Tragedy Response Initiative Task Force

I. Purpose

The Tragedy Response Initiative Task Force is responsible for 1) creating and/or compiling material for ready accessibility by archivists who are facing a sudden tragedy and 2) exploring the feasibility of creating a standing body within SAA that would update documentation as needed and serve as a volunteer tragedy response team.

II. Selection, Size, and Length of Term

The Task Force is charged for a two-year period that begins in January 2018, with a final report and recommendations for the Council no later than January 2020.

The Task Force will comprise eight SAA members, one of whom will serve as chair. Task Force members will be appointed by the SAA Vice President/President-Elect.

III. Reporting Procedures

The Task Force chair will prepare a written status report for each of the Council’s spring and fall meetings, and will prepare for Council consideration at its fall/winter 2020 meeting a final written report with recommendations. Should the Task Force recommend that a standing group be created, it should include in its final report a draft charge/description for that group.

IV. Duties and Responsibilities

To fulfill its purpose as described above, the Task Force is specifically charged to:

  • Research current best practices and resources for archival tragedy response, including interviewing similar, successful programs (i.e., Disaster Planning and Recovery Subcommittee, AID National Heritage Responders).
  • Collaborate with allied organizations to ensure that policies and practices reflect varied needs and strategies for cooperation among various archival institutions.
  • Create and/or compile material for the SAA website documenting professional policies and best practices for collecting strategies, management, preservation, and provision of access to memorial collections, including templated forms that are easily adapted.
  • Determine whether sufficient need exists to justify the effort and costs associated with establishing a standing body to serve as a Tragedy Response Volunteer Team.
  • Determine how such a standing body might be structured, staffed, and governed, with administratively and financially sustainable models for national-, regional-, and state-based structures.
  • Determine how such a standing body might be financed and supported.
  • Propose how such a standing body might interact with other SAA groups and with external groups.

V. Meetings

The Task Force will carry out its charge primarily via electronic mail, conference calls, online meetings, and face-to-face meetings held in conjunction with the SAA Annual Meeting. Should the Task Force determine that an additional face-to-face meeting would be beneficial, it must apply to the Council (through the Executive Office) for funding. 

Approved by the SAA Council, November 2017.