2022 Museum Archives Section Annual Business Meeting Minutes

Museum Archives Section, Aug. 3, 2022

Virtual Business Meeting

Attendance: 50

I. Welcome and Introduction (Katrina O’Brien, Chair)

II. Election Results and Thank You to Outgoing Leaders (Jenna Stout, Vice-Chair)

Jenna thanked outgoing web liaison Shannon Morelli (National Gallery of Art) and announced Keli Yakabu (JFK Presidential Library and Museum) as the new web liaison. Kelly Burton (National Gallery) will succeed Tara Laver (Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art) as secretary, and Tara Laver was elected vice-chair.

III. 2021/2022 Meeting Minutes (Tara Laver, Secretary)

Minutes for the 2021 section meeting were sent out earlier in the week and linked to in the meeting chat. Tara noted a few highlights from last year’s minutes. The minutes were approved by a virtual vote of the membership.

IV. Working Group Update (Katrina O’Brien, Chair) 

Reminder that SAA Council approved the revised and updated “Museum Archives Guidelines”  in February 2022. They incorporated elements to reflect the state of  museum archives do today. Their approval is the culmination of the work of the Working Group’s two co-chairs Megan Schwenke and Rachel who are stepping down after approximately 10-years as co-chairs. The work that the group set out to accomplish has largely been achieved, marking the natural conclusion of the group. Over the next year, the section leadership will reach out to members to ascertain if the function needs to continue, if so what form the group would take (new working group vs. steering committee members), and what issues to focus on. A related conversation is the future of a separate MAS symposium at the annual meeting or incorporating that content into the section business meeting. Katrina thanked and applauded all members of the Working Group.

V. Council Liaison Announcements (Dominique Luster)

Updates from May 2022 Council Meeting

  • Approved a $2.7 million budget, expecting a $23,000 deficit. Advised to be mindful of this financial situation as it will affect Council’s consideration of any funding requests from sections. The $23,000 is largely for additional support for SAA office staff. 
  • Approved Archival Repatriation Committee, a call for volunteers is out.
  • Approved revisions submitted by Committee on Public Policy to SAA’s Public Policy Agenda and SAA’s Legislative Policy Agenda.
  • Approved revisions recommended by Standards Committee to EAC-CPF (Encoded Archival Context: Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families) and major revisions to DACS.
  • Council Members in the second year of their term serve on the Nominating Committee, and one serves on the Executive Committee. This year, those members are Steven Curley and Rachel Winston (Nominating) and Derek T. Mosely (Executive).
  • Reviewed and approved a few revisions to the SAA Constitution and By-laws and is undergoing a standards review process of the constitution and bylaws. Be on the lookout for the results of that.
  • At the annual meeting will be announcing several exemplary service awards and Council resolutions recognizing achievements of some of our members.
  • Approved committee description revisions for the Committee on Selection of SAA Fellows.
  • Discussed a new taskforce on membership funding. It’s important to Council to make the pathway to participate in Council be more accessible to a diversity of archives workers. What can do to make it and SAA in general more accessible.
  • Approved new strategic plan that includes new workplan on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
  • Council is working on a section health assessment. There are 47 sections with thousands of members, which is a heavy lift for the one SAA staff member dedicated to their support. Looking at how sections are doing, will use qualitative and quantitative metrics to assess future of sections, how many sections there should be. 

VI. Presentations

“The Power of Partnerships,” Julie Varee, Community Outreach Archivist, Anchorage Museum, Alaska. Highlighted the discovery of how one museum’s archives benefited from an exhibition and related public programs.

"An Artist Archive Supports an International Exhibition," Malia Van Heukelem, Art Archivist Librarian and Liane Na'auao, Paper Conservator, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii. Shared their experience supporting two international exhibitions from a research library with help from students and temporary hires. (slides)

“Digitizing museum archives for online access: Why it’s (not) always a good idea,” Molly Stothert-Maurer, Associate Librarian (Archivist) Head of Library & Archives, Arizona State Museum | University of Arizona; and Peter Botticelli, Associate Professor, Simmons University School of Library and Information Science.  Reported on two prepatory case studies about digitizing archival collections at the Arizona State Museum and the Harvard Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

“The Collaborative ART Archive (CARTA),” Lori Donovan, Senior Program Manager and Madeline Carruthers, Program Officer, Internet Archive; and Amelia Nelson, Director, Library and Archives, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Discussed CARTA, a collaborative project developed from a partnership between the Internet Archive and the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) aimed at capturing and preserving at-risk web-based art materials. The project utilizes the resources and professional expertise of a growing collaborative entity of 35+ arts and cultural heritage institutions to build collections of archived web-based content related to art history and contemporary art practice. 


VIII. Adjournment