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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.[1]

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.

Contents

HistoryEdit

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.[2] There was also tension between the public archives tradition championed by Margaret Cross Norton and the historical manuscripts tradition as the governing philosophy.[3] 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.[2][3]

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.[4] 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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[5] 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.[2] 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.[5]

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.[5] 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.[5] 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.[6] SAA also offers certification for Digital Archives Specialists, which allows for the profession to work within the emerging technological landscape and capture digital records.[7]

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.[8]

PublicationsEdit

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.[9]
  • 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.[9]
  • In the Loop: bi-weekly e-newsletter that offers updates on SAA activities and interests.[9]

Awards OfferedEdit

The Society recognizes archivists' achievements with awards for advocacy, writing, and contributions to the profession.[10] The highest honor is that of Fellow, a distinction awarded since 1957.[11] 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.[12]

SAA Presidents[13]Edit

  1. 1936 (1936) – 1939 (1939): Albert R. Newsome, University of North Carolina
  2. 1939 (1939) – 1941 (1941): Waldo Gifford Leland, American Council of Learned Societies
  3. 1941 (1941) – 1943 (1943): Robert D. W. Connor, National Archives and Records Administration
  4. 1943 (1943) – 1945 (1945): Margaret Cross Norton, Illinois State Library
  5. 1945 (1945) – 1947 (1947): Solon J. Buck, National Archives and Records Administration
  6. 1947 (1947) – 1949 (1949): Christopher Crittenden, North Carolina Department of Archives and History
  7. 1949 (1949) – 1951 (1951): Philip C. Brooks, National Security Resources Board
  8. 1951 (1951) – 1953 (1953): William D. McCain, Mississippi Department of Archives and History
  9. 1953 (1953) – 1954 (1954): Wayne C. Grover, National Archives and Records Administration
  10. 1954 (1954) – 1955 (1955): Morris L. Radoff, Maryland Hall of Records
  11. 1955 (1955) – 1956 (1956): Ernst M. Posner, American University
  12. 1956 (1956) – 1957 (1957): Lester J. Cappon, Colonial Williamsburg Inc.
  13. 1957 (1957) – 1958 (1958): William D. Overman, Firestone Library
  14. 1958 (1958) – 1959 (1959): Oliver Wendell Holmes, National Archives and Records Administration
  15. 1959 (1959) – 1960 (1960): Mary G. Bryan, Georgia State Archives
  16. 1960 (1960) – 1961 (1961): Philip M. Hamer, National Archives and Records Administration
  17. 1961 (1961) – 1962 (1962): Robert H. Bahmer, National Archives and Records Administration
  18. 1962 (1962) – 1963 (1963): Leon deValinger, Jr., Delaware State Archives
  19. 1963 (1963) – 1964 (1964): Everett O. Alldredge, National Archives and Records Administration
  20. 1964 (1964) – 1965 (1965): W. Kaye Lamb, Public Archives of Canada
  21. 1965 (1965) – 1966 (1966): Dolores C. Renze, Colorado State Archives
  22. 1966 (1966) – 1967 (1967): Herbert E. Angel, National Archives and Records Administration
  23. 1967 (1967) – 1968 (1968): Clifford K. Shipton, Harvard University
  24. 1968 (1968) – 1969 (1969): H.G. Jones, North Carolina Department of Archives and History
  25. 1969 (1969) – 1970 (1970): Herman Kahn, Yale University
  26. 1970 (1970) – 1971 (1971): Philip P. Mason, Wayne State University
  27. 1971 (1971) – 1972 (1972): Charles E. Lee, South Carolina Department of Archives and History
  28. 1972 (1972) – 1973 (1973): Wilfred I. Smith, Public Archives of Canada
  29. 1973 (1973) – 1974 (1974): F. Gerald Ham, State Historical Society of Wisconsin
  30. 1974 (1974) – 1975 (1975): James B. Rhoads, National Archives and Records Administration
  31. 1975 (1975) – 1976 (1976): Elizabeth E. Hamer Kegan, Library of Congress
  32. 1976 (1976) – 1977 (1977): Robert M. Warner, University of Michigan
  33. 1977 (1977) – 1978 (1978): Walter Rundell Jr., University of Maryland
  34. 1978 (1978) – 1979 (1979): Hugh A. Taylor, Public Archives of Canada
  35. 1979 (1979) – 1980 (1980): Maynard J. Brichford, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  36. 1980 (1980) – 1981 (1981): Ruth W. Helmuth, Case Western Reserve University
  37. 1981 (1981) – 1982 (1982): Edward Weldon, National Archives and Records Administration
  38. 1982 (1982) – 1983 (1983): J. Frank Cook, University of Wisconsin
  39. 1983 (1983) – 1984 (1984): David B. Gracy II, Texas State Archives
  40. 1984 (1984) – 1985 (1985): Andrea Hinding, University of Minnesota
  41. 1985 (1985) – 1986 (1986): Shonnie Finnegan, State University of New York at Buffalo
  42. 1986 (1986) – 1987 (1987): William L. Joyce, Princeton University
  43. 1987 (1987) – 1988 (1988): Sue E. Holbert, Minnesota Historical Society
  44. 1988 (1988) – 1989 (1989): Frank B. Evans, National Archives and Records Administration
  45. 1989 (1989) – 1990 (1990): John A. Fleckner, Smithsonian Institution
  46. 1990 (1990) – 1991 (1991): Trudy H. Peterson, National Archives and Records Administration
  47. 1991 (1991) – 1992 (1992): Frank G. Burke, University of Maryland
  48. 1992 (1992) – 1993 (1993): Anne R. Kenney, Cornell University
  49. 1993 (1993) – 1994 (1994): Edie Hedlin, Consultant
  50. 1994 (1994) – 1995 (1995): Maygene Daniels, National Gallery of Art
  51. 1995 (1995) – 1996 (1996): Brenda Banks, Georgia Department of Archives and History
  52. 1996 (1996) – 1997 (1997): Nicholas C. Burckel, Marquette University
  53. 1997 (1997) – 1998 (1998): William J. Maher, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  54. 1998 (1998) – 1999 (1999): Luciana Duranti, University of British Columbia
  55. 1999 (1999) – 2000 (2000): H. Thomas Hickerson, Cornell University
  56. 2000 (2000) – 2001 (2001): Lee J. Stout, Pennsylvania State University
  57. 2001 (2001) – 2002 (2002): Steven L. Hensen, Duke University
  58. 2002 (2002) – 2003 (2003): Peter B. Hirtle, Cornell University Library
  59. 2003 (2003) – 2004 (2004): Timothy L. Ericson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  60. 2004 (2004) – 2005 (2005): Randall C. Jimerson, Western Washington University
  61. 2005 (2005) – 2006 (2006): Richard Pearce-Moses, Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records
  62. 2006 (2006) – 2007 (2007): Elizabeth W. Adkins, Ford Motor Company Archives
  63. 2007 (2007) – 2008 (2008): Mark A. Greene, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming
  64. 2008 (2008) – 2009 (2009): Frank J. Boles, Clarke Historical Library
  65. 2009 (2009) – 2010 (2010): Peter Gottlieb, Archives Division, Wisconsin Historical Society
  66. 2010 (2010) – 2011 (2011): Helen R. Tibbo, School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  67. 2011 (2011) – 2012 (2012): Gregor Trinkaus-Randall, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
  68. 2012 (2012) – 2013 (2013): Jackie M. Dooley, OCLC Research
  69. 2013 (2013) – 2014 (2014): Danna C. Bell, The Library of Congress
  70. 2014 (2014) – 2015 (2015): Kathleen D. Roe, New York State Archives
  71. 2015 (2015) – 2016 (2016): Dennis Meissner, Minnesota Historical Society
  72. 2016 (2016) – 2017 (2017): Nancy McGovern, MIT
  73. 2017 (2017) – 2018 (2018): Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Wake Forest University

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.archivists.org/about/
  2. ^ a b c d Cook, J. Frank (1983). "The Blessings of Providence on an Association of Archivists" (PDF). The American Archivist. 46: 374–399. 
  3. ^ a b c 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. 
  4. ^ "News Notes". American Archivist. Society of American Archivists. 5 (2): 119–120. 1942. 
  5. ^ a b c d Jimerson, Randall (2009). Archives Power: Memory, Accountability, and Social Justice. Chicago: Society of American Archivists. pp. 76–129. ISBN 1-931666-30-X. 
  6. ^ "Development of the Encoded Archival Description DTD (EAD Official Site, Library of Congress)". www.loc.gov. Retrieved 2018-04-24. 
  7. ^ "Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Curriculum and Certificate Program | Society of American Archivists". www2.archivists.org. Retrieved 2018-04-24. 
  8. ^ "SAA Strategic Plan | Society of American Archivists". www2.archivists.org. Retrieved 2018-04-24. 
  9. ^ a b c "Publications | Society of American Archivists". www2.archivists.org. Retrieved 2018-04-24. 
  10. ^ "Awards Competition". Retrieved August 4, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Fellows of the Society of American Archivists". Retrieved August 4, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Fellows of the Society of American Archivists | Society of American Archivists". www2.archivists.org. Retrieved 2018-04-24. 
  13. ^ "Presidents from the Society of American Archivists". 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 

External linksEdit