Scott Cline, Candidate for Vice President/President-Elect

Professional Experience: City Archivist and Director, Seattle (WA) Archives and Records Management Program, 1985–present; Lecturer, Information School, University of Washington, 1998–present; Archivist, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland (OH), 1982–1985.

Education: MA, History, Portland State University, 1982. BS, History, Portland State University, 1972.

Honors: Fellow, Society of American Archivists, 2012. SAA Fellows Ernst Posner Award, 2013 and 2010. “Scott Cline Day," Seattle City Council Proclamation, 1999. SAA C.F.W. Coker Award, 1989.

Selected Professional Activities: Society of American Archivists: Council, 2009–2012; Council Executive Committee, 2011–2012; Committee on Institutional Evaluation and Development, 1992–1995, Chair 1994–1995; Government Records Section Steering Committee, 1991–1994, Chair 1993–1994; Local Government Records Roundtable Chair, 1992–1994. SAA Foundation: Board Member, 2011–2012. Academy of Certified Archivists: President, 2004–2005; Regent for Nominations, 2005–2006; Vice President, 2003–2004; Secretary and Executive Board, 1993–1995; President’s Advisory Committee, 2008–2011. Northwest Archivists: President, 2000–2001; Past President and Nominating Committee Chair, 2001–2002; Vice President, 1999–2000; By-Laws Committee Chair, 1996–1999, 2002–2009; Board Representative, 1987–1989.

Selected Publications: “'Dust Clouds of Camels Shall Cover You’: Covenant and the Archival Endeavor,” The American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2012). "To the Limit of Our Integrity: Reflections on Archival Being," The American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2009). “To Foster Honorable Pastimes: Baseball as a Civic Endeavor in 1880s Seattle,” Pacific Northwest Quarterly (Fall 1996). “Jewish-Ethnic Interactions: A Bibliographic Essay,” American Jewish History (September 1987).  

Selected Presentations: “Archival Ideals and the Pursuit of a Moderate Disposition,” Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, August 17, 2013. “'And whoever remembers only mist’: Archival Remembering, Forgetting and the Call to Justice,” Western Roundup Meeting, Seattle, WA, April 30, 2010. “Archival Education in North America: Some Suggestions for Change,” Israel State Archives Presentation, Jerusalem, Israel, April 2009. "Saving Our Cities' Records," Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting, Birmingham, AL, August 24, 2002. “All Archives are Local: Problems and Prospects for Local Government Archives,” Seminar on Local Archives in the 21st Century: Challenges and Strategies, Shanghai, China, September 7, 1999.




Question posed by Nominating Committee: One of the goals of SAA’s Strategic Plan is advocating for archivists and archives. What role does SAA play in advocating for the archival profession to institutions, communities, and the American public?

Advocacy is SAA’s most important activity; and I contend most everything SAA does is advocacy in some form. This maxim shapes my view of governance.

SAA engages in two types of advocacy—what I call direct and supportive. The direct form is represented in SAA’s strategic plan in which advocacy is the first goal. The plan’s objectives and action items suggest promoting the value of archives and archivists, educating and influencing decision makers, building coalitions, formulating position statements, testifying before legislative bodies, promoting activities that spotlight archives, and a wide range of other advocacy activities.

In doing these things, SAA represents all archivists (not just its members) and speaks on behalf of the entire profession. It builds coalitions with other archival associations and allied professions to advocate on behalf of the profession and the entire heritage community. These are things a vibrant and vital professional association needs to do to be relevant to its members and society. While there is always room for improvement, SAA does these things well and continues to work hard in this arena.

But for my money, it is in supportive advocacy that SAA can play its most impactful role. One of my political heroes was fond of saying all politics are local. For most of us advocacy is local and personal. At the local level, we should be our own best advocates. It is not reasonable from a resource perspective to expect SAA to get involved in local advocacy concerns. However, SAA can through its many programs and coalition-building with regional and local groups perform a vitally important role on the local level that is fundamental to the health of the profession.

SAA’s educational programs, online resources, advice, and other tools help archivists be informed, effective, and articulate advocates in their institutions, communities, and regions on behalf of archivists and the archival record. Rightly, SAA will always be the principal advocate for the profession writ large and broadly defined. But even more, it must leverage its array of education, publication, membership, and constituent group programs to assist us all in becoming the best local advocates we can be.

I believe this view of advocacy must drive the work of SAA leadership.