What and Who Is Archivist’s Alley?
WHAT is Archivist’s Alley?
Archivist’s Alley is a safe conversational space designed for casual and lively discussions about how to preserve our work and identities in the professional landscapes and media that we work and create in. It is an open and dynamic arena to talk about archival ideas, new projects and to celebrate the power of each guest’s voice as a critical part of this community and our world at large.
Every city, every town, every village has an alley. Most are not acknowledged, they are simply viewed as invisible thoroughfares. But alleys provide access; alleys are necessary. Alleys provide living communities with a variety of uses: short-cuts, storage, business exits, secret spots for lovers to meet. Whether they have allowed for covert exchanges or indispensable business work, the primary purpose of an alley is connection. This is the trajectory of Archivist’s Alley.
WHO is Archivist’s Alley?
A collection of voices gathered from the world of the lesser represented or marginalized populations in media or media preservation. These voices are women’s voices, queer voices, trans voices, non-binary voices and voices of color. These are indigenous voices and the voices of the differently abled. Let’s just say that here on Archivist’s Alley, the volume will most certainly go to 11.
Everyone’s officially invited to this party. Get comfy and hangout for a bit. Let’s jam!
Listen to Season 3 of Archives in Context!
Season 3 features content from archivists at ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2019. In “Elevator Going Up,” hosts “take to the streets” to ask attendees to respond—on the spot, with no preparation—to questions about what archivists do and what archives are. Three more episodes highlight the storytelling event A Finding Aid to My Soul. Ten storytellers share funny, moving, and inspiring stories from the archives in part 1, part 2, and part 3. Listen to the season now via the Archives in Context website, Google Play, Spotify, and iTunes.
Brought to you by Preservica, the Tales from the Archive series delivers behind the scenes access to the archives from some of the worlds the best known organisations. Journey with us as we explore how the corporate archive has become the trusted source of critical long-term business records and brand assets.
The series features guest speakers who are using digital preservation to ensure they can quickly respond to compliance and litigation challenges and unlock the value of their brand heritage.
In theme-based seasons, Material Memory explores the effects of our changing environment—from digital technologies to the climate crisis—on our ability to access the record of our shared humanity, and the critical role that libraries, archives, museums, and other public institutions play in keeping cultural memory alive.
Episode Zero introduces the podcast through a conversation with CLIR President Charles Henry about the threats to our cultural record, what is at stake if it’s lost, and what can be done to protect it.
Season One celebrates the UN-designated Year of Indigenous Languages. In each of six episodes, host Joy Banks speaks with people involved in the work of restoring audio and audiovisual recordings of indigenous languages and their sometimes Herculean efforts to make these recordings accessible to the communities they represent.
Season Two, to be released in spring 2020, will explore the wicked problem of ensuring that born-digital material remains accessible for future generations.
Season Three, to be released in summer 2020, will look at the many ways in which the climate crisis is posing new risks to the survival of our human record.
Season 2 of Archives in Context Now Available
Cosponsored by SAA’s Publications Board, American Archivist Editorial Board, and Committee on Public Awareness, the podcast highlights archival literature and technologies and, most importantly, the people behind them. Listen to the new season via the Archives in Context website, iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify. Season 2 features interviews with:
- Peter Wosh, editor of the Archival Fundamentals Series III
- Laura Millar, author of A Matter of Facts: The Value of Evidence in an Information Age
- Christine Weideman and Mary Caldera, editors of Archival Values: Essays in Honor of Mark A. Greene
- Davia Nelson of The Kitchen Sisters, co-host of The Keepers podcast
- Teresa Brinati, director of publishing for SAA
- Kathleen D. Roe, author of Advocacy and Awareness for Archivists
- Margot Note, author of Creating Family Archives: A Step-by-Step Guide to Saving Your Memories for Future Generations
As a tenured archivist in an academic library, I constantly think about what counts as “scholarship.” Traditionally, that means books and peer-reviewed articles. I strongly believe that while these are extremely valuable, it is necessary to push the boundaries beyond the traditional to include projects that require the same amount, if not more, work to accomplish. The intent of podcasts may not be for scholarly pursuit, but are important nonetheless.
Podcasts are one of those types of projects. Writing, directing, producing, and recording podcasts take a lot of time and skill. Although archivists have been creating podcasts for some time, recently I seem to come across more and more great work done by archivists. Further, at least to my knowledge, I have not yet found a place where podcasts about or created by archivists are compiled into one place.
So I decided to add a page to this site for podcasts. I prefer to not post ones that are reproductions of audio holdings, that are library-focused, or digital humanities projects. I will focus instead on podcasts where there are conversations and interpretations of archivists discussing their work, collections, institutions, researchers, and practices.
I expect that there are many I’m not aware of, so please let me know any suggestions!