Pam Hackbart-Dean, Candidate for Vice President/President-Elect

Pam Hackbart-Dean

Director, Special Collections Research Center,
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“Archivists must focus on ensuring that, as a profession, we are furthering these values [of promoting public good and the social responsibility of archivists]. We are responsible for assisting with preserving and documenting the stories and records of the lives, significant events, and places of all communities.”



  • Director, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 2006present.
  • Head, Special Collections and Archives, and Director, Southern Labor Archives, Georgia State University, 20032006.
  • Southern Labor Archivist, Georgia State University, 20002003.
  • Assistant Department Head, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia, 19972000.
  • Processing Archivist, Richard B. Russell Library, University of Georgia, 19902000.
  • Project Archivist (NHPRC grant), National Recreation and Park Association, 19881990.


  • MA, History (Archives Management certificate), University of Connecticut.
  • Leadership Training: Archives Leadership Institute, Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians.


  • Society of American Archivists: Council member (20142017); Education Committee, Chair (20052006); Dictionary of Archival Terminology Working Group (20132014); Program Committee, 2002 SAA Meeting, Birmingham (2001-2002); Congressional Papers Roundtable, Chair (19992000); Labor Archives Roundtable, Chair (20022003); Manuscript Repositories Section, Chair (20032004); Oral History Section, Chair (20042005); Preservation Section, Chair (19992000); Instructor for Fundamentals: Arrangement & Description, Archives: Principles & Practices. 
  • Academy of Certified Archivists: President (20102011); Exam Development Committee. 
  • Society of Georgia Archivists: President (1997); Executive Board; Education Committee; Program Committees.
  • Midwest Archives Conference: Archival Issues Editorial Board; Program Committee (2008). 
  • American Library Association: RBM Journal Editorial Board.
  • Illinois State Historic Advisory Board 


  • Co-authored with Elizabeth Slomba, How to Manage Processing in Archives and Special Collections, (SAA, 2012). 
  • Co-authored with Elizabeth Slomba, Processing Decisions for Manuscripts and Archives (SPEC Kit 314), (ARL Digital Publications, 2009).
  • Named Distinguished Fellow of the Society of American Archivists, 2017.
  • Named Fellow of the Society of Georgia Archivists, 2009.


  • Society of American Archivists: “Decisions Are Never Easy: Establishing Processing Priorities,” Research Forum Poster Presentation, 2017; “Consider the Possibilities: Creative and Low-Cost Preservation Strategies in Practice,” 2011; “Collection Development Policies: Fact or Fiction?” 2008.
  • Other: “What Do People Want and How to Get It to Them: Patron-Driven Processing Priorities,” RBMS Preconference, 2014; “Role of Certification in Today’s Professional Climate,” Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York, 2010.


Learn more about the Vice President/President-Elect candidates as they answer questions submitted by SAA members. 



At its November 2017 meeting, the SAA Council reviewed SAA’s strategic plan, looking ahead to 2018–2020. Please discuss what you see as the strengths of the current strategic plan, two or three ways in which you might modify it, and the rationale for your suggestions.


The strengths of SAA’s strategic plan are that it helps us set priorities, guide our program activities, abide by best practices in the processing of records, assist with the allocation of resources, and assess our achievements as well as areas in need of improvement. This plan commits to advocating for our archivists and archives, supporting our professional growth, advancing our professional knowledge, and engaging our members.

One modification I would suggest is to include a statement about “promoting public good and the social responsibility of archivists.” Archivists must focus on ensuring that, as a profession, we are furthering these values. We are responsible for assisting with preserving and documenting the stories and records of the lives, significant events, and places of all communities. This can be done through educational and outreach programs/activities that are inclusive of diverse members of the community and that focus on skills such as historical research, critical thinking, and ethical practices. This would also include going out and documenting events as they unfold.

Another recommendation concerns the need “to educate and influence decision makers about the importance of archives and archivists.” I would add “focus on issues” to the beginning of this statement. The issues of the profession need to be identified and precisely formulated in order to have success in educating and influencing decision makers. There must be a bridge that brings together decision makers with archivists, researchers, and other persons connected to the archival community. We have a good start with public awareness and policy through many committees and working groups. Continuing to strengthen our connection with the public while highlighting particular issues of the profession will help us more effectively communicate our needs to external funding organizations, government and business leaders, and even our own home institutions.


Slate of Candidates

The Nominating Committee has slated the following SAA members as candidates for office in the 2018 election:

Vice President/President-Elect



Nominating Committee