Society of American Archivists
The Society of American Archivists is the oldest and largest archivist association in North America, serving the educational and informational needs of more than 5,000 individual archivist and institutional members. Established in 1936, the organization serves upwards of 6,200 individual and member institutions.
The Society supports its members and the archival profession through strong publication and professional workshop programs and semi-annual meetings. Currently, workshops are given all across the United States and attend to current archival concerns and issues such as Encoded Archival Description, the digitizing of archival materials, and preservation and conservation of materials, among others. The programs it offers include: Online On-Demand Programs, Online Real Time Programs and Face to Face Programs.
The Society of American Archivist was established in 1936 on the heels of the creation of the National Archives. The organization was born in the wake of the dissolution of the Public Archives Commission of the American Historical Association. The early days of the organization were fraught with difficulty related to membership as well as professional identity. The American Library Association created a commission on archives, which founding president Albert R. Newsome found disrespectful. There was also tension between the public archives tradition championed by Margaret Cross Norton and the historical manuscripts tradition as the governing philosophy. Public archives tradition puts emphasis on records management and administrative aspects of archival work, whereas historical manuscripts focuses more on the preservation and maintenance of important documents for research purposes. The tension and debate between the two fundamental functions of archives would continue into the 1950s, spilling into elements like elections and where to hold annual meetings.
The first issue of the Society's journal, the American Archivist, appeared in 1938. In 1942, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected as an honorary member of the SAA due to his commitment to archiving federal, state and local government documents. After World War II, SAA joined with other international archivist societies to create the International Council on Archives and an archives for the United Nations. A number of committees focused on various interests of the Society, including Church Records and College and University Archives. These committees helped legitimize the Society, which aided them in a 1956 dispute with National Association of State Libraries over the differences between their two professions. This eventually lead to a joint committee between the American Library Associate and SAA to discuss the nuances and differences of the two professions.
By the 1970s, the majority of membership in SAA was made up of college and university archivists. These archivists, as well as the influence of more progressive social justice movements, allowed for the restructuring the organization as a whole, democratizing elections and restructuring committees. There was also a push for better professional resources as well as education standards. Coming out of the 1960s, there was a large movement of activist archivists, with members taking a greater interest in political and social issues. This forced SAA to take stances on different contemporary public issues that affected the profession. Social historians like Howard Zinn and Sam Bass Warner brought their views to the annual SAA meeting 1971, challenging archivists to re-examine policies and assumptions.
In the 1980s, a large portion of the Society's focus was on outreach. Systematic studies were conduct to assess who archives users were, how they used the archives, and why. The struggle for creating a professional identity continued as standards for education programs, certification, and institutional evaluation became the forefront of discussion. A Task Force on Goals and Priorities, created in 1982, aimed to amend those issues, attempting to unify the organization under one professional umbrella. New challenges also emerged with the widespread use of the Internet and digital technologies. SAA partnered with the Library of Congress in developing Encoded Archival Description in 1993. EAD is an XML Document Type Definitionand a standard for encoding archival finding aids, allowing them to be made accessible online. SAA also offers certification for Digital Archives Specialists, which allows for the profession to work within the emerging technological landscape and capture digital records.
In November 2017, SAA released a Strategic plan for 2018-2020, which outlined 4 major goal areas for the future. The 4 goal areas are advocating for archives and archivists, enhancing professional growth, advancing the field, and meeting members' needs.
On top of book publications, SAA offers the following regular publications:
- American Archivist: the peer-reviewed scholarly journal of SAA. Published semi-annually, it aims to cover theoretical and practical aspects of the profession, cultural, legal, technological, as well as social issues surrounding collecting, preserving, and accessing archival records and materials through journal articles, case studies, and product reviews.
- Archival Outlook: formally the SAA Newsletter. Started in the 1970s, the newsletter is published 6 times a year and focuses on best practices of the profession, day to day concerns of the archivist, and updates on organization business.
- In the Loop: bi-weekly e-newsletter that offers updates on SAA activities and interests.
The Society recognizes archivists' achievements with awards for advocacy, writing, and contributions to the profession. The highest honor is that of Fellow, a distinction awarded since 1957. Every year, there is a new Distinguished Fellows Class, which cannot exceed 5% of the total SAA membership in a given year. To qualify for nomination, a candidate must meet all the academic and technical requirements of the profession, be a member of the organization for at least 7 years, and make significant and high quality contributions in the form of scholarly writing, running workshops, and participating in the organization's leadership or other administrative roles.
- 1936Albert R. Newsome, University of North Carolina – 1939 :
- 1939Waldo Gifford Leland, American Council of Learned Societies – 1941 :
- 1941Robert D. W. Connor, National Archives and Records Administration – 1943 :
- 1943Margaret Cross Norton, Illinois State Library – 1945 :
- 1945Solon J. Buck, National Archives and Records Administration – 1947 :
- 1947Christopher Crittenden, North Carolina Department of Archives and History – 1949 :
- 1949Philip C. Brooks, National Security Resources Board – 1951 :
- 1951William D. McCain, Mississippi Department of Archives and History – 1953 :
- 1953Wayne C. Grover, National Archives and Records Administration – 1954 :
- 1954Morris L. Radoff, Maryland Hall of Records – 1955 :
- 1955Ernst M. Posner, American University – 1956 :
- 1956Lester J. Cappon, Colonial Williamsburg Inc. – 1957 :
- 1957William D. Overman, Firestone Library – 1958 :
- 1958Oliver Wendell Holmes, National Archives and Records Administration – 1959 :
- 1959Mary G. Bryan, Georgia State Archives – 1960 :
- 1960Philip M. Hamer, National Archives and Records Administration – 1961 :
- 1961Robert H. Bahmer, National Archives and Records Administration – 1962 :
- 1962Leon deValinger, Jr., Delaware State Archives – 1963 :
- 1963Everett O. Alldredge, National Archives and Records Administration – 1964 :
- 1964W. Kaye Lamb, Public Archives of Canada – 1965 :
- 1965Dolores C. Renze, Colorado State Archives – 1966 :
- 1966Herbert E. Angel, National Archives and Records Administration – 1967 :
- 1967Clifford K. Shipton, Harvard University – 1968 :
- 1968H.G. Jones, North Carolina Department of Archives and History – 1969 :
- 1969Herman Kahn, Yale University – 1970 :
- 1970Philip P. Mason, Wayne State University – 1971 :
- 1971Charles E. Lee, South Carolina Department of Archives and History – 1972 :
- 1972Wilfred I. Smith, Public Archives of Canada – 1973 :
- 1973F. Gerald Ham, State Historical Society of Wisconsin – 1974 :
- 1974James B. Rhoads, National Archives and Records Administration – 1975 :
- 1975Elizabeth E. Hamer Kegan, Library of Congress – 1976 :
- 1976Robert M. Warner, University of Michigan – 1977 :
- 1977Walter Rundell Jr., University of Maryland – 1978 :
- 1978Hugh A. Taylor, Public Archives of Canada – 1979 :
- 1979Maynard J. Brichford, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – 1980 :
- 1980Ruth W. Helmuth, Case Western Reserve University – 1981 :
- 1981Edward Weldon, National Archives and Records Administration – 1982 :
- 1982J. Frank Cook, University of Wisconsin – 1983 :
- 1983David B. Gracy II, Texas State Archives – 1984 :
- 1984Andrea Hinding, University of Minnesota – 1985 :
- 1985Shonnie Finnegan, State University of New York at Buffalo – 1986 :
- 1986William L. Joyce, Princeton University – 1987 :
- 1987Sue E. Holbert, Minnesota Historical Society – 1988 :
- 1988Frank B. Evans, National Archives and Records Administration – 1989 :
- 1989John A. Fleckner, Smithsonian Institution – 1990 :
- 1990Trudy H. Peterson, National Archives and Records Administration – 1991 :
- 1991Frank G. Burke, University of Maryland – 1992 :
- 1992Anne R. Kenney, Cornell University – 1993 :
- 1993Edie Hedlin, Consultant – 1994 :
- 1994Maygene Daniels, National Gallery of Art – 1995 :
- 1995Brenda Banks, Georgia Department of Archives and History – 1996 :
- 1996Nicholas C. Burckel, Marquette University – 1997 :
- 1997William J. Maher, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign – 1998 :
- 1998Luciana Duranti, University of British Columbia – 1999 :
- 1999H. Thomas Hickerson, Cornell University – 2000 :
- 2000Lee J. Stout, Pennsylvania State University – 2001 :
- 2001Steven L. Hensen, Duke University – 2002 :
- 2002Peter B. Hirtle, Cornell University Library – 2003 :
- 2003Timothy L. Ericson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee – 2004 :
- 2004Randall C. Jimerson, Western Washington University – 2005 :
- 2005Richard Pearce-Moses, Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records – 2006 :
- 2006Elizabeth W. Adkins, Ford Motor Company Archives – 2007 :
- 2007Mark A. Greene, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming – 2008 :
- 2008Frank J. Boles, Clarke Historical Library – 2009 :
- 2009Peter Gottlieb, Archives Division, Wisconsin Historical Society – 2010 :
- 2010Helen R. Tibbo, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – 2011 :
- 2011Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners – 2012 :
- 2012Jackie M. Dooley, OCLC Research – 2013 :
- 2013Danna C. Bell, The Library of Congress – 2014 :
- 2014Kathleen D. Roe, New York State Archives – 2015 :
- 2015Dennis Meissner, Minnesota Historical Society – 2016 :
- 2016Nancy McGovern, MIT – 2017 :
- 2017Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Wake Forest University – 2018 :
- Cook, J. Frank (1983). "The Blessings of Providence on an Association of Archivists" (PDF). The American Archivist. 46: 374–399.
- Gilliland-Swetland, Luke (1991). "The Provenance of a Profession: The Permanence of the Public Archives and Historical Manuscripts Traditions in American Archival History". The American Archivist. 54: 160–175.
- "News Notes". American Archivist. Society of American Archivists. 5 (2): 119–120. 1942.
- Jimerson, Randall (2009). Archives Power: Memory, Accountability, and Social Justice. Chicago: Society of American Archivists. pp. 76–129. ISBN 1-931666-30-X.
- "Development of the Encoded Archival Description DTD (EAD Official Site, Library of Congress)". www.loc.gov. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- "Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Curriculum and Certificate Program | Society of American Archivists". www2.archivists.org. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- "SAA Strategic Plan | Society of American Archivists". www2.archivists.org. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- "Publications | Society of American Archivists". www2.archivists.org. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- "Awards Competition". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
- "Fellows of the Society of American Archivists". Retrieved August 4, 2016.
- "Fellows of the Society of American Archivists | Society of American Archivists". www2.archivists.org. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- "Presidents from the Society of American Archivists". 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2014.