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Stanford Historical Society Elected New Board Members

July 14, 2020
by Charlotte Kwok Glasser

Stanford Historical Society Elected New Board Members

The past few months have certainly tested the resilience and flexibility of the Stanford community. The Stanford Historical Society (SHS) held its first ever electronic election due to COVID-19 and the subsequent Santa Clara County shelter-in-place protocol. SHS members enthusiastically elected four new members to the Historical Society’s Board of Directors in May.

All of the new board members are current Stanford staff members: Isabel Alvarez-Valdez, Director of Business Expense, Travel, and Payment Services; Nate Boswell, ’99 and MS ’09, Special Assistant to the Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs; Jeannie Crumly Cole, Marketing Communications Manager at the Graduate School of Education; and Pat Lopes Harris, Communications Director for the Vice Provost for Student Affairs.

According to Marie Earl, ’78 and MLA ’98, recently retired SHS vice president and co-chair of the Governance Committee that oversaw board recruitment and the election process, “This incoming group of board members brings considerable expertise in financial management, student and digital engagement, marketing, and communications. These newest board members will be able to immediately contribute to the organization’s ambitions in each of these areas.”

The new board members started their three-year terms on July 1 and are eligible to serve another three years after completing the first term. In addition to serving on the Historical Society board with 18 current directors, they will also serve on at least one of the eight Historical Society committees that direct much of the work of the organization.

SHS president Rick Yuen noted, “The Historical Society has been fortunate to benefit from the contribution of exemplary board members since its founding in 1976.”


Photo of Gerhard Samuel collection digital object.

901 sound recordings released to Searchworks by the Archive of Recorded Sound

At the Archive of Recorded Sound we have all been adapting to working in a variety of situations ranging from wearing masks all day to child care while nursery schools are closed. With the shift to working from home the Archive of Recorded Sound staff transitioned from processing physical collections and helping researchers in person to virtual office hours and the digital collection description backlog.

FOIA logo

Final report of 2018-20 FOIA advisory committee now available

July 14, 2020
by Mr. James R. (Librarian) Jacobs

Note: This was originally posted on my blog Free Government Information. Please contact James Jacobs for questions about the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).


I had the honor of serving on the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) FOIA advisory Committee for the 2018-2020 term. Administered by the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), which serves as the chair of the Committee, the FOIA advisory committee brings together 9 members from within the Federal government and 11 non-governmental members with FOIA expertise to "foster dialog between the Administration and the requester community, solicit public comments, and develop consensus recommendations for improving FOIA administration and proactive disclosures." I was pleased to make real and lasting connections with the dedicated OGIS staff, agency FOIA officers and public advocates committed to making the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) work for everyone and to "ensure informed citizens, vital to the functioning of a democratic society."


Our Final Report and Recommendations of the 2018-2020 Term of the FOIA Advisory Committee (PDF) was just released by OGIS. As can be seen by the 22 recommendations, the committee was concerned with a wide range of topics and had recommendations for NARA, DOJ's Office of Information Policy (the executive branch lead on FOIA), executive branch agencies and Congress. There's still a long way to go to improve FOIA - I wish we'd been stronger on issues like "release to one release to all," ways to make FOIA searches faster, easier and more thorough for the public AND executive agencies, and collecting and making FOIA'd information more easily findable and usable. But we got started in those directions and also moved the ball forward on improving agency training, raising the profile of FOIA within agencies, expanding the use of new technologies, and strengthening the management of FOIA across the government.

Dinah Handel, Stanford Libraries

Dinah Handel has new 20% assignment in University Archives

July 7, 2020
by Josh Schneider

We are excited to share that beginning July 13, Dinah Handel, Digitization Service Manager in DLSS, will begin a new 20% assignment with the Stanford Archives. She will be working on a variety of projects that advance the Department of Special Collections & University Archives’ commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as serving as a DLSS liaison to foster collaboration across the two departments. (...)

Natasha Porfirenko, Slavic and Eastern European expert and contributor to Stanford’s Special Collections

Irina and Leonid Yakobson: Fear, art, and "realism"

July 1, 2020
by Annie Schweikert

This guest blog was written by Natasha Porfirenko, PhD. Natasha is a long-standing and valued contributor to Stanford’s Special Collections for her expertise in Slavic and Eastern European materials. Her work in Special Collections has included processing a large volume of Slavic and Eastern European letters, postcards, objects, and ephemera preserved in Stanford’s archives of material from the committee to free Angela Davis. She is currently hard at work delving into the descriptive metadata of tapes depicting works of famous Soviet choreographer, Leonid Yakobson.