National Archives Conference at UI

Apr 6, 2012

The Archives’ Student Life and Culture Archival Program at the University of Illinois will sponsor and host to its second National Archives Conference for Fraternities and Sororities on June 21-23, 2012, on its Urbana-Champaign campus.  Building on the success of the 2010 conference, this event will bring together experts on archival management, planning, preservation, and outreach with an emphasis on fraternity and sorority records.  

One purpose of the conference is to provide archival training and support to headquarters staff members who are charged with their organization’s archives.  Speakers will include Josh Harris, University of Illinois audio-visual librarian, and Angela Waarala, digital collections project manager; Noraleen Young, archivist at Kappa Alpha Theta and archival consultant for Past to Present; and Michele Christian, associate professor and records analyst in Iowa State University’s Special Collections Department.  Featured speaker Diana Turk, a professor from New York University, has written extensively on fraternity and sorority life and will discuss the importance of these groups and their records to the study of education and campus history.
 
“I found the speakers extremely knowledgeable and very informative about a wide range of subjects.  Perhaps even more importantly was the opportunity to meet so many of our fellow archivists/curators/historians who toil so often without much in the way of resources to preserve the rich history of our fraternal organizations.  The time spent swapping ideas and sharing problems and solutions was invaluable,” said Bob McCully, Sigma Nu historian and 2010 conference participant.  “There is no way I’ll miss the upcoming conference—it’s just too valuable to pass up.”

The Archives’ Student Life and Culture Archival Program at Illinois documents national fraternity and sorority life.  Program Benefactor Stewart S. Howe ’28 provided publicity and record keeping services for fraternities and sororities across the country and created and collected fraternity publications and materials from over 300 American colleges and universities in the process.  His collection, the collection of William Levere of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and the Program’s national holdings, including the archives of the National Panhellenic Conference, North-American Interfraternity Conference, Alpha Tau Omega, and the Fraternity Communications Association, among others, have made the Program a research center for the study of the national fraternity and sorority.  

“It was Howe’s deep desire to foster the study and preservation of fraternity and sorority history,” said Ellen Swain, the Program’s archivist for student life and culture.  “This conference is one of the best ways to accomplish this objective.”

The conference is open to all who are interested.  Registration deadline is May 18, 2012.

For more information and to register, visit the conference website at www.library.illinois.edu/archives/slc/conference12/ or contact Ellen Swain, archivist for student life and culture, at eswain@illinois.edu or 217/333-7841.

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