Rachel E. Winston, Candidate for Council

Rachel E. Winston

Black Diaspora Archivist,
The University of Texas at Austin

“My time in SAA has provided invaluable opportunities to introduce and support ideas, see them through to reality, and speak out on issues of concern. This experience will help me to take seriously the needs of our membership body, and work towards finding solutions.”



  • Black Diaspora Archivist, The University of Texas at Austin, 2015–present.


  • MSIS, The University of Texas at Austin.
  • BA, Anthropology and French, Davidson College.
  • Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians from Traditionally Underrepresented Groups, 2016.
  • Mosaic Leadership Forum, 2015.


  • Society of American Archivists: Diversity Committee, Member (2017–present); Program Committee, Co-Chair (20182019); Host Committee, Member (2019); Mosaic Program, Mentor (20162017).
  • Texas Conference on Digital Libraries: Planning Committee, Member (20192020); Scholarship Committee, Member (20192020).


  • “Do it for the Culture: My Life as an Archivist.” In In Our Own Voices Redux: The Changing Face of Librarianship, eds. Theresa Y. McNeely and Jorge Ricardo Lopez-McKnight (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), 4955.
  • “Review of Slavery and Freedom in Texas: Stories from the Courtroom, 18291871,” co-authored with Daina Ramey Berry, Texas Supreme Court Historical Society Journal 7, no. 3 (Spring 2018): 106108.
  • Harold T. Pinkett Student of Color Award, Society of American Archivists, 2015.
  • Spectrum Scholar, American Library Association, 2013.


  • Society of American Archivists: “Toward Culturally Competent Archival (Re)Description of Marginalized Histories,” 2018; “SAA UT Student Chapter: Celebrating Our Past, Looking Forward,” poster, 2014.
  • Other: “Cultural Preservation and Storytelling,” Austin African-American Genealogy Conference, 2020; “Ethical Collecting, Description, and Access,” Harry Ransom Center Flair Symposium, 2019; “Fact or Fiction: Developing Information Literacy to Evaluate and Use Records,” Austin History Center, 2018; “Archives for All: Using Archival Instruction as a Tool for Engagement,” Greater Austin Area Information Literacy Symposium, 2018.



In the past, the SAA Council has had to face situations that challenge the strategic priorities and values of the organization. How would you balance the need to support members’ needs and the archival community with the financial needs of the organization?


As our governing body, Council must be committed to upholding SAA’s core values and strategic priorities. Central to this mission is service to our membership and the archival profession, and to perform this service requires both consideration of all members at every stage of their career, and careful attention to the financial state of SAA. To be of best service, the Council must embrace making difficult decisions that impact all aspects of our organization. Balancing the needs of our membership, the larger archival community, and SAA’s fiscal obligations in the decision making process is key, and requires compromise and communication.

Communication involves listening and being in dialogue with staff, leadership, sections, individual members, and community stakeholders. As an active member of SAA for the past seven years, I have experience engaging directly with SAA leadership to address issues of importance, and understand what it takes to make these conversations productive. Through my involvement, I have also come to know many of the talented and committed professionals of our membership, and look forward to building deeper relationships across the organization while working to facilitate individual and collective success.

Compromise calls for a clear understanding of priorities and the ways in which SAA can responsibly promote them.  My time in SAA has provided invaluable opportunities to introduce and support ideas, see them through to reality, and speak out on issues of concern. This experience will help me to take seriously the needs of our membership body, and work towards finding solutions. Solutions often come at a cost, however, and financial obligations impact the extent to which needs can be addressed. Thankfully, with compromise, these obligations do not negate needs being met; instead, they provide an opportunity to be flexible and work creatively to achieve viable outcomes.

This is an exciting time for our organization. The SAA of today is not the SAA of the past, due in large part to the difficult decisions, communication, and compromise made by the Council. If elected, I will use my tenure on Council to build on past accomplishments as a steadfast advocate for our professional development. I will continue the work of creating space for all members of SAA to feel invested in our collective work, and push us to advance our inclusivity efforts. I believe strongly in the mission of SAA, and am committed to doing all that I can to help us be at our best.



Slate of Candidates

The Nominating Committee has slated the following SAA members as candidates for office in the 2020 election:

Vice President/President-Elect


Nominating Committee