by Susan Woodland, Senior Archivist, American Jewish Historical Society
October is Archives Month, and the archives community in metropolitan New York celebrated the week of October 7th with an extensive list of repository tours, programs, exhibits, a symposium on Disaster Recovery inspired by last fall’s superstorm Sandy, and an award ceremony. See the website of the Archivists Roundtable of Metropolitan New York (ART) for photographs and information about the week’s activities.
The five partners of the Center for Jewish History participated in Archives Week with two events. First, on Monday October 7th, the Center was a co-host with ART of the Disaster Recovery symposium. Video from the sessions will be posted soon on the ART site.
And second, the partners joined together with Center staff to host a two-hour information session and a tour behind the scenes, free and open to the general public. The information session included Q&As on conservation treatments with common family history items like books, photographs and older documents with Felicity Corkill, associate conservator; tips on reformatting older audio-visual formats with Zachary Loeb, reference services librarian, and Sarah Ponichtera, processing archivist; and what not to do with scrapbooks with Michael Simonson, archivist at LBI, and Susan Woodland, senior archivist at AJHS.
Tours are a regular part of the Center schedule, but the Archives Week tour was special in that it highlighted work that goes on in the building to support the work of the archivists and librarians in the areas of preservation, digitization and access to information.
Center staff who spoke during the tour included Jennifer Rodewald, manager of the Gruss Lipper digital lab; Rachel C. Miller, senior manager for archival processing in the Shelby White and Leon Levy processing lab; Miriam R. Haier, senior manager for communications and publications; Laura Leone, director of archive and library services; Moriah Amit, reference services librarian, genealogy specialist; and Melanie Meyers, senior reference services librarian for special collections.