Alexis Wiltshire ’17 and Elinor De La Torre ’17 both made poster presentations at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference that took place from April 20-22 in Newark, N.J.
The posters reflected work each student did this year with College Archivist Christiana Dobrzynski in the Special Collections Department.
Alexis presented on the exhibit she staged this semester in the Enid Cook ’31 Center, “Re-Vision: Archiving Black Experiences at Bryn Mawr.”
Abstract: Re-Vision: Archiving Black Experiences at Bryn Mawr is an exhibit that seeks to uncover some of the College’s racist, exclusionary history through student voices. The lack of records regarding Black Bryn Mawr students throughout the years shows the College’s disregard of the rich history that the students bring with them. With a focus on student voices, this exhibit creates a dialogue between what the College chooses to show about students and what the students want to show about themselves. This exhibit aims to re-vision, that is, retell the stories that are found in the archives and bring to light that which the College has misconstrued for so many years.
Elinor presented on work she has done with the M. Carey Thomas Collection. Her poster was titled “Done is Good?”
Abstract: There is an expectation that once a collection is finished being processed all of the work is done. However, while collections may remain static, archival procedures and processes do not. Through the collection of M. Carey Thomas, suffragette and early president of Bryn Mawr College, I will examine the question of when a collection is “done.” The M. Carey Thomas Collection was the first collection in Bryn Mawr College’s archives and the first to be processed. Consequently, the processing took place within an archaic organization system. The M. Carey Thomas collection has been the focus of major projects every few decades and still has yet to be completed. The most recent work has been to re-discover all of the materials, understand past organization system changes, and re-organize the collection for ease of access. This reprocessing has all been performed on a collection that was the first to be considered “done.” Using this collection as an example, I will examine how previous archival processes are no longer sufficient and how to integrate past practices with current ones, all while trying to discover what it means to be “done” with a collection.
“Undergraduates rarely have an opportunity to present at professional conferences like MARAC, so having Alexis and Elinor chosen shows the impressive quality of their work and the high level of training and professional mentoring they received from Christiana,” said Eric Pumroy, Seymour Adelman Director of Special Collections.