Get ready for STA2013...

As many professional archivists across the nation return from the Society of American Archivists annual meeting in New Orleans, the Society of Tennessee Archivists has been planning its next annual meeting on October 16-18, 2013, and if you're a Tennessee archivist, or someone interested in archives in Tennessee, you'll want to make your plans now to attend.

The site for this year's meeting is Clarksville, Tennessee at the Riverview Inn Conference Center. In years past I have blogged about how important this group of professionals has been to my own career. The professional camaraderie experienced and knowledge gained at each meeting has helped me tremendously as an archivist and as a public historian. Each year, I eagerly await STA's release of the schedule of topics and presenters in mid-August, and now I'm pleased to share these details with you here on The Posterity Project.

This year, STA2013 promises to be one of the best meetings yet. The theme chosen for the annual meeting is "Listen Up! Discovering, Sharing, and Preserving Our Stories," focusing on folk life and oral history projects in Tennessee.

The conference begins on Wednesday, October 16th with opening remarks from the Honorable Kim McMillan, Mayor of the City of Clarksville, followed by a full schedule of conference sessions.

Linda Barnickel, Susannah Gibbons, and Luke Herbst will present "War, Disaster, and Community History," an oral history project of the Nashville Public Library. Archivists from the Kentucky Folklife Collection at Western Kentucky University will present "The Traipsin' Archives: Documenting and Preserving Folklore in Kentucky."

The Vacant Chair Photography Studio will present a "Discussion on the History and Processes of Nineteenth Century Photography," and Dr. Charles W. Crawford, Chairman of the Oral History Collection at the University of Memphis, will talk about that university's oral history program.

The evening will wrap up with a tour of Fort Defiance and Interpretive Center, and a reception at the Montgomery County Archives.

Thursday, October 17th begins with another great lineup of sessions. Michael Falco starts the day with a presentation about "The Pinhole Camera Project." The aim of this project is "to visualize the American Civil War from the 19th century soldiers’ point of view and highlight the haunting beauty of the war’s battlefields. The project seeks to illuminate and reveal this monumental period in American history through the rudimentary eye of the pinhole camera."

Other sessions scheduled for Thursday include Lori Lockhart's "Pieces of the Past: What Quilts Can Tell Us About Our Ancestors," Bobby Fulcher's "The Tennessee Folklife Project," "Voices from Rugby's British-American Past" by George Zepp and Dr. Mike Harris, and a discussion of "The Armed Forces Veterans Oral History Project at Austin Peay State University" by Dr. Gregory R. Zieren.

The day concludes with a tour of Historic Trinity Episcopal Parish in downtown Clarksville, followed by the Society Awards Banquet, featuring guest speaker Dr. Mike Birdwell, who will discuss his research at the Warner Brothers Archives and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

The conference wraps up on Friday, October 18th with an informative workshop by Dr. Christopher "Cal" Lee of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Lee's workshop is entitled "Digging into Bits: Capturing, Managing, and Preserving Digital Stories," which is sure to provide a wealth of information about "born digital" records.

If you've ever thought you might be interested in attending a STA Annual Meeting, I'd like to invite you to Clarksville for this three-day gathering. Be sure to visit the Society of Tennessee Archivists website where a link to the full conference itinerary and registration information will be posted soon. I hope to see you there!

Gordon Belt is the Director of Public Services for the Tennessee State Library & Archives, and past president of the Society of Tennessee Archivists. On The Posterity Project, Gordon blogs about archives, local history, genealogy, and social media advocacy for archives and cultural heritage organizations. His forthcoming book, John Sevier: Tennessee's First Hero, examines the life of Tennessee's first governor, John Sevier, through the lens of history and memory.