The De-Evolution of the Archives and Archivists List

Back in the late 1980’s I made the decision to leave archives for a bit and start working reference at a college or university library. I’ve always loved reference and had I not discovered archives while in library school I think I might be working reference at a college or university. However after a couple of years the desire to go back to archives hit me hard. The university where I worked did not have archives and I made it my goal to start the university archives. I did take a few courses at another college but the thing that got me excited about archives again was the Archives and Archivists list. Continue reading

Insuring a Safe Place to Share Diverse Opinions

This post was written by SAA Council Members Terry Baxter and Lisa Mangiafico.

The Society of American Archivists Council has discussed a code of conduct for meeting and online spaces at its most recent two meetings. The resulting draft is available for comment and comments will still be accepted until June 22, 2014. The intent of the Council is to revise the draft based on member comments, discuss and vote on the revised draft, and, if adopted, have an official code of conduct available by the annual meeting in August. Continue reading

Our Continuing Experimentation to Improve Our Annual Meeting

This post was written by council member Michelle Light with assistance from council member Tim Pyatt. I thank them and the other members of Council made suggestions for this post and who have responded to questions and concerns from section and roundtable leaders about forthcoming changes for the 2015 annual meeting.

In 2013 the SAA Annual Meeting Task Force submitted a thoughtful and forward thinking report that gave the Society a number of recommendations for improving our annual meeting. If you haven’t read the report, you should! Continue reading

A Few Words on Diversity

In a couple of hours I’ll be heading to Chicago for our next Council meeting. This time we will be spending part of the meeting focusing on the issue of Diversity. Diversity is a hard topic for us. We’ve been wrestling with it as long as I’ve been a member of SAA. It is also an extremely difficult issue for me both as an African American female member and as a leader of the Society. Continue reading

With UELMA, Lots of Legislation Keeps Stuff Safe

This post was written by William “Butch” Lazorchak. Butch is a Digital Archivist for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress. Continue reading

Selecting an Archival Education Program: Supporting our Prospective Colleagues

I was at MARAC last week (my compliments to the Host and Program Committee members for a great conference and to SAA Vice President Kathleen Roe for an outstanding plenary speech) and between sessions spent a lot of time talking to students, new professionals and some longer tenured archivists about issues relating to archival education programs. Continue reading

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