MVAR 5/19 Recap

The most recent meeting of the Miami Valley Archives Roundtable (MVAR) was hosted today by the University of Dayton Archives and archivist Rachel DeHart.

There were quite a few attendees at today’s meeting, but I just have a few notes from the Institutional Reports portion of the gathering:

  • Ms. Cook, a Wright State student interning at the AFRL History Office at WPAFB, announced that her exhibits class is opening an exhibit about toys at the Boonshoft Museum on June 9th.
  • Betsy Wilson, South Park neighborhood historian and writer of house histories, announced that she will be hosting a South Park memorial walk in Woodland Cemetery on Memorial Day (May 30th).

After the institutional reports, Nancy Horlacher, the Local History Specialist at the Dayton Metro Library (and a colleague and co-worker of mine), spoke briefly regarding the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 1913 Flood. She inquired whether anyone had started planning any commemorative events yet. (No one made any definite response in the affirmative.) Nancy indicated that the Library would like to participate if there are any “big” collaborations. (We’re not trying to shoehorn our way in where we’re not wanted, of course, but this seems like a good opportunity for a collaboration between all the historical agencies in the area – and there are a bunch!) She also offered that the Library will be happy to help “cross-promote” any smaller, individual events. So bring us your historical event flyers, and we’ll be glad to set them out on our local history reference desk! (And that goes for any local historical activities, not just the 1913 flood!)

Next, Rachel reviewed the names, dates, and locations of upcoming conferences of interest:

Next was the presentation and tour segment of the meeting. Rachel gave a great presentation about an interesting project they have been working on at the UD Archives to organize and preserve existing faculty papers in the collection, as well as invite additional faculty donations. According to a brochure handed out today, these faculty papers include “materials created or accumulated during a faculty member’s career, encompassing teaching, scholarship, and service to the University and to his or her profession” (“Faculty Legacies” brochure, 2011). You can read more about faculty papers at the UD Archives here. (The web site is great!)

Rachel also mentioned that UD Archives recently began using Flickr to share unidentified photos from their collection. The site was promoted in the University of Dayton Magazine, which has helped to bring traffic to the site. (So if you know any UD alumni or faculty, send them to UD Archives’ Flickr page – maybe they can help make some identifications!) We have a Dayton Metro Library local history Flickr account (as I’m sure you know if you’ve been reading this blog!), which we may use for a similar project in the future. We definitely have some unidentified photos!

After the presentation, Rachel gave us a tour of the archives. That was especially fun for me, since I used to work at the UD Archives as an intern (2006-2007). Then, the archives was under the previous archivist; Rachel became the archivist in 2008. And I noticed several positive changes today, compared to what I remember. I would have expected nothing less! (Rachel and I know each other from graduate school.) Now, I don’t mean to imply anything negative about the previous archivist; but if you’re going to make changes, it’s always good when they result in an improvement!

After the tour, everyone was invited to attend lunch at the private home of two of our MVAR members, who live in an historic neighborhood. Usually, we all go to a nearby restaurant, so this was a wonderful treat! And so, yet another MVAR came to an end. We’ll see each other again in August. 🙂


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