CPWG Minutes 08/24/2011

Working Group on Cultural Property
Minutes of the Meeting
August 24, 2011
Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting
Chicago, IL

Minutes accepted 08/08/2012


CPWG Members:

  • Jeannette Bastian (co-chair)
  • Marisol Ramos (co-chair)
  • Donna McCrea (SAA Council Liaison)
  • Robert  Leopold
  • Lisa Callahan
  • Sharon Thibodeau
  • Liz Banks
  • Jennifer O’Neal
  • Lisa Nguyen
  • Ally Krebs


  • Scott Schwartz
  • Flossie Gerdey 
  • Kirsten Thorpe
  • Jennifer
  • Alan Lowe
  • Christian Dupont
  • Samip Mallick

The meeting convened at 9:30.


Agenda Item 1. Governance

Jeannette had requested that a co-chair be appointed to the Working Group. SAA president appointed Marisol Ramos as co-chair.

Jeannette discussed establishing a governing structure for the CWPG that included rotating co- chairs with differential year appointments for the membership i.e. 2 year and 3 year appointments.

Robert and Sharon recommended 2 years appointments. Membership should include representatives from specific Roundtables such as Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage, Archivists and Archives of Color, Native American Archives, Human Right Archives, NARA (government) – informal recommendation

 Agenda Item 2. Cultural Sensitivity Framework

Recap of last year’ activities primarily revolving around the  Cultural Sensitivity framework developed by Kelvin White (posted on the CPWG wiki) and the efforts of Working Group members to match core archival activities to the framework. 

Marisol presented the efforts of the Access group in conceptualizing Access in terms of the framework and other members of the Working Group discussed the difficulties they had encountered. Discussion turned to whether this exercise was something that the Working Group should be doing at this time or whether there were some other steps that needed to be done first.

The group concluded that there needed to be preliminary steps to creating a cultural sensitivity framework for core archival activities.  These steps might include developing case studies and scenarios, possibly case studies that specifically addresses sections of the framework, i.e. preservation, appraisal,. Other types of research were also suggested including a more extensive bibliography.

Members agreed that many institutions were facing cultural sensitivity issues but were also often working in a vacuum.

Lisa Callahan suggested that members develop case studies/scenarios based in their own institutions.  Jennifer suggested that they be framed within particular sections of the core activities and explained how the Native American Protocols group came up with their case studies.

Members agreed that they would like to work on case studies over the coming year and volunteered to work on case studies in the following areas:

  • Lisa Callahan-- Case study in donor relations
  • Marisol Ramos-- Case study on access, acquisition, provenance
  • Lisa Nguyen-- Case study on Ownership/stewardship/custody

Time Frame for completing the case study is 3 months. Drafts should be circulated to the WG by the end of November. They should incorporated a reflective approach and include questions.

Agenda Item 3. Status of Native American Protocols

Jennifer reported on the status of the Native American protocols.  SAA had requested a series of forums over three years to gather opinions and build advocacy. This is the final year.  Once the third year is over the Protocols group will draft an article about what has happened with the protocols and may add an appendix with case studies.  Will bring this back to SAA council.

Ally Krebs suggested that the protocols be incorporated into graduate archival education curriculum.

Lisa Callahan suggested that the CPWG could advocate for the Native American Protocols and offered to send the updated Protocols to the group.

Jeannette and Marisol will draft a letter and send it to group for their revisions and approval and then to Council

Agenda Item 4. Other Activities

Discussion on proposing a panel or a forum that brought together the various working groups around common issues. – possibly addressing cultural property from all the different angles – IPWG, Protocols, Ethics, etc…

Agenda Item 5. ALA and Traditional Cultural Expressions

Christian Dupont, as a representative of CALM, asked to address the group on the progress of a TCE statement that ALA has been working on since 2009.

During the last half-hour of the meeting, the CPWG met with the Intellectual Property Working Group to discuss issues of overlap and mutual concern.  The group as a whole took up the idea of proposing a panel for the SAA conference next year that would address cultural property from several perspectives.  Marisol Ramos from CPWG and Richard Pearce-Moses from the IPWG volunteered to work together on this proposal.

Meeting adjourned at noon.

Referenced Group Meeting: