MARS Section Meeting 7/27/2017


The 2017 MARS meeting at the annual SAA convention focused quite a bit on the future of the Section and several potential future projects were brought up by presenters and from the floor.

First, the Military Archival Collection Directory now has a rudimentary start on the SAA MARS' microsite: With time, MARS will grow this list into a dynamic tool for broad use. This project is being spearheaded by out-going chair Jim Ginther, and anyone seeking to help with its development, including additions to the list, is encouraged to contact him at:

A second potential project is to embrace the centennial of WWI as a way to bridge MARS members, the greater SAA membership, and the public. One way to do this is to develop a centralized database of WWI exhibits by institution. The database would provide publicity to the exhibits and a reference databank for institutions who are developing their own exhibits. There were other excellent suggestions from the floor, such as making the database interactive with GIS mapping and hashtags and looking forward to the WWII commemoration in 2020.

The hope is that the WWI project would result in greater visibility of MARS as a military resource within the archival community, which is one of the guiding principles of the Section.

Thirdly, the Section took on a conversation on military classification issues. Those present felt that MARS was in a position to advocate for a more streamlined classification system. A proposal was put forth to form a working group within MARS to initiate a project that would work across SAA on this issue.