Nerd Nite: Archives Take-Over – October 5, 2016

Archivists take over the popular bar-based monthly lecture series, Nerd Nite Philly.

NEW-NN-Logo-20157:30pm – 9:30pm on Wednesday, October 5

Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
$5 cover gets you admission plus happy hour specials all night

What is Nerd Nite?
Nerd Nite is a monthly lecture event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. It’s often about science or technology, but by no means is it limited to such topics. And it’s definitely entertaining. Our unofficial tag line is “It’s like the Discovery Channel – with beer!” There are Nerd Nites around the world, Philadelphia is just one of them. Take a gander at for more info.

Speakers for Nerd Nite: Archives Take-Over 2016

Erin Bernard: Public History Truck

The Philadelphia Public History Truck is Philly’s own mobile museum, but it does not simply bring history to the people. It makes exhibitions with others, sometimes with archival materials, sometimes including archivists! But what do those collaborations look and feel like? How else could these collaborations work? Erin Bernard, the project’s creator, is ready to share all her archives dirt– errr– fuel with the audience of Nerd Nite.

Erin Bernard is the creator of the Philadelphia Public History Truck, a mobile museum which creates exhibitions with people here in the city.  Her work has earned her the National Council on Public History’s 2016 Best Project of the Year Award, a John Andrew Gallery Community Action Award from the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, and the Best In Real Life Project of the Year from the Philadelphia Geek Awards.  She is a Senior Lecturer of Museum Studies at the University of the Arts and an Adjunct Professor of History at Moore College of Art and Design for Women. She is the recipient of a 2016 Individual Project Grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage to complete the History Truck W.I.C. Work/Shop while the project’s neighborhood work continues for its fourth year, this time in Fairhill.  Erin is a Mom of two living in South Philly.

David J. Gary: Collecting Horror and Exploitation VHS Tapes

In early 2015, Yale purchased nearly 3,000 horror and exploitation VHS tapes from a private collector in Ohio.  The project was conceived to help scholars explore the connections between the emergence of the prerecorded video industry, the development of the horror and exploitation genres, and the growing concern of materiality in media.  This talk will focus on why and how Yale purchased this collection, its importance beyond mere nostalgia, and the problems of managing a VHS collection.  With the last new VCRs rolling off the production lines a few months ago, it is an opportune moment to take stock of the role of video tape in the production of culture.

David J. Gary is the Curator of Printed Materials at the American Philosophical Society, where he builds, interprets, and promotes collections.  Before moving to Philadelphia in June, he was the Kaplanoff Librarian for American History at Yale University Library.  At Yale, David was the liaison to the history, American Studies, and African American Studies departments and performed collection development duties in the area of American history.  One of his large projects at Yale was co-founding the Yale Horror and Exploitation VHS Collection, which is the basis for his talk tonight.  He has a PhD in American history, with an emphasis on early America and the history of the book, from the City University of New York’s Graduate Center.

Matt Shoemaker: Dungeons and Dragons

Archivists working “in the field” with communities to assemble and collect archival collections is a difficult but important process for preserving historic narratives.  This is no different with the communities that created tabletop and role playing games (RPGs) in the 1960s, especially Dungeons and Dragons.  Over the past four years I have been working with these men and women on behalf of a Dungeons & Dragons film documentary project in order to gather, organize, and describe original and digitized material related to the early history of RPGs.  This talk should be of interest to any archivist curious about working with communities to build archival collections and to anyone who wants to learn more about the materials I found while filming the documentary and what it was like to “collect” them.

Matt Shoemaker has worked to build the digital scholarship program on Temple’s campus since 2013.  He has created and given workshops in several areas of digital scholarship including making technologies (3D printing, 3D scanning, physical computing, photogrammetry), basics of GIS for digital scholarship, creating digital exhibitions, textual analysis, data cleanup, project design, games for education and as historical models and other DS areas.  Prior to coming to Temple University, Shoemaker worked for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania where he led the development of HSP’s digital library, digitization program, and co-authored several successful gran‌t proposals for digital projects. Shoemaker holds an MA in history, focused on French empire in North Africa, and an MLIS with a concentration in archives; both received from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.  He is currently assisting with a project at the Philadelphia Museum of Art focused on digital uses for their Marcel Duchamp collections as well as co-producing a documentary on the history of Dungeons and Dragons.