Exploring the Role of Non-Archivists in the Archival Process

A special thank you to Guha Shankar and Butch Lazorchak for their assistance and thoughtful comments about this post.

As regular readers of this blog may remember back in September 2013 I spoke at the Cultural Heritage symposium sponsored by the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress. At the time I quoted Brian Cumer who noted that “archivists have an incredible opportunity to shape cultural heritage in the way we organize records, provide access to them and perform our role in helping to preserve the memory of events, groups and places and attitudes as well as other aspects that make up culture.” Little did I know that I was ignoring the role that folklorists and fieldworkers can play in determining what records archivists may work when they preserve materials gathered during fieldwork projects. Continue reading

Supporting NEH and IMLS

I came into work this morning expecting a quiet day when I saw an email with the subject line “NEH.” What I read made me cringe. It appears the House Budget committee, headed by former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, has submitted a budget that eliminates both NEH and IMLS. Granted this is the first salvo in the budget battle but it is concerning. AHA has written about NEH and ALA President Barbara Stripling has written about IMLS.

Both NEH and IMLS have supported archives programs through grants. Most recently IMLS provided funding in support of the ARL/SAA Mosaic Program which provides financial support, practical work experience, mentoring, career placement assistance, and leadership development to emerging professionals from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. IMLS also supported A*CENSUS, the first study of the archival universe and its needs. Continue reading

We Want You….To Vote in this Year’s SAA Election

This post was submitted on behalf of Amy Schindler, Chair and the other members of the Nominating Committee.

As flowers peek out alerting us that the winter of the polar vortex in the lower 48 is ending, another annual rite of spring is underway across the SAA membership. Online voting for SAA’s 2014 Election opened March 13th and ends April 13th. Fourteen great candidates are vying for positions in the annual elections for Vice President/President-Elect, Council, and Nominating Committee. Continue reading

Throwing the Cat Amongst the Pigeons or Where do Archivists belong? With Librarians, Historians, Both or Neither?

It’s been interesting reading the comments and ideas that have come out of the post I did on the employment situation for archivists. The comments have been thought provoking and I was glad to see that some of them were similar to ideas that SAA has been considering for a while.

Several of these ideas related to education programs. Several suggested the need for salary guidelines. Others have suggested the need for a checklist for those considering archival education programs. And a number also recommended that we need to explore accreditation of archival education programs. Continue reading

The Words Archivists Use

This post was submitted by Council Member Geof Huth on behalf of Rosemary Pleva Flynn, Chair and the other members of the Dictionary Working Group. Continue reading

Introducing the SAA Foundation

Did you know that SAA had a Foundation? We do and the Board had a lively and productive meeting in January.

Fynette Eaton, Foundation Board President provides information about the Foundation, its activities and goals. We hope you will consider contributing to the Foundation to help us continue the work to support the archival profession. Continue reading

The Jobs Thing…

Special thanks to Nancy Beaumont and Kathleen Roe for their input on this post.

When I came back from Chicago after the SAA Council and Foundation Board meetings I had planned to write a brief post noting some of the highlights of both meetings. I was excited that we got our strategic plan actions finished and that we have a living document that will help guide us for the next few years.   We also reviewed six issue briefs created by the Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy that we hope to have available in May, did background work to inform SAA’s next budget and reviewed the annual reports of the sections, roundtables, committees and task forces of the Society.  The Foundation Board began discussing fund raising opportunities but also how the funds raised could support ongoing research projects and new educational programming.

But there is one issue that continues to be at the forefront for many of our members. It’s one we discussed several times during our Council meeting including spending one half day totally focused on this one issue. Before I could get unpacked and attack the massive piles on my desk, I felt it was important to share information on the topic of employment because it is of serious concern to our membership and to Council. Continue reading