Thursday, June 25


All events will take place on the UC Berkeley campus, unless otherwise indicated.

7:00 am – 8:15 am  Registration (Oakland Marriott Atrium)

7:30 am – Yellow School Buses to UC Berkeley Campus (or take the BART; it’s a 10 min ride + 15 min walk (somewhat uphill) to campus)

8:00 am – 9:00 am  Welcome Coffee (Doe Upper Terrace)

8:00 am – 3:30 pm  Information Table (Doe Upper Terrace)

9:15 am – 10:45 am  Seminar G: Tips for Working with Elderly Donors (Doe Memorial Library, Room 180)

Anyone who works in collection development knows that a large percentage of our collection donations come late in donors’ lives, and are often prompted by estate planning, a planned move to a smaller home or eldercare facility, or chronic or acute illnesses. Working with older donors can be extraordinarily fulfilling, yet whether crisis- or closure-driven, interactions with elderly donors bring particular challenges. The experienced experts on our panel will discuss strategies for handling a variety of situations that can test those of us less experienced in working with the elderly: coordinating a gift from a donor developing dementia, negotiating family discomfort over gifts, and handling the news of a recent donor’s death. We welcome questions, stories, ethical quandaries, and further topics for discussion.

Speakers: Michael Gilfix, Attorney at Law, Gilfix & La Poll Associates, LLP; Tracy Schrider, LCSW, ACM, Medical Social Worker, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center; Timothy Young, Yale University

Moderator: Molly Schwartzburg, University of Virginia

9:15 am – 10:45 am  Seminar H: Meeting Researchers Where They Are: A User-Driven Manifesto (Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium)

Librarians are developing new ways to meet users, whether first-time visitors or experienced archival researchers, where they actually are: in the reading room, in the classroom, or nowhere near the library. This panel of energetic librarians and archivists will present a vision of a truly user-centered culture and how it might work. Using creative examples of their own special collections outreach, speakers will show how they have implemented this ideal on the ground. Attendees will participate in interactive activities and will gain practical advice about easy-to-implement, low- to no-cost solutions to meet the changing needs of modern researchers.

Speakers: Elizabeth Call, Columbia University Libraries; Sarah M. Horowitz, Haverford College; Leah Richardson, University of Chicago.

Moderator: Robin M. Katz, Brooklyn Historical Society.

Sponsored by The Bancroft Library

9:15 am – 10:45 am  Papers Panel 7: Reinvigorating Resources: Faculty, Students, and Crowds Add Value through Digital Projects  (Morrison Library inside Doe Memorial Library)

Moderator: Jane Gillis, Yale University

“An Undergraduate Humanities Collaboratory: Special Collections and the Digital Humanities,” Jessica DeSpain, Jennifer Roberts, and Kayla Hays, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville

Since the founding of a digital humanities center (Interdisciplinary Research and Informatics Scholarship Center or IRIS) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2009, faculty,  librarians, and undergraduates have been collaborating to reinvigorate the humanities curriculum both within and beyond the classroom. This case-study panel of faculty and students will discuss the theory, practice, and outcomes of their work. In two consecutive papers, speakers will discuss: Collaboratory Theory and Practice; The Classroom as Laboratory; Faculty/Student Research Teams; Student/Librarian Partnerships; Mentoring Future Librarians.

“Crowd-Sourced Transcription Drives Research on Cherokee Manuscripts,” Lisa Conathan, Yale University

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library has housed the Kilpatrick Collection of Cherokee Manuscripts since 1979. This collection, documenting a unique tradition of indigenous literacy among 20th-century Cherokees in Oklahoma, was uncataloged until 2013, and library records reflect no research use between the time of acquisition and cataloging. In order to enable new scholarship and enhance archival description, Beinecke has digitized portions of the collection to make it available for crowd-sourced transcription. The crowd-source approach allows Beinecke to support a disparate, digitally-enabled user base of Cherokee language teachers and students. In this presentation, I report on the project to make the Kilpatrick Collection widely available to researchers, highlighting our collaboration with Cherokee educators and the initial results of our crowd-sourced transcription efforts.

9:15 am – 10:45 am  Participant-Driven Session 3: In Depth at the Bancroft: The Lifecycle of Objects (Bancroft Library Reading Room)

The Bancroft Library hosts this materials-based examination of the wandering lives of cultural heritage materials. Participants will engage with a diverse selection from the Bancroft’s collections, such as rare books, manuscripts, photographs, audio-visual materials, art objects, and archives. The session will include responses from colleagues involved in various stages in the life of an object, such as booksellers and the Bancroft’s curators, catalogers, archivists, public services staff, and administration. Issues anticipated to be raised by participants include appraisal, description, discovery, access, research use, instruction, exhibits, lending, digitization, reappraisal, and perhaps even deaccessioning.

​Maximum of 25 participants.

Discussants: James Eason, The Bancroft Library; Theresa Salazar, The Bancroft Library

Facilitator: David Faulds, The Bancroft Library​

Sponsored by Arthur Fournier fine & rare

11:00 am – 11:30 am Tour: Bancroft Library Gallery (sign up at the registration desk by Wednesday at 4:00 pm)

11:00 am – 12:30 pm Tour: Bancroft Library (sign up at the registration desk by Wednesday at 4:00 pm)

11:00 am – 12:30 pm  Seminar I: Make It Work: Creative Solutions to Common Problems – A Pecha Kucha-Style Seminar (Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium)

Librarians are regularly asked to take on new projects and responsibilities with no additional staff, making it a challenge to manage competing priorities and develop new skills while maintaining current activities. At small and medium-sized institutions, special collections professionals are tasked with collections management, user services, donor relations, digital collections, administration, etcetera. By necessity, they have found creative solutions to managing their professional responsibilities. In this Pecha Kucha session, seven speakers will address their solutions to a range of issues, from outreach and social media programs with a small staff and using paraprofessionals in professional roles, to instruction utilizing smaller collections and digital collection development. The solutions won’t apply just to small institutions, but to anyone hoping to find efficiencies and do more with less.

Speakers: Meghan R. Constantinou, The Grolier Club; Kelli Hansen, University of Missouri Libraries; Juli McLoone, University of Michigan; Kevin C. Miller, Pepperdine University; Kim Schwenk, San Diego State University; Suzy Taraba, Wesleyan University

Moderators: Katie L.B. Henningsen, University of Puget Sound; Melissa Nykanen, Pepperdine University

Sponsored by The Bancroft Library

11:00 am – 12:30 pm Seminar J: Digital Humanities and Special Collections: New Tools, Challenges, and Opportunities (Doe Memorial Library, Room 180)

As scholarship in the humanities changes, many colleges and universities are establishing a wider expertise in digital humanities (DH) to collaborate with students, faculty, and scholars to transform scholarship and pedagogy. Special collections are uniquely positioned to incubate many of these pedagogical and research initiatives. This seminar explores the intersections between digital humanities, libraries, and special collections. Case studies from the field will elaborate on the importance of collaboration between students, librarians, archivists, and faculty to make DH flourish on campus. This session also provides practical advice for managing projects and teaching initiatives large and small.

Speakers: Peter Carini, Dartmouth College; Leslie Fields, Mount Holyoke College; Michael Kelly, Amherst College

Moderator: Caro Pinto, Mount Holyoke College

Sponsored by The Bibliographical Society of America

11:00 am – 12:30 pm  Papers Panel 8: Special Collections, Faculty Research, and Digital Scholarship at UCLA  (Morrison Library inside Doe Memorial Library)

Moderator: Julie Grob, University of Houston

“Research and Pedagogy in the History of the Book Online,” Johanna Drucker, UCLA

The History of the Book Online combines research and pedagogy in the history of the book broadly conceived. The project provides a course book (a “spine” of chronologically and thematically organized units that can be read as stand-alone pieces or in sequence), exhibits, and galleries of featured materials. Our goal is to create a resource that would make use of rare materials in our collections, be freely accessible online, provide a pedagogical opportunity, and coordinate existing online resources. Much thinking has gone into the design and beta-implementation of the project, and this presentation would focus on what we are doing, what we have learned, and what the generalizable elements are for partnerships between Special Collections and academic programs.

“Seeing Sunset: Learning Los Angeles,” Janice L. Reiff, UCLA

This project represents a collaborative effort between the UCLA Library and the teaching team of a campus freshman cluster class to create a unique kind of blended year-long course on the complex urban environment of Los Angeles. Over the past five years, the course—consisting of lectures and discussion sections followed by a research/writing seminar—has evolved so that its primary “text” is a series of bus rides on the 2/302 Metro bus that joins UCLA with downtown Los Angeles; and student assignments include the creation of digital texts. In 2013, UCLA’s Special Collections and Digital Library joined with the teaching team to enhance the digital texts created by students, supporting a rich digital research collection of Los Angeles materials that will be used for the first time this year.

“Collaborative Faculty Projects in Public Services: Reorganizing and Restructuring Operations to Support Innovative Teaching and Research,” Robert D. Montoya, UCLA

Library Special Collections have an increasing responsibility to incorporate and embed their resources into the digital scholarly productions of university environments. Partnerships in UCLA projects such as The History of the Book Online and Seeing Sunset require a broad range of expertise, resources, labor, workflows, best practices, and permissions in order to effectively engage with faculty in increasingly complex technological infrastructures. With an emphasis on UCLA Library Special Collections Public Services, this talk will focus on the operational support and resources required of collaborative partnerships in the production of scholarly publishing and pedagogical platforms.

11:00 am – 12:30 pm Tour: UC Berkeley: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (Valley Life Sciences Building) (sign up at the registration desk by Wednesday at 4:00 pm)

11:00 am – 3:30 pm Self-Guided Tour: UC Berkeley Campus Exhibits (Multiple locations, pick up information at the Welcome Coffee)

12:30 pm – 1:45 pm  Picnic Lunch at Doe Upper Terrace

Come to this picnic lunch hosted by the UC Berkeley Library!  Hot dogs (gluten free) and veggie (vegan) dogs, salads, chips, drinks, and ice cream will be served.

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Tour: Bancroft Library Gallery (sign up at the registration desk by Wednesday at 4:00 pm)

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Tour: Bancroft Library (sign up at the registration desk by Wednesday at 4:00 pm)

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm  Seminar K: Mess Is Lore: Navigating the Unwieldy World of Social Media  (Hertz Hall)

Rather than being the sole domain of “qualified scholars” special collections libraries have become more outward facing, engaging with users ranging from established senior scholars to school children working on History Fair projects. Our audience has changed, and so has the means of interacting with them, perhaps none more dramatically than social media. This seminar will examine how social media reframes the ways we engage with our collections, our users, and each other. We will focus less on what types of social media a presenter is using, and more on how these individuals are using social media in a variety of contexts, while providing broadly applicable guidelines that can be adapted by colleagues to suit their particular situations.

Speakers: Leslie Fields, Mt. Holyoke College Library; John Overholt, Harvard University; Shannon K. Supple, University of California, Berkeley; Colleen Theisen, University of Iowa

Moderator: Julia Gardner, University of Chicago Library

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm  Seminar L: Bridging Borders between Special Collections and Area Studies: Affinities, Collaborations and Integrations (Doe Memorial Library, Room 180)

Area studies and global collections include rare books and manuscripts, and many special collections include non-western rare books and manuscripts. This panel will demonstrate benefits – internal, external, and for research – of blurring boundaries of language and cultural expertise between area studies and special collections. When an institution looks to its strengths – its unique collections – our shared mission anchors special and area collections in trends in research and teaching. At the same time, due to significant investments in digitization of both special collections and area collections, our digital scholars can access more than pretty pictures without having to travel. Scholars pursue sources globally, and less-resourced institutions often have true gems among their unique materials, so leveraging existing cross-institutional networks among subject specialists increases the impact of local distinctive collections and services. Natural collaborations and strategic partnerships with language experts in your own library and their external communities must gain traction with administrators. Speakers will discuss lessons they have learned from both success and failure integrating expertise with diverse languages and cultures, rare books, manuscripts, and archives.

Speakers: Maria Estorino, University of Miami Libraries; Ellen Hammond, Yale University; M.A. “Pasha” Johnson, The Ohio State University; Bill Landis, Yale University

Moderator: Elizabeth Haven Hawley, University of Florida

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm  Papers Panel 9: Cutting Edge Technologies  (Morrison Library inside Doe Memorial Library)

Moderator: Meghan Constantinou, The Grolier Club

“ArchExtract: An Automated Topic Modeling Application for Processing and Accessing Large Text-Based Digital Archives,” Mary W. Elings and Janine Heiser, UC Berkeley

ArchExtract is web application that enables archivists and researchers to perform topic modeling and keyword and named entity extraction on a digital text collection. The web application automates and packages a number of existing natural language processes and algorithms for the researcher or archivist. Using automated text analysis as the starting point, ArchExtract illuminates the scope and content of digital text collections, provides contextualization, and offers a web-based interface for text exploration.

This pilot project of the Bancroft Library’s Digital Collections Unit explores automated text analysis in supporting processing and description as well as exploration of large text-based digital collections. The project was supported by Bancroft’s 2015 Archival Technologies Fellowship and an ISchool Summer Non-profit Internship Grant. For more details see:

“Automated Email Processing Using ePADD,” Peter Chan and Glynn Edwards, Stanford University

Archival repositories are faced with increasing amounts of digital material in their collections, both born-digital and digitized material. This panel presents a project, a home-grown open-source program that focuses on large text-based digital collections (specifically electronic text documents and emails), that addresses problems associated with this material.  This collaborative project leverages existing open-source natural language processing tools and text analysis technologies to augment appraisal, processing, discovery, and delivery of text-based digital archival collections. ePADD is a tool that develops and packages these technologies to augment processing of digital archival collections. Presenters will discuss the challenges of appraising, processing, and providing access to large, text-based digital collections and demonstrate how automated processes in this program can be leveraged to aid archivists in this work.

“Big Metadata: Mining Special Collections Catalogs for New Knowledge,” Allison Jai O’Dell, University of Miami

Special collections catalogs contain a treasure trove of data for use in humanities pursuits, for instance: historic place names and business addresses; the interests and diction of cultures; the appearance and features of design trends; and the materials and techniques of communication. Data mining techniques find new purpose for the “big metadata” of special collections catalogs. The catalog becomes a laboratory to visualize and interpret cultural heritage in new ways.

2:00 pm – 3:15 pm Tour: UC Berkeley: The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art & Life (The Magnes) (sign up at the registration desk by Wednesday at 4:00 pm)

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm  Beverage Break (Hertz Hall Patio)

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm  Plenary: Special Collections Libraries as Liberal Arts Laboratories  (Hertz Hall)

The second plenary will take an in-depth look at special collections as liberal arts laboratories, and special collections librarians as collaborators in humanistic scholarship.  Speakers who have created wide-ranging digital humanities projects and tools that rest squarely on a special collections foundation will participate in a conversation about the ways our work can enable researchers to interact with special collections as a basis for experimentation with new research methods, new lines of inquiry, and new ways of engaging meaningfully with scholarly and public audiences.


Rachel Sagner Buurma, Associate Professor of English Literature, Swarthmore College

Kimberly Christen Withey, Co-Director, Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation, Director of Digital Projects, Plateau Center, Native American Programs Associate Director, Digital Technology and Culture Program, Washington State University

Discussant: Sarah Werner, Digital Media Strategist, Folger Shakespeare Library

Sponsored by UC Berkeley Library

5:30 pm – 6:00 pm  Buses return to Oakland Marriott (or stay in Berkeley for restaurant night and make your own way back to Oakland via BART, bus or cab)

6:00 pm  Restaurant Night in Berkeley and Oakland (Sign up at the registration desk no later than Wednesday at 4:00 pm)

Restaurant Night is a conference tradition.  Small groups of conference participants can get to know one another while visiting some of the best restaurants in Berkeley or Oakland.  Everyone will be responsible for the cost of his or her own meal, and there will be several restaurants with a range of prices to choose from.  Sign-up sheets will be available at the Registration desk onsite on a first-come, first-served basis.

Local arrangements hosts will be accompanying those diners staying in Berkeley or venturing into other parts of Oakland and will ensure that everyone makes their way back to downtown Oakland after dinner.