A pallet of archives boxes labeled 'Pease History' sit in front of a brightly colored sign reading 'Welcome to the Library'

The Pease Elementary School Archive Project


Project: Processing an archival collection with a group of fifth graders.
Role: Project Manager

The Pease Elementary Archive project began with a message to the University of Texas iSchool’s student chapter of the Society of American Archivists from Doug Temple, an iSchool alum and amazing school librarian with the Austin Independent School District:

“I found all this stuff. Could you show my students what to do with it?”

In my role as chapter Vice President, I met with Doug and designed a 14 week course of once-weekly after school meetings to teach a small group of interested fifth graders about archives and get them involved in processing the found materials, a collection of school assignments, ledgers, yearbooks, photos and other memorabilia dating back to the late 1800s. I recruited project volunteers from SAA’s student members, secured permissions, and planned non-class activities including a talk from Austin History Center archivist Rusty Heckerman and visits to the iSchool to visit the Paper Conservation Lab and digitization lab. The result was a fully processed collection, a finding aid written by chapter president Brady Cox, and a poster which I presented at the 2019 SAA Annual Meeting in Austin.

Since the conclusion of the Pease Project, AISD has announced a round of school closures – including the 143 year old Pease. Materials processed by the project are currently being held in the AISD Library Resource Center.

Project Documents
"It Came From the Resource Closet!" - Poster on the Pease Archive project presented at the Society of American Archivists annual meeting 2019.
Pease Elementary School Collection Finding Aid authored by Elizabeth Buchanan and Brady Cox, 2019.