Steering Committee Meeting, February 17, 2023

Minutes of February 17, 2023 Steering Committee Meeting


In attendance: Dane Flansburgh, Colin Post, Katja Hering, Bernadette Floresca, Susan Tucker


This meeting was devoted to the survey results. 


We discussed how best to read and study the results. Going through them question by question seemed the best approach. As we did so, we came away with the following takeaways: 


First in terms of respondents, forty-two people answered questions. This represents 8.0% of our membership of 522 persons. Eighty percent of those responding worked part or fulltime in an archives or a library. 


Second, in answers to specific questions: 


-Sixty-five percent of those who responded joined the Section to learn about archival history.  Twenty percent joined to know others interested in archival history, and fifteen percent, to create resources for others interested in archival history.  


Respondents who added comments in this part of the survey made it clear that archival history was important to their work as archivists, noting their degrees in history, a limited knowledge and thus the need to expand, the change to engage with others and both share and learn from them.


-Respondents interest in the creation of resources for others was not apparent in the next survey part on the current crowdsourced college and university special collections and archives URL/history project. Only one person among the respondents had worked on this project, and eighty percent had never heard of the project. Clearly the Steering Committee needs to get out more information about that work. 


 -Respondents also had not often turned to our newsletter, Archival History News, for information. Only 12 percent had used this resource. Among the resources most important to these five people were news on current events, the bibliography of archival history, and information about the section.  Future projects respondents would like covered in the newsletter and/or as group project were a history of preservation programs in archives, mover coverage of lesser-known history topics in archives, and attention to trends over time in practices. The Steering Committee should also list (more often) calls for papers. The Steering Committee should solicit and publish short papers by students. 


For most members, 80 %, communication works best through the SAA listserv. 




Respondents prioritized the annual lecture and the annual archival history awards as most important to the work of the Section. Future projects might concern a Zotero or other networking group on archival history, partnership with other groups within and outside SAA, and more attention on the newsletter to current work on archival history. 


We also discussed a webinar on archival history, publishing, researching and writing. 


Susan will prepare a report to the membership on the survey. Collin volunteered to have his Graduate Assistants work on selected aspects. 


We also discussed the reading of articles for the award in summer. Collin and Katja are preparing a dropbox with pdfs of the articles for us to read. The standards sheet for the awards was mentioned and Dane will be mailing that to Collin and Katja, as well as others later when we begin to read.