Hi! I'm Camille Tyndall, and I'm archivist! Here's where I like to share archives news and related tidbits, and sometimes get on my soapbox about the world as it relates to archives and records management. I gladly accept submissions or tips, just shoot me an email at ectyndall@gmail.com

You can also follow me on Twitter @ectyndall, or connect with me on LinkedIn.

If you are looking for my personal blog, it can be found at unseasonedskillet [dot] tumblr [dot] com

Background Illustrations provided by: http://edison.rutgers.edu/
Reblogged from kelsium  17 notes

calling archivists and Special Collection Folks!



Well, I’m getting a group together for Midwest Archives Conference 2015, and SAA 2015 so we can present based on the following:

"Locating Archives within Instutional Oppression"

Basically we’ll talk about how archives are oppressive in various ways and ways that you or your archive has found a way around that.  

Interested?  Shoot me an email, I need at least 2 other people to make a session, 3 is preferred.

Reblogged from unseasonedskillet  12 notes



A question for the archivists in the room:


I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I want to get opinions from other members of the profession. Do you believe that, if it is possible, it is important/preferable, so hire archivists who represent the community you are documenting? For example, if your collection focusing on…

To me it seems obvious that subject expertise is only beneficial.  But especially so in this case because archives and libraries are already so white-dominated and lacking in diversity, that it would just feel like another form of cultural appropriation.  Maybe there’s official literature or information to be found with the Archivists of Color group of the SAA or Ethnic Librarians of ALA, or just general feelings about it even on Tumblr.  But regarding the “academic distance” comment, I think that’s logic people have used in the past to justify keeping out marginalized people for being too biased, when in reality it’s an asset.  It’s also disingenuous to assume some people can just separate part of their identity and be “objective”and others can’t.  Here’s another relevant article about intersectionality and librarianship, and a resource about cultural appropriation for those who may not be familiar with it.

I completely agree on all points. I think I mispoke when I discussed the “academic distance” perspective…I don’t agree with it, but I understand that it exists as an argument.  Adding to the links you provided (great resources!) the NAAR also has developed the Protocols for Native American Archival Materials as a guide for archivists.

A further question: I think that the conversation has revolved around ethnic and racial identity, which is a HUGE concern (and rightly so) in the field, because libraries and archives are lacking in diversity.  Does the same hold true for other communities?  For example, if a collection focuses on the history of a specific geographic area, neighborhood, or community, does a history with and involvement in that communtiy help, if is it unnecessary?  Also, if we feel that all of this is the same thing and that yes, involvement and identity are always a good thing (which my gut is telling me they are), where does that fall in the matrix of “what we’re looking for” when hiring for positions?  

A question for the archivists in the room:

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I want to get opinions from other members of the profession.  Do you believe that, if it is possible, it is important/preferable, so hire archivists who represent the community you are documenting?  For example, if your collection focusing on documenting Native American cultures, or a specific geographical area’s culture and history, how important is it to have someone who is Native American, or from that geographical area?

I can see the argument for both sides.  Clearly, having an archivist from that group would provide specialized knowledge that another archivist might not have.  Also, they could provide potentially superior outreach to those communities due to their familiarity with the community and what would attract people to those collections.

However, there’s also something to be said for academic distance when processing, describing, and providing reference services for a collection.

I think about this a lot because I became an archivist because I felt that the accountability of the historical record was important, but increasingly, a big part of me feels called to work with collections that help document the history and culture of my home state.


Reblogged from rkjd  5 notes


"the guardians of history"—a documentary by mary samouelian (who is also an archivist) featuring many of the wonderful archivists at duke’s rubenstein library. 

Reblogged from archivalia  12 notes

When people think of archives at all, they think of mouldering files in forgotten basements or top-secret government reports that shady agents go rogue for in order to PROVE THEIR INNOCENCE. The truth is that real-world archives lie somewhere between those two extremes. There are definitely juicy, delightful secrets hidden in your local archives, but there are also a ton of super boring records and nasty paper cuts awaiting you. Before diving into archival research, you need to be prepared, is what we’re saying. By

Ask an Archivist | The Hairpin

Bad illustration, a library!

(via archivalia)