Scholar & Feminist Conference: The Politics and Ethics of the Archive (Barnard College)

This Friday (2/8/19) and Saturday (2/9/18) the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) will be hosting the 44th Annual Scholar and Feminist Conference entitled “The Politics and Ethics of the Archive .” This even will be held at the Diana Center (3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027). The event is free and whilst registration is not required, it is preferred. Please see below for details:

  • Where: Diana Center (3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027)
  • When: Friday (2/8/19), 4 pm – 8 pm // Saturday (2/9/19), 10 am – 6 pm
  • Description of Event (taken from the event website): “This year’s Scholar and Feminist conference builds on BCRW’s close collaboration with the Barnard College Archives to address the complex questions that circulate around the politics and ethics of archival work. Central to traditional scholarly work in reconstructing and interpreting the past, archives are perhaps even more crucial to the preservation of the stories and legacies of marginalized communities and political movements.”

For more information, please visit the event website: https://www.socialdifference.columbia.edu/events-1/2019/2/8/scholar-and-feminist-conference-the-politics-and-ethics-of-the-archive 

Margaret May’s Internship at the American Irish Historical Society

This past spring semester (2018), APH student Margaret May worked at the American Irish Historical Society in New York City. Below you’ll find Margaret’s blog post about her experience.

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I completed my archive internship at the American Irish Historical Society in New York City. I worked with two collections: the Daniel P. Cohalan Papers (1897-1971) and the Harry Fairtlough Post Card Collection (1888-1984).

Daniel P. Cohalan played an active role in the American Irish Historical Society. He was a  significant leader of Irish-American nationalism and the Friends of Irish Freedom- an organization founded right before the 1916 Rising to promote the cause of Ireland in the United States. The bulk of his papers consist  of correspondence, articles, newspaper clippings, speeches that pertain to the historical events leading up to the Easter Rising and its aftermath, between 1916-1926.

The Harry Fairtlough Post Card Collection (1888-)  consists of 1,200 postcards from around the world that he collected during his lifetime. Fairtlough was an Irish patriot, local historian and amateur archivist from Drogheda, Ireland. He played a significant role fighting in the IRA, in the struggle  for a free Irish Republic.

The predominate content of the post cards  I worked with consists of brief correspondence between family and friends, as they traveled  throughout the counties of Ireland and Northern Ireland; on holiday, business or everyday travel, visiting the  various geographical and cultural sites in Ireland and Northern Ireland, represented on the images of the post cards.  

The internship  culminated with the creation of an online portal,  presenting a sample of the Harry Fairtlough Post Card Collection to the public, utilizing  Omeka software. I selected five sample post cards, to create a mini- collection and highlighted them through an exhibit, sharing the  various fascinating, Irish stories that were represented on the images of the post cards.

Behind the Scenes at the Fashion Institute of Technology College Archives & Special Collections

In “Introduction to Archives,” APH students are exposed to important archival themes such as arrangement & description, accessioning/processing collections, preservation, and much more. It is a vital and fundamental course for students planning to pursue a career in archives.

Students listening to archivist at FIT archivesTowards the end of the Fall 2018 semester, students from the “Introduction to Archives” class were lucky enough to get a private tour of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s newly renovated archive. Not only was this behind-the-scenes tour a treat because students would have access to a truly unique and rich archive, but also, this tour allowed APH students to take the knowledge they’ve acquired over the course of the semester and see it applied in an actual archive setting. The tour was led by Karen Trivette, the Associate Professor-Librarian, Head of Special Collections & College Archives at FIT. 

A quick background on FIT. To quote the FIT website, the FIT Special Collections & College Archives is a “highly-specialized repository and rich resource for the fashion industry and scholars of design history, including FIT’s own fashion-centric graduate and undergraduate programs.” FIT’s archive recently completed a 4 million dollar renovation, expanding in size from 3,500 square feet to 6,100 square feet. 

The “Introduction to Archives” students were privileged enough to be given access to FIT’s two climate-controlled storage rooms filled with archival materials, they got to learn about the archival techniques used within FIT’s archive (categorization/organization methods, preservation methods, research, etc..), they learned about the archive’s online database and finding aids, the archive’s protocols with regards to researchers, and they also got to view/handle original Chanel and Dior fashion sketches.

It was an educational class trip and the students had a great time. A big thank you to Karen and the FIT College Archives & Special Collections for hosting us! Karen was so gracious, enthusiastic, and she did a wonderful job answering the students’ questions about the FIT Archives, as well as archiving in general.

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