Are you looking to recharge your professional life?

“It was an amazing, career-changing experience. I feel so much more prepared now to carry out not only special projects but also my ordinary, daily responsibilities. I feel like I now have the tools to try new approaches to solve problems--these aren't ‘problems’ anymore; they're opportunities.” - ALI13 Cohort Member

Thursday, December 1, 2016

ALI Applications Now Closed

The application period for the 2017 Archives Leadership Institute is now closed. Thank you to all who applied. The Steering Committee will begin their evaluation and we will announce the new cohort in mid-January.

Applications for the 2018 Archives Leadership Institute will be available in September 2017.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Call for Applicants: ALI 2017

Call for Applicants:
2017 Archives Leadership Institute at Berea College
“Leaders emerge according to their ability to carry out activities 
that move the profession forward.”  (A*CENSUS, p. 408)

  • Are you looking for a way to recharge your professional life?
  • Do you crave a challenge that will empower you to affect change?
  • Would you like to expand your network of peers while building relationships that will impact you for the rest of your career?

The Archives Leadership Institute (ALI) is a dynamic program that provides advanced leadership training and mentorship for 25 innovative archival leaders, giving them the knowledge and tools to transform the profession in practice, theory and attitude.  

Applications for the 2017 program are now open and will close on November 30, 2016. Details about the application process and what characteristics the ideal ALI participant has can be found at Participants selected as the 2017 Cohort will be notified by the end of January 2017.

The Archives Leadership Institute has been funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) since 2008 and was held at the University of Wisconsin Madison until 2012 and at Luther College from 2013 to 2015.  The Institute will be held at Berea College for the next three years.

The 2017 Institute will be held June 25 - July 1, 2017.  The program will begin Sunday evening and finish by noon on the following Saturday.  Participants must attend the entire Institute.

If you have any questions, please visit or contact Rachel Vagts at <>.
    Learn more about who should apply, the expectations of ALI participants, and how the application process works:

    Friday, August 12, 2016

    Libby Coyner, ALI16 shares blog post about her experience at ALI

    Archives Leadership Institute – Berea, Kentucky

    – by Libby Coyner, Archivist 
    The Archives Leadership 2016 Cohort
    It’s been nearly a month since I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Archives Leadership Institute in Berea, Kentucky, and I wanted to jot down a few thoughts about the magical week. The experience gave me lots of great stuff to bring home to my own institution, but on a personal level, I wanted to share how wonderful it was to enjoy a few days in a lovely setting, getting to learn from my colleagues across the country, and to be reminded of how very fortunate I find myself as part of this larger archives community.
    The fearless leaders – organizers and mentors at ALI: Daniel Noonan, Rachel Vagts, Geof Huth. Terry Baxter, Tanya Zanish-Belcher. Beth Myers, Brenda Gunn
    First off, I want to say thanks to the organizers of Archives Leadership Institute – I know that coordinating a schedule that action-packed is no small feat! On top of that, they made the week accessible to everyone thanks to a grant funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) – I was a recipient of a very generous scholarship that enabled me to attend. ALI receives at least twice as many applications as can attend, so I recognize what an honor it was to have been selected. (I believe I was the lone representation from a state archives).
    Our lovely view every morning!
    After several canceled flights, missed shuttles, and sleeping on the floor at the airport, I left Phoenix 6 hours late and arrived in Lexington, Kentucky. Berea is a much smaller town about an hour’s drive away, and I was treated to beautiful green rolling hills along the way. Following the Phoenix heat, it was nice to arrive to cooler weather, though I did gain new appreciation for the term “it’s a dry heat” – that humidity! Berea is a town of under 15,000 folks, and is home to Berea College. Berea is a private liberal arts school that uses a unique model of accepting only students with financial need, and offers education free of charge, but with work-trade. Many students work in artisan workshops creating traditional Appalachian crafts, and it is a central goal of the school to keep these crafts alive – broom-making, ceramics, woodworking, and weaving.
    Berea College Campus
    The ALI schedule was an ambitious one, with days beginning at 7:30 a.m. and lasting until 8 p.m. or later. It was packed with all kinds of fantastic workshops, including assessing our own leadership strengths, working through archives ethical case studies, learning some tricks of project management, advocating for our institutions, and helping one another polish up the practicum projects we had submitted as part of our application process. (My practicum focuses on an archivist swap, so that archivists in Arizona can travel to each other’s institutions for extended periods of time to learn new skills from colleagues).
    The beginning stages of my handbroom
    A highlight of the visit was a workshop on broom-making, one of the traditional Appalachian crafts taught at Berea College. We had the opportunity to visit the Broomcraft Shop, get a tour of the different types of brooms they create there, and finally, we had the chance to weave our own brooms to take home. As I mentioned, a core mission of Berea College is to keep traditional Appalachian crafts alive, and their students learn skills in broom-making, wood-working, weaving, and potting.
    All smiles after lunch with bell hooks!
    Of course, sometimes the highlights of a trip may be the serendipitous, unplanned aspects. For me, this was the surprise lunch we were able to have with author, activist, and identity politics thinker bell hooks, who I’ve been reading since I was a teenager. We had the opportunity to enjoy a meal with her, and travel to her center right there in Berea to discuss her life, her work, and her visions for the future. We wouldn’t have had this opportunity if it weren’t for the incomparable Rachel Vagts, Head of Special Collections at Berea College. We learned that Rachel and bell became friends because of a mutual love of popcorn and thrift stores, but their friendship has blossomed into a relationship between bell and the college, and her papers are now deposited in the Berea College Special Collections and Archives.
    Rachel’s work speaks to a wonderful quality I see in many archivists – the ability to deal with the most personal details of people’s lives with a sweet professionalism – the recognition that who we are individually is what enables us to connect with the communities whose records we preserve. I’m beyond grateful to have had the chance to attend, and am so happy to call my colleagues my friends!
    Originally posted at

    Wednesday, April 13, 2016

    SAA Conference ALI Alumni Reception

    Please join us at the Archives Leadership Institute Alumni Reception, to meet the 2016 cohort, and to reconnect with fellow ALI alumni. The reception is at Park Bar (150 Walton Street, Atlanta), located within walking distance of the hotel. Cost is $25 per person with a cash bar. This event is open to all ALI alumni, plus a guest. To register for this event, you can do it directly when registering for the Society of American Archivist Annual Meeting on their website or by calling the SAA office at 866/722-7858.  

    Save This Date: 
    Wednesday, August 3rd

    8 pm – 10:30 pm

    Wednesday, February 3, 2016

    Announcing the Archives Leadership Institute 2016 Cohort

    With 75 applicants vying for a position in the 2016 cohort at Berea College this year, we are proud to announce the 25 archivists who will be participating this year. They hail from 18 states or provinces in North America, from Hawaii to Ontario, represent academic, government, corporate and non-profit institutions, and bring a wide variety of skills and experiences. Read about them below:
    Alexis Braun Marks is the University Archivist at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan and previously served as the Archivist and Collections Manager at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. Braun Marks received her MLIS from University of Wisconsin, Madison and B.A. from Kenyon College. She is an active member of the Midwest Archives Conference and SAA.
    Timothy Binkley has served theological libraries as Archivist since 2005, first at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, and currently at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas. A graduate of The Defiance College (B.A. History / Museology), Bethany Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Wright State University (M.A. History / Public History), Tim enjoys helping people connect with their own heritage and learn from documentary evidence of the past. He is the compiler and editor of A Higher Moral and Spiritual Stand: Selected Writings of Milton Wright (Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2009).
    Libby Coyner is a graduate of the University of British Columbia's Master of Archival Studies Program, and has worked for the Arizona State Archives for the past five years. She was a Ph.D. student from Arizona State University's History program, where her research focused on Tattoos as Personal Archives. Other presentation and research topics include "Mind Your Own Business: Documenting Communities that. Don't Want to Be Documented and the Diversity of the American Record” (SAA 2015, Cleveland), and Arizona’s collaborative collections survey designed to help collect under-documented communities (“Metrics and Matrices: Surveying the Past to Create a Better Future, The American Archivist, Fall/Winter, 2014, co-authored with Jonathan Pringle).
    Sarah R Demb has been a records professional for almost 20 years. In 2014 she was appointed Senior Records Manager/Archivist for Harvard University. Prior to that, held positions at the Museum of London; the International Records Management Trust (also based in London); the the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (Harvard University); and the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution). Sarah holds an MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin and is an active member of the Society of American Archivists.  
    Ellen Doon is Head of the Manuscript Unit in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, where she has worked since 1999. She received her MLIS from Simmons College in 1997. She has been active in the Manuscript Repositories Section of SAA and will soon begin service as Vice-President/President-Elect of New England Archivists.
    Gloria Gonzalez is the Library Strategist for Zepheira Technologies, a library data solutions provider. Before joining Zepheira in November 2014, Gloria worked as Digital Archivist at UCLA Library Special Collections. Previously, she worked with archives and rare books at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles and the J.D. Williams Library at the University of Mississippi. She also served as a Junior Fellow for the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the Library of Congress. Gloria has a Master of Library and Information Science from UCLA and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Mississippi.
    Sasha Griffin is the University Archivist & Special Collections Librarian at Denison University in central Ohio. Presently, Sasha serves on the Diversity Committee for the Society of American Archivists, is co-chair for the 2017 Midwest Archives Conference Program Committee, and is a member of the Society of Ohio Archivists. She holds an MLIS from Kent State University.
    Kathryn Harvey has been Head of Archival and Special Collections at the University of Guelph since 2009; she is also currently serving a two-year term (2015-2016) as President of the Association of Canadian Archivists. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Alberta (1995), and an MLIS (2005) from Dalhousie University. She is active both academically (teaching courses, serving on PhD examining committees, and publishing) as well as professionally at local, provincial, and national levels.
    Gene Hyde is Head of Special Collections at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and previously worked as Archivist and Appalachian Collection Librarian at Radford University. His research examines issues related to Appalachian Special Collections and Appalachian Studies curricula. Recently, he has been developing a digital liberal arts training seminar for archivists as part of “Digital Liberal Arts at a Distance,” a three year Andrew W. Mellon grant to the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), headquartered at UNC Asheville.
    Laura Uglean Jackson is the assistant university archivist at the University of California, Irvine. Previously she worked at the American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming, where she was processing and university archivist. She holds an MLIS from Simmons College and a BA in art history from Colorado State University. She is an active member of the Society of American Archivists and current chair of the Technical Subcommittee on Guidelines for Reappraisal and Deaccessioning.
    Petrina Jackson is the new Head of Special Collections and University Archives at Iowa State University. She was previously with the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia as Head of Instruction and Outreach, she has worked at the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University Library, where she served as Senior Assistant Archivist, and she taught English at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois for 7 years. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Iowa State University and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
    Jasmine Jones is the Metadata and Technical Services Archivist at Smith College Special Collections. She previously held a position at UCLA Library Special Collections and is active in national professional organizations and projects, currently serving as Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of the SAA Collection Management Tools Roundtable, SAA Intellectual Property Working Group Intern, and Chair of the Database Committee for the Displaced Archives Project. Jasmine holds a MA in history and MSLIS, Archives Concentration, from Simmons College.
    Déirdre Joyce serves as the Assistant Director and Digital Services Manager at the Central New York Library Resources Council and provides cultural heritage services to member libraries, archives, and museums. Previously, she served as the University Archivist at The University of Texas at Tyler. Additionally, Déirdre is the Project Manager for the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative (an IMLS SPARKS! grant recipient in 2015) and Project Coordinator for New York Heritage Digital Collections, both initiatives of the Empire State Library Network. Déirdre received her M.A. in History and an M.A. in Library and Information Studies with a Specialization in Archives and Records Management from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is a member of SAA and MARAC.
    Daria Labinsky is an Archivist at the National Archives at St. Louis, where she has worked since 2010. Before coming to NARA, she worked for eight years as a Local History and Reference Librarian at the Rio Rancho Public Library in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. She earned a BS in Radio/TV/Film and an MS in Journalism from Northwestern University, and an MLS from Emporia State University. She is an active member of the Society of American Archivists, the Regional Archival Associations Consortium, the Midwest Archives Conference, and the Association of St. Louis Area Archivists.
    Nicole Laflamme is the Manager of the Corporate Archives at The J.M. Smucker Company in Orrville, Ohio. She earned her MLIS from Kent State University and became a Certified Archivist in 2013.
    Giordana Mecagni is Head of Special Collections and University Archivist at Northeastern University. Prior to that she held various positions at Associated Grant Makers in Boston, the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe/Harvard, and at Harvard Medical School's Center for the History of Medicine. She holds a BA in Sociology and Women's Studies from the University of New Hampshire, and an MLIS with an archives concentration from Simmons.
    Vincent J. Novara is the Curator for Special Collections in Performing Arts at the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library at the University of Maryland, where he also earned his Masters of Music. An ACA Certified Archivist, he has worked as an archivist at UMD since 1994, and was appointed curator in 2005. He is an active member of MARAC and was elected to Chair of UMD’s University Senate in 2012, the first time the office was held by a faculty librarian.
    Margot Note has spent her career working in the cultural heritage sector, including colleges, libraries, and archives. She holds a Master’s in History from Sarah Lawrence College, a Master’s in Library and Information Science, and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Archives and Records Management, both from Drexel University. She's authored Managing Image Collections: A Practical Guide (2011) and Project Management for Information Professionals (2015). She currently is the Director of Archives and Information Management at World Monuments Fund, an international historic preservation organization.
    Cheryl Oestreicher is the Head of Special Collections and Archives/Assistant Professor at Boise State University. She received her MLIS from Dominican University/College of St. Catherine in 2004 and a PhD in Modern History and Literature from Drew University in 2011. Her past experience includes: project archivist positions at Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History/Emory University and the University of Chicago; University Archives Associate at Drew University; and the John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Archival Fellowship at Princeton University. She is an active member of SAA.
    Johanna Russ has been a senior archival specialist at the Chicago Public Library for over two years. Previously, she spent over five years as an archivist at the Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs at Wayne State University in Detroit. She earned her MSLS from the University of North Carolina, her MA in Public History from North Carolina State University, and her BA from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
    Dawn Schmitz is currently the Interim Associate Dean for Special Collections and University Archives at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she has worked as the Digital Programs Archivist since 2012. Previously, she worked as an archivist at UC Irvine and as a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) post-doctoral fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has also conducted research for the Association of Research Libraries, CLIR, and the Dance Heritage Coalition. She holds a Ph.D. in communication studies concentrating in media history/cultural studies and an MLIS specializing in archives and records management, both from the University of Pittsburgh (2004).
    Cyndi Shein, is the Head of Special Collections Technical Services at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) University Libraries. She earned her MLIS from San Jose State University and previously worked at the  Getty Museum (Los Angeles); the University of California, Irvine; and the University of California, Santa Barbara.
    Helen Wong Smith, MLIS, CA currently serves on the Council of the Society of American Archivists, the first from Hawai'i to do so since 1968. She has worked in Pacific collections for 35 years and has established and maintained Hawaiian archival and library collections for a wide range of institutions, i.e. Queen's Medical Center, Kamehameha Schools, and the National Park Service and is the newly appointed Executive Director of the Kaua'i Historical Society
    Holly A. Smith is currently the College Archivist at Spelman College. Previously she served as African American Materials Specialist in the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her B.A. in History and Black Studies from The College of William and Mary, an M.A. in History from Yale University, and her M.S. in Library and Information Science, with concentration in Archival Management, from Simmons College. Ms. Smith is co-vice chair of the Society of American Archivist's Women's Collections Roundtable and vice chair of the Diversity Committee.
    Kelly Wooten is the Research Services and Collection Development Librarian for the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and Librarian for Sexuality Studies for Perkins Library. She is co-editor with Lyz Bly of the anthology Make Your Own History: Documenting Feminist and Queer History in the 21st Century (Litwin Books, 2012). She received both her BA in Women’s Studies and English Literature and her MSLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.