MARAC website face lift

This post was submitted by Liz Caringola on behalf of the MARAC Web Team. The members of the MARAC Web Team are:

Liz Caringola, University of Maryland, College Park
Christy Fic, Shippensburg University
Anastasia Matijkiw, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts
Don Sailer, Dickinson College

The MARAC website recently underwent a facelift. The Web Team has been working behind the scenes for the last year to make this change possible. We think that the cleaner design and improved features make the website easier to use. We hope you like it and find it easier to use, too.

Besides the design, here are the highlights of what’s new to the website:

Screenshot of the new MARAC website
Screenshot of the new MARAC website.

Banner image and link to upcoming conferences on the Home page. Did you know that the Upcoming Conferences page is the most visited page on the MARAC website? Now you can get there directly from the Home page. The background banner is an image from our next conference’s host city and will change after every conference.

Streamlined navigation menu. We’ve cut down on the number of links in the navigation menu and reorganized them, so that you can find what you’re looking for faster. But if the navigation menu still doesn’t do it for you, you can use the…

Search box. Yes, we finally have a search box!

The website will look good on any size screen. Try looking at the website on your tablet or phone (or just shrink the size of your browser window if you’re on a desktop or laptop).

Mobile View
Mobile view.

Social media icons. These icons link to MARAC’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, so you can easily connect with MARAC on social media.

New social media icons link to MARAC_s Twitter and Facebook pages.
New social media icons link to MARAC’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

Although the new design is online, our work isn’t finished. Over the next few months, the Web Team will continue to work on cleaning up old pages and outdated content. After the fall conference, we’ll also begin working on some upgrades to the backend of the website, and though you won’t see them, these changes will allow our administrator Sara to do her job more efficiently.

If you have any feedback on the new website design, or notice anything that isn’t working, please contact the MARAC Web Team at


MARAC Scholarships: Apply now!

The MARAC Scholarship Committee is currently accepting applications for awards to support attendance at the upcoming fall meeting in Buffalo, NY from October 26-28, 2017.

Information about the available awards is included below. Required materials should be sent to Emily Cottle, MARAC Scholarship Committee Chair,, by September 15, 2017.

There are three awards available for each conference:

  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.

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: Buffalo meeting, September 15, 2017
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 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.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) Arline Custer Memorial Award Call for Entries

Presented by the MARAC Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee, this award honors the memory of Arline Custer (1909-1975), MARAC member and editor of the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.


The Custer Award recognizes the best books and articles written or compiled by individuals and institutions in the MARAC region: the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Works under consideration include, but are not limited to, monographs, popular narratives, reference works, and exhibition catalogs using archival sources. The committee accepts electronic copies of articles and books but requests print copies when possible for consistency and ease of distribution and review.

Individuals or institutions may submit up to two works published between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.


Works must be relevant to the general public as well as the archival community. They should be original and well-researched. In addition, they should be clearly presented, well-written, and organized. Visual materials, if present, should be appropriate to the text.

Preference will be given to works by archivists.


Up to two awards may be given, with a maximum value of $200.00 for books and $100.00 for articles. The 2017 awards will be announced at the Fall 2017 MARAC meeting in Buffalo, New York.

How to submit an entry

Please send two copies of each submission with a letter of nomination to the Senior Co-Chair of the Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee:

Elizabeth Surles
Institute of Jazz Studies, Dana Library
Rutgers University-Newark
185 University Ave.
Newark, NJ 07102

Entries must be postmarked (and preferably received) by July 31, 2017.

For additional information and list of previous award winners, please see:

Call for Submissions: C. Herbert Finch Online Publication Award

The Finch Award honors online publications, including virtual exhibitions, web sites and web pages devoted to the promotion and use of archival materials, created by individuals or institutions in the MARAC region: the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Call for Submissions
The Finding Aids Award Committee will accept submissions or nominations for the C. Herbert Finch Online Publication Award. To be eligible for the award, an online publication must have a stable internet address and must have been published between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

The committee encourages the submission of entries that use a variety of media. Submissions are judged on content, navigability, usability, functionality, and site design. One award will be given with a maximum value of $250.00. The 2017 award will be announced at the Business Meeting of the MARAC Fall 2017 conference in Buffalo, New York.

Please note: An online publication that is primarily a finding aid is not eligible for the Finch Award, but may be nominated for the Finding Aids Award. Stay tuned for the call for submissions later this year.

Submission Deadline 
Entries must be received by July 31, 2017. Please e-mail URLs for each submission with a letter of nomination to the Senior Co-Chair of the Finding Aids Award Committee:

Caitlin Goodman
Senior Co-Chair of the Finding Aids Award Committee

Curator, Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia

Get involved in MARAC: Call for Wilmington committee members!

Looking to get involved in MARAC? The Fall 2018 meeting is looking for volunteers to join its Program Committee and the Local Arrangements Committee. Read on for more information about both opportunities!

The conference will be held October 11-13, 2018 at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, DE.

Local Arrangements Committee
We need 12-15 MARAC members to join our Local Arrangements Committee (LAC).

LAC members should be located within the vicinity of the meeting site. Though a lot of things can be done by email, there will be some in-person meetings and logistical requirements.

LAC responsibilities include facilitating the logistics for the meeting, such as arranging tours, staffing the registration desk, chaperoning dine-arounds, meeting promotion, and more.

Please note that LAC members will need to attend the entire meeting and should not plan to participate in any panels as presenters.

Program Committee
We need 12-20 MARAC members to join our Program Committee (PC).

PC members need not be located geographically nearby; all work can be done by email.

PC responsibilities include planning the meeting content, such discussion sessions and lunch/plenary speakers.

Please note that committee members will not be allowed to participate in any sessions as chairs or presenters.

If you’re interested in joining either committee, please fill out this short Google form:

The committees will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and committee members will receive an email confirming their membership.

Have questions about this opportunity or want to learn more? Email us at

Emily Cottle, Sarah Denison, Kate Fair
Wilmington Program and Local Arrangements Co-Chairs

Day of Data for Digitization Cost Calculator

The Digitization Cost Calculator is a project undertaken to aggregate and make freely available a large set of data on the time it takes to perform various tasks involved in the digitization process, in order to assist organizations in digitization project planning and benchmarking. The Digital Library Federation’s Cost Assessment Committee has been working to build the Digitization Cost Calculator and draft best practices and guidelines for the collection of time data for various digitization processes, with the goal of standardizing collection of such data in the field as well as to guide data submissions to the Digitization Cost Calculator.

How you can help: We are actively looking for people to submit time data for various aspects of digitization. We have created guidelines for data submission, including a document that outlines processes and definitions. Our aim is that the cost calculator, with the proper data, will be a boon for digitization projects and especially useful in determining costs for projects both large and small.

This July we are undertaking our second “Day of Data” campaign, in which we encourage institutions to collect time data for a short period — as little as a single day — for one or more of the processes the calculator tracks, and to contribute that to the calculator. We have found this is an easy way for people to get involved. We would love for you to participate! Please contact Ann Hanlon,, with any questions.

Ann Hanlon
Head, Digital Collections and Initiatives and DH Lab
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

There’s an API for That

A MARAC Newark Workshop, Instructors:
Valerie Addonizio, Johns Hopkins University and
Lora J. Davis, Johns Hopkins University

Blogger: Juliana Magro, Queens College

Most of us have heard of APIs and have a vague idea about what they are, but often we are not sure about how they work. Lora Davis and Valerie Addonizio, from Johns Hopkins University, took on the challenge to walk 30 people through the API path. Even though this was a workshop that lasted one entire day during the MARAC conference, the speakers knew it would be impossible to teach everything there is to know. For this reason, they adopted the “1-up learning experience,” allowing people with different levels of knowledge to learn enough to jump to the next level.


The acronym API stands for Application Programming Interface. The lecturers begun the workshop by elucidating how we use APIs even without knowing it. In their example:

“When you copy content from a Word document to your clipboard, then paste that content into an Outlook e-mail, it works because your computer operating system, which both your versions of Word and Outlook are programmed to run on, uses an API to allow the interchange of information.”

When we talk about APIs, however, we are usually making reference to web APIs, which have three basic commands: GET, POST, and DELETE (we can think of them as View, Save, and Delete). With API, we can use URL-like directions to get data out of a program, change it to suit out needs, and then put it back in.

To be able to do that (or at least to start understanding how to do it), all participants had installed four applications prior to the workshop. Valerie and Lora had sent pre-workshop instructions, with step-by-step directions to meet the requirements of both Mac and Windows users.


In the first few hours of the workshop these applications were configured and others were downloaded. After all machines were set up, the participants were taught how to “get” data from databases such as Chronicling America, ProPublica, and even Twitter.

A considerable section of the workshop was dedicated to ArchivesSpace. The participants received instructions on how to create their own off-line ArchivesSpace sandbox, in addition to mass replacing “faux barcodes” with real bar code numbers, among other functions.

This was certainly a hands-on workshop. Valerie and Lora were helpful and accessible, and made an effort to solve all of the participants’ questions. The lecturers are clearly passionate about what they do, and were positive and motivated even when faced with inevitable technical issues.