Archivist Spotlight: Lisa Cruces, Hispanic Collections Archivist and Librarian at University of Houston

Lisa Cruces

1. Please give a brief introduction of yourself and your interests in Latin American and Caribbean cultural heritage archives.

Hello! My name is Lisa Cruces and I am the Hispanic Collections Archivist and Librarian with the University of Houston’s Special Collections Department. Before joining UH, I worked in various libraries and archives creating access to Spanish-language records or objects whose provenance originated in the Hispanic or Latin American sphere. The root of my interest in heritage archives is directly tied to my family tree, my parents. From them I inherited a strong interest in my Mexican heritage and a curiosity for the history and culture of Latin American communities. What drew me to the Archives profession specifically were the aspects of service and the opportunity to work with an array of users (students, faculty, and individuals outside of academia).

2. You recently started in the newly created Hispanic Collections Archivist position at the University of Houston. Tell us a little bit about the new role and your goals for collecting and doing outreach in this area.

My role as the Hispanic Collections Archivist and Librarian is great because it involves a little bit of everything: acquiring new collections, instruction, outreach, collaborating with faculty, and processing physical and digital records. In regards to collections and developing our holdings, my goal is to capitalize on the unique aspects of the Hispanic experience in Houston and the greater East Texas region. I envision our holdings including representation of Latinos in the arts and humanities, business, and community development. The aim is to foster a more representative account of Hispanic history and support the scholarship of our faculty and students at the University of Houston.

3. What has been the most rewarding part of your career? Any advice to fellow new professionals?

The most rewarding part of my career has been the opportunity to continue learning. It’s a great feeling to do what you love and to learn more about it through working with a new collection, donor, student, or colleague.

My advice for students and new professionals is to try new things. It may not apply to what you are immediately working on, but trying new things and challenging yourself will help you develop skills and insights for future projects and relationships.

Interested in sharing your story? Please contact the Memoria editorial team at saalaccha [at] gmail [dot] com to let us know that you would like to be interviewed for a spot on the blog.


Conference in Medellin, Colombia: September 24-26, 2014

VI EBAM – Sexto Encuentro Latinoamericano de Archivistas, Bibliotecarios y Museólogos: “Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos de América Latina: realidades y tendencias que transforman sociedad”. (Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia, del 24 al 26 de septiembre de 2014).
Tema central 2014: “Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos de América Latina: Realidades y Tendencias que transforman sociedad”.
Ejes temáticos:
1. Edificios, Instalaciones y Equipamiento
2. Contenidos, Acervos y Piezas
3. Procesos, Tecnologías e Innovaciones
4. Usuarios, acceso, difusión y redes sociales.
5. Preservación, conservación y digitalización.
• Plazo para presentación de resúmenes hasta el 30 de Junio de 2014.
• Plazo para aceptación de resúmenes por parte del Comité Científico hasta el 05 de Julio de 2014.
• Plazo para enviar la ponencia completa hasta el 30 de Julio de 2014.

Radio Haiti Archives

A partnership between the Human Rights Archive at Duke University and the estate of Jean Dominique, the noted Haitian journalist and human rights activist, has been established to preserve the archives of Radio Haiti. You can read more about the partnership and preservation efforts on their blog:

SAA Roundtables and Sections Survey

The Membership Affinity Group Task Force (TF-MAG) has been asked to provide the SAA Council with some recommendations about the current and future structure of SAA’s affinity groups, more commonly understood as Sections and Roundtables. We have created a brief survey to gauge some of your thoughts and get feedback on the current structure and function of our sections and roundtables. Your input will help us as we decide what recommendations to make to Council. We encourage all roundtable members to participate. Please follow the this link to participate in the survey: .

If you have questions about the survey please email the Chair, Shawn San Roman, at

Call for Member Comment: First Draft of the Best Practices for Volunteers in Archives (due April 21, 2014)

Best Practices for Volunteers For Member Comment_040414

Call for Member Comment:  First Draft of the Best Practices for Volunteers in Archives

Volunteers may play an important role in ensuring the survival of and access to our nation’s heritage and the diversity of our historical record.  But in some instances, volunteers – including graduate students and new archives professionals – may be misused.  The SAA Council has drafted a “Best Practices” document with guidelines for appropriate volunteer arrangements and is seeking member comment on the draft.

Send comments on this first draft to to by April 21, 2014.

After revisions are completed, the next draft will be posted to SAA’s website for wider comment. After all comments are received, the document will be revised and shared with the Standards Committee before final review at the August 11 Council meeting.

SAA Annual Meeting: ARCHIVES * RECORDS: Ensuring Access: August 10, 2014 – August 16, 2014

SAA Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists, held in late summer in different cities throughout the country, includes a wide array of informative education sessions, pre-conference workshops, networking opportunities, special events, exhibits, and tours of local repositories. Geography is a principal factor in selecting potential host cities. (With a national membership, it is important for SAA to move systematically around the country, from region to region.) Other important factors include access and affordability for attendees and SAA’s commitment to diversity, social responsibility, and sustainability in all aspects of conference planning.

View the “Principles and Priorities for Continuously Improving the SAA Annual Meeting” adopted by the SAA Council in August 2013, based on the work of the 2011-2013 SAA Annual Meeting Task Force. Progress on the priorities is reported at each Council meeting.

ARCHIVES * RECORDS: Ensuring Access

Joint Annual Meeting of CoSA, NAGARA, and SAA

August 10, 2014August 16, 2014

Marriott Wardman Park
Washington, DC

2014 Research Forum: Call For Participants and Presentations (due May 1, 2014)

Society of American Archivists
2014 Research Forum
“Foundations and Innovations”

Tuesday, August 12, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Marriott Wardman Park
Washington, DC

Participants’ enthusiastic response to the past seven Research Forums confirms that the full spectrum of research activities – from “pure” research to applied research to innovative practice – is of interest and value to the archives community. The 2014 Research Forum will build on previous success by continuing with a full day of presentations.

If you’re engaged in research… seeking to identify research-based solutions for your institution… willing to participate in the research cycle by serving as a beta site for research trials… or simply interested in what’s happening in research and innovation…

. . . then join us for the 8th annual SAA Research Forum: “Foundations and Innovations”

Researchers, practitioners, educators, students, and the curious across all sectors of archives and records management are invited to participate. Use the Forum to discuss, debate, plan, organize, evaluate, or motivate research projects and initiatives. The event seeks to facilitate collaboration and help inform researchers about what questions and problems need to be tackled.

Archivists from around the country and the world will convene at ARCHIVES*RECORDS: Ensuring Access, the Joint Annual Meeting of CoSA, NAGARA, and SAA. The Research Forum will provide a platform to acknowledge current – and encourage future – research and innovation from across the broad archives community and for the benefit of the archives profession.

Research Forum Events at ARCHIVES*RECORDS: Ensuring Access

The following events are planned for 2014:

  • Research Presentations and Posters (Tuesday, August 12, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm): Here’s your chance to present, discuss, listen to, or view research reports and results on a variety of topics. The final 30 minutes of this session will seek input for SAA’s 2015 Research Forum.
  • “Office Hours” in the Exhibit Hall (Thursday, August 14, and Friday, August 15): Research Forum organizers will be on hand to hear your ideas about the Forum and for ad hoc discussions about specific research projects.
  • Poster Sessions: Be sure to make time to visit the poster sessions, which will include practice innovation and research topics.

Call for Platform and Poster Presentations

SAA invites submission of abstracts (of 250 words or fewer) for either 10-minute platform presentations or poster presentations. Topics may address research on, or innovations in, any aspect of archives practice or records management in government, corporate, academic, scientific, or other setting. Presentations on research results that may have emerged since the 2014 Annual Meeting Call for Proposals deadline in October 2013 are welcome, as are reports on research completed within the past three years that you think is relevant and valuable for discussion. Please indicate whether you intend a platform or poster presentation.

Abstracts will be evaluated by a review committee co-chaired by Nancy McGovern (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Helen Tibbo (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Deadline for submission of abstracts: May 1, 2014. You will be notified of the review committee’s decision by July 1 (in advance of the Early-Bird registration deadline).

Submit your 250-word abstract no later than May 1 via email to Please be sure to include a title and your name, affiliation, email address, and whether your proposal is for a platform or poster presentation.