Archives & Intersectionality: Linking the Personal to the Professional–Panel from AMIA 2018, Portland, OR

The panel that I presented this year at the annual AMIA (Association of Moving Image Archivists) Conference in Portland, Or. As a longtime member, I have been trying to get a panel accepted for many years but social justice and moving image archives have not always…been seen as congruent. I have always always always believed that you cannot discuss one without the other. They are the reel to the film. The lens to the projector. The 1 to the 0 (in digital).

This year I was HONORED to have some of the most talented and amazing colleagues and friends I know come to speak with me on the most meaningful and important issues within our community: issues of race, gender, sexuality, personal identity, and power and how these have influenced their work, their lives and their experiences as moving image archivists. Two of my panelists you may have met previously if you are a regular Archivist’s Alley listener: Brendan Lucas is the Outfest Legacy Project Manager and you would have heard him on my Outfest Legacy Project Managers episode!  Erica Lopez is continually referred to on this show due to her amazing work with the Fuentes Collection and discussion on Latinx home movies as we discuss here. Ina Archer is INCREDIBLY BUSY so I haven’t gotten her on the show, but it will happen! But she is an incredible writer, artist and is now a media conservator at The Smithsonian National Museum Of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC). You can check her out here.

Please forgive me on the video quality. It was recorded off my laptop because my actual camera decided it didn’t want to play nice. But you can hear everything except the young woman’s question at the very end (apologies) who was asking about some international issues and terms like diversity and inclusion and…I don’t think that my response was very good. I spoke with her afterwards and we sorted things out. I feel a little awkward about that! Thanks to Brendan for taking the mic and repeating the other announcement during the short Q&A bit.

I hope you enjoy and if you have any questions or would like to follow up on this, plan a panel with me or discussion on this kind of conversation with me (I already have some in my head) or would like to get in touch with my guests to tell them how amazing they are…feel free to contact me at archivistsalley@gmail.com

Genevieve Weber: Decentering the Colonial Narrative in First Nations & Indigenous Community Materials

On the second Monday in October, the US observes a day that is most commonly known as Columbus Day. It has been known to facilitate parades, festivities and celebrations of all kinds.

This day is said to commemorate Christopher Columbus “discovering America.” **AHEM** Discovering did you say? Yeah, I don’t think so. It is scientifically, physically impossible to discover a country that is already COMPLETELY FULL of people living in fully functional societies.
Hey there colonialism, how ya doing?

So in order to work against a landscape that praises Columbus Day and TOWARDS a world that celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day, today is the first of what I hope are a few eps this season with guests who specialize in working with archives/collections or media materials centered in and around Indigenous folx. This episode features the incredible Genevieve Weber and we talk about the amazing things that she is doing up in Canada with First Nations communities. She is a total rockstar. SRSLY, y’all.

Please join me as she and I talk in depth about her work and the commitment that her institution, the BC Archives, has made to try to heal some of the damage that settlers and colonialism in general has done to First Nations folx in Canada.  Bio & links are below the podcast link!

Bio:

Genevieve Weber is an Archivist with the BC Archives, part of the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, Canada. She completed a Master of Archival Studies (MAS) degree at the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a concentration in First Nations recordkeeping and archives. Since then she has worked in a number of Indigenous communities in BC, including the Nisga’a Nation and the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations, and at MOA (the Museum of Anthropology at UBC). She has been with the BC Archives for the past two years. Helping community members access their cultural heritage in the archives is one of her favourite parts of her job.

Links:

BC Archives website: https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/bc-archives/about-us/about-bc-archives

Indigenous records at the BC Archives: https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/bc-archives/what-we-have/indigenous-material

The First Nations and Repatriation department of the Royal BC Museum  https://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/first-nations/first-nations-repatriation

Jordan Hale: Learning in Public, Enduring Online Toxicity & Being Kind

I wanted to call this episode “Jordan Hale: Badassery In Action” but that doesn’t really explain what they do or who they are except that they are exactly that- a total badass.

I would not be the same person if I didn’t know Jordan. This episode starts off with me laughing and I am so glad that it does because Jordan brings me joy. I cannot imagine anyone meeting Jordan and not being folded into the joyful, strong and brilliant person that they are and continue to be.

We agree and disagree, they teach me so many things. Speaking to Jordan on this podcast and listening to them tell me about their work, I learned so many things that made me fall even more in love with archiving, preservation and the kickass people who make up this community. I’m all starry-eyed for Jordan Hale and not just because we have great cat conversations (although that’s a big plus cuz their cats are like majorly adorable mmkay?).

 

Here is Jordan’s Bio:

Jordan Hale is a landscape geographer and cat friend who is presently the Digital Repositories Librarian at the University of Waterloo. Their dream is to work as a media archivist for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Here are some of the amazing things that they have written, some of which we discussed on the podcast:

Here is the NBD (No Big Deal) campaign that Jordan & I both love!

Here is the Little Free Libraries piece that raised such an uproar. IT’S GREAT. Read it!!

Click on this link for Jordan’s incredible piece on the ethics of archiving sex-worker’s lives.

And I know that many of you will be as interested in Jordan’s thesis as I was so here is access to their work on the memorial highways in Canada.

Episode 15: Courtney Dean- Punk Rock Archives, Better Labor Practices & Community Strength

Welcome to the final episode of season one!

I couldn’t think of a more powerful and amazing guest than the talented and inspirational Courtney Dean. Doing this episode with her was just plain fun and reminded me of all the reasons that I got into this world: to have colleagues like this. People who will stand by you and laugh with you, speak your language, protest with you and party with you.

That’s what this show, ultimately is about. I hope that during the next few weeks while I am on a mini-hiatus you can go back and listen to past episodes and check out all the other guests who TRULY fulfill the same function in this landscape that this week’s guest does.

 

Of significant importance, I hope that everyone who listens to this signs the letter/petition included in Courtney’s links. The contract issues we discuss are not business practices exclusive to UCLA and they need to stop. Archival workers, librarians, we are important. We are growing and radicalizing as a field, no longer allowing the rotting structures of the past to rule. and bringing our own beautiful identities to the table and critical lived experiences to our work. We need visibility, job security, unions and everything that Courtney and the inspirational team behind this letter are calling for. Sign it. You don’t have to work or even know a librarian or archivist to sign. Just sign it “caring citizen.” 🙂

Anyways, I love all of you who have been supporting this show and my guests. THANK YOU FOR THAT. I’ll be back in a bit with more amazing people rocking this space.

For now, here is Courtney’s bio and the amazing links to her other highly recommended archives and materials. I will second/third/infinity all of them as well. COURTNEY RULES!!!

BIO:

Courtney Dean is the Head of the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT) in UCLA Library Special Collections, where she provides hands-on training in archival methodology to graduate students from a variety of academic backgrounds, and facilitates creative engagement with special collections materials. Prior to UCLA she worked as a Project Archivist at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). In 2014 she co-founded the Los Angeles Archivists Collective (LAAC), a community-driven local professional organization with a focus on students and new professionals. She is an active member of the Society of California Archivists and Society of American Archivists, where she is currently the Issues & Advocacy Section’s Vice-Chair. She earned her MLIS from UCLA in 2013.

 
 
Los Angeles Archivists Collective (LAAC): http://www.laacollective.org/
 
 
 
Louisville Underground Music Archive: https://library.louisville.edu/archives/luma
 
Alliance for Local Music Archives (ALMA): http://www.localmusicarchives.org/
 
 
 
Queer Zine Archive Project (QZAP): https://www.qzap.org/v8/index.php
 
Issues & Advocacy Section of SAA: https://issuesandadvocacy.wordpress.com/

 

Ettarh, Fobazi. Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves. In the Library with the Lead Pipe. January 10, 2018. http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2018/vocational-awe/

 

Karly Wildenhaus on LIS Internships: https://tinyletter.com/lis-internships
 
Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Umoja Noble

Episode 11: Magnus Berg- Transgender Identity in Cataloging, Power in Pronouns, and Ableism in Hiring Practices

So June is Pride Month. I decided that instead of twice a month, I would do a podcast EVERY WEEK, platforming a queer archive, preservationist or issue. So here we are again! I am really excited. So many critical issues & people to feature.

Last week you met my wonderful colleague and friend Anne Marie Kelly.  This week you will meet the amazing Magnus Berg.

Before ANYTHING I want to promote an event that Magnus is doing in San Francisco THIS THURSDAY the 14th at the place they are interning at, The GLBT Historical Society Archives and Museums. It sounds like the greatest event & if I were local I would sooooo be there! Go to this!!!!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/playback-do-it-yourself-audiovisual-archiving-tickets-45600216475

 

When I first met Magnus at AMIA, I was instantly drawn to their amazing charm and appeal. As you will hear, they are intensely smart and HFS amazing. I wish that instead of this podcast, you could all be in a room with them. Being around Magnus is so much fun. Magnus is just…I can’t put words to it because they made me smile. And again, another wonderful Canadian gift!!

As I state in this episode, we are much stronger with trans archivists, archivists of color, differently abled archivists and marginalized archivists than we are without them. Much stronger. That *is* community, y’all. As Magnus and I work through issues of archival cataloging practices, hiring practices, film festival circuits and my desire to convince Martin Scorsese to donate all of his future funding to transgender film preservation, I think you will agree.

I hope you enjoy this episode.

BIO:

Magnus Berg is a MA candidate in the Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management program at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. They have worked with audiovisual collections at Visual Studies Workshop, The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Ryerson University, and most recently The GLBT Historical Society Archives. Magnus is the current Co-Chair of the LGBT Committee for the Association of Moving Image Archivists and has presented on audiovisual preservation at Sexuality and Gender Studies and Archival Science conferences in Canada and the United States.