SAA-SC & Duck Soup Cinema Partnership Success!

This Saturday, Nov. 5th, SAA-SC had the privilege of being a part of the 30th anniversary of the Duck Soup Cinema Film Series at the Overture Center for the Arts, named after the famous 1933 Marx Bros. film Duck Soup

Several times a year, we reclaim the silent-film heritage of the Capitol Theater with our Duck Soup Cinema Series. Local vaudeville-style acts open for a silent film screening that has the crowd roaring by the end of the night. Each show features a skilled organist who mirrors the actors’ emotions on the magnificent Grand Barton Organ, just as it was done in 1928.-from Duck Soup Cinema’s page

The stunning reconstructed Capitol Theater in the Overture Center. Image from

The original Capitol Theater opened in 1928, the first silent film shown at the theater was  the 1927 comedy Her Wild Oat starring Colleen Moore. To celebrate Duck Soup Cinema’s 30th anniversary, Her Wild Oat was shown and a new original score was written and performed on the famous Grand Barton Organ by the talented Jelani Eddington. The film, shot on nitrate, was thought to be lost for 80 years, but a copy was discovered at the Czech National Film Archive and subsequently restored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Archive in 2006.

SAA-SC’s partnership with Duck Soup Cinema was the end result of a grant writing project assigned to Fall 2015’s LIS 450 class. Each group wrote a practice grant to fund programming in libraries, archival or cultural heritage institutions. One group chose to write a grant requesting funds for an on-campus screening of a silent film, from Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research’s collection, accompanied by a live performance from musicians at UW-Madison. After the Fall 2015 semester ended, group members Cat Hannula, Arik Kriha, Jenny Barth, Liz Deterding and Amanda Larson decided to make this “practice” grant a reality. A year of brainstorming, planning and proposals led to a partnership with the already well established silent film series Duck Soup. Cat, Arik, Jenny, Liz, and Amanda were able to bring two special additions to Duck Soup’s 30th anniversary celebration on behalf of the SAA-SC, the WCFTR and the UW Archives.

First, an educational exhibit on the history of film in its various formats and the challenge of saving deteriorating nitrate and acetate film. Second, a pre-show screening of a silent film held by the WCFTR, shot on UW-Madison’s campus by UW students and members of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity in 1920, titled Campus Smiles (watch here!) Liz Deterding gave an introduction to the film and advocated on behalf of the SAA-SC, the WCFTR and the UW Archives for the importance of preserving our film heritage so we can continue to share these incredible glimpses into the past.

The exhibition also included a large map of Madison along with then (1920) and now (2016) photographs of places in Madison that appear in Campus Smiles. The exhibit in the lobby and Campus Smiles was a big success at both the 2pm and 7pm screenings. Many audience members visited the table and talked to SAA-SC members about Campus Smiles and the artifacts provided by the UW Archives about those students and faculty members who appear in the film. Audience members were also very interested in the melting nitrate film on display under glass and had a chance to see real life examples of why preserving this particularly vulnerable film format is so important.

This incredible opportunity to advocate for the importance of film preservation, archival institutions and archival education, would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of Cat, Arik, Jenny, Liz, Amanda, the WCFTR, UW Archives, the WHS and all those who volunteered and helped along the way. SAA-SC is lucky to have such motivated and talented members working together to bring events like this to life!  SAA-SC hopes to continue to work with the Overture, Duck Soup and other Madison organizations in the years to come. Thanks to everyone at SLIS who came out to this event and to the faculty for their support. Thanks to all who took and sent pictures. See some of them below:

SAA-SC’s exhibit in the lobby
Ephemera courtesy of the UW Archives documenting campus life at 1920s UW-Madison


The history of film formats display. From nitrate to safety film.
Nitrate film, in its various stages of deterioration, under glass.
Arik, Jenny and Liz talking to audience members before the show


Big thanks to Liz, Cat, Amanda, Logan and everyone else who manned the exhibit for representing SAA-SC!




SAA-SC is giving away two pairs of free tickets to Duck Soup Cinema’s screening of Her Wild Oat on November 5th at 7pm at the Overture Center for the Arts!

Just leave a comment on SAA-SC’s Facebook, Twitter or WordPress post about this drawing by midnight on Tuesday, November 1st and you’ll be entered into the drawing! We’ll compile the names and select two names randomly. The two winners get two free tickets, one for themselves and a guest. The seats are assigned and the four tickets are near each other. Tell your friends to enter!

This drawing is open to SLIS students only, but you can bring whomever you’d like as your guest if you win!

Nov. 5th Duck Soup presents Her Wild Oat at the Overture

November 5th, next Saturday! Duck Soup Cinema film series will present the 1927 silent film Her Wild Oat with live music accompaniment. Duck Soup Cinema is celebrating 30 years of keeping the history of the silent film at the Capitol Theater alive. In addition, the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research will open their exhibit, The Splendor of Silent Film


SAA-SC, in partnership with the WCFTR and the UW Archives and through the hard work of Cat Hannula, Jenny Barth, Arik Kriha and Liz Deterding, are screening a clip from a UW archival film shot in Madison, WI and will give a pre-performance talk about the importance of film preservation. They will also have a booth outside with info about SLIS, WCFTR, UW Archives and film preservation. This partnership with Duck Soup evolved from a grant writing assignment in Fall 2015’s LIS 450 class into a partnership with the Overture which will draw upwards of 2000 attendees. We’re so honored to have this opportunity to advocate for the importance of the archives. Our fellow SAA-ers have worked incredibly hard to make this happen, come out and support them.

There are 2 showings, 2pm and 7pm. There is an opening reception for the WCFTR’s exhibit from 4:30-6:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at the box office at the Overture for $7 plus tax. If you buy them online they will be $7, plus a $7 service fee. So, we highly recommend walking the few short blocks down to the Overture on a nice Fall afternoon and picking up your tickets there! Find more info HERE!


Monday Oct. 24th Meeting

Hello SAA!

Our October meeting will be Monday the 24th at 6pm in the SLIS Cat Lab. Should be a short meeting and as always we’ll send out the minutes and keep our calendar up-to-date.

We will talk about:

  • Circus World trip details
  • Duck Soup Film Festival at the Overture, Nov. 5th
  • Wisconsin Historical Museum Tour Nov. 11 or 12th
  • Archives Month Blog Updates
  • MAC poster ideas?
  • January event ideas

Archives Month Blog first week wrap up

What a great first week of posts on the Archives Month Blog! A big thank you to everyone that wrote for us, visited the blog and shared posts on social media. We’ll be back on Monday for week two!

Some of our favorite quotes from this week’s posts:

Oct. 3rd, I Choose to See by Katie Dennis-Gunneron: “As individuals, we see different things and have different truths, we have different worldviews and experiences. But as individuals in the archival profession, we are called to document and preserve the whole of society, even those aspects that we can’t see for ourselves.”

Oct. 4th, Convening Great Lakes Culture Keepers: Preserving Cultural Memory by TLAM’s Carmella Hatch: ” In the case of archives, I had never thought about what it would be like to have so much of your documented history held and controlled by someone else. Having the ability to use your own materials to tell your own story is hugely important in helping future generations to have an accurate understanding of the history of this country and its peoples. The preservation of cultural memory is crucial for the proliferation of Native American cultures into the present.”

Oct. 5th, DNA Digital Data Storage: The Human as Archive — Or, I, Library — Or, Probably the Plot of a Network TV Show a Few Years From Now — A very sci-fi Archives Month Blog Post! by Logan Rains: “And I know that’s the kind of thing you’d have a researcher say in a movie right before cutting to a scene of the world on fire, and centuries worth of scientific and technological progress set on fire along with it, followed by a few millennia worth of survivors trying to relearn crop rotation, never mind the poor slobs attempting to sequence artificial DNA. But for now, lets revel in this huge leap in information storage technology, and try to remember where you were the day you found out we can fit an entire library on strands of DNA the size of a few grains of sand.”

Oct. 6th, Tribal Archives: How the Past Can Help Build the Future by TLAM’s Abigail Cahill: “Archives provide invaluable documentation of tribal histories, including information on individual tribal members as well as tribal activities. These documents are vital for tribes seeking federal recognition, but they’re also valuable to tribes seeking to document and celebrate their own pasts. Archives have provided the Brothertown Indian Nation with much of the materials they will use in their next bid to Congress for federal recognition. They’re not giving up hope.”

Oct. 7th, There’s an Impostor at the Archive by Amanda Larson: “This means for women going into archival positions there is more of a likelihood that they will experience impostor syndrome. Especially since early career archivists are more likely to find themselves in the position of being a lone arranger with minimal support staff. That means as archivists we need to be able to do a variety of different tasks within the archive-collection development, processing, arrangement and description, conservation, preservation, etc. When you have to be able to do such a wide array of things all at once there is more of an opportunity for you to feel like a fraud, because someone might discover that you don’t know how to do it all!”

Thank you again to all our bloggers! We couldn’t do it without you!

Circus World Archives Tour


SAA is fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the Circus World Archive at the Robert L. Parkinson Library in Baraboo, WI. Pete Shrake, the “lone arranger” and SLIS alum, is graciously giving SAA a tour of the archive on Saturday, Oct.29th! It’s also Halloween weekend, so wear your costume if you want! Info about the trip is below, but keep an eye on your email for further details and a sign up sheet.

“Circus World’s Robert L. Parkinson Library and Research Center is the world’s foremost research facility for circus history. The holdings document the history of the American circus from its inception in 1793 to the present day.”-Circus World Site

What do they have?

  • Rare Photographs and Negatives from the 1850s – Present.
  • Film
  • Original Music Compositions, Arrangements and Handwritten Manuscript.
  • Thousands of Journals, Manuscripts and Business Records. Exceptional Collection of Circus Ads and Posters
  • Instruments, wagons, tent tops, props, costumes, etc. A huge collection of ephemera and physical artifacts.

This is a great opportunity to see the wide range of objects and artifacts with which an archivist could potentially work, plus Pete is awesome and is the epitome of a rock star lone arranger. He’s very busy, but he’s made time for us on a Saturday. It’s a one of a kind place, so don’t miss your chance to see behind the scenes. Learn more about Circus World here.  See a few pictures from last year below.


We will meet on campus (place TBD) at 9:45am. It takes about an hour to get to Baraboo. We’ll arrive at 11am. We’ll have 2 hours to tour the archive (it may not last the full 2 hours). We can either eat lunch in Baraboo or head back to Madison, that depends on the car and those you carpool with.
For rides: Some of us have cars, some of us need rides. If you have a car and are willing to take others, please indicate on the sign-up sheet (forthcoming in an email). If you need a ride, sign up for a spot in someones car.

Continue reading “Circus World Archives Tour”

Welcome incoming SLIS students!

It was great to meet all the incoming SLIS students today at orientation and we’re happy to have you in the program! Thanks to those who stopped by the SAA-SC table and those who came to the Archives track interest group and spoke with Sam and Katie. We’re excited to have such a large group of students interested in the field of archives and records management.

Our first meeting of the year will be Monday September 19th from 6-7pm at the SLIS Library Cat Lab (the classroom where people met for Archives interest group). We’ll get to know each other and discuss our goals for the year. All are welcome, even those with a minimal interest in the archives track. Our first meeting will be on a Monday, but we will send out a poll soon after to find out if there’s a more convenient night to meet. If you miss the first meeting, don’t worry, we’ll send out meeting minutes and post anything important to this space and keep the calendar up to date. 

As classes start next week, I encourage first years to take note of ideas, projects, institutions, theories, etc. that interest you because October is national Archives Month and the SAA-SC hosts a blog every October with quite a following. Check out last year’s posts for examples here. All SAA-SC members are welcome to write a post about anything in the profession that interests them, experiences they’ve had, ideas they want to explore, projects they find interesting, interviews, their personal interests and how they intersect with archives, etc. We’ll do a quick edit and share a new student’s post each day of the month. We ask that the blog post be 1000 words or less and include at least one image. So as you start learning and sharing ideas, as you’re writing responses for Intro to Archives, think about how those could turn into a blog post for the SAA-SC blog.


Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year!

Hello fellow archivists, records managers and librarians!

This is our new WordPress site, lovingly created by SLIS’s very own Amanda Larson. It’s still a work in progress, but bookmark this page because it will be your go-to for relevant meeting minutes, events, and a site to be shared when talking about what SAA-SC at UW-Madison SLIS does.

On this site you will find:

  • Under 2016-2017 Activity: Relevant information from meeting minutes and information about events, conferences, etc.
  • An up-to-date calendar of events, meetings, social nights, networking opportunities, relevant professional events, conferences, SLIS events and other student organization events. The calendar will be kept up to date by the board (Katie, Cat and Logan) and by the Social Media committee
  • It is also going to be the home of our Archives Month Blog! From 2008-2015, the Archives Month was on Blogspot. Now it’s here. Links to the old Blogspot are available on the blog’s page and archive.
  • You will also find our mission statement, about the organization, code of conduct, contact info, leadership info (board members and committees/ their members), links to old SAA-SC sites, resources for job searching, info about our program at SLIS, links to websites and resources about important topics in the field of archival studies, resources for personal archiving and information about archives and other relevant cultural institutions in Madison and the surrounding area.

If you have pictures from events last year and pictures in the future that we can share on this site, post them to the SAA-SC’s Facebook wall or send them to our email We want this to be a long term, easy to navigate,  easily updated, adaptable site for SAA this year and into the future.