2011 Georgia Archives Institute
Continuing education is important in any profession, so the volunteer committee members here at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Archives work towards staying current on archives and records management trends. Many of the volunteers have attended the “Keeping Girl Scout History” workshop at the Edith Macy Conference Center in New York State. In 2008, over 60% of all councils preserved and used a history collection to promote an understanding of the Girl Scout Legacy. Sponsored by the Girl Scouts of the USA National Historic Preservation Center (NHPC), this course provided basic archives and records management skills for volunteers.
One of our volunteers, Sue Belden, was able to attend the 44th Georgia Archives Institute from June 6-17, 2011. Designed for beginning archivists, manuscript curators, and librarians, the Georgia Archives Institute offers general instruction in the basic concepts and practices of archival administration and management of traditional and modern documentary materials.
Week one of the Institute provided a comprehensive introduction to the concepts and practices of managing all formats of documentary materials in archival repositories. Topics included starting an archives program, selection and appraisal, acquisitions and accessioning, arrangement, description, reference and access issues, electronic records, and legal and administrative issues.
Week two began with a day-long class on preservation which included such topics as general strategies of preservation management, nature of archival materials, causes of deterioration, storage environments, disaster preparedness, security, and simple preservation maintenance procedures. Included is an in-depth look at the Georgia Archives’ spacious, state-of-the-art conservation lab, as well as a demonstration of some basic holdings maintenance techniques. The remainder of the second week was spent as an internship in one of various local archival repositories. Sue was able to do her internship at the National Archives-Southeast Region.
She said that she thoroughly enjoyed the experience, learned quite a bit, and liked being able to meet other professionals in the area. She also can’t wait to put her knowledge to good use and continue the work she’s done since 1989 with the Council Archives.