The Breath of Life: Facilitating Community Access to Archival Collections of Native American Materials
May 20, 2004 – NARA – Pacific Alaska Region (Seattle)
Laurel Sercombe, Archivist, Ethnomusicology Division, School of Music, University of Washington, provided the audience with an overview of the collections at the Ethnomusicology Archives and discussed her involvement with the Breath of Life workshop. The weeklong workshop, which took place in September 2003, was organized by Dr. Alice Taff, a research associate with the UW Department of Linguistics, with the goal of helping Native American tribal members try to revitalize their languages. Some forty members of thirteen local tribes were trained to use archival materials held by the Special Collections Division of the UW Libraries, the Ethnomusicology Archives, and the Burke Museum Archives.
The meeting concluded with the announcement of the results of the recent election and the introduction of incoming steering committee members, Anne Frantilla, Birgit Hansen, and Lisa Sanders.
February 26, 2004 – Corbis, Inc.
Seattle Area Archivists met in the historic Dexter-Horton building in downtown Seattle for a tour of stock image giant Corbis. Corbis’ extensive collection is comprised primarily of the Bettman Archives, and is continually adding the work of contemporary photographers, as well as purchasing private collections. The group was given presentations by Corbis staff on the general background of the company’s formation, Corbis’ unique in-house cataloging system, and its rights and permissions process. These talks were supplemented by a tour of the company’s Seattle headquarters, including the image-editing area where digital photographs are edited for transfer to customers all over the world.
“Where Art and History Cross”: Building an Archives for the Pacific Northwest Ballet
November 13, 2003 – Pacific Northwest Ballet, Phelps Center, Seattle
Birgit Hansen, archivist and librarian for the Pacific Northwest Ballet company, described the pros and cons of being an in-house archive that is a small part of a large arts organization whose primary purpose is performance. In addition to providing an overview of the holdings of the archives, Birgit discussed the challenges of preserving materials in various formats (including videotapes and costumes). She also demonstrated the practical ways in which the company was utilizing materials from the archives by showing the group portions of an in-progress video on the history of PNB’s version of the Nutcracker, which she was creating for the twentieth anniversary of the production. Birgit then led the group on a tour of the archives, costume shop, and library. PNB co-artistic director Francia Russell, who earlier had welcomed our group, encouraged Seattle Area Archivist members to watch a class in one of the studios and generally make ourselves “at home” at the Phelps Center facility (which also houses the company’s administrative offices and its school). Since we were unable to tour McCaw Hall on the day of our meeting, Birgit arranged to have meeting attendees invited to a dress rehearsal of the company’s “Balanchine Centenary” program at the new auditorium on February 4, 2004.