As part of Preservation Week programming, the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (A.R.T.) and the Archives and Public History Program at New York University are co-sponsoring an event  to discuss how archival repositories can be pro-active in the fight against climate change, collections useful to climate change research, and successful sustainability efforts/resiliency measures.

The event “I’m Not A Scientist”: The Role and Responsibility of Archivists Towards Climate Change takes place on Friday, April 29, 2016 from 6 to 8pm at New York University’s Kimmel Center, Room 912. If you’re in NYC this Friday, register for the event to join the conversation.

For more information, visit the event page.

Hope to see you there!

ProjectARCC and the Simmons College Student Chapter of the Society of American Archivists (SCoSAA) co-hosted On The Brink: Archives, Climate Change, and the Future. The event, held on the Simmons College campus, was also live streamed; a recording of the event is forthcoming.

The two-part event featured both presentations by panel members and an open Q&A session afterward. The panel was composed of Casey Davis, project manager at the American Archive of Public Broadcasting and founder of ProjectARCC; Lisa Pearson, who is Head of the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library and Archives; Trisha Shrum, PhD candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School and co-founder of DearTomorrow; and Lucas Stanczyk, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Affiliated Faculty of Philosophy at MIT.

Davis presented on her personal revelation regarding the urgency of climate change and the importance of archivists to understand and respond to the challenges presented by this phenomenon. Shrum’s presentation combined an introduction to the DearTomorrow organzation with a discussion of developments in behavioral psychology that may prove useful in motivating the public to make and support environmentally conscious actions. Pearson presented a brief historical introduction to the Arnold Arboretum and provided an insightful look at how the library, archives, and grounds of the Arnold Arboretum have been (and could be!) useful to activists and researchers. Bringing the event to a somber and grounded conclusion, Stanczyk emphasized the nature of climate change as a longitudinal and international issue, and presented figures concerning emission benchmarks that must be attained in order to reduce and mitigate the impact of global climate change on the environment.

For some people, the biggest takeaway from events like these can be the revelatory understanding that climate change is a serious and imminent threat that will affect all people, everywhere (though not equally so; less-developed nations, and areas closer to sea level, are in more immediate danger). For the initiated, events like On The Brink serve to remind us of our purpose and spur us on to continued action. As a culmination of mutual cooperation between SCoSAA, ProjectARCC, and our panel presenters, the event was also a reminder of the importance of collective action to mobilize real change concerning climate change. While individual environmentally conscious actions are effective and important, our voices are strongest when unified. ProjectARCC is just one example of an organization that rallies concerned individuals who share a mutual association around the issue of climate change. Finding a way to become involved in environmental activism– be it at the community, institutional, state, or national level– is the next critical step in transforming concern over climate change into real action.

Each of these speakers brought this revelation about in different ways. Davis’ presentation on Project ARCC highlighted the potential benefits of tapping into mutual association (through a shared professional interest) to rally members of the community around an issue. The involvements and accomplishments of ProjectARCC since its founding are a testament to this. Shrum demonstrated how environmental activists can tap into social networks and insights into human psychology to better unify and inspire people to collective action. At the local level, Pearson shared information about how researchers, community members, and the interested public are making use of the Arboretum’s resources to advance scholarship and activism goals.  

— Chris Kaplan

We are thrilled to announce our SCoSAA/ProjectARCC collaborative event: On The Brink: Archives, Climate Change, and the Future!

The  Simmons College Student Chapter of the Society of American Archivists (SCoSAA) and ProjectARCC are hosting On the Brink: Archives, Climate Change, and the Future,  a panel discussion among archivists and energy policy, ethics and communications experts which will bring the topic of climate change to the forefront, as it will deeply impact the archival profession.

The event will be held at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday, November 11 at 5:30pm in the Kotzen Meeting Room. Register to attend on our Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/on-the-brink-archives-climate-change-and-the-future-tickets-18737615713

While the meeting is capped at 50 attendees, we will have unlimited capability to livestream the event, which you can attend through  GoToWebinar via think link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7581571748555811330 and the Webinar ID: 120-664-547.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact SCoSAA Co-Chairs Betts Coup and Kristen Weischedel at scosaa@simmons.edu.

About ProjectARCC:

Founded on Earth Day in 2015, ProjectARCC is a task force of archivists striving to motivate the archival community to affect climate change. We believe that archivists, those responsible for the preservation of history for future generations, should be as passionate and concerned about preserving a habitable and safe planet for future generations.  To learn more about ProjectARCC, visit our website athttps://projectarcc.org/.

About our speakers:

Casey Davis

Casey E. Davis is an audiovisual archivist and project manager who by day is Project Manager for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting at WGBH. Alarmed about current and impending impacts of climate change on the archival profession, Casey, along with other archivists across the United States formed ProjectARCC, a task force of archivists striving to motivate the archival profession to affect climate change. Casey also serves as archivist for DearTomorrow, a campaign to collect and preserve letters from parents to their loved ones about climate change. She is the Co-Chair for the New England Archivists Roundtable for Early Professionals and Students and serves on the NEA Membership Committee.

Lisa Pearson

Lisa Pearson is the Head of the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library and Archives. She oversees all of the operations of the library and archives, as well as creating displays of archival materials for the library and exhibits in the Visitor Center. In addition she manages new library book acquisitions. Earlier in her time at the Arboretum she was the project cataloger for the digitization of several of their historical photograph collections. This has given her an in-depth knowledge of their holdings. Prior to coming to the Arboretum, she was employed for many years as a librarian in the insurance industry, first on the property/casualty side and later in the life/health and financial services realm. Outside of work she is an artist working in metal, leather, and textiles, who gathers her inspiration from Medieval and Renaissance art.

Trisha Shrum

Trisha is a PhD candidate in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School specializing in behavioral science and environmental economics. In her work on how moral frames and time preference affect support for climate change policy, she developed the fundamental concept that underlies DearTomorrow. She credits her own daughter, Eleanor, and Christiana Figueres for the critical inspiration. Prior to coming to the Kennedy School, she earned a Masters of Environmental Science at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Kansas. Trisha has been studying and analyzing climate change policy for nearly a decade.

Lucas Stanczyk

Lucas Stanczyk is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Affiliated Faculty of Philosophy at MIT. He completed his PhD at Harvard in 2012. Lucas’s primary research interests are in political philosophy and the history of political thought. He is completing a book manuscript on the economic duties of citizenship and has started research for a second book on contemporary inequality. At MIT, he teaches classes in political philosophy, the history of political thought, and the ethics of public policy.