Now accepting applications: MARAC Meeting Scholarships and Awards

There are three awards available for the Hershey conference which will be held April 12-14, 2018:

1) MARAC Meeting and Travel Awards (2 awards: $400 and $250)
2) Karen A. Stuart Local History Collection Workshop & Conference Attendance Award

Additional information about each award is included below. Meeting information is available on the MARAC website.

APPLICATION: Applicants for either award should submit the following:

1) Cover letter that includes:

a) Award for which you are applying
b) Statement of financial need
c) Expected benefits of attending the conference (citing specific sessions or workshops of interest)

2) Resume

3) Letter of reference from a person with knowledge of the applicant’s work (sent directly to the MARAC Scholarship Committee Chair, Emily Cottle, via email at

DEADLINE: Hershey meeting, March 2, 2018

TO APPLY: Send a single PDF of the cover letter and resume to Emily Cottle, MARAC Scholarship Committee Chair, at Letter of recommendation should be sent by the reference as a PDF directly to Emily Cottle, MARAC Scholarship Committee Chair, at Please include MARAC Scholarship Application in the subject line. All applicants will receive an email confirming their application has been received.

MARAC Meeting & Travel Awards

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) offers travel awards of $400 and $250 for attendance attendance at its conferences held twice a year around the region.

Scholarship funds may be used for conference registration, workshops, lodging, conference meals, and other travel expenses. Persons meeting the criteria outlined below are encouraged to apply.

QUALIFICATIONS: For this award, an individual must currently:

  • Be employed in the MARAC region in an archival or archives-related position, OR
  • Be enrolled as a graduate student in a program that includes courses in archival administration OR
  • Be a MARAC member in good standing

Karen A. Stuart Local History Collection Workshop & Conference Attendance Award

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) offers awards for one full or half-day workshop, and conference registration, including the Friday Luncheon and Saturday Breakfast. Please note this award does not cover any travel expenses, but only the registration costs outlined above.

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.

QUALIFICATIONS: 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 are eligible. Priority is given to local history collections located in the meeting’s host city for the purpose of networking opportunities, but will not exclude other applicants.

Visual Resources Association Conference March 27-30 | Philadelphia, PA

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Visual Resources Association (VRA) invites you to join our dynamic, multidisciplinary community dedicated to furthering research and education in the field of image and media management within the educational, cultural heritage, and commercial environments.

Our international membership includes digital librarians; digital image specialists; photograph and digital archivists; art, architecture, film and video librarians; museum curators and registrars; architectural firms; galleries; publishers; image system vendors; rights and reproductions officials; photographers; art historians; artists; and scientists. The VRA provides leadership in the visual resources field, develops and advocates standards, and offers educational tools and opportunities for the benefit of the community at large. Through collaboration and outreach with the broader information management and educational communities, the VRA actively supports the primacy of visual information in documenting and understanding humanity’s shared cultural experience.

The VRA offers international, national, and regional only memberships. The Regional only membership is based on local chapters at a $25.00 annual rate. The closest regionally associated chapter to the 2018 VRA National Conference is the Mid-Atlantic Chapter.

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter provides its members with local support and professional development opportunities. Chapter meetings provide an opportunity for chapter members to meet colleagues in the area and gain knowledge about various subjects and technologies. For example, the Chapter meeting last summer at the University of Virginia included a session on creating and managing embedded metadata. At the fall meeting at the University of Maryland, College Park, attendees visited their MakerSpace and the Collaboratory.

The Visual Resources Association’s 36th Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA (March 27, 2018 through March 30, 2018), will offer sessions and programs, such as Workshopping the World: ArcGIS Online & Story Maps, three sessions on copyright and intellectual property, Tours to the PMA Library & Archivesand a Trolley Tour by Mural Arts Philadelphia, and the VREPS Night Out for emerging professionals. The Mid-Atlantic Chapter is offering two travel awards to this year’s VRA National Conference in the amount of $300. To fill out the application go here:

For information about joining VRA, please see:

The membership advantages for students include:

  • A discounted student rate.
  • A special interest group for emerging professionals and students (VREPS).
  • Educational opportunities (including VRA member-discounted events, workshops, and institutes).
  • Subscription to and opportunities to publish in the VRA Bulletin.
  • Discounted registration for the annual national VRA conference, with programming as varied as image management, copyright issues, standards, cataloging and classification, metadata, digital imaging technology, Web design, preservation of image quality, and educational opportunities.
  • Opportunities for professional development (including mentoring, conference presentations, publishing, and leadership opportunities).

To join the Visual Resources Association National membership ($115/annual), navigate to and select New Member (includes Listserv and VRA Bulletin). You can register an email at the bottom of the page to get started on a new account.

To join the Mid-Atlantic Chapter membership of the VRA ($25 regional only chapter membership/annual), navigate to and selectSeparate Chapter Memberships or Donations. You will need to create an account.

Questions about joining VRA? Please contact Melanie Clark, VRA Public Relations and Communications Officer:

 Thank you for reading and hope to see you in Philadelphia!

 Jen & Lael

Jen Kniesch, VRA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Chair
Dickinson College
Art & Art History Department
PO Box 1773
Weiss, Rooms 222 & 223
Carlisle, PA 17013

Lael J. Ensor-Bennett, VRA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Secretary/Treasurer
Assistant Curator, Visual Resources Collection
Visual Resources Collection LibGuide
History of Art Department
167 Gilman Hall
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21218

Congrats to our MARAC Graduate School Archival Education Scholarship Winners!

In 2017, MARAC received a donation of $500 from an anonymous donor as a challenge grant. MARAC was required to raise matching funds in order to receive the funds from the donor. Those funds created the MARAC Graduate School Archival Education Scholarship for students who live or attend a school in the MARAC region and plan to enter the archival profession.

MARAC was excited to be able to make two awards for the Spring 2018 semester:

  • Regina Carra is a graduate student at Queens College, City University of New York in the Dual Degree Program in Library Science and History with a concentration in archives and the preservation of cultural materials. She currently works as the Archives Project Assistant at Mark Morris Dance Group.
  • Carmen A. Collins currently works as a Records and Information Analyst for Booz Allen Hamilton while pursuing her MS in Information and Library Science with a concentration in Archives and Digital Curation at the University of Maryland’s iSchool.

Congratulations to Regina and Carmen!

MARAC Scholarship Committee
Ben Blake
Maria Day
Christy Fic
Amanda Hawk
Elizabeth Wilkinson
Emily Cottle, Chair

Call for Posters: MARAC Spring 2018 Meeting in Hershey, PA

Poster proposals are now being accepted for the Spring 2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference “Finding the Sweet Spot: Communities, Collaboration, and the Archives” to be held in Hershey, PA on April 12-14, 2018.

Share your research or new approaches to archival work in Chocolatetown, USA. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • applied or theoretical research projects
  • experimental collection development initiatives
  • new methods of providing reference services, instruction or outreach
  • innovative arrangement and description practices


  • Professional or student engaged in archival work
  • Research or activity conducted within the previous year (2017-2018)
  • Poster size: minimum 22 x 28 inches; maximum 36 x 48 inches; may read vertically or horizontally

Poster proposals due 11:59 PM EST on February 10. Proposals received after this date will not be considered and e-mailed submissions or submissions in any other format will not be accepted.

To submit a poster proposal, complete the form

Notifications regarding accepted proposals will be sent out on March 1. A dedicated poster session has been scheduled for Friday April 13 during the conference.

For more information or questions, please contact:

Susan Wiesner

Society of American Archivists Brenda S. Banks Travel Award

The Brenda S. Banks Travel Award Subcommittee invites applications for a new Society of American Archivists (SAA) award. The Brenda S. Banks Travel Award recognizes and acknowledges individuals of color, such as those of African, Asian, Latinx, Native American, Alaska Native, or Pacific Islander descent, who are employed in archives and who manifest an interest in becoming active members of SAA. Recipients receive full complimentary registration and related expenses for hotel and travel to attend the SAA Annual Meeting during the year in which the award is received. In addition, recipients receive a complimentary one-year membership in SAA.

This award supports the objectives of SAA’s Archivists and Archives of Color Section’s objectives:

  • Providing individuals of color employed in an archives with an opportunity for professional development and networking through engagement with SAA; and
  • Promoting increased participation in SAA by individuals of color employed in an archives by exposing first-time Annual Meeting attendees to the experience of attending national meetings and encouraging them to join and remain members of the organization.

Created in 2017, the award is named in honor of Brenda S. Banks, Fellow and Past President of SAA and co-founder of the Archivists and Archives of Color Section. The award is sponsored by SAA’s Archivists and Archives of Color Section and funded through the SAA Foundation.

Application Requirements:

Recipients will be selected based on the strength of their personal statement/essay. Personal statements/essays must be no more than 500 words and will be evaluated on:

  • Overall clarity;
  • Understanding of professional goals and experience with and/or commitment to working with, or documenting and preserving the histories of communities of color;
  • Description of the benefits of attending the SAA Annual Meeting; and
  • Explanation of commitment to SAA, diversity and inclusion, and the profession.
    In addition, applicants must include a current CV or resume.

To be eligible, the applicant:

  • Must be of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander descent;
  • Must be currently employed in an archives; and
  • Shall not have previously attended an SAA Annual Meeting.

Click here to preview the application and/or to apply.

Applications must be received by February 28, 2018.

Questions? Please direct them to Kathi Neal, Chair of the Brenda S. Banks Travel Award Subcommittee, or (510) 642-8173.