2012 Election and Candidate Information

The Nominations Committee for the Acquisitions & Appraisal Section

Brad Bauer, Chair
Denise Gallo
Jennifer Graham 

A call for nominations was sent to the section membership in May with June 1 as the response deadline.  The section’s by-laws stipulate that all nominees, including self-nominations, are entitled to run for office.   The following people accepted nomination:


For Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect

Virginia (Ginny) Hunt, Harvard University Archives

Vin Novara, University of Maryland


For the Steering Committee

Drew Bourn, Stanford Medical History Center

Brenda Burk, IUPUI

Adriana Cuervo, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Susan Malbin, American Jewish Historical Society

Jaimie Quaglino, Gates Archive


The Chair Elect will serve as Section Chair in 2013-2014 and Past Chair in 2014-2015.  Two seats for the section’s steering committee will be filled for the 2012-2014 term. Steering committee members serve two years and may be re-elected for an additional term.  

Electronic balloting will begin in July and will be conducted by SAA staff.  

Biographical information and responses to questions were submitted by each candidate.


Candidates for the Vice-Chair/Chair Elect (Vote for 1)

Virginia Hunt

Virginia Hunt is the Associate University Archivist for Collection Development and Records Management at the Harvard University Archives.  Prior to this appointment, Ginny was the Assistant Archivist at the Center for the History of Medicine at the Countway Library of Medicine and Curator of the Warren Anatomical Museum.  She has also worked as an archivist and preservation specialist at the Congregational Library in Boston, the Houghton Library and Schlesinger Library at Harvard, and was a consultant for the Massachusetts Historic Records Advisory Board.  Ginny has been a member of SAA for over15 years and is currently serving on the Steering Committee of the Acquisitions and Appraisal Section.  She has presented at several past SAA annual meetings on topics including collection development, appraisal and collection documentation.  She holds a BA in Communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an MSLIS from Simmons College and an ALM in Museum Studies from the Harvard University. 

What do you bring to the Acquisition and Appraisal Section Steering Committee?
I have been serving on the Acquisition and Appraisal Section Steering Committee for the last two years.  My role on the Steering Committee has allowed me to work with the Section leadership to understand the needs of our membership and develop or provide support for several appraisal and acquisition related programs for the annual meeting. 

I believe that I can offer a wealth of knowledge in strategic planning for collection development of archival and manuscript collections, as well as hands on experience with appraisal and acquisitions of institutional records, manuscript collections and museum objects.  My work has provided me with opportunities to collaborate with a wide variety of donors and records creators, each with unique needs and understanding of the “archives world.”

Over the past few years I have been involved in several initiatives that have resulted in a proactive and strategic approach to evaluating and acquiring archival records--both in the field and in the creation of records schedules.  Currently I am participating in the development of systems for capturing and preserving email and web sites for both institutional records and manuscript collections at our university, and in developing a University-wide policy to appraisal and preservation of research data.  The sum of these experiences has provided me with both a deep understanding of traditional concerns and issues in appraising and acquiring collections, as well as some of the more recent—for example the preservation, access, and intellectual property rights issues unique to electronic records and born digital collections. 

Over the past two years the Steering Committee has been focused on forming a better understanding of the needs of our Section members and attempting to bring the programming and initiatives of the Section in line with those needs.  As Vice Chair/Chair Elect I would continue to work with the Section’s leadership to steward these new initiatives to completion, and seek out new and innovative contributions to the SAA Annual Meeting program.   

What would you like the Acquisition and Appraisal Section to do in the next two years?
Last year the Steering Committee surveyed the section members to learn more about the characteristics of our Section's membership, the challenges we face, and what we would like to see from the Section in terms of future programs.   Like the others in our Section’s leadership, I believe that it is important to respond the membership’s concerns and suggestions so that we can channel the work of the Section appropriately.  I would like to continue this work as Vice-Chair/Chair elect and work with the Section leadership to realize some of the goals that we set as a result of our membership survey.

We understand that much of what is learned about appraisal and donor relations is learned in the field or on the job and, unless one is able to do this, the opportunity to learn is limited.  In the past two years the Steering Committee has developed or sponsored and, in some cases, participated in SAA sessions on donor relations to provide a venue for sharing experiences with the SAA community.  Going forward I would encourage the Steering Committee to make donor relations a regular topic on the SAA program, and potentially tackling more contemporary concerns, such as educating donors on the issues with electronic and born digital collections.

No matter how much money or staff an institution has it can be difficult to operate without standards or a clear consensus in the archival community for best practices in decision-making for collections.  The SAA Guidelines for Reappraisal and Deaccessioning, which was the result of the work of several members of our Section, is a good example of meeting this need.   As we have with the issues of reappraisal and deaccession, we should also be seeking to create guidelines for acquisition and appraisal of electronic and born digital materials.  This has a wide-reaching effect on our donor agreements, terms of access and restrictions, files management, accessioning and ingest procedures.  As our membership has suggested, in the next two years I too would like to see our Section start to examine these areas and endeavor to provide best practices and economic models for appraising and acquiring these collections.

Of course, this is a huge undertaking for one individual or SAA section.  In some cases, it would be extremely challenging for our Section to undertake these initiatives alone.  However, bringing a collection of archivists together who have these concerns and/or have experienced this situation makes the project more manageable and will provide a variety of perspectives--and, I believe, a better guideline.  As Vice Chair/Chair elect I would encourage partnering with other sections—such as College and University Archives, Government Records, Electronic Records, and Manuscript—so that we are able to thoughtfully develop these best practices and guidelines.

Vin Novara

Vincent J. Novara is the Curator for Special Collections in Performing Arts at the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library at the University of Maryland, where he earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees. An ACA Certified Archivist, Novara has worked as a performing arts archivist at UMD since 1994, and was appointed to curator in 2005. As a member of the UMD Libraries’ faculty assembly, he has served on the Faculty Annual Review Oversight Committee and its Mentoring Subcommittee, as well on the Special Committee on Faculty Mentoring. In May 2012, Novara was elected to Chair-Elect of the University Senate, the first time the office will be held at UMD by an archivist. Novara has published on performing arts related topics in Notes, the journal of the Music Library Association, ALA’s CHOICE, and SUNY Buffalo’s Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO). He has given several presentations at professional conferences focusing on special collections and archives management, and is co-chairing the Program Committee for the fall 2012 meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference in Richmond, VA.

Candidates for the Steering Committee (Vote for 2)

Drew Bourn

Drew Bourn oversees the Stanford Medical History Center (SMHC), which is the archival repository for the Stanford's school of medicine and hospitals. The SMHC manages resources related to both the history of medicine at Stanford as well as medical history more generally, and includes institutional records, personal papers, artifacts and rare books. His MLIS is from Simmons College, and his former positions include serving as archivist at the Center for the History of Medicine at Harvard University, and working with the rare books collections at Phillips Andover Academy. He is the founder and facilitator of Stanford Archivists, a group of approximately sixty Stanford employees.

Drew expects to complete a PhD in 2012 with a dissertation in San Francisco history. While continuing in his work at the SMHC, he will begin teaching California history in Stanford's continuing studies program in 2013. He also serves on the Board of the Stanford Historical Society, and volunteers as a consultant to the GLBT Historical Society. He runs a website, Using San Francisco History, which profiles local public history projects.

What do you bring to the Acquisition and Appraisal Section Steering Committee?
Of all the tasks that an archivist performs, I believe that doing appraisal is the most important in that it determines the kinds of historical evidence that will be available for researchers in the future.

Within recent years, digital content has begun to impact appraisal in two ways. First, while the "documentary strategy" of the 1980s met with limited success, archivists have since begun digitizing content from our collections and aggregating that content on third-party host sites, such as the Biodiversity Heritage Library. That opportunity to aggregate digital versions of content from separate repositories can play a role in deciding what is collected at any one repository. Secondly, the sheer volume of born-digital content such as email presents new challenges for how archivists do appraisal.

What would you like the Acquisition and Appraisal Section to do in the next two years?
I would be interested in further exploring some of the opportunities and challenges that digital content provides to appraisal. This includes thinking more carefully not only about how to evaluate vastly increased volumes of content, but also considering new ways to collaborate among repositories so that the ability to aggregate digital content informs our decisions about collections development.

Brenda L. Burk

Experience:  Philanthropic Studies Archivist, IUPUI University Library Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, 1997-present; Public Records Archivist, Wisconsin Historical Society, 1994-1997; Adjunct Faculty, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI),  School of Liberal Arts, 2008-present, and School of Library and Information Sciences, 2009-present.

Education: B.A., History, University of Wisconsin, 1990; M.A., Library and Information Studies, 1994

Professional Activities:  Midwest Archives Conference: Public Information Officer, 1997-2002; MAC Newsletter Assistant Editor, 1997-2002; Local Arrangements Committee – Madison, 1996; Local Arrangements Committee – Indianapolis (co-chair), 2001; Treasurer, 2002-2006; Development Officer, 2006-2010; Society of American Archivists: University of Wisconsin Student Chapter founder and President, 1993-1994; Donald Peterson Student Scholarship Committee, 2009-present; Manuscript Repositories Brochure Revision Project, 2012

What do you bring to the Acquisition and Appraisal Section Steering Committee?
I bring a balanced viewpoint between practice and theory to the section.  As the Philanthropic Studies Archivist, I bring experience as a practicing professional and as SLIS adjunct faculty and archives instructor, the theoretical viewpoint.  My experiences with manuscript collections and public records give me a broad perspective of the field that will enable me to bring forth, but more importantly, critically evaluate issues of concern for this section.   

What would you like the Acquisition and Appraisal Section to do in the next two years?
In the next two years, I would like to see advancements made in the following areas:

1) Guidelines for Reappraisal and Deaccessioning – promote and publicity this work as it provides a great basic structural framework for decision-making in regards to these two functions.  
2) Donor Relationships – examine and educate on how to work with donors and develop a partnership with them on the preservation and long-term access to their information.
3) Collaborate with other sections – work with other sections and roundtables to advance our work.  One example is to work with the Manuscript Section on the revisions of the Guide to Deeds of Gift brochure.

Adriana P. Cuervo

Adriana P. Cuervo is the assistant archivist for music and fine arts at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a bachelor’s degree in Music History from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. She has published  on the acquisition, arrangement, description, and preservation of music and performing arts materials in archives and special collections in national and international journals. She is an active member of the Society of American Archivists, and the Midwest Archives Conference.

What do you bring to the Acquisition and Appraisal Section Steering Committee?
I bring a background in managing music and performing arts collections and musicians’ personal papers, and a strong interest in the application of archival practice to these materials.  I also bring an enthusiasm for furthering the work done by the section on educating and informing the profession on acquisition and appraisal matters.

What would you like the Acquisition and Appraisal Section to do in the next two years?
Over the next two years I’d like to see the section become active in delivering authoritative content and training opportunities by engaging with the appropriate groups (i.e., education committee, electronic records section, etc.) in order to meet the needs expressed by section members in the 2011 survey. When asked what drove the members’ to join, the highest ranked answers included the opportunities to expand their knowledge of acquisitions and appraisal work. I believe the section should become the source of that expansion, and by liaising with other sections and roundtables, we are sure to combine expertise in much needed areas such as electronic records, descriptive standards, and visual materials, to name a few.  

Susan Malbin

Susan L. Malbin, Director of Library & Archives, American Jewish Historical Society has been a member of the A&A Section for 3 years.  She has been a Senior Program Officer at the Institute of Museum and Library Services, handling Archival and Library applications for the National Leadership Program, and Chief of the Washingtonianiana Division of the District of Columbia Public Library which holds over 1 million photographs of the former Washington Star collection.  At AJHS, she has completed an Alpha project in Humanities Search creating a Portal to American Jewish Life that is currently in its Beta stage and is writing grants for a further iteration. In addition she currently reaches Archival Appraisal, Acquisition and Use for the Pratt Institute SLIS graduate school. She has served as the SAA co-chair to the Committee on Archives Libraries and Museums, 2008-2010.

What do you bring to the Acquisition and Appraisal Section Steering Committee?
I bring a strong understanding of the intersection of archives, libraries and Special Collections.  All my work has been with acquiring either archival materials, or acquiring manuscripts/books of local authors and providing access to them. Working in Public Library Local Special Collections as well as themed topical Special Collections, I have seen how individuals search and use reference materials and how they are handled.  

What would you like the Acquisition and Appraisal Section to do in the next two years?
How Archives and Special Collections acquire new collections and make appraisals concerns me as do the ways these collections are then described /advertised and made available. The rising costs of processing, storage and even access make every acquisition decision a political one. Ever tightening budgets and an insatiable public make decisions much more strategic and difficult. 

I would like the section to focus even more closely on this changing landscape and develop some planned responses to changing archival dynamics in its programming. Some example questions: must all collections be digitized and be available worldwide?  must everything offered be placed somewhere? how do we document the undocumented? can appraisal be ‘streamlined’ more easily?

I would like to see the Section discuss these questions –and possibly empower working groups at its meetings over the next two years.

Jaimie Quaglino

Jaimie Quaglino is an Archivist at the Gates Archive, where she manages donor relations and acquisitions of archival material. The Gates Archive takes an innovative approach to archive development and management, integrating processes for born-digital and analog information. The archive focuses on the preservation of the Gates family’s personal and philanthropic endeavors including records of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Jaimie previously was employed as an Archives Specialist and Archivist at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library from 2004 – 2011, in the Archives Processing Unit.  While at the Kennedy Library, she acted as the head of the Archives Processing Unit from 2007 – 2011, and supported operations by acting as the point of contact for archives donation offers, negotiating and managing deeds of gift for donated materials, and handling incoming acquisitions sent to the Archives.  From 2003-2004, Jaimie worked as a digital processing assistant for Harvard University’s Open Collections Program. She received a Master of Science in Archives Management and a Master of Arts in History from Simmons College in 2003.

What do you bring to the Acquisition and Appraisal Section Steering Committee?
I have been either responsible for or impacted by acquisition and appraisal decisions since I began working professionally as an archivist in 2003, and am very passionate about this aspect of archival practice. In addition, my experience developing processes that allow hybrid (digital and analog) acquisitions offers a perspective that I think is of benefit to the Committee and membership at large. As archivists encounter increasing quantities of digital data, collection growth, and explore new collecting areas, with limited resources and busy schedules appraisal can become reactive. I think it is very important to ensure that archivists have practical tools based in theory that can both inspire and allow them to make effective decisions about what to bring into and keep in their collections – regardless of format - and to re-examine their holdings over time with donor awareness, understanding, and support.

What would you like the Acquisition and Appraisal Section to do in the next two years?
Continue to promote digital appraisal and acquisitions strategies so archivists are aware of and know how to implement tools to access, evaluate, and acquire digital information.

As part of ongoing efforts of the Deaccessioning and Reappraisal Development and Review Team, ensure that lessons learned are applied to guidance for initial acquisitions and appraisal guidance so deaccessioning and reappraisal become thoughtful, understood, and integrated extensions of these activities, rather than separate processes.

Demonstrate how archivists can collaborate with donor and partner organizations to share resources and skills to acquire materials using innovative techniques.