Minutes for the MAS Annual Business Meeting 2015

Society of American Archivists Museum Archives Section Business Meeting

Friday, August 21, 2015 at 1:00pm [Cleveland Convention Center, Cleveland, OH]

Minutes submitted by Tamara Gaydos, Recording Secretary

There were 75 people in attendance.


Greetings and Introductions

Outgoing chair Lorraine Stewart welcomed everyone to the meeting and reviewed the activities of the section over the past year. She thanked the working group and the steering committee as well as SAA staff.

Barbara Mathé introduced the new steering committee and thanked Lorraine for her service and advocacy. She welcomed Dennis Meisner, new President of SAA, who attended the meeting. The new steering committee members are:


Barbara Mathé, American Museum of Natural History

Vice Chair 

Christiana J. Dobrzynski, CA, Dedalus Foundation

Recording Secretary 

Tamara Gaydos, CA, Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum

Web Liaison 

Rebecca Morgan, American Museum of Natural History

Newsletter Editor 

Margaret Huang, Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens


Geof Huth, SAA Council Liaison

  • Geof gave an update on recent activities of the SAA Council. There is a proposal to change component groups to eliminate the distinction between round tables and sections.  Members will be able to join an unlimited number of groups. However non-members will not be able to join and there was talk of creating a virtual community with no bylaws, no meetings, but a listserv. They would like members to submit their comments about this proposal to the website by September 1st [later extended to September 15th].
  • The Council adopted a criteria for advocacy statements which reads, “SAA will take a position, make a statement, or take other action only on issues that are related directly to archives and archival functions.”
  • The Council approved revisions in the Archives and Archivists List Terms of Participation that were recommended by a Council subgroup following an open comment period.
  • The Council approved a Standards Committee recommendation that the Technical Subcommittee on Encoded Archival Description (TS-EAD), the Technical Subcommittee on Encoded Archival Context-Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families (TS-EAC-CPF), and the Schema Development Team (SDT) be combined into a single technical subcommittee, the Technical Subcommittee on Encoded Archival Standards (TS-EAS).
  • There is a proposed dues increase over the next three years of 3 to 3.5% to pay for advocacy efforts, a new association management system and an improved learning management system. An all-member referendum on the increase will be conducted in November 2015.
  • Kris Keisling will be the incoming Council Liaison for the Museum Archives Section.


Steering Committee Reports

  • Becca Morgan, incoming Webmaster, talked about outgoing Web Liaison, Supriya Wronkiewicz’swork from the last year which included migration to the new microsite, adding updates from the working group and newsletters, the VIMEO account for videos, and the Twitter account.
  • Maddie Thompson, outgoing newsletter editor, asked for contributions for the next issue of the newsletter.
  • Susan Hernandez, Standards and Best Practices Working Group co-chair, spoke about the symposium held on Wednesday and thanked the members of the working group. She discussed outreach and advocacy outside the institution. She explained about the guide on the Museum Archives Section website which contains examples of outreach documents and 19 personal essays from museum archivists.


Announcements from the Floor

  • The Indianapolis Museum of Art is now using Piction for digital asset management.
  • Michelle Elligot of the Museum of Modern Art announced that they are creating an electronic records archive and are seeking a project manager.
  • Francine Snyder talked about the Itinerant Archivists, which is a grassroots, self-funded effort by U.S.-based archivists to engage SAA leadership groups and members to build international awareness and service orientation through travel, service projects, and bilateral exchange of expertise. Their inaugural trip to Ecuador in September will include visits to archival repositories in the capital Quito, where the group will participate in a half-day training symposium with professional colleagues, and a visit to the remote Cañar region to work with a community activist to build a local historical archives program.
  • We were invited to attend the 2015 Digital Library Federation Forum in Vancouver, BC, October 26–28th.


Museum Archives Advocacy Group

Lorraine Stuart worked with the group last year. They met by phone, then in person in Washington, DC. They want to reach out to museum professional organizations such as AAM (American Alliance of Museums) and ICOM (International Council of Museums). The idea of a trusted physical repository was discussed. She thanked the members of the group and asked for volunteers going forward.


CALM (Committee on Archives, Libraries, and Museums)

The Committee on Archives, Libraries, and Museums is a joint committee of the American Library Association (ALA), the Society of American Archivists (SAA), and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).  Barbara told us that there are no representatives on the council from AAM or ALA, so it is not active right now.  She talked about CALM being part of the larger effort of information access. There used to be joint sessions at each group’s conferences and she welcomes suggestions for a session for SAA 2016. What are the issues we are dealing with? Can we come up with some “elevator speeches”? Where do the archives fit in an organization?


Session Proposals for SAA 2016 Conference in Atlanta

Members were asked to give Tamara their contact information if they had ideas for sessions.

After the meeting was officially adjourned, the Standards and Best Practices Working Group met.