SOA 2021 Annual Conference

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Past Conferences:  2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

In 2021, SOA held two virtual conferences. Scroll down for descriptions, and recordings and slides (where available). Session summaries for the spring meeting can be found in the fall 2021 Ohio Archivist.

SOA 2021 meetings: Annual Meeting | Joint Fall Meeting

Joint OLHA/SOA Fall Meeting – Challenge Accepted: Overcoming Obstacles (Virtual)

Join SOA and the Ohio Local History Association for our virtual joint fall meeting, September 30-October 2, 2021.

This is OLHA’s annual meeting with the addition of a SOA track on Thursday September 30, serving as SOA’s fall conference. Come for SOA’s sessions or come for the entire conference!

Registration covered the full conference including the plenary sponsored by Ohio Humanities, “Making the Local Universal: How Hidden Histories in Ohio Communities Can Broaden Audiences and Bring More Support,” with Dr. Anna-Lisa Cox, [VIDEO on OLHA YouTube | Chat | HANDOUT (PDF)] Harvard University, Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. Dr. Cox, an award-winning American historian, specializes in the history of racism in the nineteenth century, with a focus on the frontier and rural Midwest. Her recent book, The Bone and Sinew of the Land examines the long-denied history of African American pioneers who settled the Midwest before the Civil War.

– Register online through September 29 or download a form to print and mail.
– Fees: Member (SOA/OLHA) $40; Nonmember $50; Student/Unemployed/Furloughed $20.
– All registrations are for the full conference.
– Canceled registrations will be refunded in full, through September 29, 5pm.

Access: Instructions for accessing the Zoom sessions will be emailed to registered participants during the week prior to the meeting.

Program: For the full program see or download the program brochure.

Hashtag: SOA’s hashtag #soafm21 / OLHA hashtag #OLHAEmpowers

Plenary speaker is made possible in part by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Ohio Humanities logo




Questions? Contact the Committee Cochairs Rachael Bussert and Anne Ryckbost.


SOA Track – Thursday Sept 30

9:00-10:00am – Community Partnership for the Preservation of Jewish History in the Mahoning Valley [VIDEO on OLHA YouTube | Transcript | Chat | SLIDES (PDF)]
Beginning in 2020, Congregation Rodef Sholom of Youngstown launched a community initiative for the preservation and accessibility of their historical records during a time of uncertainty, with the pandemic and also the development of an inter-congregational collaboration for a potential merger with other area synagogues. With the development of an archive and research center, Rodef Sholom can share the collective contributions of the local Jewish community to the greater history of the Mahoning and Shenango Valley regions with the public. This session will discuss Rodef Sholom’s unique position as a prototype or model for other local community/religious organizations to gain a better understanding of their history, the current progress and anticipated outcomes of the project, and how community partnerships play an impactful role in the success of a project of this scale.
Presenters: Kayla Metzger, Youngstown State University/Ohio History Service Corps; Sarah Wilschek, Congregation Rodef Sholom; Hannah Klacik, Youngstown State University; Martha Bishop, Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor

10:30-11:30am – Making Your DPLA Harvest Go Further
Since early 2020 the Digital Public Library of America has introduced a new initiative to use the harvests into the primary search interface as an opportunity to also duplicate copyright-free digital collections resources into Wikimedia Commons, the repository that hosts images that end up in Wikipedia articles. Doing some light editorial work to include images from local collections into Wikipedia articles helps enrich one of the default knowledge bases for the open internet while exposing digitized resources to an audience that might otherwise never have reason to view them. This session discusses the benefits of making digital resources available where internet users already are, the impressive usage metrics associated with the work, how little time and effort it requires, and how the Ohio Digital Network is supporting this work at the State Library of Ohio.
Presenters: John Dewees, Toledo Lucas County Public Library [SLIDES (PDF)]; Penelope Shumaker, State Library of Ohio [SLIDES (PDF)]. [VIDEO on OLHA YouTube | Transcript | Chat ]

2:30-3:30pm – Lessons Learned: Adapting Collections Care in a Global Pandemic
While having an optimal collections care program that adheres to best practices might be desired at your institution, there are often barriers that prevent us from achieving the “best” –often related to time, money, and staffing. In the past year, these barriers have been compounded by a global pandemic that has introduced new challenges and opportunities for collections stewards. This facilitated discussion will focus on lessons learned from institutions when it comes to adapting collections care goals and activities when physical distance from our institutions and a rapidly changing environment creates new challenges and uncertainty. At the session’s conclusion, participants will have had an opportunity to share their experiences adapting collections care in the past year and hear how others have approached the same issue.
Presenter: Dyani Feige, Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts [VIDEO on OLHA YouTube | Transcript | Chat | SLIDES (PDF)]

2021 Annual Meeting: Archives in an Era of Change – June 7–8 (Virtual)

SOA has moved its annual conference online! Join us Monday, June 7–Tuesday, June 8, 2021, for our virtual conference, Archives in an Era of Change.

Session recordings are available on SOA’s YouTube as a playlist, and also next to the session info in the schedule below. Speaker slides will be posted by the end of June.

Follow the conversation online with the meeting’s hashtag #soaam21

Annual Meeting Registration

  • Annual Meeting Fee: FREE for all SOA members
  • If not currently a member you will have the opportunity to join SOA through the meeting registration form by choosing within the Registration Type menu. And membership fees are just $5 (student) or $15 (individual).
  • Annual Meeting Registration Link:
  • The registration form includes a donation option if you’d like/are able to donate to support the work of SOA. (However, SOA is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization, and so contributions to SOA are not deductible on your federal income tax returns.)
  • Registrants will receive Zoom login information via email, so be sure to use an email address you will be able to access in early June.
  • Registration closes June 6.

2021 Annual Meeting Plenary Speaker

Ben Garcia – “Archives, Libraries, Museums: Meaning-making and Magic”

Ben Garcia portrait

Ben Garcia

Ben Garcia is deputy executive director and chief learning officer at the Ohio History Connection. There he leads special projects and oversees six divisions. Prior museum experience includes tenures in the Education Department at the J. Paul Getty Museum, as associate director of education at the Skirball Cultural Center, as head of interpretation and operations at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at University of California, Berkeley, and as deputy director at the San Diego Museum of Man (now, Museum of Us). Ben serves on the boards of Equality Ohio and the Association of Midwestern Museums.

Garcia’s talk, “Archives, Libraries, Museums: Meaning-making and Magic,” will be a reflection on why our work matters, where we have gone astray, and what the path forward could be. This presentation will touch on the meaning of collections and spaces, digital and physical. And a rationale, rooted in our deepest places, for equitable practice, access and representation in our fields.


Full program (download PDF)






Schedule at a Glance (all times are Eastern)

Monday June 7, 2021

– 9:00am-10:00am – Welcome / Session 1: Who Controls the Vocabulary?: Reviewing and Implementing Community Based LGBTQ+ Descriptive Terms. [VIDEO] Karen Robertson and Lisa Wood, Ohio History Connection.
– 10:00am-10:30am – Break
– 10:30am-11:30am – Session 2: Creative Collaboration, Transformative Times: Teaching with Archival and Primary Sources. [VIDEO] Heidi Gauder, Kayla Harris, Bridget Retzloff, and Kristina Schulz, University of Dayton.
– 11:30am-12:30pm – Lunch Break
– 12:30pm-1:30pm – Session 3: Making It Work(flow): New Employees in an Era of Change. [VIDEO] Brenna Edwards, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin; Karolina Lewandowska, Commander, Navy Installations Command; Kathryn Slover and Stephanie Luke, University of Texas at Arlington.
– 1:30pm-2:00pm – Break
– 2:00pm-3:00pmVirtual Archives Crawl. [VIDEO] Miami University with Rachel Makarowski and Candace Pine; University of Dayton with Amy Rohmiller and Kristina Schulz; Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions with Gino Pasi.
– 3:00pm-3:05pm – Closing. SOA Council.

Tuesday June 8, 2021

– 9:00am-10:00am – Welcome / Plenary. [VIDEO] Archives, Libraries, Museums: Meaning-making and Magic. Ben Garcia, Ohio History Connection [HANDOUT: 5 Tips for Inclusive Organizations]
– 10:00am-10:30am – Break
– 10:30am-11:30am – Session 4: Amplifying Diverse Voices: Documenting the History of Underrepresented Communities at Two Ohio Universities. [VIDEO] Victor Fleischer [SLIDES], University of Akron; Matthew Francis [SLIDES], Ohio Northern University.
– 11:30am-12:30pm – Lunch Break
– 12:30pm-1:30pm – Session 5: Lightning Round Poster Session. [VIDEO] Sarah Aisenbrey and Michelle Bodine, Sisters of the Precious Blood; Kim Hoffman and Rachel Makarowski, Miami University; Suzanne Reller, University of Cincinnati; Amy Rohmiller, University of Dayton.
– 1:30pm-2:00pm – Break
– 2:00pm-3:00pm – Session 6: Pivoting for Productivity: Adapting Workflows During a Pandemic and Going Forward. [VIDEO] Virginia Dressler, Kent State University [SLIDES]; Nicole Sutton and Cindy Lindsay, Columbus Metropolitan Library.
– 3:00pm-3:30pm – Business Meeting / Closing. SOA Council. [VIDEO] All are welcome to join us in recognizing Merit Award and Student/New Professional Scholarship winners, as well as newly elected members of SOA Leadership.

Last Updated on May 4, 2022 by janet_carleton