Monday, December 18, 2006


Basketball Tickets!

Hi Folks,

Now that most people are done for the semester, it seems like an opportune time for people to start thinking about the important stuff they're doing over Winter Break. By which I mean, going to Maryland basketball games.

We have 11 tickets each for the three following games:

THURSDAY, JANUARY 4 8:00 PM vs. Iona
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10 9:00 PM vs. Miami
SATURDAY, JANUARY 13 2:00 PM vs. Clemson

In the interest of making sure as many people get to go to the games as possible, this is how we're going to do this.

If you are interested in going to only ONE (1) game, or if you can only make one game, send an email to Steve Bookman ( and cc me on the email. You will receive priority on getting to a ticket to that game.

If you are interested in going to MULTIPLE games, or if you are able to make multiple games, send an email to Steve and me with a RANKED LIST of your preferences. For example, if I wanted to go to the Clemson game but could make the Miami game too, I would send the following:

1) Clemson
2) Miami

You will get preference for your preferred game, but if there are multiple people that have that game listed as their only availability, you may get bumped to your second or third choice. Depending on how many respondents we have, it MAY be possible for some people to get multiple tickets, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Please include both your name and ID number in your email so Steve can properly submit the information to the Athletics department and get our tickets. Those will be distributed at Comcast before the game. Because of the deadlines handed down by said Athletics department, we need to know people's preferences by DECEMBER 26 (Next Tuesday) if at all possible, particularly if you want to go to the Iona game. On December 28, once we have figured out our distribution, a list of attendees for each game will be posted on the SAM blog ( We will also send out emails to the ticketees with additional logistics info.

On behalf of Student Archivists at Maryland, have a Merry Christmas/Happy Hannukah/Festive Kwanzaa/Joyous Festivus/Cheery Agnostica, and a enjoyable (and relaxing!) Winter Break. We'll see you in 2007!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Fashion Committee: Dressed for Success?

At the October 25th SAM meeting, we formed 3 standing committees:

I am here asking for your feedback so that the Fashion Committee can move forward with its assigned charge. Basically, what do you want the T-shirt/button to say or depict?
Two of the (more coherent) proposed slogans include:

  1. "What would T.R. Schellenberg do?"

  2. "Archivists will always give you access...but you may have to wear gloves."

However, I believe the fashion committee is open to more ideas, including non-textual forms of representation (How about a nice picture of a Hollinger box with a SAM logo on it?). So, if you have visions about how to promote your favorite student organization via a garment/accessory, now is your chance to make them a reality.

We want your feedback! If you have an idea, comment, or want to join the fashion committee, leave a comment on this blog posting and/or please e-mail Sara at, with "SAM Fashion" in the subject line.

The fashion committee is: Ashley Locke, Sara Snyder, Jason Speck, Matthew Matthias, and Gregory Horvitz. I would also like to nominate Ben and Cory, as we desperately need to add your mad design skillz to our talent stable.

Big thanks to Matt for taking notes at our last meeting and e-mailing them to all of us.

Remember, if you didn't get the chance to join any committees yet, next SAM meeting is November 29th.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Pics from the Weinstein Event

Thanks to everyone who came out for the conversation with Prof. Weinstein! Our very own Lloyd Beers graciously provided his digital camera for documentation of the event. A pic is above, and will hopefully be put on the main SAM page sooner rather than later. (On a personal note, it is very encouraging that unlike last year's photo, I am NOT the only male in the group.)

P.S. If you appear in this photo, please respond to this post so that I or Courtney can update it with names. Thanks!


Interesting article in the Washington Post on Handwriting

The Handwriting is on the Wall: Researchers see a downside as keyboards replace pens in schools

This article has two premises, one of which I don't accept and one of which I'm unsure on. The first, that failure to teach cursive has some sort of negative impact on the cognitive abilities of students, seems foolish to me. I learned cursive in school, but because I am left-handed I never really learned it properly, and when it became obvious to me that longhand was seen as an inferior substitute to something that is actually legible, I abandoned it altogether. Pretty much the only time I write longhand is when I am signing my name. I certainly don't consider myself at a cognitive disadvantage for doing that, and among my students I have seen no correlation between use of cursive and superior essay scores on exams. (Admittedly this is anecdotal evidence, but it is 3 semesters of anecdotal evidence).

The second premise, however, is that the gradual extinction of longhand will make historical research more difficult. As typed material replaces written notes, argue the scholars interviewed for this story, it will become more difficult to verify the Jenkinsonian 'authenticity' of a particular manuscript collection. Alternately, they argue, insights into the thought processes of authors or other historical figures will be lost if they do not create the informal sketches and scribblings that handwriting allows.

Like I say, I don't know if I buy this premise either. I don't think that cursive is necessarily a prerequisite for informal scribblings, and I don't believe that it's not possible at all to brainstorm in an electronic or typed format as well. At the same time, handwriting IS a pretty unique identifier of an author's stuff, and the loss of that material does seem like it might have an impact on identifying accessions of tomorrow's important manuscript collection producers. So, I dunno. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

For the record, my own handwriting is TERRIBLE. And I PRINT.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Archives Fair, October 11, Archives I

I am just the messenger; this is essentially copied whole-cloth from the Archives list email. Please contact the address listed in that email for more details. Regardless, if you CAN make it, it sounds like a good program, and one worth your time.

The National Archives Assembly and the DC Caucus of the Mid-Atlantic Regional
Archives Conference are sponsoring the 10^th Annual Washington, DC, Area Metropolitan
Archives Fair on Wednesday, October 11, 2006, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the
National Archives, 7th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW. The Fair celebrates
American Archives Week, an observance highlighting the significance of the
documentary record and the documentary richness of our nation. This year’s theme is
“Archives: Bridges from the Past to the Present.” Representatives from many
Washington area archival repositories will display information resources
from their institutions.

Some of the participating institutions include the National Air and Space Museum,
George Washington University Special Collections Department, Virginia Room of the
Arlington County Central Library, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs
Division, Library of Congress Manuscript Division, University of the District of
Columbia Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives, National Press Club, University of Maryland S
pecial Collections, Smithsonian Archives of American Art, National Museum of American
History Archives Center, Goodwill Industries, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at
Howard University, Washingtoniana Division of the District of Columbia Public
Library, and others.

The Fair will feature a panel discussion at 11:45 entitled, “The John Roberts
and Samuel Alito Experience: The Role of the National Archives of the United States
in Nominations to the Supreme Court.” James Hastings, John Laster, Nancy Smith, and
Steven Tilley of the National Archives will discuss the extraordinary measures that
NARA had to take in 2005 to make federal records in Washington and Presidential
records in California available to the Senate and the public before the hearings on
the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. They will
offer a real-world account of what it was like for archivists to be involved at the
center of the storm for access to records.

These events are free and open to the public. Information on visiting the National
Archives, including transportation options, is available at
Fair attendees may use the special events entrance on Constitution Avenue to
enter the building.

* *

For further information, contact Marisa Bourgoin at or (202)
639-1721or Jennie Guilbaud at
or (301) 837-1777.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Open Thread

Use this thread to make suggestions, advertise events, find roommates, etc. Basically this is all you guys. (I'll post one of these every few messages or so.)

Meanwhile, please mark your calendars for the Allen Weinstein visit, Tuesday, Oct. 10, now at 3:00 PM in the McKeldin Special Events Room (6137). Also don't forget to come to Americana this tuesday-- the website for that is linked on the main SAM webpage.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Not dead yet

I'm just restin'! Or possibly pinin' for the fjords.

Anyway, I am going to try to be more conscientious about updating this thing, seeing as how I set it up and everything. For now, a brief look at what's coming up on the SAM Calendar for September:

Peter Hirtle on Copyright, Wednesday, September 13, 7:00 PM, Non-Print Media Room H

If you're in 605, you're going to this anyway. If you're NOT in 605, it's still worth checking out, as you almost certainly will have to deal with copyright issues at one point or another during your archival career. Also, Peter Hirtle is a former president of SAA, so you can say to your friends and family, "I got to hear a former president of SAA speak!" (You may be greeted with blank stares upon making this pronouncement. This is perfectly natural.)

First Student Archivist Happy Hour, Wednesday, September 13, 8:30 PM, R.J. Bentley's

It's back, and it doesn't require a car! Join your fellow archivists and archivists-in-training at what is arguably the least sketchy (such as it is) bar in College Park, R.J. Bentley's, for good times, good beer (or whatever it is you drink) and an escape from the rigors of classes (if only for the evening). We'll try to get a table in the front-ish area for ease of finding us.

SAM Meeting, Wednesday, September 20, 4:30 PM, CLIS Lounge

It's taken a while to get around to it, but we do have meetings in this here club! Come hear about our plans for this year, or suggest some of your own. Send things you want to bring up to myself or Courtney.

Americana III, Tuesday, September 26, 6:30 PM, McKeldin Special Events (6125)

Now that we FINALLY have a room for this I feel comfortable advertising it. Americana is a celebration of American Archival Culture, and one of our "marquee" events for the year. This year, SAM brings you "Art In Archives," in which our three presenters will examine how the American Archives and Art (both visual and audio) work together-- or have trouble doing so. As this is a fundraiser for SAM, there will be a small fee to enter, but for that you get free food, live entertainment before the presentations, and three scintillating speakers. Look back here later for a link to the Americana site proper.

That's all I got for now, folks-- keep checking back! I promise to actually update....

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Allen Weinstein at UMD 10/10--Save the date!

We interrupt this SAA blogging to bring you the following exciting announcement: Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, will be speaking on the University of Maryland Campus on October 10, 2006! Unfortunately, that's all I have for you right now, but more details will be forthcoming here as they come in!

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