News from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives: Historical Records of The Costume Institute Open for Research

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives announces the availability for research of 136 linear feet of historical records and administrative files of The Costume Institute, one of the world’s leading costume collections.  This material documents exhibitions, collections and programs of The Costume Institute from its founding in 1937 as the Museum of Costume Art, through its 1946 merger with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and up to the early 2000s.  The records include administrative and curatorial documents, scrapbooks and publicity materials on more than 100 special exhibitions staged between 1937 and 2008, among them many coordinated by special consultant Diana Vreeland such as “The World of Balenciaga” (1973), “Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design” (1974), “The Glory of Russian Costume” (1976), and “Vanity Fair” (1977).  This material provides an incomparable trove of information about the department to engage scholars in new dialogues and studies on costume history, fashion design, and associated fields. 

A complete inventory of the records is now available online:
For information about access to the physical materials at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives, contact archives@metmuseum or visit our website at
Processing of The Costume Institute records was funded by a generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation, a private, not-for-profit foundation created from the estate of Leon Levy, an investor with a longstanding commitment to philanthropy. The Foundation’s overarching goal is to support scholarship at the highest level, ultimately advancing knowledge and improving the lives of individuals and society at large.

Call for Session Proposals: Spring 2016 Meeting

The Program Committee is now accepting session proposals for the Spring 2016 meeting to be held April 14-16, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The conference theme is Archival Confluence: Connecting Theory and Practice. Please visit the following Google form for more information and to submit session proposals:
To facilitate collaboration in creating unique and diverse session proposals, the Program Committee has created the following Collaboration Forum: Use it to connect with your colleagues about potential session topics, formats, and presenters. The forum will be accessible through the deadline for proposals on July 10, 2015.
Contact Program Committee co-chairs Emily R. Cottle, emilyrcottle@gmail.comor Rachel Grove Rohrbaugh, with questions.

Call for Submissions: Karen A. Stuart Local History Collection Workshop & Conference Attendance Award

Most local historical societies are under-funded and run by volunteers or part-time staff with little or no archival training or experience. The same can be said for those in local history rooms at public libraries. While eager to learn proper ways to preserve the items in their organization’s care, limited budgets prohibit their attendance at professional conferences and workshops. MARAC hopes to remedy that situation. At the Boston meeting back in March, the Steering Committee approved a new workshop and conference attendance award.
Named in memory of Karen A. Stuart, a Library of Congress archivist who had been head librarian at the Maryland Historical Society, this award is expressly aimed at those associated with Local History Collections. Active with MARAC on the Publications Committee and also as Maryland Caucus Chair, Karen maintained a life-long interest in local history and genealogy, respecting and encouraging the scholarly practice of each. In her career, she assisted thousands of researchers investigating Maryland local history, and through her guidance she also impacted the careers of local history practitioners throughout the state. Karen loved local history so it is fitting that this award bears her name as MARAC supports the professional growth of others dedicated to the field.
Awards would be in the amount of either a full- or half-day workshop and conference registration, whatever that cost may be at the time of application. Conference registration would include the costs of the Friday luncheon and Saturday breakfast. Award would not include travel or hotel expense. 
Individuals must currently be associated with a local history collection that is open to the public on a regular basis in the MARAC region. Volunteers as well as paid staff would be eligible. Priority would be given to local history collections located in the meeting’s host city for the purpose of networking opportunities, but would not exclude other applicants.
Applicants would submit a current resume, a cover letter describing their organization and demonstrating financial need, a statement of the expected benefits of attending, and a letter of reference from a person with knowledge of the applicant’s work.
Deadline is August 20th for the Roanoke meeting.
For more information on the Karen Stuart Award or the other scholarships available, please see the website:

Teaching with Primary Sources Unconference, August 19, Cleveland Public Library

Would you like to learn more about teaching with primary sources? Do you want to share your primary source teaching experiences with others in an open, informal setting? Is there an aspect of teaching with primary sources you wish you knew more about but were afraid to ask?
The Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) subcommittee of the Reference, Access and Outreach (RAO) Section of the Society of American Archivists is organizing a day-long (9:30 am – 4 pm) unconference and workshop series dedicated to this topic on August 19.

Hosted by the Cleveland Public Library, the event will coincide with the annual Society of American Archivists (SAA) conference being held at the nearby Cleveland Convention Center, but will be free and open to anyone who wishes to attend, regardless of affiliation. TPS unconference and workshop participants will not need to register for the SAA conference, nor must they be archivists. Anyone currently teaching with primary sources or aspiring to teach with primary sources — librarians of all stripes, teachers and professors of all educational levels, museum professionals — is invited. Students are welcome. Additionally, a full day’s attendance is not required; participants may arrive and leave at their leisure and according to their interests.

While the event is still in its planning stages, preliminary workshop topics include strengthening teaching pedagogy, integrating archives into existing courses or educational programming, the relationship between teaching with primary sources and the Association for College and Research Library’s (ACRL) Framework for Information Literacy, art-related instruction, and assessment. Discussion topics for the unconference include building relationships between archives, schools, and educators; setting teaching policies and workflows, addressing the Common Core standards, and teaching with digital primary source content. There will be opportunities for spontaneous discussion in keeping with the nature of unconferences.

Unconferences are guided by their participants, so the agenda will evolve as the TPS subcommittee receives registration information and discovers what people want to learn and teach. Keep up with the latest news and register for the event by visiting the TPS Workshops and Unconference website at

The TPS subcommittee encourages you to connect with others and discuss your ideas on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #saa15teach