Nance McGovern 2017-01-12 11:41:29
Let’s begin the new year with a celebration of SAA’s own archives and milestones. Our Archives Have you ever thought about, visited, or used SAA’s archives? Many of you may have been lucky to do so. A recent visit to SAA’s archives, housed at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, in November reminded me of just how special our archives are and how fortunate we are to have such an able team to manage them on our behalf. Through the magic of archival serendipity, the records of the Status of Women Committee—the first SAA group I served on—were out during my visit, thanks to Alex Poole, recipient of the 2013 Theodore Calvin Pease Award for best student paper, who is currently one of the more active users of the SAA archives. Kudos to Alex and others like him for addressing important archival issues using SAA’s records. SAA established an archives for our records as one of its first acts in 1936, though it moved around with SAA’s secretary for the first several decades: “The minute books, correspondence, and other records of the Society and its committees shall be preserved by the officers and chairmen of the committees and shall be promptly turned over by them to the secretary when their terms expire. Records that have ceased to be of use in conducting the current affairs of the Society may, by direction of the Council, be turned over to a depository selected by it for permanent preservation.” –SAA Archives Finding Aid The SAA archives has been in Wisconsin since 1978, first in Madison, and then in Milwaukee since 2001. SAA member Abigail Nye talked with me about UW–Milwaukee’s archival program and its expanding digital program. Staff at the archives work to keep social justice issues as a key focus during collection, offering wonderful possibilities as SAA works toward greater diversity and inclusion. Watch for more updates from and about SAA’s archives! Our Milestones One milestone for our profession to embrace is the fiftieth anniversary of electronic records at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). We often think of electronic records as a new area in archives, but in fact, NARA is one of a number of international archives that established digital programs decades ago. A committee convened in 1966 to address the challenges of machine-readable records, leading to the establishment of a digital program later that decade. NARA and SAA have always shared a connection as the national archives and national professional association in the United States. The list of SAA Fellows and past presidents who have worked on electronic records at NARA includes Margaret Adams, Bruce Ambacher, Tom Brown, Charles Dollar, Fynnette Eaton, Meyer Fishbein, Edie Hedlin, Linda Henry, Trudy Peterson, Ken Thibodeau, Sharon Thibodeau, Vicki Walch, and myself—in addition to many other SAA members! This will hopefully be the first of many opportunities to celebrate this important milestone in our profession!
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