Heading Into Summer

We are coming close to the end of our grant-funding cycle with the State Historical Society of Iowa and I am coming close to delivering my first little baby…. literally any day now! Before that happens, I thought it would be helpful to recap on the events of the past few months and give an update on what to look forward to.

Accomplished in the last few months:

  • We have acquired 12 new collections in the last year.
  • Attended the 2013 Midwest Archives Conference April 17-20 in Indianapolis. I presented with a panel of other archivists in a session titled, “As It Happens: Documenting Community Tragedies and Transformations.” Received lots of thought-provoking and positive feedback from conference participants and provided us with a great opportunity to share the work of the project.
  • Attended the Five Year Anniversary of the Postville raid, May 10 in Cedar Rapids. With over 400 people showing up to support immigration reform and the community of Postville, it was a magnificent sight, and The Postville Project was proud to host an informational table to increase awareness about our work and encourage those affected by the raid to consider becoming involved as donors to the project.
  • Disseminated a press release for The Postville Project to a wide-range of local news media, detailing the history of the project, how people can be involved with our work and our plans for the future.
  • Submitted grant proposals to the Institute for Museum and Library Services as well as the State Historical Society of Iowa. We will be notified about those requests this summer.  We will hear about the IMLS grant proposal Sept. 1 and the SHSI proposal by early June. We are all eager to receive news on these proposals as this funding will help shape the way we move forward with the project.

 Looking Ahead:

  • I will be back from maternity leave in August and will complete my work on this funding cycle.
  • In the late summer/early fall, we plan to start processing the first installment of film footage from Luis Argueta’s documentary, “abUSed: The Postville Raid.” We will be spending time this summer researching which platform we want to use, Vimeo or YouTube, but we have cleared most hurdles and it looks like either one of these will be a good option for getting the footage streaming from the project website.
  • Tom and the team from UNI will be finalizing the “Index of Resources” to be included on the project website. The index will make accessible even more materials that are related to the story of Postville before, during and after the raid but that are materials the project doesn’t have rights to use as part of our collections.
  • In the late summer/early fall we will complete processing and digitization of two of our largest collections; one from the Iowa Department of Labor Services and the other from Maryn Olson, former Postville resident and director of Postville Response Coalition.
  • Updates to The Postville Project website. We will be working with Nathan Dirks of Driftless Designs to provide updates and revisions to the website.

Wising everyone a pleasant summer season! Feel free to contact Rachel Vagts ([email protected]) or Thomas Kessler ([email protected]) with questions, suggestions or to see how you can be involved with the project!