3 Steps to Maximize Your Social Media ROI @ Society of Southwest Archivists 2015


On May 21, 2015, SHSU archivists James and Felicia Williamson presented at the Society of Southwest Archivists annual meeting in Arlington, TX. The topic was “3 Steps to Maximize Your Social Media ROI.”  Felicia and James discussed and demonstrated several successful marketing strategies for promoting archival collections.

Felicia Williamson discussed how SHSU was able to create a simple workflow using daily descriptive practices to create social media posts to promote finding aids and archival collections. She described how processing archivists in SHSU Special Collections have incorporated planning and executing social media posts into the daily work of processing by keeping a look out for visual material to scan for each collection’s post. The process is further streamlined by using the scope and content note and the biographical note found in the finding aid as the backbone of every social media post that is then linked to the Archon finding aid. She also discussed how to tailor these posts to the various social media sites.


Turning a finding aid into a social media post

James Williamson discusses the use of GIFs (graphic interchange format) on social media and how people can take materials in their archival collections and turn them into fun or interesting GIFs that can be spread throughout the web.  The success of archival GIFs have allowed SHSU and many other institutions to reach new audiences and attract new followers.


Steps to creating a book GIF

During James’ presentation on creating GIFs, James created an animated GIF, a book GIF, and a video GIF, demonstrating the necessary steps for each example. This was especially fun and challenging due to the power outage at the hotel!


Teaching how to make GIFs with no power!

The presentation generated a great deal of positive feedback at SSA and we are happy to share the PowerPoint, which can be viewed at the link below.


If you any questions about the presentation, please feel free to contact James Williamson (jwilliamson@shsu.edu) or Felicia Williamson (fxt004@shsu.edu).


I rarely catch fish



Whenever I go fishing, I catch everything but fish. Maybe one of these days, I will actually get lucky and hook a big one.

John W. Thomason loved to fish and hunt. Nature was his greatest inspiration. He loved the outdoors so much that he quit a number of jobs and school so he could increase his time in the outdoors.

See the original here: A Soldier Fishing

See the whole (non-gif) collection at : John W. Thomason drawings

Touchdown Sam Houston!



Sam Houston battles it out with the Rice Owls in this game from 1993. It was a close one but Sam Houston came up short with a 13-14 loss. Sam Houston and Rice faced off numerous times in the 1920s , but this game marked only the second time the teams had met since 1948. Sam Houston has not faced off with Rice since. Rice leads the series with a whopping 16-1 record against Sam Houston State.

This clip was taken from footage donated by SHSU Athletics to University Archives.

If you would like to own a personal copy of this game, it, along with numerous other games, can be purchased at this website:
GoBearkats.com Multimedia Store

They will see us waving from such great heights



This work comes from the drawings of John W. Thomason, author, illustrator, and marine. Newton Gresham Library houses over 2,000 pieces including a number of drawings related to John W. Thomason’s life as a marine.

See the original here: Marine riding camel

See the whole (non-gif) collection at : John W. Thomason drawings

Buried Treasure on the beach


You never know what you may find on a beach. Sure, it will probably be a bottle cap or a discarded puka shell necklace, but we can still dream. So enjoy this John W. Thomason drawing and think of looking for buried treasure the next time you are at the beach.

See the original drawing at: Beachscape

See the whole (non-gif) collection at : John W. Thomason drawings

Radioactivity is in the air for you and me


This work comes from the drawings of John W. Thomason. Newton Gresham Library houses over 2,000 pieces of his work including a number of landscapes.

See the original here: Coastline and tower

See the whole (non-gif) collection at : John W. Thomason drawings


Row, Row, Row Your Boat


Watch as this guy rows his way across a river in a John W. Thomason drawing. This gif was a huge hit on Tumblr and has received over 1,700 notes. We were also featured on Tumblr Radar because of the gif. Needless to say, We were honored and surprised.

See the whole (non-gif) collection at : John W. Thomason drawings