Wow. That was one busy week. After doing tons of work for my internship and loads of grading (my TA position may be tedious sometimes, but it pays the bills) I can finally write about the FABULOUS weekend I had at the Northwest Archivists Annual Conference. The conference was held in Salem, Oregon last weekend in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Oregon Heritage Commission. It was great to reunite with a few of my fellow archivists-in-training as we’ve been scattered doing our internships. Besides the after hours highjinks to be expected of three women in their early twenties who haven’t seen each other in awhile, the conference was very exciting. We got to Salem on Thursday afternoon, in time to check into our hotel and catch a walking tour of some of the historical buildings of Salem. The community of Oregon’s capital city has done an incredible job recognizing the history of their downtown buildings, putting them on the historical map, and revitalizing the inside of the buildings to allow for modern businesses and living while keeping the facades. It was quite beautiful. Thursday night was a reception at the Oregon State Archives. We were able to tour their facility and see how their repository stores and handles records.
Friday was a much more organized day. Breakfast, workshops, and the celebration dinner. The workshop I enjoyed most on Friday was about getting young people to recognize the importance of history and archives. There were three different speakers who discussed a 4H program, National History Day, and teaching history in a 2nd grade class at a charter school. All three had different perspectives and ideas on this important issue. Students are the future of history and archives and it is vital that they are taught young that history can be fun and is not just things that happened in the past that have nothing to do with the present.
In the afternoon, we went antique shopping and saw maybe a quarter of the people from the conference out too. The weather was wonderful. That evening was the formal dinner. The food was fabulous, ending with a huge table of cupcakes. This photo is for you, Sarah.
Saturday was closing day. We went to a seminar aimed at students and new professionals. There was a panel and open discussion about the needs and expectations of students and those just graduating, as well as what employers are expecting. It was quite enlightening, if a bit daunting.
After the seminar, we went on a few historical home tours and then headed out. It was a great weekend overall. It was my first professional conference and I was able to meet a lot of people I had only heard about, including a few who I will be working with during my summer internship. I am excited to go back next year as it will most likely be in Vancouver B.C.!