2010/08/11 Minutes: SAA Annual Meeting

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Minutes:  Human Rights Archives Roundtable Meeting
August 11, 2010, 3:15-5 PM
Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting, Washington DC

The inaugural business meeting of the Human Rights Archives Roundtable followed a special joint session with the Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives Roundtable (LACCHA),
Silence No More! Archives Threatened by Political Instability, http://www.archivists.org/saagroups/laccha/flyer.html

The panel was moderated by Corine Wegener, and featured presentations by Dario Euraque, Yesenia Martinez, Kate Doyle, and Trudy Huskamp Peterson.  Further information is available on the LACCHA website, http://www.archivists.org/saagroups/laccha/

The Human Rights Archives Roundtable (HRA) Business Meeting commenced with brief announcements from Kate Thiemer, SAA Council Liaison to HRA;  Mark Cave from the SAA Oral History Section, and Cristela Garcia-Spitz from the 2011 Program Committee.
3:15-3:25pm: SAA Announcements
3:25-3:45: Introductions
3:45-3:55:  Elections for Chair, Co-Chair, Newsletter Editor, Web Liaison
3:55-4:35: Presentation on Center for Research Libraries’ Human Rights Electronic Evidence Study by Dr. Sarah Van Deusen Phillips (Project Coordinator)
4:35-5:15: Discussion of Roundtable’s goals and future activities

Voting was held by consensus, and the candidates listed below were confirmed for the following positions:
Valerie Love, University of Connecticut
T-Kay Sangwand, University of Texas
Newsletter Editor:
Christopher M. Laico, Columbia University
Web Liaison:
Tessa Fallon, Columbia University

Sarah Van Deusen Phillips, Project Coordinator for Human Rights at the Center for Research Libraries-Global Resources Network presented preliminary findings from a study funded by the John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation investigating issues related to electronic documentation for human rights organizations and archival institutions in Rwanda, Russia, and Mexico.

The remainder of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of goals and ideas for the roundtable. 

Consensus was reached on the following issues:
1.     The human rights archives listserv currently hosted by the University of Connecticut, HR_ARCHIVES-L@LISTSERV.UCONN.EDU, will be phased out and replaced by the SAA Human Rights Archives Roundtable Discussion List, humanrights@forums.archivists.org.  The archives for the UConn hosted listerv will be retained at https://listserv.uconn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=HR_ARCHIVES-L

2.    Posting messages to the SAA Human Rights Archives Roundtable Discussion List is currently regarded as the preferred means of communication for the roundtable, and the roundtable members do not see the need for other social media presences at this time.  Twitter and other means of communication may be explored in the future.

3.    Human rights documentation information currently hosted on the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center’s website, http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/outreach/symposium_outcomes.htm will be migrated to the SAA Human Rights Archives Roundtable website, http://www.archivists.org/saagroups/

Ideas for the roundtable to explore:
•    Metadata guidelines for audio and video, particularly for fragile media, such as cell phone videos, etc.  (may want to look at FIASA and IASA description standards)
•    Questions of electronic records and authenticity
•    Resources and best practices for working with grassroots organizations
•    Share information about collections currently housed in repositories, and offer connections and contacts for organizations and activists looking to find an archival repository for their documentation, or in need of archival assistance
•    Create a space within SAA for archivists/collections in crisis to contact for assistance
•    Greater outreach to human rights organizations with materials which are not held in archival repositories
•    Create greater opportunities to work with archivists and organizations outside the United States and provide information and resources for collections in harsh conditions
•    Post job opportunities to listserv
•    Increase interaction with SAA student groups and related roundtables and sections, such as issues and advocacy, international affairs, oral history section, etc.,
•    Endorse panel proposals for annual meetings and facilitate the creation of panels on human rights themes
•    Create a space for networking and generally supporting archivists working with human rights materials
•    Investigate issues of mental health and working with human rights collections for archivists, researchers,  and others who continually come into contact with difficult materials (n.b., this idea came from the Q & A following the panel,  Archives on Trial:  How International Justice is Served with Martha Hunt and Antonio Gonzales Quintana; moderated by David Wallace.) 

Minutes_HRA_Aug_2010.doc34.59 KB