4th Annual Minnesota Archives Symposium

4th Annual Minnesota Archives Symposium

Bridging the Gap Between Our Digital and Physical Collections

Join the Minnesota Historical Society and the Twin Cities Archives Round Table (TCART) on Monday, November 2nd, 2015, for the fourth annual Minnesota Archives Symposium. This year’s theme is Bridging the Gap Between our Digital and Physical Collections.  Attend the Symposium to meet with your peers and learn what methods archivists, librarians, curators, and other information management professionals are using to relate our digital presence to our physical holdings, and how to bridge that gap between our digital and physical collections.

Registration for this event is FREE.

This year’s Symposium is supported through the generosity of our sponsors and vendors:

Indus USA
Northern Micrographics
Hollinger Metal Edge
Mid-America Business Systems
Saving Tape
Midwest Art Conservation Center

Be sure to visit our vendors in the Education Hall!

Schedule of Events:

  • 11:45-12:45 pm: Optional Tour (Library, Archives, and Artifacts, led by Lori Williamson, MNHS Collections)
  • 12:45-1:00 pm: Pre-Symposium Coffee & Mingle Break, Sponsored by the Midwest Arts Conservation Center.
  • 1:00-1:15 pm: Introduction to the Symposium
  • 1:15-2:15 pm Session One: Looking at the collection from all angles: Interactive representations of collection objects at the UW-Stout, with Heather Stecklein
  • 2:15-2:45 pm: Coffee & Mingle Break, Sponsored by Hollinger Metal Edge — Optional Tour (Library and Archives, led by Lori Williamson, MNHS Collections)
  • 2:45-3:45 pm: Session Two: Finding Aid, Meet Facebook, with Sarah Barsness and Anjanette Schussler, and Using a Blog to Disseminate Your Digital Collections and Find New Users, with Kathie Otto
  • 3:45-4:00 pm: Coffee & Mingle Break, Sponsored by Saving Tape.
  • 4:00-4:30 pm: Session Three: Two Repositories, One Strategy: Marketing Digital Collections, with Daardi Sizemore and Heidi Southworth
  • 4:30-5:00 pm: Session Four:  Newspapers and Numbers, with Anne Levin and Lori Williamson

Registration Information:

The Minnesota Archives Symposium will be held in the Education Wing (second floor) of the Minnesota History Center (345 W Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul) from 11:45am (if taking optional tour) to 5:00pm on Monday, November 2nd.

Registration is FREE, but we ask that participants complete the registration form by Friday October 30th. Onsite registrations will be accepted.


Please contact TCART at tcartmn@gmail.com  or Lori Williamson (lori.williamson@mnhs.org) for questions and information.

Minnesota Archives Symposium Full Schedule

Pre-Symposium Schedule

11:45am- 12:45pm: Optional tour (Library, Archives, and Artifacts)  must pre-register; limit 20

12:45-1:00 pm: Pre-Symposium Coffee & Mingle Break, Sponsored by the Midwest Art Conservation Center

Symposium Schedule

1:00-1:15 pm : Introduction to the Symposium

1:15-2:15 pm Session One:

  • Looking at the collection from all angles: Interactive representations of collection objects at the UW-Stout. Presenter: Heather Stecklein, University of Wisconsin-Stout

While the photographic, serial, and print collections at the University of Wisconsin-Stout Archives enjoyed frequent interest and use by researchers, the three-dimensional physical objects rarely garnered interest from the campus or general public. Two major projects initiated at Stout during the 2014-2015 academic year have breathed new life into these languishing collections of artifacts including memorabilia, student class projects, equipment, and apparel. Through three-dimensional photogrammetry models and an interactive video game featuring the historic look and feel of a building on campus, the Stout Archives is providing the public with fresh new ways to experience and enjoy physical elements of the university’s past. The presentation will include demonstrations of both the models and the video game interface.

2:15-2:45 pm Coffee & Mingle Break – Sponsored by Hollinger Metal Edge & Optional Tour (Library and Archives) must pre-register; limit 20

2:45-3:45 pm Session Two:  

  • Finding Aid, Meet Facebook. Presenters: Sarah Barsness and Anjanette Schussler, Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota State Archives uses Facebook to increase awareness, feature collections, and to connect with a wide audience in fun and meaningful ways.  This session will discuss how the State Archives staff finds materials for facebook, best practices for writing interesting and engaging posts, and ways to link posts to physical collections.  We will also discuss ways of monitoring your success and improving your reach through the use of contests, Facebook insights, and third-party evaluation tools.

  • Using a Blog to Disseminate Your Digital Collections and Find New Users. Presenter: Kathie Otto, University of Wisconsin-River Falls

Social media is a great way to disseminate digital collections, and to find and interest new users.  A blog can be an easy and inexpensive way to achieve these goals.  Kathryn Otto, from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, will talk about the blog they did to commemorate the Civil War in northwestern Wisconsin—and eastern Minnesota.  Otto and her handful of students digitized and transcribed letters and other materials for the blog, and found new friends and followers from all over the country via the blog and its automatic postings to Twitter and Facebook.  Plus, all of these forms of social media have ways for users to comment and interact, plus they have built-in user statistics.

3:45-4:00 pm: Coffee & Mingle Break – Sponsored by Saving Tape

4:00-4:30 pm Session Three:

  • Two Repositories, One Strategy: Marketing Digital Collections. Presenters: Daardi Sizemore and Heidi Southworth, Minnesota State University, Mankato

In the last year, the Library at Minnesota State University, Mankato has launched two repositories for digital content, Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works and ARCH: University Archives Digital Collections.  An important component of developing these repositories has been our marketing efforts.    We will share how we worked together with Integrated Marketing, Printing Services, and the Library Outreach Committee to actively promote and advance the collections.  

4:30-5:00pm Session Four:

  • Newspapers and Numbers. Presenters: Anne Levin and Lori Williamson, Minnesota Historical Society

Part 1: The Minnesota Historical Society began digitizing Minnesota newspapers in 2007 from its extensive collection.  With a transition to digital under way, what are the options for leveraging digital projects? How do we “get the news out” about new digital content? Can digitization drive traffic to remaining, significant physical collections? Can digitization spur more digitization and can metrics help?  

Part 2: So What Does It All Mean? And Does Anyone Care?

We will close out the day by asking a big question:  how do we prove that we are accomplishing the lofty goals of digitization? A very short case study of the MNHS Collections Department blog and the analytics drawn from that for evaluation will be presented. But how useful are the numbers, really? How do we make them meaningful to important constituents, both internal (colleagues and bosses) and external (grant funders and the public)? What tools are available for measurement and presentation?  Hopefully this will lead into a conversation about attendees’ experiences with reviewing, presenting, and making meaningful the work of digitization, and how this relates back to the use of our physical collections.

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