Standing Rules

Society of American Archivists
Museum Archives Section


Article 1. Name.

The name of this section shall be the Museum Archives Section of the Society of the American Archivists (SAA), hereinafter referred to as the Section.

Article 2. Objectives.

The Section will provide a forum for dialogue on any issue or event relating to museum archives; promote the interests of museum archivists with SAA through annual meetings, publications, and a newsletter; and informally disseminate knowledge to those concerned with museum institutional records, personal papers, and special collections. 

Article 3. Membership.

Membership in the section shall be determined according to the guidelines established in Section IX. of the SAA Governance Manual.

Article 4. Governance.

A. Bylaws and Standing Rules. These standing rules of the Museum Archvies Section shall serve as a supplement to the SAA Section Bylaws, which govern all SAA sections. Please refer to Section IX. Sections of the SAA Governance Manual for information on membership, section election procedures, reporting requirements, and more.

B. Officers. The Section shall be guided by a Steering Committee consisting of a Chair, Chair-elect, Recording Secretary, Newsletter Editor, and a Web Liaison. 

C. Terms of Office.

1. Only members of the Section may serve as officers. Positions may be held by either an individual or two members who will have joint responsibility, i.e. co-chairs or co-editors.

2. All officers shall serve a term of two years. The Chair-Elect shall serve a term of one year, and then shall succeed the Chair, for a total of a two year term. Elections for the Chair-Elect shall take place every year. Elections for Newsletter Editor shall take place in odd years and elections for Recording Secretary and Web Liaison shall take place in even years.

3. Except for the Chair and the Chair-elect, all other officers may succeed themselves indefinitely. The Chair and Chair-elect may not serve for more than two consecutive years.

4. All officers shall assume office at the close of the annual Section meeting in which they are elected, and shall serve until their successors have taken office.

D. Nomination and Elections. Elections shall be conducted online with the assistance of the SAA staff and in accordance with guidelines for section elections as specified in Section IX. Sections of the SAA Governance Manual. Availability of the online ballot and deadline for voting shall be announced by the Chair to all section members via the section’s official email discussion list and website.

E. Vacancies in Office.

1. Chair. In the case of vacancy in the office of the Chair, the Chair-elect shall assume the duties of the Chair. The Chair-elect completes the vacancy and then takes on the regular one year term. If no Chair-elect is in office, the Recording Secretary shall assume the office and duties of the Chair, and shall appoint someone to carry out the duties of the Recording Secretary until a Chair is elected.

2. Chair-elect. In the case of vacancy in the office of the Chair-elect, the office will remain vacant until the next annual election of Section officers.

3. Recording Secretary. In the case of vacancy in the office of the Recording Secretary, the Chair shall appoint a member of the Section to take over the duties until the next yearly Section election.

4. Newsletter Editor. In the case of vacancy of the office of the Newsletter Editor, the Assistant Newsletter Editor, if there is one, will assume duties of the office until the Chair appoint a new Newsletter Editor. In the absence of an Assistant Newsletter Editor, the Chair will appoint an Acting Newsletter Editor, who will carry out the duties of the office until a new Newsletter Editor is elected.

5. Web Liaison. In the case of vacancy in the office of the Web Liaison, the Chair shall appoint a member of the Section to take over the duties until the next yearly Section election.

F. Duties of the Officers.

1. Chair. The Chair shall preside over Section meetings and shall direct the Section's activities. The Chair may appoint a Membership Coordinator, Committee Chairs and Liaisons; is responsible for all communications and submissions to SAA Council and the SAA Executive Office, either directly, or through delegation, after conferring with Section officers and Section members, as needed, for appropriate action.

2. Chair-elect. The Chair-elect shall have no specific duties, but rather will be assigned tasks by the Chair.

3. Recording Secretary. The Recording Secretary shall record the proceedings of the annual meeting, and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the Chair. Minutes of the meeting will be provided to the Steering Committee, posted in full to the Section web site, and Section membership will be notified of the online availability of the minutes in the Section newsletter in the first issue following the meeting.

4. Newsletter Editor. The Newsletter Editor is responsible for preparing, reviewing, and publishing the Section newsletter twice a year. At the Chair's discretion, the newsletter will be reviewed by others before publication. In consultation with the Steering Committee, additional issues may be published. The Newsletter Editor may choose to appoint an Assistant Newsletter Editor, and regional editors as needed. The Newsletter Editor shall coordinate with the Section's Web Liaison to publish the newsletter on the Section's website.

5. Web Liaison. The Web Liaison is responsible for maintaining the Section web site, as posted on the Society of American Archivists site. Regular maintenance includes posting minutes and newsletters to the web site, and updating announcements and other information to keep the site current.

Article 5. Business.

A. Meeting Times. The Section shall meet at least once a year at the time of the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists. The time of and agenda for this meeting shall be announced in the newsletter immediately preceding the meeting.

B. Other Meetings. Additional Section meetings may be scheduled during the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists. Such meetings shall be announced in the newsletter preceding the annual meeting or before the end of the annual Section meeting.

C. Voting. All decisions of the Section shall be determined by a majority of members voting at any meeting. All officers except the Chair may vote. The Chair votes only to break a tie. Where there is no majority vote, the issue shall be re-discussed and a second ballot shall be held.

Article 6. Committees.

The Chair may appoint or dissolve committees as needed. Each committee shall have a written charge and a specified period of service. Committees shall report on their activities at annual Section meetings.

Article 7. Parliamentary Authority.

Robert's Rules of Order, latest edition, shall govern the proceedings of the Section, except as otherwise provided for in these bylaws, or in the constitution, bylaws, or special rules of the Society of American Archivists.

Article 8. Amendments to the Standing Rules.

An amendment to these standing rules may be proposed by any Section member. Amendments must be submitted in writing to the Section Steering Committee. 

To ensure alignment with SAA’s governance documents, any amendments to the section’s standing rules should be reviewed by the executive director (or her/his designee) and the section’s Council liaison by May 1, before they are put forward in a referendum for vote by the section membership. Proposed amendments to the section’s standing rules will appear on the section’s annual election ballot for a final approval by a simple majority of the section’s membership. Any adopted amendments should be posted promptly to the section’s official microsite and be noted in the section’s next annual report to the Council. Any revisions to the section’s name or mission/description must be submitted to the Council for final approval. For more information on amendment procedures, see Section IX. Sections of the SAA Governance Manual.

Article 9. Dissolution.

This Section, noting failing interest or lack of accomplishment of its objectives, may vote to dissolve.


Revised: August 16, 2013. Updated per the member affinity group transition approved by the Council, August 2016. Revised: July 2018. 

Museum Archives Section Bylaws_ 2013.pdf97.92 KB