Back To Schedule
Friday, June 21 • 8:30am - 10:00am
Papers on Storytelling and Longevity

Sign up or log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

A Wider View of the Arctic: Indigenous-Language Materials on the Shelf and in the Classroom
Indigenous communities around the world are at the forefront of the adverse effects of climate change. In the Arctic, where global warming takes place at an accelerated pace, the Inuit and Sami People are faced with serious challenges in their efforts to maintain their cultural and linguistic identities, which have a rich but often underappreciated history. The literature of Arctic exploration is a long-established collecting area in many special collections libraries. However, the voices of the Indigenous People who encountered and aided these European and American explorers are generally not nearly as well documented in these same spaces, although many examples of Indigenous-language material exist. For instance, by the mid-nineteenth century, at the height of the British search for the Franklin Expedition, Greenlanders were publishing a newspaper written entirely in their own language, Kalaallisut, with the assistance of the Danish colonial administrator Hinrich Rink. This talk is based on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s efforts to expand the scope of a recently re-cataloged Arctic collection to include such Indigenous voices, beginning with the acquisition of that first Greenlandic newspaper. It provides practical information about acquiring Arctic materials in Indigenous languages while also making a case for how these materials can most effectively be used in classroom instruction and other activities. Because many works in Indigenous languages, especially the earliest examples, involve some level of mediation through missionaries or colonial administrators, these materials raise unique challenges and opportunities in their use in the special collections classroom.

"For Beauty, Grace, and Fragrance Are All Gone": Preserving Botanicals in the Anthropocene
Current efforts to study and preserve biodiversity, like those at the the Kew Herbarium, the Millennium Seed Bank, and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, are intended to help us identify plants from across the world and provide access to a variety of seeds that might be more viable as climate change progresses. This paper looks at the longer history of herbarium making and seed saving, from the practices of men like Alexander von Humboldt and John Bartram to those of the great numbers of nineteenth-century amateur botanists, poets, students, and children who gathered and preserved specimens. More importantly this presentation looks at how these specimens have been preserved, or not preserved, in our libraries in their original newspapers, books, autograph albums, herbaria, journals, and letters. In discussing examples drawn primarily from the collections of the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), this paper also explores the challenges of preserving and conserving individual specimens. How do we catalog and preserve botanicals that have been removed from collections, an action that often occurs during the digitizing process? How do we locate traces of botanical specimens in collections, such as those of a nonextant dandelion once pressed in an Emily Dickinson poem? How do we catalog albums or journals that contain botanicals? How do our conservators preserve botanical specimens that remain in books and manuscripts? How do we handle specimens that have been separated from the volumes and paper in which they were pressed? As librarians, curators, archivists, scholars, and conservators, we should and do have an affinity for earlier herbarium makers who saw themselves preserving plants for science or sentiment or both. Ultimately, the study and preservation of specimens from the past helps us to understand the need for preservation of botanical specimens in the present.

Archives in Action: Catalyzing Ecological Awareness
This presentation will examine ways in which stories from the archives can illuminate forms of mobilization and collaboration to protect open space. Open spaces in cities and other densely populated areas can provide significant ecological functions and values to help human and natural communities become more resilient to climate change. Grassy and woody open spaces can sequester carbon and reduce air pollution and surface runoff. Open spaces that feature biking and walking trails can improve commuting and simultaneously reduce reliance on fossil fuels thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Despite their potential, the protection, preservation, and creation of open spaces can be highly contested. Pressure for space to accommodate an ever-growing population and to develop land for economic gains challenges our communities, industries, and governing bodies to conserve land for ecological good. Drawing on reports, photographs, testimonies, and other primary sources from UC Irvine Libraries Special Collections & Archives, we will explore how open space was preserved in Orange County, California and how the documentation can provide models for catalyzing ecological awareness. Orange County is the smallest county in southern California, yet it is the richest in public lands – it is home to over 55,000 acres of open space. Yet it is no coincidence that so much land in the region is preserved. By reflecting on the processes of confrontation, collaboration, and compromise to address environmental concerns that took place in Orange County, the panel will consider how special collections and archives can serve students, educators, historians, environmentalists, companies, and policymakers in their efforts to identify and implement ways to make their human and natural communities more resilient to threats of climate change.


Ashley Cataldo

Assistant Curator of Manuscripts, American Antiquarian Society
avatar for Krystal Tribbett

Krystal Tribbett

Curator for Orange County Regional History, Research Librarian for Orange County, UC Irvine
I am interested in community-based archives, collection strategies to build regional history archives, diversity and inclusion, and postcustodial theory and practice.
avatar for Adam V. Doskey

Adam V. Doskey

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Derek Christian Quezada

Outreach & Public Services Librarian, Special Collections & Archives, University of California, Irvine

Friday June 21, 2019 8:30am - 10:00am EDT