Category: Events

MayDay, MayDay!

Every year on May 1st, the Society of American Archivists focuses on how institutions can plan to preserve their collections in the event of an emergency. This year, the Utah State Archives and Records Service was able to participate in this nationwide campaign in a variety of ways.

On April 20, 2017, Archives Staff participated in Utah’s annual earthquake drill (Great Utah ShakeOut) and reevaluated our red “go bags.” During the drill, staff huddled under desks and tables until the “shaking” stopped. We then quickly and efficiently moved to our designated safe location until it was deemed safe to return to work. Staff were asked to determine the successes and failures of the drill to be discussed at a later time.

For our actual MayDay events this morning, staff gathered for a large re-appraisal project.

One of the core concepts of collection survival is to ensure that records are identified and maintained according to their appraised value. This allows for records to be destroyed or preserved in accordance with their approved retention schedules. As part of a larger cleanup and inventory project, a number of boxes were identified in our permanent repository that had been marked for destruction. Yet, some of the boxes appeared to have intrinsic historic value. These boxes needed to be reviewed and reappraised to determine if the records should be destroyed according to their retention schedules, or if the retention schedule should updated to allow the records to be incorporated into the permanent repository collection and maintained. As the old adage states, many hands make light work. In a few short hours we were able to correctly appraise all of the record series, many of which were slated for permanent preservation.

With the re-appraisal project finished, the staff gathered in the afternoon to discuss disaster preparedness and recovery. A video discussing the 2011 and 2016 earthquakes in New Zealand was introduced to open a discussion about planning for our response to such an event here in Utah. (The Wasatch Fault here in the state is an active fault that could cause serious damage).

The discussion also included a followup to our Great Utah ShakeOut drills and how we can improve our policies to better protect our staff and the records in our care.

As our preservationist, Alan Barnett, mentioned last week, preserving the records of Utah’s government for future generations is a core part of our job. A key component of that preservation is to ensure that the records will survive in the event of a disaster. Each year MayDay allows us to set aside some time to plan and prepare for the worst case scenario. This ensures that those future generations will have the records they need to understand our present and past.

Regional Repository Statewide Forum

regional-repository-promo (2017)Currently there are eleven officially recognized regional repositories throughout the state.  The regional repositories are authorized to collect, process, preserve and make available historical records for research and study by the public.  The State Archives can provide copies of government records to these Regional Repositories so people don’t have to travel to Salt Lake City to see government records for their region. Working together with institutions throughout the state, the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board is committed to preserving Utah’s historical records for future generations.

On March 30, 2017 representatives of these repositories will be meeting at the Utah State Archives to learn, exchange ideas, and plan for the future of the program as this is the 10th anniversary for this meeting.  The USHRAB Consortium is also invited to this meeting.

RootsTech 2017

Utah State Archives booth at RootsTech 2017
Utah State Archives booth at RootsTech 2017

The RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City was a great experience for the Utah State Archives. It was wonderful to to meet so many old and new friends.

Join Us at RootsTech 2017

RootsTech_logo4x6 postcard Citizenship (2016) 300ppi

The Utah State Archives is proud to announce that we will be an exhibitor at RootsTech, one of the largest genealogical conferences in the world, in Salt Lake City, Utah from February 8-10, 2017. We’re excited to connect with both those who know of our extensive resources available for family history and those who may not (yet). Look for us in the Expo Hall of the Salt Palace in booth #1422!

Minutes of the Capitol Commission Online

page__53
Members of the Utah Capitol Commission  during the laying of the cornerstone in 1914 (series 11275)

We are now midway through Archives Month, and the Utah State Archives continues to direct its focus and activities on celebrating the 100th year anniversary of the Utah State Capitol. This week we would like to share information on another new addition to the Digital Archives that documents the earliest planning and construction of “the people’s building.”

The Capitol Commission was formed in 1909 and authorized to select a suitable design for the building, and oversee the execution of plans and specifications for the erection of a State Capitol building on the Capitol grounds in Salt Lake City.

The minutes of the Capitol Commission have been digitized and are now available for online research through the Digital Archives. These minutes document the formal meetings of the Capitol Commission between 1909 and the completion of the Capitol in 1916. Meeting minutes record the names of members present at meetings, rules for a design competition for the building, information on outside consultants utilized during the planning and construction stages, expenses incurred by commission members in furtherance of their duties, group discussions about bids and the issuing of contracts, agreements for expenditures, and a list of the original cornerstone contents placed during building construction in 1914.

Capitol Commission Photographs Online

The Utah State Archives is pleased to kickoff Utah Archives Month with the first in a month-long blog series spotlighting records in our holdings that tell the story of the construction of Utah’s State Capitol building (celebrating its 100th year anniversary this month!).

11275001001_030
The dome of the Utah State Capitol under construction in 1914.

This week we are highlighting photographs from the Capitol Commission which document the construction of the State Capitol. The majority of series 11275 contains pictures of the finished capitol building, ground breaking ceremony, initial excavation of the construction site, and individuals involved in the construction process. The collection also holds a unique commemorative photograph album produced by Shipler’s Commercial Photographs of Salt Lake City which was presented to commission members. The album documents the various phases of construction and construction details including cement, granite, and marble work, monoliths, interior details, phases of arch and dome construction, and numerous pictures from various angles of the exterior.

Stay tuned throughout October as we continue to tell the story of the construction of Utah’s State Capitol through the archival records held by the Utah State Archives!

RootsTech 2016

File Feb 09, 2 10 29 PMThe RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City was a great experience for the Utah State Archives. We were able to meet many old friends and meet some new ones we hope to see again soon.

Join Us at RootsTech 2016

RootsTech_logo4x6 postcard Citizenship (2016) 300ppi

The Utah State Archives is proud to announce that we will be an exhibitor at RootsTech, one of the largest genealogical conferences in the world, in Salt Lake City, Utah from February 4-6, 2016. We’re excited to connect with both those who know of our extensive resources available for family history and those who may not (yet). Look for us in the Expo Hall of the Salt Palace in booth #1328!

Utah Archives Month 2015

October was an extremely busy month at the Utah State Archives, filled with conferences, workshops, and events celebrating Utah Archives Month 2015. The Utah State Archives was one of many repositories around the state who developed special programming to publicize the vital role archives and special collection repositories play in preserving our shared cultural record for future access and use.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of our 2015 Utah Archives Month activities is their diversity in format. This marked the first year that staff at the Utah State Archives curated online exhibits specifically for Archives Month. The first of these exhibits focuses on the history of Utah’s development of the Colorado River during the 20th century. The second online exhibit highlights the state of Utah’s legal case against labor organizer (and accused murderer) Joe Hill, who was executed by the state of Utah 100 years ago, on November 19, 1915.

The Utah State Archives was also pleased to host two important training events in October. The first event, held on October 6th, was a WESTPAS disaster preparedness workshop, entitled Protecting Cultural Collections: Preparedness, Response & RecoveryWe were also pleased to host a Society of American Archivists digital archives specialist certification course dealing with copyright issues in digital archives that was held at the Utah State Archives on October 9th.

Finally, the Utah State Archives was honored to host a series of brown bag lectures, on a variety of important topics, every Wednesday in October. Our first lecture was given by folklorist Carol Edison, on October 7th, and dealt with the history of gravestone carvers in Sanpete County. Our second lecture was offered on October 14th by archivist Jim Kichas, who discussed the legal history, and ensuing development, of the Colorado River in Utah during the 20th century. The third Utah Archives Month lecture event, held on October 21st, featured historian Sarah Fox who offered a compelling presentation on her book Downwind: A People’s History of the Nuclear West. And, finally, our fourth lecture event, on October 28th, was offered by historian Brian Cannon, who gave a fascinating presentation based on his recently published work, The Awkward State of Utah: Coming of Age in the Nation, 1896-1945. The Utah State Archives would like to take this opportunity to extend a “thanks” to all of our presenters who helped make this year’s Archives Month celebration a particularly memorable one!

The Utah State Archives would also like to thank the Utah Humanities Council for helping make presenters available through their 18th annual Utah Book Festival program, as well as providing grant funding that assisted with the promotion of this year’s Utah Archives Month events.

Until next October!

2015 Utah Archives Month Poster
2015 Utah Archives Month Poster