2024 Election: Candidate Statements

Thank you to all of our excellent candidates for standing in the 2024 Archival History Section election. Please take some time to review their candidate statements and get to know them so you can make an informed choice. 

You will be voting for:

  • One Vice Chair/Chair-Elect for a one year term and then a one year term as Chair
  • Three Steering Committee members for a one year term

Ballots will be managed by SAA staff through Survey Monkey; keep an eye on your inbox for when the ballot opens!

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect Candidate

The following candidate is running for the Vice Chair/Chair-Elect position:

Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger


Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger has been the Haverford College Archivist and Records Manager since June 2019. She previously worked in archival positions at the University of Delaware and the John Hopkins University School of Nursing. She received her M.A. from the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture and her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization, both at the University of Delaware. At Haverford, she launched the Documenting Student Life Project in 2020. The project employs liaisons to document student life on campus in a sustained manner through regular outreach to student groups, oral histories with alumni, and improved processing and description of student-generated archival materials. She has also extensively documented the effects of Covid-19 pandemic at Haverford and the 2020 student-led strike on campus.


"I am interested in using my background in historical research and methodologies to further explore the history of archives and special collections and to make this information accessible to those inside and outside the archival profession. I believe that a better understanding of archival history is necessary to identify and remove barriers to entrance into the archival profession and make archives accessible to a broader community of researchers. I served as the Early Career Member on the Archival History Section Steering Committee for 2023-2024."

Steering Committee Member Candidates

The following candidates are running for the section steering committee:

Sebastian Modrow


I am an assistant professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, a former archivist and curator of rare books and manuscripts with a background in history and Classics. I earned an MLIS from Syracuse University, a Master’s equivalent in History and Latin from the University of Greifswald, Germany, and a doctorate in ancient history from the University of Rostock, Germany. 

Archival history is a focus not only of the courses I’m teaching on Special collections, Libraries, Archives, and Museums, but also of my scholarly interest. Engaging with topics such as literacy, information access, and identity narratives in pre-modern and modern societies, my research explores the intersection of history, heritage, and memory studies within the realms of libraries and archives. My most recent scholarly output is Tyler Youngman, Sebastian Modrow, Isaac Meth, “Deceiving Dichotomies: On the Interrelation of the Archive and the Cultural Memory Canon” (Forthcoming in the Proceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 2024).


"As collective identities are ever-shifting and challenged in times of accelerated global change we tend to look towards institutions of the cultural record for confirmation and answers to identity questions. But record keeping itself has a (too often exclusive) history, the historic record itself is curated, subject to societal power, and broad access to this record is not a natural law but a social achievement. I firmly believe that the history of archives must be researched, understood, and made as widely available as record access itself. It is for this reason that I would like to re-join the steering committee of SAA’s Archival History Section and support their efforts to educate the profession and the general public about archival history." 

Kristen J. Nyitray 


Kristen J. Nyitray is Director of Special Collections and University Archives, and University Archivist at Stony Brook University, USA. Nyitray is an alumna of Stony Brook University (B.A., sociology) and earned a master's degree in library and information science from Queens College, City University of New York. Her scholarship addresses historical concerns related to the management and preservation of archives and special collections, and her current research explores how archives interface with emotions, public memory, and knowledge production. She is a Certified Archivist (CA) accredited through the Academy of Certified Archivists and holds a Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) certificate from the Society of American Archivists.


"As a librarian and an archivist, I find great significance in the ever-evolving nature of research collections. My role is not only about preserving the past; it's about being adaptable, and refining methods and technologies in the present to ensure the accessibility and integrity of historical sources for future generations. Serving on the Archival History Section (AHS) Steering Committee, a committee dedicated to educating member constituents about archival history, would allow me to contribute to the professional development of colleagues and support the critical examination of how archives influence our understanding of history. Archives are dynamic institutions that reflect and impact societal values, ideologies, and power structures. By examining the evolution of archival practices and the role of archivists, we can better appreciate the complexities involved in maintaining archives and the implications for future research and knowledge production."

Melissa Smith


Melissa Smith is a processing archivist at the Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has a doctorate in English from The University of Texas at Austin and an MLIS from Syracuse University, and she currently adjuncts for Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. She has published in the areas of library history and epistemic justice and has additional interests in care ethics and Latter-day Saint women’s history.


"One important facet of the work of archivists, and one I most enjoy, is to provide context for collections and their creators. To maintain perspective on their work, archivists need this context regarding themselves, too, both as a profession and in their own institutions. Understanding the context of our work, principles, and practices makes us better decision makers for the future, whether we seek to improve access, improve use and usability, or address equity in our work. I would enjoy bringing others together to enrich our perspective on what we do and why."

Alan Stein 


I am past- chair of the SAA oral history section, 2007–08, and I was chair before that of the SAA, labor history round table. I am the recipient of the SAA Spotlight Award in 2007, and a member/advisor to OHA Diversity Committee, working with our committee historian, Dr. Alphine Jefferson, past-President of the Oral History Association. As Dane observed, I have established experience as an oral history archivist, have been a long term member of SAA would be a perfect fit. I served in both a leader ship capacity on SAA’s oral history section, and as an oral historian, worked with Lauren Kata on conducting oral histories with SAA’s past presidents, including my mentor William J. Maher of the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (UIUC).


"I can bring my direct experience and representation as both a librarian, and archival oral historian to the History Section, having served on the Hurricane Katrina task force archives, as former Head of the Louisiana Division, City Archives collections of the New Orleans Public library. For my efforts in cultural preservation and outreach campaigns to other libraries and archives, I was awarded the Society of American Archivists Spotlight Award award in 2007, and also received the SAA Archival Workers Emergency Fund Award in 2021, for my professional efforts to promote greater public awareness for disaster preparedness by historical and cultural institutions, and the role of archivists in cultural preservation. Shortly after Katrina, I was an invited to present on Libraries in times of war, revolution, and social change/climate change @ the UIUC Library History Seminar XI."