ARCHIVES 360°: 2011 Call for Program Proposals

The 2011 SAA Annual Meeting will convene August 22-27 in SAA’s hometown - Chicago – the perfect place to commemorate the Society’s 75th Anniversary. The 2011 Program Committee invites you to propose sessions that will be of interest to the profession or volunteer to share your own knowledge and expertise as a presenter.

Program Theme

The 75th anniversary offers a wonderful opportunity for celebration and for us all to take a good look around – at SAA and its role as a professional organization, at the archives profession and its intersections with other professions and domains, and at ourselves as professionals in an evolving global information environment. With that in mind, the theme for the 2011 Annual Meeting is “ARCHIVES 360°.”

Organizations of all kinds have been using a 360° feedback process since the 1950s to acknowledge milestones, assess progress, identify ongoing challenges and opportunities, and formulate strategic directions. It is appropriate at this moment in our history to adapt a long-standing and proven process to:

  • Consider SAA’s role, contributions, and challenges past, present, and future. What should/could SAA look like at its 100th anniversary?
  • Discuss SAA’s opportunities and concerns in relation to the professional societies of other domains (e.g., records management, libraries, museums), both national and international.
  • Assess the development and promulgation of our existing and desired capacities and competencies for all or portions of the archival life cycle. What does/should good archival practice look like?

The 360° feedback provided by program sessions will stimulate a timely review for SAA at all levels – upper (e.g., relationships with funders and administrators), middle (e.g., collaboration with peers and others), and baseline (e.g., professional development and competencies). 

The ARCHIVES 360° theme extends to sessions that are introspective, retrospective – or just about any perspective that allows us to reflect and move on toward future anniversaries with renewed confidence, determination, and enthusiasm. One track of the 2011 program will be devoted to the 75th Anniversary.  (For information about 75th Anniversary activities to be celebrated throughout 2011, see the SAA home page.)

Proposal Evaluation

Session proposals are welcome on any aspect of archives practice – local, national, and international – and its intersection with other professions and domains. Proposals will be evaluated on the strength of the 150-word abstract, the diversity of the speakers and their experience, the completeness of the proposal, and the inclusion of the meeting's theme. Session proposals that incorporate one or more of the following will be given special consideration:  

  • A strong connection to the program’s theme (Archives 360°).
  • A contribution to the celebration and commemoration of SAA’s 75th Anniversary.
  • An intention to address the impact of the given topic for SAA and/or the archives profession.
  • Inclusion of international perspectives and initiatives.
  • Relevance for the broad range of SAA members and other interested attendees.
  • Endorsements by SAA sections and roundtables. (Sections and roundtables are invited to endorse up to two session proposals.)

Session Formats

The Program Committee encourages submission of proposals that may include, but are not limited to, the following formats:

  • Traditional. Open session (i.e., unlimited attendance) of 90 minutes, consisting of two or three fully prepared papers of 15 minutes each and a comment-and-discussion period. Please do not propose sessions of more than three presenters. Paper titles are required. A chair is not required for this format; chair duties may be performed by one of the speakers.
  • Work in Progress. Open session of 90 minutes, consisting of two presentations of 15 minutes each, describing ongoing research topics and including at least 60 minutes for feedback and discussion.  Paper titles are required.
  • Panel discussion. Open session of 90 minutes, consisting of a panel of three to five individuals who informally discuss a variety of theories or perspectives on the given topic. No paper titles are required. A moderator or commentator is recommended.
  • Workshop. Limited-enrollment session of 90 minutes, usually designed to teach or refine skills. No paper titles are required. 
  • Seminar/Roundtable. Limited-enrollment session of 90 minutes, usually designed as a directed discussion among attendees sharing a common experience or preparation. 
  • Special Focus Session. Open session of 60 minutes designed to highlight innovative archives or records management programs, new techniques, and research projects. Audience participation is significant. No paper titles are required. 
  • Poster Presentation. Report in which information is summarized using brief written statements and graphic materials, such as photographs, charts, graphs, and/or diagrams mounted on poster board.  Posters will be on display during the meeting, and presenters will be assigned a specific time at which they must be with their poster to discuss it with attendees. 
  • Lightning Talks. Open session of 60 minutes, consisting of 5- to 10-minute quick-fire presentations or lightning talks. The abstract may identify a topic or theme for the session and should indicate the proposed approach for populating and promoting the session. The proposal should identify an organizer who will coordinate the session. No paper titles are required.

Reminder for Proposal Submitters and Session Participants

Archivists and records managers who participate in the program must register and secure institutional or personal funding. Participants who are not archivists or records managers, or who are from outside the United States and Canada, may be eligible for complimentary registration upon request. SAA cannot provide funding for speakers, whether they are international, non-archivists, non-records managers, members, or nonmembers. 

Due Date

Proposals for the 2011 meeting are due on Friday, October 1, 2010. Please be prompt with your submissions; the Program Committee will not be able to consider proposals received after the deadline. 

Group Endorsements

To endorse a session proposal, SAA board, committee, section, roundtable, or working group chairs/conveners should submit directly to the program co-chairs via email to by October 15 the following information: Session Title, Group Name, and Group Chair. Endorsements are another factor in the Committee’s deliberations. They are not required and do not guarantee acceptance.

Submission Information

To prepare and submit a proposal, please complete the proposal form (see below) and email it as an attachment to


For additional information, contact the 2011 Program Committee co-chairs (Nancy McGovern and Richard Marciano) at To review names and contact information for the entire 2011 Program Committee, please click here.

See also

ARCHIVES 360°: 2011 Call for Pre-Conference Workshop Proposals

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