Archives, Memory & Identity: A Public Symposium

Date: 7 September 2018
Time: 8:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Location: Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, UVA
Presented by: Rare Book School, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the UVA Library

María Verónica San Martín, In Their Memory (2012).  Photo by Denny Henry.

María Verónica San Martín, In Their Memory (2012).
Photo by Denny Henry.

During a time when “alternative facts” are regularly discussed and disputed in the mainstream media, archive-based evidence has become increasingly valued for its ability to document the histories and perspectives of diverse peoples, cultures, and movements. We invite you to join Rare Book School and the UVA Library for “Archives, Memory & Identity,” a public, one-day symposium that will bring together archivists, librarians, curators, digital humanists, academics, artists, and activists working on a range of cross-disciplinary, culturally sensitive projects that challenge traditional models for creating and stewarding visual and textual artifacts.

Featuring panel discussions on access, storytelling, and community outreach, the symposium will include innovators working on a variety of projects—from established archives, including The HistoryMakers (recording African American oral histories since 1999), the South Asian American Digital Archive, and the Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal—to new initiatives, such as the Digital Library of the Middle East and UVA’s Lhasa VR. The symposium will delve into artists’ books and film as forms of documenting social movements and social change with activist-artist María Verónica San Martín and filmmaker Brian Wimer (director of Charlottesville: Our Streets). Drawing on the work of archivists Aaisha Haykal and Johan Kugelberg, the symposium will also explore the significance of forging relationships with community members, to build living and lasting collections that represent significant countercultures.

This event is jointly sponsored by Rare Book School, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the UVA Library. The symposium will be held in the Auditorium of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.


Registration — 8:30–9:00 a.m.

Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be served

Opening remarks — 9:00–9:15 a.m.

Michael F. Suarez, S.J. (Executive Director, Rare Book School) & John Unsworth (University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, University of Virginia)

Session 1: Access — 9:15–10:45 a.m. – Audio | Video


  • “Spatial Narratives of the Historic Tibetan Capital of Lhasa with 3D GIS” – Guoping Huang (Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Virginia School of Architecture); Will Rourk (Information Visualization Specialist, Scholars’ Lab, University of Virginia); & Kurtis R. Schaeffer (Frances Myers Ball Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia)
  • “The Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal: A Model for Ethical Access to Cultural Heritage” – Trevor James Bond (Co-Director, Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation and Associate Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries)
  • “Introducing the Digital Library of the Middle East” – Peter Herdrich (Co-Founder, The Antiquities Coalition and CEO, Cultural Capital Group, LLC); Houra Kadivar (Assistant to the Middle East Studies Librarian, UNC Chapel Hill Libraries); & Bethany Nowviskie (Executive Director, Digital Library Federation)


  • Donna Sy (Mellon Society Administrative Director, Rare Book School)

Break — 10:45–11:15 a.m.

Coffee, tea, and light refreshments will be served

Session 2: Storytelling & Memory — 11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m. – Audio | Video


  • “Wakanda Forever: Three Opportunities for Legacy Making” – Aaisha Haykal (Manager of Archival Services, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston)
  • “Preservation: The HistoryMakers Story” – Julieanna Richardson (Founder & Executive Director, The HistoryMakers)
  • “Moving Memorials” – María Verónica San Martín (Artist, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program & Booklyn, Inc.)


  • Holly Robertson (Exhibitions Coordinator and Registrar, University of Virginia Library)

Lunch on your own — 12:45–1:45 p.m.

Group restaurant signup sheets will be available throughout the morning

Session 3: Community Archives & Outreach — 1:45–3:15 p.m. – Audio | Video


  • “The Missing Stories: How Stories Become Lost and How They Can Be Recovered” – Samip Mallick (Executive Director, South Asian American Digital Archive)
  • “Archiving Counter-Culture: Problems and Solutions” – Johan Kugelberg (Owner and Curator, Boo-Hooray gallery)
  • “Charlottesville: Our Streets” – Brian Wimer (Director, Amoeba Films)


  • Krystal Appiah (Instruction Librarian, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia)

Beverage break — 3:15–3:45 p.m.

Session 4: Roundtable Discussion: Cultural Heritage, Social Justice, and Individual Responsibility — 3:45–5:15 p.m. – Audio | Video


  • Brenda Gunn (Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and Preservation, University of Virginia)
  • Aaisha Haykal (Manager of Archival Services, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston)
  • Johan Kugelberg (Owner and Curator, Boo-Hooray gallery)
  • Samip Mallick (Executive Director, South Asian American Digital Archive)
  • Bethany Nowviskie (Executive Director, Digital Library Federation)
  • Julieanna Richardson (Founder & Executive Director, The HistoryMakers)


  • Danielle Culpepper (Director of Budget & Finance, Rare Book School)
  • Barbara Heritage (Associate Director & Curator of Collections, Rare Book School)

Reception — 5:15–6:00 p.m.

At 5:30 p.m., “Moving Memorials: A Book Arts Performance” by María Verónica San Martín | Video

Panelist Bios

Trevor James Bond is the Co-Director of the CDSC and the Associate Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections at the WSU Libraries. He is currently working on grants funded by IMLS, ACLS and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He has presented widely and published articles on collecting and access to archives. Trevor received his M.L.I.S. and a Masters in ancient history at UCLA. He recently completed his Ph.D. in public and Western history at WSU. His dissertation, “Why should we have to buy our own things back?” The struggle over the Spalding-Allen Collection, explores the Nez Perce Tribe’s successful effort to purchase the earliest documented collection of their material culture from the Ohio Historical Society.

Brenda Gunn joined the University of Virginia Library as the Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and Preservation in August 2017. Prior to joining the Small Special Collections Library, Brenda worked at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin, where she rose through the ranks from Head of Archives and Manuscripts to Director for Research and Collections. She holds a Master of library and information science from UT Austin’s School of Information, as well as a Master of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Texas at Tyler. Brenda has completed coursework toward a Ph.D. in American history at UT Austin. Her expertise in archives has been recognized by her election to the Society of American Archivists Council for a three-year term and by her election as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists. Brenda has served in leadership positions in state and national archival organizations, including terms as president of the Academy of Certified Archivists and the Society of Southwest Archivists, for which she founded the National Disaster Recovery Fund for Archives. She has just completed a six-year term on the steering committee of the Archives Leadership Institute.

Aaisha N. Haykal is the manager of archival services at the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. In this position, she is responsible for collection development, public programming, instruction, reference, and administrative duties. She has been professionally involved in a number of associations, including serving in leadership roles within the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH); she previously served on the board of the Black Metropolis Research Consortium (BMRC) in Chicago, IL, and the Illinois State Historical Records Advisory Board (ISHRAB). Haykal is the former university archivist at Chicago State University (Chicago, IL). Her research interests include African American history, digital preservation, censorship, and community archiving.

Peter Herdrich consults on project strategy related to cultural heritage preservation, libraries, and communications. He is the Co-founder of The Antiquities Coalition and the project director for the Digital Library of the Middle East. He served previously as CEO of the Archaeological Institute of America, publisher of Archaeology magazine, a television news producer, and is a founding board member of Rare Book School. At the UVA library he was once called, “America’s leading filmmaker on obscure bibliographical subjects” for his work on RBS videos with Terry Belanger.

Guoping Huang is an Assistant Professor in the Urban and Environmental Planning Department at the University of Virginia. He is a planning scholar, practitioner, and digital innovator. His research interests include digital visualization, Geodesign, and “alternative futures” approach in urban and landscape planning. He has published widely in English and Chinese, and has conducted many urban and landscape planning projects all over the world. He is the co-founder of the Digital Atlas of Roman and Medieval Civilizations, one of the most influential projects in digital humanities. If you want to make a fortune from ancient shipwrecks, please check that out.

Houra (Heeva) Kadivar is a Tehran-bred Middle East Studies librarian in the making. She is a paraprofessional staff member in the Middle East Studies Resources of UNC Davis Library working closely with the UNC Wilson Special Collections Library on enhancing the UNC Libraries’ Persian Studies collections. She has a B.A. in sociology and worked with librarians and educators in Tehran on K–12 critical thinking curriculum development. Heeva is the recipient of a 2017 NEH-Global Book Histories Initiative Scholarship at RBS, and of a 2018 RBMS Scholarship. She is currently working toward her M.S.L.S. at the UNC School of Library and Information Science.

Johan Kugelberg is the founder of Boo-Hooray, which to date has placed over 120 significant cultural archives with museums and university libraries. He has taught at Yale and Cornell, and is a faculty member at Rare Book School where he teaches a yearly class. He is the author and editor of numerous books on subculture topics, and regularly curates exhibits in museums and galleries around the world.

Samip Mallick is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA), the only organization that digitally documents, preserves, and shares stories of South Asian Americans. Working at the intersection of technology and storytelling, Mallick has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in library and information sciences from the University of Illinois. He was previously the Director of the Ranganathan Center for Digital Information at the University of Chicago Library.

Bethany Nowviskie is Executive Director of the Digital Library Federation (DLF) at the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), and a research associate professor of Digital Humanities in the Department of English at the University of Virginia. Among other projects, she is currently collaborating with international partners on the Digital Library of the Middle East, and with leaders of the HBCU Library Alliance on digital libraries as common ground between PWIs and historically black colleges and universities. Dr. Nowviskie formerly directed the UVA Library’s Scholars’ Lab and is a past president of the Association for Computers and the Humanities.

Julieanna L. Richardson, public historian and Founder & President of The HistoryMakers, has a unique and diverse background in theatre, television production, and the cable television industry. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Brandeis University, where she double-majored in theatre arts and American studies. After conducting oral histories on the Harlem Renaissance and Langston Hughes, Richardson attended Harvard Law School. After graduation, she worked as a corporate lawyer, prior to serving in the early 1980s as the Cable Administrator for the City of Chicago Office of Cable Communications. There she established the Chicago Cable Commission, the City’s regulatory body. She went on to found Shop Chicago, a regionally based home shopping channel. She was driven to start The HistoryMakers out of a strong desire to make a difference and to leave a living legacy. The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute named Julieanna Richardson its Vernon D. Jarrett Fellow. In 2002, she served on the board of The Henry Hampton Collection at Washington University. She currently sits on the Honors Council of Lawyers for the Creative Arts and was appointed in 2011 to the Comcast NBC Universal African American Diversity Council. In 2012, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities by Howard University; and in 2014, she served as the commencement speaker for Dominican University, where she was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in the Humanities. In 2014, Black Enterprise Magazine awarded Richardson its 2014 Legacy Award, its highest recognition of women’s achievement. That same year, Richardson was profiled in “American Masters: The Boomer List,” a PBS documentary and exhibition at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. She served as the commencement speaker for Brandeis University’s 65th Annual Commencement in 2016, where she also received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

Will Rourk has a background in architecture from Virginia Tech and architectural history from UVA. He has been the lead architectural consultant to the UVA Tibetan and Himalayan Library since 2001 and has been to Tibet four times for cultural field work. He has been a 3D content specialist with the UVA Library for over twenty years, and more recently with the Scholars’ Lab, and currently is focused on the area of cultural heritage informatics in the collection, processing, preservation and distribution of 3D data of historic architecture and artifact. His current methods employ the use of 3D laser scanning and photogrammetry for collecting measured data of historic content and working with the UVA Library for open access to the data by the scholarly community. He is actively working with UVA faculty and students in the departments of Architecture and Architectural History, Archaeology, Engineering, as well as the Fralin Museum of Art and the UVA Library Special Collections and architects and archaeologists at Montpelier and Monticello to curate 3D data for cultural heritage resources. He is nationally active with 3D data preservation efforts such as the Community Standards for Preservation of 3D Data and has lectured on 3D Cultural Heritage Informatics at various gatherings of cultural heritage data specialists. More information about this work can be found at or by following @rezn8r on Twitter.

María Verónica San Martín, a studio artist at The Whitney Museum, ISP, is a Chilean born New York-based artist working in printmaking, artists’ books, installations, sculpture, and performance. The subject matter of her work departs from violence in dictatorship Chile (1973–1990) vis-à-vis the United States and Nazism’s involvement in that violence, addressing memory as a pivotal factor for the understanding of the neoliberal, globalized present. San Martín has had exhibitions at The Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Chile; BRIC Arts Media, NY; The Cantor Art Center, Stanford University, CA; The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Germany, and, is preparing two solo shows for The Chilean National Archive and for The Meermanno Museum, Netherland. Her work is in the collections of The Pompidou Centre, The New York Public Library, and The Walker Museum, among others.

Kurtis R. Schaeffer is the Frances Myers Ball Professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He co-directs the Tibetan Buddhist studies graduate program at UVA. Kurtis was first introduced to the field of book history in a course on the history of the book in America offered in the late 1990s by David Hall at Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in 2000. Since then his work has been impacted by the synergy created in book history between intellectual, social, and material modes of investigation and interpretation. This impact culminated in the publication of The Culture of the Book in Tibet (Columbia University Press, 2009). Kurtis is the author, editor, or translator of eight other books, including recently The Life of the Buddha by Tenzin Chögyel (Penguin Classics, 2015), The Tibetan History Reader (Columbia University Press, 2012), and Sources of Tibetan Tradition (Columbia University Press, 2012), which is the largest English anthology of Tibetan literature published to date. Among his recent projects, he has just co-created a literary and visual life of the Buddha based upon a four-century old mural of the Buddha’s story located in Western Tibet ( He is currently completing a collection of Buddhist meditation literature for Penguin Classics. You can learn more about Kurtis’ work at the Department of Religious Studies (, and read some of his articles at

Brian Wimer is a filmmaker living in Charlottesville, VA. He has directed and produced twelve feature films, including “CLAW: The Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers” and “Pyrometheus.” His latest film, “Charlottesville: Our Streets,” is an objective chronicle of the alt-right rally on 12 August 2017 in Charlottesville, composed of forty interviews with eyewitnesses and compiling media from twenty sources. He is also co-founder of the IX Art Park in Charlottesville, for which he currently serves as resident wizard.