Dave J. Moore, Candidate for Nominating Committee

Dave J. Moore

Heritage & Digital Asset Manager
We achieve nothing by maintaining the status quo. We cannot progress as a profession unless we seek out diverse leaders who will help us do it. We have to rely on each other to continue to learn.



I was instrumental in establishing the archives program at Carhartt, a 132-year-old Detroit-based workwear company, and I have served as their archivist and historian for the last seven years. In 2019, I also helped implement and took on management of Carhartt’s new enterprise digital asset management system.

I earned a BA in education from the University of Michigan, as well as a MA in modern European history and a graduate certificate in archival administration from Wayne State University. My master’s thesis was a comparative analysis of British and German colonial conflict in southern Africa, focusing heavily on the role of race in the treatment of noncombatant populations. During my archival studies, I worked as an intern at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History, processing the Horace Sheffield, Jr. Collection, one of the largest collections ever taken in by the museum. My article detailing this project appeared in the newsletter for the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC).

Within SAA, I have been heavily involved with the Business Archives Section, serving as vice-editor/editor from 2018-2020. I managed the section’s social media accounts and was part of the team that established the in-depth, topic-based online publication The Business Archives Section Quarterly, which can be viewed at basnewsonline.com.

I have also worked with MAC, helping to organize and speak at their first-ever business archives workshop in 2019. In addition to archives-specific organizations, I have also presented on panels for the National Council of Public History and the American Association of State and Local History, exploring the work and unique challenges of business archives. I stay very involved locally as well, presenting on archives and Carhartt’s history for community organizations, continuing education programs, colleges, secondary schools, and public libraries.



Archivists have the charge of preserving the collective memory of society, politics, economics, business, religion...you name it. It is a massive endeavor. As a profession, we can move forward only by building on what everyone can contribute. It allows us to sympathize and empathize with each other, to learn from each other, to listen closely to the viewpoints of those who have experienced what we have not…and in many cases never will. A willingness to do these things should be the only prerequisite for a seat the table.

There was nothing pushing me to confront my privilege and implicit biases in the suburban environment in which I grew up. It took me a long time to begin to understand what this meant as my aperture to the world widened through my education. I looked back and became frustrated with my lack of critical thinking over these issues and the inequity inherent in the fact that I had an advantage over others because of my background. I resolved to read and educate myself, in part by focusing my master’s thesis on oppression and marginalization in the context of colonialism.

Today, storytelling is a major focus in my day-to-day work. I see how hard work and seeking to provide for those you care about knows no limitations by race, gender, or sexual identity. When I deal with the materials and stories created by Carhartt’s customers, it drives home not only their widely varied life experiences, but also unity based on determination and hard work to achieve a goal, no matter who they are. I do my level best to inform the expertise and insight I provide  within the company and externally so that it reflects what unifies us rather than divides us. How understanding all these different experiences inherently makes us more compassionate and informed and shows the different and valid paths to a shared belief in hard work.

There is always something new to learn. There are always ways of thinking that are elusive due to one's specific life experiences. Through this position, I hope to assist in finding candidates that bring an ever-widening perspective into SAA leadership. People who will push us to think in ways we previously have not about where the organization and profession stands today…and are willing to lead the tough conversations we need to have in order to progress.



According to the SAA Council Statement on Black Lives and Archives, "The labor of dismantling white supremacy and structural racism in archives, and beyond, does not rest solely upon our Black membership and other people of color. White archivists, who comprise a vast majority of the field, have a responsibility to disavow racism daily in society and in our profession." How do you interpret the Nominating Committee's role in decreasing structural racism in the field to make it more equitable for BIPOC archives workers?


Within SAA as a whole, the institutions we work for are varied. But there is at least one commonality: whether we work for a business or are constructing a community archives from the ground up, or anything in between, there are diverse voices looking for their stories to be told. As a profession, we seek to provide access to those voices and amplify them. In order to achieve this goal, we need to be actively anti-racist.

Racism manifests itself in archival collections—collection policies, description, and access limitations can all reflect it. White archivists, who comprise the majority of the profession, have a duty to identify these issues when present and put in the work to remedy them. This effort necessarily includes involving BIPOC voices in the conversation. However, it should also draw on the ever-increasing amount of resources available regarding anti-racist strategies for archives. White archivists, like myself, need to be proactive in educating themselves on the issues facing BIPOC communities and existing discourse regarding strategies to address them. We will be able to better serve as allies in our day-to-day work and approach collaborative efforts as well-informed contributors.

Our collections represent many voices. In order for SAA to function at its best, its membership and leadership should be a reflection of this diversity. A major focus of the Nominating Committee should be to seek out BIPOC candidates for SAA leadership roles. When positive and constructive BIPOC voices for change are visible at the top levels of our organization, it helps to reinforce SAA as a welcoming organization that represents the whole of the society it seeks to document.

We achieve nothing by maintaining the status quo. We cannot progress as a profession unless we seek out diverse leaders who will help us do it. We have to rely on each other to continue to learn.



Slate of Candidates

The Nominating Committee has slated the following SAA members as candidates for office in the 2021 election:

Vice President/President-Elect



Nominating Committee