Centering Professional Wellness in a Field That's Unwell


Northwest Archivists










Workshop Fee

The registration fee for this workshop is being offered as "pay what you can". The "pay what you can" fee structure helps to support equitable access to needed resources. All proceeds will be donated to NWA's Archivist-in-Residence program.

Session Abstract

We are all there. We're burnt out and in chronic survival mode. If you're in the archives field then chances are that you (at one point) had a deep passion for the field. But a lot has changed in just the last decade and it's taken a toll on our wellbeing. On top of global crises we're also in a severely underpaid field that is under the toxic illusion that we won't leave because we "love our jobs". In this workshop we're going to get real with the challenges we're facing in our field, including: unethically low salaries and precarious employment, the culture of perpetual "sacrifice", trauma in the workplace, and structurally imposed imposter syndrome. We're going to review the markers of each and discuss realistic strategies for how to set boundaries, fortify ourselves, and advocate for both our wellness and our value.

Rachael Cristine Woody

Rachael Woody is the owner of Relicura LLC. After a successful tenure at the Smithsonian Institution and the Oregon Wine History Archive, Woody established her consultancy to teach archives, museums, and cultural heritage organizations how to take care of their collections and share them with their audiences in new and exciting ways. Given her breadth of experience in advocating for the value of collection work both as a traditional employee and as a consultant, she is very familiar with how hard it can be to calculate our worth and effectively advocate for it. Woody served on SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness, a committee committed to promoting the value of archives and archivists. She also created and co-sponsored the Archivist-in-Residence (paid internship) program at Northwest Archivists, and serves on several salary advocacy committees.

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