An Interview with the Hosts of SAA’s “Archives In Context” Podcast

In January 2019, the Society of American Archivists launched Season 1 of its new podcast, Archives In Context.  Created primarily by members of SAA’s Publications Board and American Archivist Editorial Board, Archives In Context offers “in-depth and dynamic conversations about archives and the people behind them.”  Naturally, we on SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness were very excited for the release of this podcast — as it dovetails quite nicely with our goal of promoting the value of archives and archivists — so to learn more about SAA’s welcome entry into podcasting, we jumped at the chance to interview Archives in Context hosts Bethany Anderson, Ashley Levine, and Nicole Milano, as well as producer Colleen McFarland Rademaker, for a feature on our ArchivesAWARE blog.

To listen to the Season 1 interviews and learn more about Archives In Context, visit the podcast website!  You can also listen to Season 1 on Google PlaySpotify, or iTunes.

ArchivesAWARE: The mission of Archives in Context is to share archival literature and technologies and the people behind them. Why a podcast format?

Nicole: I’m a New Yorker, and my commute involves a crowded subway where I’m often sandwiched between a group of people. Listening to a short podcast can often be my own “moment of Zen” on those daily commutes! I’m not alone in this; many of us listen to podcasts at various points during our busy days. Our group thought that having a podcast for some of the many conversations archivists are already having would allow others to listen in!

Ashley: Podcasting is an excellent way to efficiently convey complex subject matter in a fun, accessible format. Archivists work everyday to make records more accessible, so the free, easy-to-use podcast just makes (archival) sense.

Bethany: I love listening to podcasts and I especially enjoy interviews with authors of books. It’s fascinating to find out the story behind a book or technology and learn more about authors’/creators’ influences. As a team, we thought a podcast would be a great way to highlight the intellectual products of our profession and learn more about the archivists who create them. As Nicole notes, we are already having a lot of these conversations in person, so this is an opportunity to bring these conversations to the broader profession.

ArchivesAWARE: What perspectives/interests do you bring to the podcast as a host?

Ashley: I bring a digital archival perspective to the podcast, from my professional archives work in the arts, and am particularly fascinated with photo and A/V concerns. I’m also a proud Lone Arranger, so I love to hear about how other professionals approach working with limited resources.

Bethany: As reviews editor, I often get to learn about readers’ perspective on a publication, but this podcast is an opportunity to learn more about the authors and what led them to write these publications. I’m always interested in learning about their writing process, understanding what that looks like, and what inspires people to write.

Nicole: In my role as an educator, I think a lot about how our professional literature helps to inform the next generation of archivists, in addition to bringing a medical archivist perspective to the podcast. I’m also a proud (former) Lone Arranger, so I agree with what Ashley said about working with limited resources!

ArchivesAWARE: What do you hope listeners gain from the podcast?

Nicole: I hope listeners feel inspired by the important work in our field to preserve the past and move us into the future. Archivists from across the country are involved in an incredible variety of projects. The podcast introduces listeners to some of these individuals and their projects, but also offers a “learn more” option with additional links.

Bethany: There are so many great ideas, projects, and publications coming out of our profession. I hope listeners not only have the opportunity to learn more about this scholarship, but also have the chance to learn more about their colleagues. I hope that we gain a few listeners from outside of the archives profession too!

Ashley: I hope listeners come away with a greater appreciation for the variety and interdisciplinary nature of archives work, and of the wonderful archivists working to preserve our collective past.

Colleen: I hope the podcast will help our listeners keep up with things happening around the archival profession.  We are fortunate to work in a profession filled with creative and interesting people who generously share themselves and their ideas. The podcast is another avenue (alongside conferences, print publications, and blogs) to get to know those people and the great work they’re doing.

ArchivesAWARE: How did you get from initial idea to launch? How did the logo and theme music come about?

Colleen: It took a lot of conversations and a few project proposals to get from initial idea to launch. The core idea — to create a podcast by archivists for archivists — changed little, but our thoughts about how best to execute that definitely changed a lot over time.  My initial concept was a fantasy-themed podcast called Archlandia, featuring different categories of archivists, like “Dragon Slayers” and “Wizards.”  Fortunately somebody else had already claimed that title and we never went there!

Nancy Beaumont, Teresa Brinati, and both the SAA Publications Board and Editorial Board provided important feedback and encouragement with each iteration of the project proposal. And Nicole, Ashley, and I teamed up with Bethany and Gloria when they proposed an American Archivist Reviews Portal podcast.

The logo and theme music were created by a professional designer and professional composer, respectively. We didn’t want to DIY these elements of the podcast because (1) they’re really important, and (2) it’s equally important to support the work of professionals, whatever their field is.

ArchivesAWARE: Who’s on your team?

Our team consists primarily of members of both the SAA Publications Board and the American Archivist Editorial Board. We had three hosts in Season 1, including Nicole Milano, Ashley Levine, and Bethany Anderson. Colleen McFarland Rademaker is our podcast producer. We also had two contributors to Season 1 — Chris Burns from the Committee on Public Awareness and Gloria Gonzalez of the American Archivist Reviews Portal.

ArchivesAWARE: Season 1 is out and features some great conversationalists. What surprises did the conversations reveal? Or what challenges did you encounter along the way?

Ashley: I was generally pleasantly surprised at how in-depth and nuanced the conversations were, despite the time constraints of the podcast format. We had to be really careful when editing these episodes (because all the content was so fascinating!!!). During the first (remote) interview (with Kären Mason) technical difficulties slowed us up a bit, as we tried navigating different conference software for recording remote interviews, avoiding noisy air conditioners, etc. I found conducting remote voice interviews more difficult in general due to the lack of nonverbal cues from the interviewee, and that in-person interviews went the smoothest.

Nicole: I really appreciated having the dedicated time to sit down and talk to Kären Mason, Cal Lee, Anthony Cocciolo, Karen Trivette, and Dominique Luster as part of this podcast, in an effort to help others know more about them. We were able to learn about their thoughts on the profession and, importantly, how our work as archivists impacts the world around us. As Ashley mentioned, we experienced some technical difficulties along the way, and we quickly realized how patient and helpful they all were as we navigated those issues!

Bethany: I’m honored that I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Michelle Caswell, and it was fascinating to learn more about her research for Archiving the Unspeakable. I really enjoyed the conversation and it deepened my appreciation for her book. One of the biggest challenges for me as an interviewer was trying to limit the number of questions I asked Michelle, but I wanted to make sure that we explored the many facets of her book and the complex histories of the mugshot photos from the Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia. One can’t read this book and not be emotionally impacted by the stories behind the photos and their afterlives; to hear Michelle talk about the affective dimensions of the book and her writing process reinforced, for me at least, the importance of acknowledging the emotional aspects of archival work.

ArchivesAWARE: When might we expect Season 2? Any hints about who we’ll hear from?

Colleen: That’s a great question! I can share that we will be talking with Teresa Brinati, SAA’s fabulous Publications Director. For those who don’t know Teresa, you are in for a treat! SAA has a number of new books coming out in 2019, so you can be sure that we will interview some of those authors. We’re finalizing our list of interviewees, so stay tuned…

ArchivesAWARE: Besides Archives In Context, what podcasts do you listen to?

Bethany: One of my favorite podcasts right now is Nerdette, but I also like listening to the New York Times’s The Argument, The Electorette, Radiolab, Lady Science, and Distillations from the Science History Institute.

Nicole: I regularly listen to The Daily and This American Life. My podcast rotation over the last few years has also included Serial (Season 1 only. Sorry, Sarah Koenig!), The Dream, 2 Dope Queens, Gladiator, S-Town, Stuff You Missed in History Class, and The Bowery Boys.

Ashley: I have the WNYC lineup on my regular rotation (Brian Lehrer, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, etc.), as well as music podcasts, including Mathcast.

Colleen: I enjoy The Memory Palace by Nate DiMeo and Hidden Brain by NPR’s Shankar Vedantam. I was also a huge fan of METRO’s More Podcast, Less Process and New England Museum Association’s Museum People.


Bethany Anderson is the university archivist at the University of Virginia. She also serves as the reviews editor for American Archivist and has a master’s degree in Information Studies with a specialization in Archival Studies and Records Management from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s in Near Eastern Art and Archaeology from the University of Chicago.

 

Ashley Levine is the archivist and digital resource manager for Artifex Press, a New York City-based company dedicated to publishing digital catalogues raisonnés. He holds an MA in archives and public history and a BA in history from New York University. Ashley is the editor of SAA’s Lone Arranger Section newsletter, SOLO, as well as Chair of SAA’s Visual Materials Section’s Cataloging and Access Committee. Ashley is the director of advocacy for the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York (ART) and a member of the Concerned Archivists Alliance (CAA).

Nicole Milano is the head of the Medical Center Archives at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medicine and a visiting assistant professor at the Pratt Institute and New York University. She has served as a member of SAA’s Publications Board since 2012. Nicole received her BA and MA from the University of Florida and an Advanced Certificate in Archives from New York University.

 

Colleen McFarland Rademaker is the Associate Librarian, Special Collections at The Rakow Research Library, The Corning Museum of Glass. She serves on the Society of American Archivists Publications Board (2014–2020) and as treasurer of the Midwest Archives Conference (2018–2020). Colleen received a BA in German and history from the College of Wooster, an MA in history from Cornell University, and an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

Archives + Audiences: Dan Lamothe on the “Letters from War” Podcast

This is the latest entry in our Archives + Audiences series, which features the perspectives of archival audiences – scholars, journalists, filmmakers, artists, activists, and more – for whom archives have been an important part of their life and work.  In this post, ArchivesAWARE brings you an interview with Washington Post journalist Dan Lamothe on his work on WaPo‘s  Letters from Wara podcast about the World War II combat experiences of the Eyde brothers of Rockford, Illinois.  The podcast is centered around the four Eyde brothers’ letters – one for almost every day of the war – which are read by voice actors who are themselves military veterans.

Logo for the “Letters from War” podcast, courtesy of The Washington Post.

AA: How did the Eyde brothers’ letters come to your attention?

DL: The Eyde letters first came to The Washington Post’s attention through Joseph Alosi, an Arizona businessman who bought them at auction some years ago. As we detailed in the Letters From War podcast and complementary newspaper special section, he was interested in seeing whether it would be possible to find related family members. I made a trip to Arizona in 2016 to view the letters at a pizza shop at which Joe’s wife is a manager, and spent hours going through them. He agreed to loan them to The Post afterward so we could do additional research and put together the project.

AA: What was it like to see and read the letters for the first time?

DL: I found it stirring. For one, their condition and appearance immediately makes them feel like a part of history. The pages of many of them are tissue-paper thin, and the envelopes bear the markings of Army Post Office (APO)  processing used to deliver mail to the troops at that time. Some of the letters are mundane, with basic descriptions of routine life in the military. Others are gripping, especially when Frank Eyde describes the U.S. invasion of Tulagi, a Pacific island, and Ralph Eyde describes being wounded both on the Alaskan island of Attu and the Pacific island of Kwajalein. The letters ripple with excitement, anger and sadness as they recount what they saw.

AA: What made you decide to share the Eyde brothers’ story with a wider audience through the medium of a podcast?

DL: The sheer volume of letters – there are hundreds of them written over a span of several decades – and the way in which they capture the voice of each member of the Eyde family presented us with some unique opportunities. We also were fortunate to pursue this project with no specific timeline, allowing us to seek documents from the National Archives through the Freedom of Information Act that provided additional context, including illuminating information about Frank’s struggle to transition home after the war. The brothers Eyde undertook an epic adventure, and a podcast seemed like an excellent medium to capture that, with old broadcast clips and period music providing a sense of time and place as voice actors shared their words.

AA: The podcast’s voice actors – all themselves military veterans – provide great readings of the Eyde brothers’ letters.  How did you find military veterans who were such skilled actors, and how did you go about working with them on the readings?

DL: The Post sought veterans through organizations like the Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP), a non-profit with a stated goal of helping veterans integrate in their communities through the arts. Scores of veterans expressed interest, and we cast the parts based on their experiences, comfort with public speaking and ability to connect with the characters in the story. They are Michael Ball, who served in the Marine Corps and Air Force; Zachary Burgart, who served in the Marine Corps; Jeffrey Chiang, who served in the Navy; Brendan Wentz, who served in the Army; and Rachel Ziegler, who served in the Air Force.

AA: What were some of the major challenges you encountered?

DL: One of the first challenges was processing the letters and making sure we were not missing anything important. That took reading virtually every piece of mail in the boxes that Joe Alosi found, and sorting them in a way where we could synthesize what we knew and sort it into workable information. I had significant help on this from Jessica Stahl, the Post’s director of audio; Carol Alderman, a podcast producer; and Julie Vitkovskaya, a digital enterprise editor. We also had to transcribe the most important letters word-for-word, an effort that took several of us to complete. Another significant challenge and mystery was figuring out how the letters came to be abandoned in the first place, and who the closest surviving family members might be. I did that through a combination of searching through old obituaries, phone calls and asking help from the public library in Rockford, Ill., the brothers’ home town.

AA: Where are the Eyde brothers’ letters now?  Do you know if there are plans for them to be donated to an archives where they can be preserved and accessible to others?

DL: The letters are back with Mr. Alosi, who purchased them more than a decade ago and loaned them to The Post. At last check, he was researching options for what might come next. As you might expect, several museums have inquired about them.

AA: Do you have any advice or tips for others who may be interested in bringing archives to life through podcasting?

DL: This project came to life because of organization, first and foremost. By knowing what we had, we were able to build around the central element – the letters themselves, as voiced by the veterans – while Carol layered in music, sound effects and audio from the time period. I narrated, but as a general rule, I spoke in places where we did not have another method to tell the story. Additional reporting also was really important, so I’d definitely recommend looking beyond archival material to enrich your story. In this case, obtaining the military personnel files of Frank Eyde through FOIA and details about the battles in which the brothers participated from the Marine Corps History Division and the Army Center for Military History helped a great deal.

AA: Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience working on Letters from War?

DL: It was powerful meeting Vicki Venhuizen, a cousin of the Eydes who remembers them from when she was a child. Interviewing her as primary source about the Eyde family helped fill in gaps in the story, and also underscored an important point: this was a family of real-life people who sacrificed for their nation at an extraordinarily difficult time in which loved ones sometimes went years without seeing each other. I’m grateful for her willingness to meet with me, a stranger, and share details about herself and them.

More information on the Letters from War podcast is available on the main podcast website, as well as Dan Lamothe’s background column and long-form special section story on the Eyde brothers and their letters.  Lamothe has also authored a piece on Edythe Eyde, the brothers’ trailblazing cousin who started America’s first lesbian publication.


Dan Lamothe (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on the Pentagon and the U.S. military. He joined The Post in 2014, and has traveled extensively since then on assignment. Lamothe has embedded with U.S. troops in combat in Afghanistan multiple times, and also has reported from the Aleutian Islands, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Arctic Circle, Norway, Belgium, Germany, France, Singapore, Australia, Mexico, Spain and the Republic of Georgia.  Further information about Lamothe is available at his WaPo profile page.

“Giving Voice to Archivists”: An Interview with Geof Huth and Karen Trivette, hosts of the podcast “An Archivist’s Tale”

Geof Huth and Karen Trivette are the husband and wife team behind An Archivist’s Tale, a podcast featuring “archivists in conversation with archivists, discussing their work and passions and how they care for the historical record and present the storied past.” Geof and Karen have had a remarkably productive year since releasing their first episode on February 10, 2018, with 47 episodes available as of this writing and more on the way. In this post, COPA member Chris Burns flips the script and interviews the interviewers, asking Geof and Karen why and how they created this podcast and what they have learned along the way. [Full disclosure: Chris was a guest on Episode 7: There’s an Archivist for You.]

an archivist's tale logo (2018-02)Chris Burns: Where did you get your idea and what inspired you?

Geof Huth: I had the original idea to do the podcast, which was inspired by the convergence of a few facts of my life at the time. First, my daughter (the almost famous Erin Mallory Long) has had a podcast for years, one focused on the television show Friends. Truth be told, I’ve barely listened to that show, since my interest in Friends is deep enough but not nearly as deep as my daughter’s.

For the last couple of years, I’ve had two other realities in my work life: I have spent at least 30% of my time working on my feet as my records management unit arranges and describes about 12,000 cubic feet of old court records (old meaning back to 1674), and the physical process of merely arranging such volume had left me with lots of empty air time in my head. Atop that, I accepted an additional position as Chief Law Librarian, which required me to drive three hours from Manhattan to New York’s Capital District and then back at least once a month to be with my unit based there. My life had become filled with empty air, and I always have to fill empty air, so I began to listen to podcasts (almost exclusively political ones—maybe not a good idea) to fill that space.

One day (January 10th, 2018), while listening to podcasts as I drove back to Manhattan on the New York State Thruway, I said to myself, “If Erin can do a podcast, then I can too, and I’d love to have deep talks with archivists about their work.” (Well, maybe not exactly those words.) After driving a few miles, I thought, “Wait, I’m married to an archivist! Karen and I should do this together, and an additional voice will make it more interesting.” Not to mention she has a beautiful voice. As soon as I arrived home, I began chattering to Karen about this idea, and we began to draw up a plan for the podcast.

In case it’s not clear, Karen and I are married. That helps us run the podcast because we can discuss issues as we walk places or have dinner or sit on the couch.

Karen Trivette: Geof was the chief inspiration behind my involvement in the podcast. That said, I felt I had an interesting career path or paths (academic and professional) and wanted to share them with others in the field. More so, I always enjoyed hearing how others came to the field of archives management and learning what drives them to stay engaged with and impassioned by the work. I love what I do for a living and love the fact that others do, too; the details are mesmerizing!

We struggled initially with what to entitle the program; after much give and take, we arrived at “An Archivist’s Tale,” since that’s what we wanted to elicit from the conversations. I must admit, I was influenced by the PBS television series, “A Chef’s Life” when I came up with this title; I love how Chef Vivian Howard introduces each episode and thought it would apply well to our endeavor.

Chris: How do you decide who to interview and what do you ask them?

Karen: We have two standard formal questions we ask each subject; first, we ask, “What is your archivist origin story?” Or, “How did you become an archivist in the first place?” It is truly amazing how very different everyone’s story is… I must give credit where credit is due: Bob Clark, Director of Archives at the Rockefeller Archive Center, and the first person we interviewed, proposed telling his own archivist origin story. We adopted the language immediately and it prompts nice introductory content.


Bob Clark shares his archivist origin story in Episode 2: The Document Whisperer.

From there, we usually have many other questions from the subject. Usually, the exchanges flow quite naturally and conversations develop organically as we go along. The second fixed question is posed about two-thirds to three-quarters the way through each interview, the question being, “What keeps you passionate about the work you do?” Again, the responses never cease to amaze and inform. They have actually caused me to rethink my own motivations and inspirations to do the work I do day in and day out.

Geof: Choosing who to interview is a strange balancing act having much to do with availability. We began with well known archivist friends of ours who were planning to visit New York City. Being based in Manhattan is a boon to us, since so many people come here for work and pleasure. But we are not always in New York, so when we travel—to conferences or for fun—we reach out to archivists to schedule conversations where all of us will be.

What we are really looking for is diversity—of everything: type of work, location of work, ethnicity, race, gender, anything we can think of. Yet we’ve not always been successful finding interviewees who could talk about specific topics. We’ve been turned down by the archivists in public libraries we’ve reached out to, and the one community archives we contacted did not respond to our request. We are a good venue for the voices of archivists, but we are also certainly not the big time, so we don’t always expect a yes.

Beyond diversity, we have developed some themes, areas we focus on. One has been the Archives Leadership Institute, which I attended in the first year and Karen attended this year, ten years after me. I’ve been present at ALI for most of those years and helped run it for the last six. Because of our connection to ALI, we have recorded a number of interviews with people who have attended, run, or taught at ALI, including the entire steering committee I served on.

We also look for people working on special projects or working in an interesting niche that’s not quite archives but which is archives enough for us. It’s important to note that our focus is not on famous archivists but on archivists in general. Some people think they are not important enough to interview, so we tell them why we want people to hear their voices—why we want to document all kinds of archivists and all kinds of archives and records work. Our tagline is “Giving Voice to Archivists,” and that is truly our goal. We want archivists to tell our shared and diverse story.

Chris: What are some the unexpected things you’ve discussed with your archivist guests?

Geof: Maybe the first thought that comes to mind here is how I’m surprised when archivists know something I didn’t imagine an archivist would know, such as you, Chris, knowing of my poetry writing professor Hayden Carruth. It makes sense that you did, since his papers are in your university’s collection, but it is still a surprise.

I’m amazed by what I learn about the people we talk to. Who knew Stacie Williams was a Sconny (or what a Sconny was until she told me)? Why didn’t I know that Vin Novara was formerly a professional musician, which then made sense he worked at a repository focused on music? I’m surprised by how deep conversations reveal facts about people I know well, but facts they may not have otherwise mentioned.


Stacie Williams explains what a Sconny is in Episode 22: The Patterns of History.

Sometimes, I’m startled by my own reaction to guests, such as when I went into a passionate oration about IBM’s importance to our understanding and management of knowledge because it has been willing to play the long game—having spent generations thinking about and improving information management, often in ways that have helped archives.


Jamie Martin talks with Geof and Karen about using archival objects to demonstrate IBM’s long-term commitment to developing speech recognition technology in Episode 6: If You Don’t Start Crawling, You’re Never Going to Win a Sprint.

And the podcast has changed my thinking, as the conversations have taught me more about archives. For instance, I used to be fairly rigid in my thinking about archivists doing oral histories. I wasn’t against our doing that work, because I saw the value of it; I simply didn’t see it as an archives’ function. But now I accept archivists as the initial creators of records, and I think about how other meta- or para-archival activities (as I varyingly call these) add information to our stores of knowledge, and I accept that archivists can be the best people to do this work.

Karen: The most unexpected element for me is the fact that some archivists need permission to speak to us. Some archivists could not even get their supervisors or institutions to grant permission at all, while other archivists are asked to limit what they say. I find this disappointing given archivists’ mission to make information accessible.

Chris: What’s something fun that you’ve learned?

Karen: This is a difficult question to answer! It’s like selecting your favorite child…every subject brings something amusing to the table and the fact that it is a fun field to be a member of makes our exchanges full of enjoyable experiences. I’m always entertained by folks’ academic and career trajectories and the enjoyment they relay in their stories. How people arrive at their archives destination, and where they want to go further, entertains me to no end!

Geof: Just talking to people is enjoyable. Every guest makes me laugh or think or pontificate. I tend to become excited by the intellectual work of archivists and by the ability of archives to deepen and extend human knowledge. That might not sound like fun to many, but sometimes when you hear me on the podcast you can hear that I’m at the edge of my seat with excitement. It’s the way I am. I’m filled with passion about our work, which is why we have a question about passion. For me passion is purpose—as it propels us forward even as it draws people to our work.


Elizabeth Myers talks about believing in the integrity of the work and in the integrity of the historical record in Episode 42: This Mysterious Process by Which.

Chris: What advice do you have for archivists who are considering producing a podcast?

Geof: Have a plan. We sat down and figured out what we were going to do first. We essentially worked out a business plan that didn’t consider money at all (except for initial costs) but focused on management and promotion. That gave us a foundation to build upon. We began this adventure knowing what we wanted to do.

The corollary to that is to be willing to change or abandon that plan at any time. Not everything works out, so we have had to change plans. We originally wanted to release an episode every week, but we ended up with so much content that we have been a weekly show since our second episode. Now, our guests have to wait a month or six weeks for their episode to “air.”

Karen: Know your equipment! I have a fraction of the understanding Geof has regarding our equipment and I am slowly getting more knowledgeable and comfortable with it. We keep things fairly spare and mobile as far as the equipment goes and it still pushes my comfort boundaries.

karen trivette and geof huth of an archivist's tale, photograph by tanya zanish-belcher (washington, dc, 2018-08-14)

Geof and Karen and their mobile recording studio.

Chris: What’s next?

Karen: We are always seeking interview opportunities and we’re lucky to have so many of them. That said, we also make opportunities happen as often as possible. For example, we recently traveled internationally for the International Council on Archives section on University and Research Institutions annual conference, held in Salamanca, Spain. We decided early on to invite speakers and organizers to be interviewed. We were lucky to engage with Dr. Shelley Sweeney and Mr. William Maher. Our equipment is minimal so taking it with us, even across the ocean, is easy! Another opportunity we’ve identified is aligning interviews with professional development outlets. For example, there are a few SAA-DAS certificate training courses soon to be offered in the Austin, Texas area; I am thinking about taking these courses so we’ve considered trying to arrange to interview Dr. David Gracy while there.

Geof: We have plans. We have been trying for months to schedule a recording with two archivists we know who are married to each other. This will give us two pairs of married archivists together on the podcast (counting Karen and me as the second pair), so we’re thinking that setting up such pairings might be another theme for us. We might call these “A Couple of Couples of Archivists,” or something like that—and maybe peer a little into the workings of marriage from an archivist’s perception. And we want to record episodes in every state in the union and in more countries. We want to have reach. We want to have more reasons for people to listen to the interesting archivists we talk to.


Kerri Anne Burke talks about meeting her archivist husband, Alan Delozier, at an Irish studies conference in Episode 43: 2X2: Our Retention Period is Permanent.

We want people to listen to archivists, so we promote every episode we create. We owe that to our guests. On October 20th, 2018, we reached and exceeded 5,000 hours of listening. Certainly, that is a small number in the real world, but good enough in the archives universe.

We view ourselves as a media company (which is how we identify ourselves on Facebook), and so we try to act like a company, if a tiny one. We have stylish square business cards, and we add content besides links to episodes to our social media feeds so that people are reminded of us. We post an almost daily archives quotation. We post dispatches from archives conferences we attend. And I have started writing short essays (1,000 words or so) on archives and posting links to them on our feeds. I’d planned this writing as a personal way to think concisely and publicly about archives, and we thought it would be helpful to associate these with our podcast.