SCA Lightning Talk: Disruption, Transition, Adaptation

Wondering what Special Collections and Archives (SCA) has been up to during the pandemic? Check out our recorded lighting round for the New York Archives Conference, “Disruption, Transition, Adaptation: Archivists Working Under COVID-19” featuring staff, interns, and fellows associated with the department over the last year and a half. I’m very proud of our work during this time, as well as how we supported each other as a team.  

YouTube playlist

“Our Pandemic Story Through Artifacts:” Annie Tummino on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday

On March 7, 2021, Annie Tummino, Head of Special Collections & Archives at Queens College Library, was interviewed by LuLu Garcia-Navarro on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday to discuss the Queens College COVID-19 Collection, which is a part of the Queens Memory COVID-19 Project.  Tummino is a part of a collaborative effort in community archiving that includes Queens College Library, Queens Memory, and Queens Public Library.

The interview focused on the amazing work that archivists do to preserve our experiences and memories of this time.  It goes into the work of Tummino’s team in collecting the stories of COVID-19, documenting the digital artifacts (videos, oral histories, images, documents, etc.), and preserving them for the future so that there is a record of today’s experience during the global pandemic. As Tummino puts it, “the role of archivists is not only to preserve old records but also to figure out what’s happening in the world today that researchers and community members will want to be able to study and understand in the future.” 

Take some time and listen to the interview (3 minutes), explore the Queens College COVID-19 Collection, and maybe contribute your own story to the historical record.  Also, check out Tummino in the recent JSTOR Daily article, “Preserving the History of Coronavirus in Queens.”

New Digital Platform for Special Collections and Archives

Queens College Library is proud to launch a new digital platform for its Special Collections and Archives in partnership with the JSTOR Open Community Collections initiative. The site launches with close to 700 digital objects from our civil right collections, institutional archives, and rare books and manuscripts. The content is openly accessible on the web through JSTOR, a scholarly database used by more than 81 million scholars and students across 170 countries and territories every year. 

Working remotely this fall, Special Collections and Archives staff will catalog and upload hundreds of additional items to the site. Intern Kuba Pieczarski (funded by the Félix V. Matos Rodríguez Internship Fund) is expanding the new COVID-19 Collection documenting the experience of the Queens College community during the pandemic; Graduate Fellow Victoria Fernandez (funded by the Freda S. and J. Chester Johnson Endowment) is working with civil rights movement materials; and Archives Assistant and recent GSLIS graduate Caitlin Waldron is posting images of the campus through the decades. 

The collections benefit from JSTOR’s features and interface, including full-text search; citation management tools; filtering and faceting; content download; and sharing. Make sure to check out the site at https://www.jstor.org/site/queenscollegearchives/, including the Silhouette yearbook form 1941-2011; original photographs documenting the involvement of Queens College students in the Civil Rights Movement of the early to mid 1960s; rare manuscripts from our “Pages from the Past” collection; and the scrapbooks of Dr. Andrew Greller, Professor Emeritus of Biology.

You can learn more about the JSTOR Open Community Collections initiative at https://about.jstor.org/whats-in-jstor/open-community-collections/.

Rosenthal Library Archives Fellow & GSLIS graduate Jeanie Pai wins SAA Award

Queens College Library is proud to announce that Jeanie Pai, who served as a Graduate Fellow in Special Collections and Archives over the 2019-2020 academic year, is the 2020 recipient of the Donald Peterson Student Travel Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). As announced by SAA: 

Established in 2005, the Donald Peterson Student Travel Award supports students and recent graduates from graduate archival programs within North America to attend SAA’s Annual Meeting. The goal of the scholarship is to stimulate greater participation in the activities of SAA, such as presenting research or actively participating in an SAA-sponsored committee or section. 

Pai is a recent graduate of the Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. Her SAA poster presentation is entitled, Paper Sons of the Chinese Exclusion Era. It describes her research into the history and experiences of paper sons, and how they contributed to the shaping of Chinese American communities. Her interests lie in emerging issues of inclusion and access, particularly toward resources for disadvantaged groups that are historically misrepresented. She is committed to recognizing the gaps in collections, and exploring honest ways to preserve the history of marginalized groups, including what archival materials to collect, how it is described, and who has access to the records. Pai’s belief is that active inclusion allows archivists to create democratic spaces where people of all backgrounds have agency and representation.

A supporter of Pai states, “She is genuinely motivated by the core values of social justice, ethics, inclusion, and access and will continue to be guided by them in her career.”

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Pai is pictured (right) with Archives Fellow Tom Gubernat at the Memory Lab Bootcamp in Washington DC in January 2020. Pai and Gubernat’s Archives Fellowships in the Queens College LIbrary were funded by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.