Behind the Scenes at the THS Archives

We have decided to share with you a broader behind-the-scenes view of our Archives.   Our staff and volunteers are working on a wide variety of projects – re-housing collections into archival folders and boxes; cataloging books for addition to the library; indexing and filing new clippings, magazines, and photographs; digitizing images; and creating electronic databases for the collections.  The Archives is available to researchers and every month THS assists a variety of patrons.

In March, the Archives did research for or hosted on-site research by:

 2 newspapers/journalists
5 authors
1 documentary filmmaker
1 restoration/preservation effort
3 for personal use
1 other (use in live theater as scenery/backdrop)


Other Activities in March:

Chicago Architectural Photographing Co Collection Project: THS’s temporary Project Archivist, Katie Sleyko started on Mar 14th.  She will re-process and re-house the CAPC Collection.  This project is supported in part with funds from the Illinois Association of Museums.

Collection Policy Revision: A revised draft of the THS Collection Policy has been sent to the Archive and Executive Committees for review.  The purpose is to clarify what is (and is not) relevant to the Archives, the procedure for incorporating new items and collections, and when and how to remove items from the Archives.  The goal is to have a completed revision for approval by the Board at the June Board Meeting.

Host Archives Graduate Student: A local student in the on-line MLIS program from UW-Milwaukee was on-site for a week doing a variety of projects.  The student was hosted as part of the Alternative Spring Break program through UWM.  The student volunteered approximately 35 hours.

ISHRAB Grant: Archive Director Kathy McLeister submitted a grant proposal requesting funds for archival supplies to continue to re-house the Collections.  ISHRAB (Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board) is a re-grant program from NHPRC (National Historical Publications and Records Commission) which is the grant giving arm of NARA (National Archives and Records Administration). Announcement of recipients is slated for May 31, 2011. 

Volunteer Coordinators of Cultural Institutions of the Chicagoland Area (VCCI): For the first time THS is participating in VCCI’s ‘Free Tours for Volunteers’ program.  April 10th-16th is Volunteer Appreciation Week and VCCI coordinates a list of opportunities for free tours of cultural institutions for volunteer of participating institutions.  THS will host volunteers as well as make the list of other institutions’ opportunities available to THS volunteers.

We will share more news on these projects in the coming months.  We will update you about new collections, tell you about the things that excite us in our collections, and discuss the important work being done in the Archives to make our collections accessible and available to researchers.

We hope you will enjoy this window into the Archives!

–Kathy McLeister, MLIS
THS Archive Director

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