New Beginnings — Fall 2013

Welcome to a new school year of archival practice!  Schedules forthcoming!  Follow us on twitter (@NYUArchivalPrac) for updates.  Or get in touch with us by email: NYUArchivalPractices [at] gmail.com.

This semester, we’ll look at the archive’s place in a larger academic collections universe.  How is it enmeshed with — and separate from — rare books libraries, artifacts, and other kinds of collections?  We’ll also look at how archives and other collections are expressed in various forms of work: long-form academic argument, blog posts and tweets, museum exhibitions, etc.

In addition to formal differences, we’ll hear from researchers working out of an archive who produce very different kinds of written research.  The goal of the workshop is not to oppose any of the individual elements mentioned here but instead to explore how archives, book history and collections, and media theory inform a wide variety of ongoing work.

Alongside these larger considerations, we’ll also discuss practical aspects of archival research: getting in the door, finding things, (re)shaping arguments around or through what’s been found, and considering what’s been found to be missing.  How do you figure out what you’re looking for in an archive or special collection?  Where do you go when your first lead is a dead end?  How do media history and literary analysis cohere or separate when working with the archive?

Looking forward to a semester of curious inquiry and expansive thinking!

VIDEO: May 2 Workshop with Ellen Gruber Garvey

We are very pleased to announce that the Workshop in Archival Practice, with the support of the English Department at NYU, will now be providing videos of all of our workshop events for those interested but unable to attend.

Our videos are hosted at the Internet Archive and free to view at any time.  Our first recorded event was our May 2, 2013 Workshop “Writing with Scissors” with Ellen Gruber Garvey and respondent Jenna Freedman.  View the video here!

Join Us: Workshop on May 2 with Ellen Gruber Garvey

May 2 Writing with scissorsIt is with great excitement that we invite you to our upcoming workshop with Ellen Gruber Garvey, Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at New Jersey City University and the author of a new book, Writing With Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (Oxford UP, 2012). Please join us on May 2, 6:00-8:00 PM at 19 University Place, Room 222. The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Professor Garvey will present from her work in a talk entitled “Writing With Scissors: Scrapbooks as Archive & Activism” and Jenna Freedman, Director of Research & Instruction and Zine Librarian at Barnard Library, will offer a response. As is our custom, a good deal of time will be devoted to workshop-style discussion, so please bring your questions! We promise our speakers will stimulate your curiosity about a wide range of topics, including what scrapbooks (and scrapbook-makers) can reveal to us about U.S. literary, political and cultural histories and of course, about archives & activism.

For more information about Writing With Scissors, check out Christopher Benfey’s “Scrapbook Nation” post at the New York Review of Books blog here. You can also read more about Jenna Freedman’s work at her blog, Lower East Side Librarian.

We look forward to seeing you on May 2! Stay tuned on Twitter @NYUArchiveWork for news, updates and future announcements.

TOMORROW: “Why Documents Matter,” 6-8 PM

Here’s a reminder about tomorrow’s exciting workshop, “Why Documents Matter,” featuring Kristina Lundblad. Please join us! Information follows below.

The NYU English Department and the Workshop in Archival Practice present
“Why Documents Matter:
The Materiality of Literature”
Kristina Lundblad, Lund University Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
November 29, 6:00-8:00 PM

19 University Place, Room 222
Free and open to the public; refreshments will be served

Kristina Lundblad, senior lecturer at Lund University’s Division for ALM and Book History, will present her research on the history of publishers’ book-bindings and discuss new ways of thinking about what book history can show us. Lundblad asks us to broaden our understanding of the materiality of literature to include not only the histories of books’ production and circulation but also ideas about what materiality does on a more ecological and psychological level. What are the major differences between digital materiality and analogue materiality when it comes to books and how do these differences impact archival studies?

“Why Documents Matter” – November 29, 6-8 PM

The NYU English Department and the Workshop in Archival Practice present
“Why Documents Matter: The Materiality of Literature”
Kristina Lundblad, Lund University Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences
November 29, 6:00-8:00 PM; 19 University Place, Room 222
Free and open to the public; refreshments will be served

Kristina Lundblad, senior lecturer at Lund University’s Division for ALM and Book History, will present her research on the history of publishers’ book-bindings and discuss new ways of thinking about what book history can show us. Lundblad asks us to broaden our understanding of the materiality of literature to include not only the histories of books’ production and circulation but also ideas about what materiality does on a more ecological and psychological level. What are the major differences between digital materiality and analogue materiality when it comes to books and how do these differences impact archival studies?

The View From Left Field, Nov. 1 – CANCELED

We regret that because of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, this event has been canceled. We extend our thanks to the workshop leaders and event co-sponsors. We hope to reschedule this event and will keep you posted with those details as they develop. Most of all, we send best wishes for safety and wellness to everyone in the NYU family and the NYC/NJ area.

The View From Left Field: Nov 1, 6-8 PM

Workshop in Archival Practice: The View From Left Field
November 1, 6:00-8:00 PM
19 University Place, Room 222

Supported by the NYU Graduate Program in English and Co-Sponsored by the Modern and Contemporary Colloquium
Workshop Leaders
Shelley Rice, Arts Professor in Department of Photography and Imaging and
Department of Art History and Exhibition Co-Curator
Jonno Rattman, Exhibition Co-Curator
Hillel Arnold, Project Archivist and Exhibition Consultant

Exhibition Information: The View from Left Field is currently on view (through November 17th) in the Department of Photography & Imaging at New York University: 721 Broadway, 8th Floor. The exhibition is dedicated to Michael Nash.

You can read more about the exhibition in a blog post by Shelley Rice here.

Event Description: What does it take to bring images from the archives into the classroom and onto gallery walls? The View From Left Field, an exhibition co-curated by Professor Shelley Rice, Jonno Rathman and the late Michael Nash, answers this question by demonstrating the evolution of what Professor Rice has called a “world in a box”—an exhibition of photographs that grew from Professor Rice’s Fall 2011 seminar, “Toward a Critical Vocabulary” and has emerged as a showcase of the Daily Worker/Daily World Photographs Collection, part of the archives of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) at New York University’s Tamiment Library & Robert Wagner Labor Archives. The View From Left Field marks an unprecedented fusion of pedagogy with institutional collaboration and offers its viewers a window into the histories of photography, journalism, American diplomacy and the lived reality of citizens in the grip of a 20th century indelibly marked by the Cold War. Co-curators Shelley Rice and Jonno Rattman, along with project archivist Hillel Arnold, will speak about their experiences in designing and implementing The View From Left Field and will take your questions about the challenges and rewards of their innovative and in-depth engagement with the Tamiment Library’s archival holdings. Open to students, archivists and faculty from any department or institution.