Dig deep into the archives this October

Lisa Geiger
September 29, 2016

DePaulians and the wider public will have the chance to go behind the scenes at DePaul's Special Collections and Archives on Oct. 6-8 as part of Chicago Open Archives, a series of activities organized by the Chicago Area Archivists. More than 30 local institutions are participating in the three-day event, inviting the community to explore local resources through tours, talks and exhibits, many free and all open to the public. Events at DePaul include programs that will give visitors access to our collections and help foster new research and digital management skills.

On Saturday, Oct. 8 behind the scenes tours at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. will bring visitors into collection spaces usually off-limits to researchers. Visitors will learn more about collection strengths, how collections grow over time and preservation activities needed to support a largely 19th and 20th century collection. There will be an opportunity for questions, and tours will be tailored to the interests of the group.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lincoln Park Stories invites attendees to learn about DePaul's connection to the neighborhood's social, demographic and architectural changes since the opening of St. Vincent's College in 1898. Staff will be screening a video of oral histories produced by the Lincoln Park Community Research Initiative, which explores the neighborhood from the 1960s to early 2000s. Experts will also be on hand to share information about the archival collections created and donated to DePaul by organizations and individuals in Lincoln Park.

At 1 p.m., Special Collections and Archives staff will lead a Personal Digital Archiving program. The one-hour workshop will help attendees consider how best to approach archiving digital photos, social media and other personal files whose long-term accessibility we often take for granted. This workshop will introduce basic steps to promote longevity and access to the digital content we create every day.

From 2 to 5 p.m., DePaul will host a Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon in conjunction with Chicago Collections. Whether you are a beginner Wikipedian or an experienced editor, DePaul's drop-in workshop will provide guidance about how to help to improve the world's seventh most visited website. Using the library's collections of databases, primary sources and print media, attendees will be given the opportunity to edit Wikipedia articles relating to Chicago history while learning how to create and amend Wikipedia pages. Chicago Collections is a consortium of libraries, museums, and other institutions, including DePaul, working to preserve and share the history and culture of the Chicago region.

Visit the Chicago Open Archives site for more information about DePaul's events and other participating institutions, including registration information.

Special Collections and Archives is also excited to be part of DePaul's Family and Alumni weekend, held Friday, Oct. 14 through Sunday, Oct. 16. Staff will share DePaul history through photographs and memorabilia from the University Archives at Friday's Reunion Luncheon, focusing on the 50th reunion class of 1966 and earlier graduates.

Special Collections and Archives will also host an Open House from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15. Visiting family and alumni can take tours of the Richardson Library and visit the archives in Room 314 to view a selection of rare books, St. Vincent's letters and DePaul memorabilia.

Check out DePaul's Alumni Weekend and Family Weekend resources for more information about these and related events, and keep in touch with ongoing library activities with the Full Text blog.

DePaul Family Weekend 2016