The Archives Speakeasy Approach to Broadening and Building Community

  • Sarah Buchanan (University of Missouri)
  • Shelby Catalano (University of Missouri)


The ability to gather together in a room for conversation, space visits, advising, even one-on-one interviewing evaporated quickly in spring 2020. As the full extent of working from home to stay safe became an everyday reality, graduate student leaders decided to meet the moment and avail ourselves of the new tools not around during the last pandemic. Newly installed as officers of our campus SAA Student Chapter, we collaborated on a select set of activities that would leverage our interests, skills, and networks in the interests of peer mentorship and solidarity. This poster will illustrate how student archivists applied the principle of shared effort for shared gain in making the virtual transition an opportunity to cultivate fellowship among our members at a challenging time. We brought the speakeasy of the Roaring '20s into the year 2020 over the course of arranging and promoting virtual events—including a monthly newsletter seeded with content by each of our officers, Zoom sessions with university archivists, and micro-communications that engage and expand our audiences. Collaboration across timezones, experiences, and proximity to graduation allowed our Student Chapter to host quality activities on topics that are broadly relevant across our library and information science student body, with the added value of enhancing our own professional development and staying connected. Our work will share productive strategies for leading with creativity, balancing time commitments, and raising spirits at a time when all the old ways seem to be giving way to new ones on deck.

How to Cite:

Buchanan, S. & Catalano, S., (2021) “The Archives Speakeasy Approach to Broadening and Building Community”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations 2021(1).



Published on
14 May 2021
The Archives Speakeasy Approach to Broadening and Building Community