2016 National Archives Conference for Fraternities and Sororities

Miriam Centeno, Collections Care Coordinator, leads a hands-on exhibits workshop

Miriam Centeno, Collections Care Coordinator, leads a hands-on exhibits workshop

Maintaining and preserving an organization’s archives in tight economic times can be a challenge. Many national fraternities and sororities rely on staff whose primary responsibilities and expertise are in other areas. Others are fortunate to have volunteers who care for the archives. A smaller number employ a professional archivist. To assist national Greek organizations with their archival programs and to foster communication among these organizations about their archival activities, the Student Life and Culture Archives offers a national conference every other year at the University of Illinois campus that is designed to meet the archival needs of national fraternities and sororities.

Attendees break into small groups for discussion during a presentation on outreach

Attendees break into small groups for discussion during a presentation on outreach

This year’s conference was held June 2-4 at the iHotel and Conference Center in Champaign. Session topics included “Capturing and Preserving Your Organization’s Digital History” with Assistant University Archivist Chris Prom, “Copyright for Fraternity Archives” with Kappa Alpha Theta Archivist and Attorney Lisa McLaughlin, and “Exhibits 101 Workshop” with Collections Care Coordinator Miriam Centeno and Curator for Rare Books and Manuscripts Anna Chen. A complete schedule of events can be found here.

Tanya Zanish-Belcher of Wake Forest University delivers the plenary address

Friday evening’s plenary address was delivered by Wake Forest University Director of Special Collections and University Archivist Tanya Zanish-Belcher. Zanish-Belcher was recently elected as the Vice President/President Elect of the Society of American Archivists. She acknowledged some of the major 21st century challenges archivists face, but stressed to attendees how valuable the work they are doing is and reminded them of the importance of advocating for archives.

Many attendees have been to the conference multiple years and some credit their experience as a major factor in the advancement of their archival programs. Several attendees were able to present on exciting new initiatives happening right now in their organization’s archives and museum areas. Participants also took time to visit the Archives Research Center and do research on their organizations using materials from our extensive collection on national fraternity and sorority history.

We look forward to hosting the conference again in 2018!

Conference Attendees, 2016 National Archives Conference for Fraternities and Sororities

Conference Attendees, 2016 National Archives Conference for Fraternities and Sororities

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