¡Buen viaje! to the Itinerant Archivists

This is an exciting time for LACCHA. In addition to the Desmantlando Fronteras / Breaking Down Borders webinar series, LACCHA has teamed up with SAA’s International Archival Affairs Roundtable to develop the first “Itinerant Archivists” travel program.

The goal:

Itinerant Archivists is a grassroots, self-funded effort by U.S.-based archivists to engage SAA leadership groups and members to build international awareness and service orientation through travel, service projects, and bilateral exchange of expertise. This inaugural trip to Ecuador will include visits to archival repositories in the capital Quito, where the group will participate in a half-day training symposium with professional colleagues, and a visit to the remote Cañar region to work with a community activist to build a local historical archives program.

The Dates:

September 27 – October 4, 2015 (next week!)

The people:

Natalie Baur, Judy Blankenship, Jorge Yépez Cruz, Christian Kelleher, Ana Rodríguez, Francine Snyder, Cynthia Tobar, and Sam Winn

Stay informed:

For real time and daily updates, please visit the following sites (note that these sites do NOT require logins to view these pages).

Itinerant Archivists Facebook

LACCHA Facebook

LACCHA Twitter

Instagram: hashtag #itinarch

Learn more:

Participants will share and promote their learning after they return. Keep an eye on LACCHA social media, the listserv, and of course the Memoria blog.

Archivist Bios:

Natalie Baur joined the University of Miami Libraries as the Archivist for the Cuban Heritage Collection in 2012 where she is responsible for managing the collection’s archival holdings and digitization program. During the 2015-2016 academic year, Natalie will be a Fulbright-García Robles scholar at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City, working on digital preservation research at the Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliotecológicas y de la Información. Natalie holds an MA in History and a certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Delaware and an MLS with a concentration in Archives, Records, and Information Management from the University of Maryland. Her interests include description and preservation of cultural heritage materials and collaboration with librarians and archivists in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Since 2005, Judy Blankenship and her husband Michael Jenkins divide their time between Portland, Oregon and the small town of Cañar, 10,100 feet in the southern Andes of Ecuador. There, Judy’s work as photographer and writer has led to two books, Cañar: A Year in the Highlands of Ecuador, and Our House in the Clouds, (both published by University of Texas Press) as well as exhibitions in the U.S., Canada and Ecuador; and long-term projects with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Judy recently added “archivist” to her CV as she has begun printing and digitizing the glass plate and early celluloid negatives of a traditional Cañar town photographer, Rigoberto Navas. The Navas photographs will be part of a larger project, the Archivo Fotográfico de Cañar, a repository of historic and contemporary photographs, video, music, oral history recordings and documents. Judy has been lucky to receive grants to continue the work she loves. In the early years, Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council awards provided funds for research and exhibits in Toronto and Costa Rica. Since 2000 support for her work in Ecuador has come from two Fulbright senior scholar awards, the Oregon Arts Council, Organization of American States. Judy recently received a third Fulbright grant for 2015-16.

Jorge Yépez Cruz is a professionally trained archivist and records manager with more than twenty-five years of experience working in various positions and teaching roles in Ecuador and throughout Latin America. With degrees in information sciences and archival studies, Yépez leverages his extensive experience and education by developing and delivering training for Ecuador’s newest generations of archivists at several major universities and institutions, including the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador and the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar Ecuador. He writes extensively on issues of archives and the development of the archives profession in Ecuador. He currently serves as a technical consultant in the area of Communication and Information at the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), headquartered in Quito, Ecuador.

Christian Kelleher was for twelve yeas the Archivist at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas at Austin, and at the end of July he took on the role of Head of Special Collections at the University of Houston Libraries. At the Benson Collection Christian also managed the UT Libraries’ Human Rights Documentation Initiative where he worked on projects for the Genocide Archive of Rwanda and the online Guatemala National Police Historical Archive. A Certified Archivist, Christian has worked with History Associates Incorporated in the DC area, with Graywolf Press in the Twin Cities, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea, West Africa.

Ana Rodríguez is a librarian and archivist backed with diverse working experiences that include a national art collection, a historic museum, a newspaper, and academic libraries. All these working settings has allowed her to collect solid experience and knowledge in projects related to descriptive metadata, digital collections, and archival processing. She is currently completing a masters’ thesis in art history while working as an archival assistant at the University of Florida Smathers Library. Her educational background includes a B.A. in Theory of Art from the University of Puerto Rico, a M.S. in Library and Information Science the Florida State University, and an archives certificate from the Georgia Archives Institute.

Francine Snyder is the Senior Archivist at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. Previously, she was Director of the Library and Archives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum where she was responsible for departmental leadership and direction including development, preservation, and access to collections; electronic records and digitization initiatives; and establishment of short- and long-term goals. She has served as a member of Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO)’s Digital Services Advisory Council, SAA’s Task Force on Member Affinity Groups, the SAA 2011 program committee and is a past co-chair elect/co-chair (2009-2011) for the SAA Museum Archives Section as well as having held many other positions within the section.

Cynthia Tobar is an archivist and oral historian who is interested in collecting stories that highlight the meaningful connections between activist groups and policy makers, creating public history projects that are freely accessible to everyone in the community. She is an Archivist and Assistant Professor at Bronx Community College, where she is establishing their first Archive and Oral History program. Cynthia received her Master’s degree in Political Science from New School University and her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, with a certificate in Archival Management, from Pratt Institute.​

Samantha (Sam) Winn has an MLIS with a concentration in archival studies from Drexel University. As the Collections Archivist for Virginia Tech, she helps document the history of traditionally marginalized groups in Southwest Virginia/Appalachia and manages the collections of the International Archives of Women in Architecture. In addition to collaborating with international peers, her professional interests include community archives, access to displaced archives, and international information policy.

Please join me in wishing the group well, and follow along the trip via social media links above!