In April, Dorothy Walker and Rebecca Denne attended the annual meeting of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kansas. The Dole Institute is one of the largest Congressional archives in the United States, and it has impressive programming that includes speakers, exhibits, and workshops. While Lawrence isn’t the easiest place to get to from Columbia, it was well worth the trip!
At the pre-conference, we participated in a Museum Hack workshop. Working with museum and archives professionals from across the country, we got hands-on practice with innovative and creative approaches to audience engagement with a collections focus.
The program opened with a conversational-style keynote with former Governor of Kansas and Archivist of the United States John Carlin. He and moderator Audrey Coleman, Assistant Director and Senior Archivist at the Dole Institute, discussed the challenges of electronic records management and public outreach efforts at the National Archives. We later attended a talk by former U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker about her three terms, during part of which she was the only woman in the Senate, and her work building successful coalitions.
At other sessions, we learned about unique outreach activities at The Dole (check out their Easter Egg Roll), using exhibits to tell stories that engage communities (like “The League of Wives” project), and the challenges we all face archiving social media.
It was great to pick up new ideas and meet new faces! We also enjoyed reconnecting with old friends, including ACSC Executive Committee members (and SCPC alums!) Lori Schwartz and Debbie Davendonis.