Council Resolution: Tragedy Response Initiative Task Force


Society of American Archivists

Council Resolution


Tragedy Response Initiative Task Force


WHEREAS in January 2018, at the request of the SAA Diverse Sexuality and Gender Section, the Council recognized that archivists and communities who must deal with sudden tragic events and circumstances need help and support from the archival community during these times; and

WHEREAS the Council charged a task force to create and compile material for ready accessibility by archivists who are facing a disaster or sudden tragedy; and

WHEREAS that charge also included consideration of the creation of a volunteer tragedy response team; and

WHEREAS the task force, chaired by Lisa Calahan with members David Benjamin, Jackie Esposito, Kara McClurken, Allen Ramsey, Patricia Rettig, Vanessa St. Oegger-Menn, and Susan Tucker, worked for more than two years to create resources for use during dire and unfortunate circumstances; and

WHEREAS the work resulted in Documenting in Times of Crisis: A Resource Kit (SAA website), complete with templates, examples, and guidelines for communities that need assistance collecting after a disaster or tragic event; and

WHEREAS their work has been profiled by NPR news stations in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Southeast Missouri, and used by Johns Hopkins University, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Parkland History Society, and History Colorado; and

WHEREAS the task force forged relationships with representatives from the American Alliance of Museums, American Association for State and Local History, Oral History Association, American Library Association, National Heritage Responders, and LYRASIS; and

WHEREAS the task force has laid the groundwork for SAA to form a cross-professional cultural heritage advisory group on tragedy response;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the SAA Tragedy Response Initiative Task Force be honored with a 2020 SAA Council Resolution for creating critical resources and offering its support for archivists and communities during traumatic moments in time.