A Few Tips for Making the Most of Your MARAC Membership

Author: Rachel Grove Rohrbaugh, Membership Development Chair

The following are just a few tips for making the most of your MARAC Membership. We’ll explore more ideas for getting involved and take your questions during the New Member Orientation in Erie on Friday morning. See you at 8:30 in the East Ballroom!

Can’t make it to Erie? Please comment here with any additional questions or contact the Membership Development Committee. We’d love to incorporate your suggestions into future guides for new members.

MARAC Governance

MARAC is largely run by members like you. Explore Committees on the MARAC website to find out more about MARAC’s organizational structure, and volunteer or run for one of the elected positions when those opportunities arise! If you’re interested in pitching in, make sure to mark down committee preferences on your membership renewal application.


  • To volunteer for Program Committee (PC) or Local Arrangements (LAC) watch out for calls for volunteers or contact the chairs of these committees. You can find their contact information on the Upcoming Meetings page on the MARAC website.
  • If you have a session idea you think might work for an upcoming meeting, be sure to share it with PC. MARAC doesn’t have a formal proposal process like SAA, but you will see occasional calls for session proposals. This just means that PC is looking for great ideas like yours!
  • Follow the #marac hashtag on Twitter to see your colleagues’ updates from the sessions. This is a great way to keep up with conference happenings when you can’t attend them in person.
  • Want MARAC to come to your town? Contact the Meetings Coordinating Committee for more information.


  • MARAC offers workshops throughout the year, both in conjunction with the biannual meetings and at locations throughout the MARAC region. Check out workshop descriptions in the biannual meeting programs and find additional workshops on the Workshops tab of the website. Upcoming workshops are also often listed on the front page of the MARAC website.
  • Recent and upcoming workshop topics include Project Management for Archival Processing, Basics of Digitization, Introduction to Electronic Records, and Managing Change in Your Archives. SAA workshops are also occasionally held in conjunction with MARAC meetings.
  • Have a workshop idea? Contact the Education Committee. You can also bring ideas for a specific meeting to Meetings Coordinating or the Program Committee.

Getting to Know People and State Caucuses

The MARAC region is home to a lot of great people and fascinating repositories, and there are a variety of opportunities to introduce yourself and chat with people who share your interests. One of the easiest ways is attending state caucus meetings. Most caucuses meet at the biannual meetings, and a few organize events, including repository tours, throughout the year. Find your caucus representative on the Steering Committee page, and contact them for more information or send an e-mail to your caucus listserv.

Share Your Knowledge, News, and Accomplishments

Send news from your institution or suggest a topic for the Mid-Atlantic Archivist (MAA). You can also share this kind of information through the MARAC Blog. For more information on the blog, contact the Outreach Committee.
A big welcome to all new MARAC members! If we won’t be seeing you in Erie, we hope you can join us in Philadelphia for the Fall Meeting, which will be held November 7-9.

Special Collections Roundtable of Upstate New York

The next Special Collections Roundtable of Upstate New York is being hosted by the University of Rochester on Thursday, May 16. We have purposely scheduled it to start later in the day (beginning with a lunch at noon) so that those of you with a drive will be able to get there in time to enjoy what the U of R has in store for us. While this event is aimed at Rare Books librarians and Special Collections archivists/curators/librarians in the Upstate New York area, anyone with an interest in the subject matter is, of course, welcome to join us for sharing techniques and networking with your colleagues.

More information about the event, including an agenda, registration details, directions, can be found here: http://clrc.org/event-registration-2/?action=evregister&event_id=104

Reminder: Bylaws Vote at Erie Business Meeting

Author: Dan Linke, Member-at-Large

The following originally appeared in the Winter 2013 edition of the Mid-Atlantic Archivist. It is being reposted here, with additions, as reminder that the following will be brought to vote at the Erie Business Meeting.

A fun fact that emerged during MARAC’s 40th Anniversary is that the organization started with about 100 members and over four decades grew by almost 1000%! Over that time, committees were organized and added as needed or opportunities arose. This past year, MARAC Chair Ed Galloway, tasked an ad hoc committee composed of the four at-large Steering Committee members with reviewing how our awards committees are structured and recommending any changes. The committee (Rebecca Collier, Tammy Hamilton, Dan Linke, and Jordon Steele) found that, for the most part, the Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee and the Finding Aids Awards committee run well. However, they did notice operational differences between the two. Both grant monetary awards, yet the administration of each committee differs significantly. Custer Committee members are elected, while Finding Aids Committee members are appointed by the chair.

Given that MARAC has always placed an emphasis on the power of the membership at large over the elected officers (see Article 5. Government of our Constitution, esp. “The membership assembled in a business meeting is the highest authority of the Conference.”), the ad hoc committee recommended to Steering that both awards committees’ membership be elected. They also recommended that the structure of both committees be identical: six members each, with two members elected each year. Additionally, they recommended that the C. Herbert Finch Online Publication Award be put under the aegis of the Finding Aids Award Committee for logistical, workload, and intellectual reasons. (The Finch award is more closely aligned with the Finding Aids award as both consider methods of outreach and access created by archivists for their users.)

This recommendation will require a minor modification to the MARAC bylaws which will be put to a vote at the business meeting when MARAC meets in Erie, PA in the spring. The change, shown below, involves striking the extant third sentence from Section 5 Part D.  Proposed additions are in italics.

The awards committees shall be the Arline Custer Award Committee, the Distinguished Service Award Committee, and the Finding Aids Award Committee.  Members of the Arline Custer Award Committee and the Finding Aids Award Committee shall be nominated and elected for three-year staggered terms, following provisions of Bylaw 3.  Members of the Finding Aids Award Committee, including the chair, shall be appointed by the MARAC Chair for two-year terms. Members of the Distinguished Service Award Committee include four members: the immediate past MARAC Chair, who serves as the Committee chair, two members elected by membership for one-year terms, and the MARAC Archivist who serves as a non-voting ex-officio member.

If approved, Steering and the Nominations and Elections Committee will develop a plan to implement the changes. The membership at large will notice little difference, but in making these changes, we hope to make both committees run even more smoothly, as well as making them more accountable to the membership, and therefore keep true to our founding principles.

CCAHA: Recent Conservation Treatments

Author: Dyani Feige, Pennsylvania Caucus Rep

Pennsylvania’s first constituion.
Here at the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA), our conservators work with anything and everything paper-based – from documents to bound atlases, from daguerreotypes to digital print-outs, from postage stamps to wallpaper, even parchment and papyrus. This means that we have had the opportunity to treat a number of exciting materials from archival collections.
Objects come to us from near and far, but below are just a few examples of interesting treatments from the MARAC region. The following articles were all written by CCAHA’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Katherine Magaziner, for the bi-monthly Focus newsletter. Focus provides an in-depth look at particular conservation treatments, exploring not only technical aspects of the conservators’ work with objects, but also the history and context of the pieces themselves. An archive of past issues can be found at http://www.ccaha.org/publications/focus-archive.

March/April 2013: Pennsylvania’s first constitution, written by Benjamin Franklin (among others) in 1776, has been described as the most democratic in America. It recently traveled from the Pennsylvania State Archives in Harrisburg to CCAHA for conservation treatment.

August 2011: Buena Vista, in New Castle, DE, was home to several prominent Delawareans, including Clayton Douglass Buck, governor and a United States senator. After receiving conservation treatment, historic documents that he displayed there — and that now belong to the Delaware Public Archives — will once again hang in the house.

July 2011: German-speaking immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania in the 18th and 19th centuries documented their religious beliefs, as well as important events in their personal lives, through decorated manuscripts called fraktur. The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College has selected 32 fraktur to receive treatment at CCAHA through a Save America’s Treasures grant.

May 2011: The New York State Library’s collection of letters, contracts, maps, and other papers from the Manor of Rensselaerswijck documents 200 years of business transactions, daily routines, and traditions in one of America’s earliest European settlements. Read about CCAHA’s treatment of many of these fire-damaged manuscripts here.

November 2010: CCAHA conserves performer and activist Paul Robeson’s letters, writings, Broadway posters, and concert programs, all from the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection of Temple University.

Session Chairs needed for Philly Conference

Interested in being involved with a MARAC Conference? Be a chair at a session!!

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) Fall 2013 Program Committee is looking for approximately 10 chairs for sessions.

Your responsibility as chair is to introduce each of the speakers, keep track of the time for each presentation (to make sure the speaker doesn’t go over) and to facilitate the Q&A portion of the session.

If you are interested please contact Laurie Rizzo, lrizzo20@gmail.com

MARAC Workshops

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) is proud to announce that registration is open for the following continuing education workshops. The MARAC workshops are approved for Academy of Certified Archivist credits upon request. To register go to: http://www.marac.info/workshops.

Project Management for Archival Processing, Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Time: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Location: The Lawrenceville School Library, Lawrenceville, NJ
Instructor: Vincent Novara
Cost: $105 (includes lunch)
Description: This workshop focuses on introductory techniques and common tools for project management. Workshop participants will learn how to establish, define, plan, implement, and execute archival projects. Attention is given to strengthening prioritization skills and workflow planning as they pertain to processing projects executed by various levels of staffing, including the lone arranger. The workshop also addresses interpretive projects such as exhibitions and digital initiatives. Attendees will learn how to determine project goals and objectives, compose project objective statements, establish work breakdown structures, estimate project budgets, create project and communication plans, schedule and track tasks using Gantt Charts, and conduct a post-project evaluation. Throughout the workshop, standard project management terminology is applied to common archives tasks, and an overview is given of Earned Value Assessment.

Basics of Digitization for Archives Workshop, Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Time: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY
Instructor: Thomas F. R. Clareson is Senior Consultant for Digital & Preservation Services, LYRASIS
Cost: $85
Description: This workshop will help your institution get started in the development of a digital program. The workshop covers tools you can use for scanning; basic hardware, software, and metadata issues; use of in-house or outsourced services to digitize; collaborative digitization; and practical planning decisions for staffing and budgeting for digital activities. A special focus on digital projects of interest from around the MARAC region is planned.