#SAA14: My First SAA!


UT iSchool students and grads (l-r) Kathi Isham, Heather Bollinger, Katie O’Connell, myself, Lisa Rivoir, Samantha Bruner, Lauren Gaylord, and Lilly Carrel, at the Library of Congress.

I’m so excited to share these pictures from my recent trip to the Society of American Archivsts’ annual meeting in Washington, DC: Archives*Records: Ensuring Access. Coming at the end of a two-week family vacation, in which I traveled more than 2,000 miles by car through eight states, my first SAA was a whirlwind conclusion to a bit of a whirlwind trip. Luckily, thanks to the generous friends and family with whom I stayed along the way, I arrived reasonably refreshed and ready to absorb all I could.

First, I want to say a huge thank you to Kate Theimer at ArchivesNext and all of the contributors to the Spontaneous Scholarship, as well as the Student Association of the School of Information, which awarded me a conference grant. This assistance greatly helped me to fund my attendance at SAA as a graduate student, and I am deeply grateful.

This conference provided a broad, invigorating view of the archives profession and allowed me to make many new contacts, both professional and personal. I also learned a great deal from every session I attended, and enjoyed meeting people and talking about the Society of American Archivists – University of Texas Student Chapter during the graduate student poster sessions on Thursday and Friday. The Texas Roundup, an alumni event organized at SAA for more than 25 years by Dr. David B. Gracy II, was so inspiringseeing so many iSchool graduates doing amazing things all around the country! Wow. And, of course, my first-ever SAA culminated in my first-ever visit to the Library of Congress for the all-attendee reception. Seeing the breathtaking architecture, Thomas Jefferson’s library, and the current exhibition “A Thousand Years of the Persian Book” were wonderful enough, but getting to wander around in the Reading Room—and card catalog!—was a real treat. I can’t wait until SAA returns to DC in 2018!

Finally big thanks, too, to our SAA-UT faculty sponsor, Dr. Ciaran Trace (I have your flair!), our SAA-UT Board members Lauren Gaylord, Rachel Winston, Lilly Carrel, Kathi Isham, and Angela Swift, SAA-UT sponsor emeritus Dr. Gracy, Dean of Graduate Studies Financial Advisor Veronica Cantu, iSchool Director of Development and Alumni Relations Cassie Alvarado, travel companion and zinecore maven Jennifer Hecker, and the entire staff of the UT iSchool.


The opening remarks and plenary were held in the ballroom of the Marriott Wardman Park, the largest hotel in DC. Impressive!


Woo! I ended up with a considerable amount of flair by the end, including a cool Longhorn sticker and a snazzy pin representing Rebecca Elder’s preservation consulting firm, Elder Preservation.


Archivists everywhere!


The relaxing garden outside the hotel.


One of the most helpful and meaty sessions I attended: Lean In: Archival Management and the Gender Dynamics of Leadership. Had to take some notes because the presenters were laying down so much hard-won wisdom!


I made it all the way to DC with this poster! Two weeks on the road! Success! Thanks again to the Purple Shirts at the UT iSchool Lab, who helped me format and print this baby.


There was a great turnout at our SAA Student Chapter Leaders round table, organized by SAA-UT Vice President Lauren Gaylord! Lauren is also a 2013-2015 ARL/SAA Mosaic Program Fellow. Congrats, Lauren!


Our very own Dr. David Gracy with Ms. Hideko Kato, who was a translator and English stenographer for the Douglas Mac-Arther’s General Headquarters in Japan, and later for the Occupation headquarters. She studied at the Georgia State College of Business Administration during 1957-1958, and is a contributor to the Alice Duggan and David Caldwell Gracy Endowed Presidential Scholarship, which supports iSchool students studying archives and records administration or information access preservation. Sorry for the blurry photo. There was a lot of excitement, understandably.


And here’s a composite photo made by my fellow iSchooler Michelle Roell, of me and her with Dr. Gracy at the Texas Roundup! Hook ’em!


One of the many amazing sessions I attended: Access Under Occupation: Archival Collections in Palestine.


Our very own MSIS student Cindy L. Taylor presents her fascinating paper, “‘Some Methodical Person’: Querying Virginia Woolf’s Self-Archival Practices in Three Guineas.” There were more attendees! I just couldn’t fit them and her slide into the photograph!


Afternoon stop in the Round Robin & Scotch Bar at the Willard Hotel, recommended by Lilly Carrel.


Tulane archivist and iSchool grad Samantha Bruner, Lilly, and me. Cheers!




Me, Lilly, and Samantha hooking ’em at the White House. A gorgeous day.


Archivist takeover at the Library of Congress!


Stunning view of the Capitol from the Library of Congress.


The incredible architecture inside the Library of Congress. I felt like a Medici for a night.


This exhibition was great! I even made noteslearned of some groundbreaking Iranian novelists and a modern calligrapher whom I want to learn more about.


I mean… amazing, no? Jefferson’s Library.


Library of Congress.


Archivists enjoying the Library of Congress Reading Room.






Sunset behind the dome, captured from the second floor of the Library of Congress.


The ceiling in the Library of Congress main hall. Looks like they need a lightbulb…


After the reception, some of us iSchool students took a night stroll along the Mall… some made it farther than others.


Jennifer “La Suprema” Hecker is obviously The Best.


As a current docent and graduate research intern at the Neill-Cochran House Museum in Austin, I had to squeeze in a visit to the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America national headquarters at Dumbarton House!



Jennifer and I also went on a guided tour of another historic house museum, the Heurich House, home of DC’s 19th and early-20th century master brewer, Christian Heurich. I found out about this gem serendipitously, while tweeting during the “Lean In” session with the Heurich’s archivist, Erika Goergen!


View toward the National Mall from the roof of our Airbnb rental, on one of the highest hills in DC. Breathtaking.


A few snaps from my Sunday morning walk around Georgetown…





Celebrating the end of SAA with a Bellini at District Kitchen (excellent shrimp and grits, by the way). And, with that, my summer of travel comes to a close.

Thanks, everybody! Hope you all had a productive SAA, or, if you haven’t ever attended, have the opportunity to do so soon. It was a wonderful experience.


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