created by METRO NYLC in different ways. Using specific examples, presenters will demonstrate the system’s flexibility, consistency, and unity in how it exposes metadata in an empowering way.

Archipelago fits Union’s needs because it can be customized to fit the needs of the variety of records at Union College rather than forcing material to display in a rigid structure. It does this by allowing the library to create custom metadata schema and for each material type to render its own unique display. 

RPI’s data curation of digital content has vastly improved with their recent migration to Archipelago. Staff now have the ability to mass ingest digital assets in a simple manner and with a LOD trifecta of subjects available to expose archival digital assets to the world, innovative changes are underway that revolutionize how the archives curates and provides access to digital collections. 

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.


Jenifer Monger (she/her/hers) – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Corinne Chatnik – Union College
Brenden McCarthy – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 

11:40 – 12:10 pm: Digital Library Migration: Celebrations, Frustrations, and Lessons Learned

In early 2021 the Vassar College Libraries Digital Scholarship and Technology Services department embarked on the building of a new Islandora digital library. Over the next eighteen months the team worked with a vendor to build four repositories under one system – digital collections from Islandora 7, finding aids previously published as PDFs on the library website, an institutional repository of assets previously in a proprietary SAS, and a brand new herbarium. This journey was one of celebrations, frustrations, and lessons learned. These experiences will be shared both anecdotally and with a visual walkthrough of the system launched in July 2022.


Nicole Scalessa (she/her/hers) – Vassar College 

12:10 – 12:40 pm: Poster Session

12:50 – 1:10 pm: Treading Water: Recovering the Collections from a Flooding Disaster

The USS The Sullivans, a World War II Navy destroyer, is a unique floating museum in Buffalo, New York’s harbor. It was launched in April of 1943 and decommissioned in January of 1965. The ship was donated to Buffalo’s Naval Park in 1977. In April of 2022, the deteriorating hull caused the ship to partially capsize and submerge in the harbor, causing severe water damage to the collections on board. In addition to water damage the collections were compromised by fuel and diesel oil which coated much of the interior of the ship. Additionally, the ship herself is an artifact creating a scope of work with two threads: the preservation of traditional 2D and 3D archival collections, and the ship herself, a National Historic Landmark. This presentation will discuss the steps taken to triage the artifacts, the preservation process of items that were saved, and next steps for the ship’s preservation. Also included will be insights for other threatened collections.


Shane Stephenson – Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park

1:10 – 1:30 pm: Social Justice in Cancer Education: Exploring the History of Henrietta Lacks with High School Students

In summer 2022, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Educational Affairs Department partnered with Buffalo Public Schools to create a program called “Our Stories.” The curriculum of the five week program, hosted at Roswell Park, was based on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. In the program, the students learned about racial justice and ethics in medicine while working with folks from Roswell’s various departments. In this session, Dr. Julie Carter of Educational Affairs will discuss the general program details and Danielle Glynn, Roswell’s archivist, will discuss how she integrated archival collections into the program. 


Danielle Glynn (she/her/hers) – Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Julie Carter (she/her/hers) – Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

1:40 – 2:40 pm: Acts of Care, Acts of Balance: Experimentation in Archival Fellowships 

Building on Michelle Caswell and Marika Cifor’s work on radical empathy, this year’s QCSCA fellows discuss how we can strive toward “representational belonging” in an academic repository. In what ways can educational fellows navigate the emotional demands of our collections while implementing archival standards? How do we cultivate nurturing practices for when we fail to meet expectations around time, processing standards, and managing the emotional impact of our work?

Sarah discusses making space in description and outreach for the contexts of identity and discrimination not overtly apparent in the records she has processed. Pamela covers the ways in which the physical processing of a collection can cultivate an intimate understanding of a collection and the boundaries necessary to set an appropriate time/processing balance. Dani discusses building experimental programming with on-campus organizations to empower LGBTQ students to utilize, challenge, and contribute to our collections.


Dani Stompor (they/them/theirs) – Queens College, Special Collections and Archives
Sarah Barlow-Ochshorn (she/her/hers) – Queens College, Special Collections and Archives
Pamela Padilla (she/her/hers) – Queens College, Special Collections and Archives

2:40 – 3:00 pm: Hackman Research Residency Grant Opportunities at the NYS Archives, and Sneak Peek at a 2022 Hackman Resident Project: GIS Mapping of the Erie Canal based on 19th-Century Maps 

Did you know the New York State Archives (NYSA) issues grants to conduct research on site? The Larry J. Hackman Research Residency Program supports advanced work on NY history, government, or public policy using archival records in the State Archives in Albany. The program defrays costs for on-site research at NYSA by faculty, students, independent scholars, and teachers whose work will utilize the rich documentary resources safeguarded at NYSA. An introduction to the donor-supported Hackman program is followed by an overview of the work of current Research Resident Steven Talbot. Through hundreds of hand-ruled maps of the Erie Canal held in NYSA plus GIS programming, Talbot unites the exquisite renderings of the Canal, its locks and other features – including the Canal’s entire water surface – with modern satellite maps to illuminate the locations of Canal structures in today’s geography. Historians, educators, and others can benefit from Talbot’s research once available free online.


Clare Flemming (she/her/hers) – New York State Archives Partnership Trust
Steven Talbot (he/him/his)

3:00 – 3:20 pm: It Takes a Village…

In 2021, Union College’s Schaffer Library was awarded a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant from the National Archives to digitize the John Bigelow papers. While the grant mostly focuses on John Bigelow’s 23,000 letters, one deliverable is to continue to transcribe the diaries of John Bigelow’s wife, Jane Tunis Poultney Bigelow. Led by a collaboration between the departments of Special Collections and Archives and Content and Digital Library Systems, the grant team members went to work on building a transcription website using the Scripto for Omeka S module with the goal of crowdsourcing Union College community members as users via the College Academy for Lifelong Learning (UCALL) program. This talk will discuss topics related to the project such as cross-functional collaboration, building the transcription website, creating transcription guidelines, and community outreach.


Amanda Greenwood (she/her/hers) – Union College

3:20 – 3:30 pm: Closing Remarks

Thank you for attending the 2023 Virtual New York Archives Conference!


Laura Montgomery, 2023 Program Co-Chair
Heidi Zeimer, 2023 Program Co-Chair