Category: News

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New Finding Aids at the Archives: August 2017

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Series 25232 Governor Leavitt Photographs

In the course of processing historical records our archivists write series inventories to describe them for research. The following list includes new inventories created during the month of August 2017:

FREE Disaster Planning Workshop

Utah State Archives and Records Service Cold Storage, Flood Cleanup

As the devastating events of Hurricane Harvey have shown us, we have little control over the disasters that impact our lives and our records. The way we respond to these disasters dictates the continuity of our operations and the preservation of our cultural resources.

Yet, not all disasters come with hurricane-force winds or earthquake shakes. Just last spring the cold storage for the State Archives microfilm collections had a minor flood that required immediate response to dry out not only the storage area but some of the microfilm. While such “minor” events seem small, without immediate attention these situations could grow to major catastrophes.

Understanding that these events can happen to any institution at any time, the Western States and Territories Preservation Assistance Services (WESTPAS), in cooperation with the Utah State Archives and Records Service, will provide a free, 2-part disaster planning workshop as part of Archives Month.

Randy Silverman, Preservation Librarian at the University of Utah, will be teaching Protecting Cultural Collections: Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery, which focuses on helping local and state agencies and other heritage institutions to:

      • Complete a disaster response & collection salvage plan
      • Learn how to train staff to implement your plan effectively
      • Set pre- and post-disaster action priorities for your collections
      • Understand practical decision-making skills needed during an emergency
      • Experience salvage procedures for books, documents, photos & objects

Workshop specifics:

Part 1 of the workshop includes 2.5 hours of online webinars about prevention and preparedness. Participants can view the webinars on their own or join with others at the State Archives to view the webinars as follows:

      • Webinar 1: Friday, September 15, 2017, 10:00 am – 11:30 am
      • Webinar 2: Monday, October 16, 2017, 10:00 am – 11:30 am

For those who wish to view the webinars at the State Archives please register on the Archives Website.

Part 2 of the workshop includes a day-long seminar about response and recovery.

      • Monday, October 23, 2017 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Participation in the in-person workshop requires viewing the online webinars BEFORE attending the Part 2 in-person workshop AND completing the workshop assignments given during the webinars.  Register Here for the in-person event. (This URL opens the WESTPAS calendar: register by clicking the month and day of the workshop desired.)

Who should attend?

Administrators and staff responsible for emergency preparedness and continuity of operations (COOP) planning, response, and decision-making should attend. This also includes local and state appointed records officers and chief administrative officers.

Participating institutions will be invited to join an informal network of WESTPAS trained personnel to provide mutual aid in the event of emergencies involving collections in your region.

Cost:

This event is FREE for all attendees. The funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Registration:

All individuals must register for the event.

Register to view the webinars at the State Archives here: https://axaemarchives.utah.gov/cgi-bin/traininglist.cgi.

Register online for the in-person session at: http://tinyurl.com/ot4kve2(This URL opens the WESTPAS calendar: register by clicking the month and day of the workshop desired.)

 For assistance with registering for the webinar viewings at the State Archives contact: Rae Gifford, rgifford@utah.gov.

For in-person seminar registration assistance contact: Wendy Cao, caow@plsinfo.org

For general & content information contact: Randy Silverman, randy.silverman@utah.edu, 801-585-6782

Jim Kichas Receives CoSA-Ancestry Leadership Award

At this year’s Council of State Archivists (CoSA) Annual Meeting Work Session in July our own Jim Kichas reported on his learning opportunities as part of the CoSA-Ancestry Leadership Award he had received. Patricia Smith-Mansfield and Ken Williams nominated Jim for the award to help him in his new position as Archives Manager here at the Utah State Archives and Records Service.

CoSA paired up with Ancestry to award the CoSA-Ancestry Leadership Award in an effort “to facilitate next generation leadership development.” The COSA-Ancestry leadership award funds a leadership opportunity for mid-level managers at state and territorial archives. The goal of these opportunities is to support the up-and-coming managers, to “improve job performance, professional knowledge and skills, and to enhance leadership capabilities, particularly as they relate to fostering collaboration, interdisciplinary project management and strategic thinking.”

With this understanding, Jim used his opportunity to attend a Dale Carnegie Leadership Training for Managers. This three-day training focused on a number of topics through interactive group training and exercises and was a prime opportunity for Jim to evaluate his personal leadership style.  Jim described it as

an important professional development opportunity that has led to real, identifiable changes in myself, my leadership style, and how that style directs action at my institution. My single biggest takeaway is that, while I’m far from a perfect leader, I do have the capability to learn from my successes and my mistakes and iteratively improve my overall leadership capacity and capabilities.

Congrats on your award, Jim!

Newly Processed: June-July 2017

Salt Lake City County Building

All public records at the Utah State Archives are accessible through the Research Center. However, once processed the records are easier to use with proper storage and descriptions, including these series inventories. The following list includes record series that were processed during the months of June and July 2017:

The changes continue…..

Last week we said good-bye to Patricia Smith-Mansfield. This week we said hello to Kenneth Williams, appointed by the Governor’s Office as the new director of the Utah Division of Archives and Records Service. So, I sat down with Ken to talk to him about his past and what he sees as the Archives’ future.

Ken has been working with the Archives for a long time. He celebrated his 25th anniversary in July and loves it here. His favorite thing about our archives is our great staff and the chance he has to get his “hands dirty” working with the records.

Ken earned his bachelors and masters degrees from Utah State University. During his graduate studies in history, Ken’s mentor Dr. Norm Jones helped Ken secure a fellowship in the University’s Special Collections. Ken’s work with the Special Collections, under the guidance of  Brad Cole and the late A.J. Simmonds, cemented his love for the Archives. Eventually he enrolled at Florida State University to complete his post graduate course work.

Ken looks forward to his new position and the opportunities he has to build upon the solid archival foundation already in place here at the Archives. He hopes to continue to increase public access through Open Government initiatives and outreach opportunities with the goal of meeting the needs of all of our constituencies, both governmental and public. He is also going to work to have our archives certified as one of the few trusted digital repositories in the United States.

Thanks Ken for taking on the new responsibilities. Congratulations and good luck!

Goodbye and Good Luck!

Tricia’s time with the Utah State Archives has affected more than just policy and programs. This week I spent some time with our employees trying to understand the impact she has had on their lives.

When asked what they will miss most about working with Tricia, employees’ responses varied. Many commented on Tricia’s knowledge and her ability to defend the Archives and the laws that govern our state’s records management.  Others noted her positive and passionate personality. Employees noted her kindness, respect, and professionalism. As our microfilm technician Jim Duke said, “No matter if you were a [security] guard or a new employee she counted your opinion and listened.”

The employees also have a number of favorite memories over the years. While many recall her various costumes at the staff Halloween parties over the years, the Cruella DeVille shown here was fondly remembered by more than one employee, Tricia’s ability to recognize the importance of her employees was the most common theme among the memories. Small moments that impacted individuals in great ways were often remarked upon. Jim Kichas remembered her repeated encouragement and constant support just before and after the birth of his daughter. Janell Tuttle recalled how she was allowed to rearrange her schedule during one summer so she could help care for the new puppy she and her husband had just adopted.  Rosemary Cundiff recalled that when Tricia’s brother passed away Tricia still came to work to lead the staff retreat, even though the funeral was that same evening.  In these and many other ways Tricia has supported her staff and helped them to become the wonderful team that we are. As Heidi Stringham stated: “Tricia always had our back.”

Tricia’s unique personality and leadership skills will be remembered long after she has begun her relaxing retirement.

Today we had to say goodbye and Tricia finally allowed us to take her picture with her good-bye gift: A year’s supply of Diet Coke.

We will miss you and wish you all the best!

Patricia Smith-Mansfield Transformed the Utah State Archives

Alan Barnett, our Reference Room Manager, has stated, “From the beginning Tricia pushed the staff to establish better intellectual control of the collection, [we inventoried] everything as it moved to the new Archives building, emphasized the key objective of open public access to records, and worked for a more efficient, streamlined process for scheduling records.”  

Tricia understood that the State Archives is more than just the keeper of governmental records. We are the custodians of the records, we preserve them so we can provide access to them. Yet, if we don’t understand what we have (intellectual control) then we can’t provide access or ensure preservation. The initial inventories were the foundation of the barcoding system we use today. With increased intellectual control came the need for better records management and public access. Tricia worked with our records analyst team to ensure an update of the General Retention Schedules and provide records management education, as well as create easier record series scheduling processes for state and local agencies. Tricia also championed our Digital Archives, which now has over 1 million historic public records available online for public access 24/7.  

With these changes Tricia also continuously encouraged professional development and outreach programs. Our employees have remained informed on the best practices in our field and networked with a variety of groups, such as the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists (CIMA), the Utah Manuscript Association (UMA), and ARMA International (the records management professional association). Tricia’s understanding of outreach has ensured that the Utah State Archives has a number of programs to support our sister agencies. Our Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB) has provided grant funds to a number of smaller cultural heritage institutions. Our regional repository and local government programs work to provide broader access and long-term preservation to our historical government records.  Finally, Tricia introduced our volunteer program and has been instrumental in initiating our Friends of the State Archives program.

There are many other initiatives that Tricia supported over the years, if only we could discuss each one. Thanks to Tricia’s intelligence and forward thinking, the Utah State Archives has moved into a position of being a respected national leader in the archival profession.

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Tricia leading the 2016 Staff Retreat.