Friday, June 26


All events will take place at the Oakland Marriott, unless indicated otherwise.

8:00 am – 9:00 am  Registration (Atrium)

8:30 am – 10:00 am Seminar M: Whose History is It? Community Archives and the Shaping of Memory (Grand Ballroom EFGH)

Marginalized communities have a vested interest in the creation, preservation and curation of collections that document their history. Community archives emerge from awareness that limited or biased documentation impedes political activism. When core documentation is defined and collected by a community it can shape and promote a shared identity that counterbalances a marginalized social status. A commitment to developing and managing collections expands a community or organizational mission beyond social justice to one of service and scholarship. Rather than taking this step, many groups choose to establish collaborative relationships with outside entities to process and digitize collections, or arrange for the transfer of their documentation to an established archival repository. This session will explore the challenges and opportunities associated with the administration of community archives.

Speakers: Angela Brinskele, June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives, Lisa Cruces, University of Houston; Sharon Farb, University of California, Los Angeles/Mazer Archives Project; Caitlin Oiye, DENSHO Project on Japanese Internment

Moderator: Elizabeth Joffrion, Western Washington University

Sponsored by Dawson’s Book Shop

8:30 am – 10:00 am  Papers Panel 10: Special Collections and Credit Courses: Opportunities and Challenges  (Grand Ballroom ABCD)

Moderator: Lois Fischer Black, Lehigh University

Academic special collections librarians often design and instruct semester-long credit courses, using critical thinking and learning by doing as instructional cornerstones. This panel explores courses that privileged intensive work with special collections, and its challenges and outcomes.

“Tales from Under Grounds: Introducing U.Va. First Years to Primary Sources,” Petrina Jackson, University of Virginia

“Teaching the Past, Present, and Future of the Book: A Laboratory Approach to Special Collections Instruction,” Anne Bahde, Oregon State University

“Beyond the Riot: A Professor, A Librarian, and An Archivist Creating Zine Scenes Together,” Leslie Fields, Mount Holyoke College

8:30 am – 10:00 am Participant-Driven Session 4: Take Me to Your Leaders! A Conversation with RBMS Leadership on the Nature of Our Changing Work (Jr. Ballroom 1)

From new collaborations and innovative user roles to stimulating opportunities and challenges involved in navigating one’s professional path, we all manage and make the most of change at work every day. Join RBMS chair and vice-chair/chair elect in this discussion about the current shape and coming shifts in the work we do in special collections, as well as RBMS’s role in supporting our efforts. Please come with your questions and discussion topics!

Facilitators: R. Arvid Nelsen (RBMS Chair) University of Minnesota; Cherry Williams (RBMS Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect) The Lilly Library, Indiana University

Sponsored by California Rare Book School

10:00 am – 10:45 am  Beverage Break with Posters Encore  (Atrium)

“Special Collections in STEM Education,” Juliet Burba and Rachel Howell, The Bakken Museum

“Comic Book Index: Using Omeka to Manage Print Collections,” Elizabeth McDaniel, Virginia Commonwealth University

“From NUCMC to DPLA: The Technological Underpinnings of Access,” Juli McLoone, University of Michigan, Nikki Lynn Thomas, University of Texas at San Antonio, and Sean Heyliger, African American Museum & Library at Oakland

“Puzzles and the University,” Andrew Rhoda, Indiana University

“Building Collaborative Web Archives and Special Collections Datasets,” Sylvie Rollason-Cass and Jefferson Bailey, Internet Archive, Archive-It

“Teaching the Literary Marketplace: Special Collections, Austen’s Competition, and Modern Publishers,” Gregory Schmidt, Auburn University

“The Way We Live (and Work) Now: A Report on the Results of the 2015 RBMS Membership Survey,” Elspeth Healey, University of Kansas and Melissa Nykanen, Pepperdine University

“Medical Rare Books in an Interdisciplinary Context,” Elisabeth Brander, Washington University

“Shaking Things Up – How Effective Collaboration Can Turn Special Collections into a Learning Laboratory,” Michaela Ullmann, University of Southern California

Sponsored by University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

10:45 am – 12:30 pm  Closing Plenary: Building and Leveraging Collections to Shape the Humanities  (Grand Ballroom)

The final plenary will explore the ways we can develop and leverage collections to support and shape humanistic inquiry.  Speakers who are creating special collections outside the traditional bounds of the academic library will engage in fruitful discussion about new and emerging partnerships and ways of building, maintaining, and providing access to special collections as a means of creating and supporting communities.  With this foundation, participants will map practical, meaningful connections amongst our collections, constituencies, and service missions.


Rick Prelinger, Co-Founder, Prelinger Library and Prelinger Archives, and Associate Professor, Film & Digital Media, University of California, Santa Cruz

Gordon H. Chang, Professor of History and Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities, Stanford University

Discussant: Chris Bourg, Director of Libraries, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Sponsored by Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers

1:00 pm – 5pm Participant-Driven Session 5: Service Project with the Friends of Sausal Creek (Joaquin Miller Park) [SIGN UP REQUIRED – Sign up here!]

Join other RBMS members in giving back to the Oakland community at our first service project. We will be assisting the Friends of Sausal Creek – a grassroots, community organization that has been working to restore the Sausal Creek Watershed since 1996 ( – with an afternoon of habitat restoration in nearby Joaquin Miller Park. Activities will be based on the organization’s needs at the time, but projects may include native plant transplanting, weeding, fertilizing, and pruning, as well as invasive species removal around the park. All tools, gloves, and instruction will be provided, but you will want to wear layers and long pants. Come do some gardening for a good cause to relax after a productive conference!

Maximum of 20 volunteers. We leave the Marriott at 1 pm, to meet at the Friends of Sausal Creek Native Plant Nursery at 1:30pm. We return to the hotel at 5 pm. (map:​

Coordinator: Colleen Barrett, Transylvania University

Sponsored by an anonymous donor

2:00 pm – 5:30 pm  Wikipedia Edit-a-thon  (Oakland Public Library)

A Wikipedia Edit-a-thon can bring together professionals from GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums) institutions and Wikipedians to generate and improve Wikipedia content using and linking back to institutional holdings. Edit-a-thons are fun, informal, and productive ways for librarians, archivists, and others to learn about Wikipedia, and to introduce the Wikipedia community to a library’s collections. Join us for this informal session designed for librarians who want create a proactive and productive relationship with Wikipedia. Participants can use this time to create an account, learn the basics of editing, and work through common Wikipedia editing issues that may be difficult to resolve alone such as notability and conflict of interest. Those who are already comfortable editing Wikipedia can help improve articles related to librarianship. RBMS, Library catalog, and ACRL all need your help!

Where: Oakland Public Library, Bradley C. Walters Community Room, 125 14th Street, Oakland, CA  94612 (map:

Coordinator: Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC Research