Looking Forward to the Archival Fundamentals Series III

Posted by Christopher J. Prom, SAA Publications Editor  Chris Prom

During the fifteen years in which I’ve been a member of the Society of American Archivists, I’ve come to believe that the most important thing SAA does is to connect people and ideas to each other. We may not often think about where those connections lead us, but one of their most tangible fruits is the literature we publish. Many of us have used that literature to lay the foundations of our professional understanding, growth, and development.

For this reason, it gives me great pleasure to announce that SAA will be producing the Archival Fundamental Series III, which will provide the core knowledge needed by archivists to work effectively with records/archives and papers/manuscripts—both analog and digital—in the twenty-first century.

The SAA Publications Board is pursuing an ambitious timeframe to develop the seven volumes in the series, with the first books slated for publication in 2017 and the entire series issued by 2019. A stellar cast of authors has been assembled to write these wholly new books:

  • Introducing Archives and Manuscripts, by Tom Nesmith (University of Manitoba)
  • Leading Archives and Manuscript Programs, by David Carmicheal (Pennsylvania State Archives)
  • Appraising and Acquiring Archives and Manuscripts, by Mark A. Greene (American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming)
  • Arranging and Describing Archives and Manuscripts, by Dennis Meissner (Minnesota Historical Society)
  • Preserving Archives and Manuscripts: Principles and Practices, by Elizabeth Joffrion (Western Washington University) and Michèle Cloonan (Simmons College)
  • Providing Reference and Access Services for Archives and Manuscripts, by Cheryl Oestreicher (Boise State University)
  • Advocacy and Outreach for Archives and Manuscript Repositories, by Kathleen Roe (New York State Archives)

Peter J. Wosh, director of the Archives/Public History Program at New York University, will serve as series editor. Each volume will treat the following general areas:

  • Context, theory, and historical development;
  • Core concepts and principles;
  • Recommended practices, implementation, and methodology.

It is projected that each book will consist of five to eight chapters (of variable length) as well as an introduction, and will support SAA’s four strategic goals: advocating for archives and archivists, enhancing professional growth, advancing for the field, and meeting members’ needs. As with all books produced by SAA, these volumes will undergo rigorous peer review and editing, and will be available in print and e-book formats. The Archival Fundamentals Series III will be useful to students in archives programs and related information professions, as well as to practicing professionals, and it will speak to issues affecting the full range of institutional profiles reflected in SAA.

Since the 1990s, the Archival Fundamentals Series has been the bedrock of our professional identity. As a community of like-minded (but certainly not single-minded!) people, we face common challenges. We share experiences at annual meetings. We work out solutions in committees, sections, and roundtables. We collaborate and innovate in our digital spaces. Out of this emerges something of lasting value: the literature that SAA publishes. It is shaped by our conversations, written by our members, edited by our staff.

Our literature stands as the highest representation of who we are. The Archival Fundamentals Series III, like its predecessors, will continue to represent our intellectual capital as found in our history, current activities, and member contributions to the profession. And that’s something to repeat. Even III-peat!

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