Infinity (Fall/Winter 2000 Volume 16 Number 2)

SAA Preservation Section Affinity Newsletter 16:2


The Newsletter of the SAA Preservation Section         Fall/Winter 2000 Volume 16, Number 2

In This Issue:

From the Chair

by Sarah Talley

Greetings to everyone! We had a really constructive meeting in Denver and it was a thrill for me to not have to leave my time zone to attend. We've had many accomplishments in the past year, so it's hard to list them and thank all of the people involved. It is amazing when you realize that our only budget is for Infinity, and the Section's work is all done in the spare time of professionals with full-time jobs. Sincerest thanks to all of the Committees for their hard work.

For those of you who could not make the meeting, the minutes of the Preservation Section Steering Committee Meeting and the Business Meeting Report are in this issue. If you have any questions about the topics discussed or would like to help out with some of the tasks we've set for ourselves, please contact me or any of the Committee Chairs. We're an ambitious group, but we all have "day jobs," and could use the assistance. If you haven't already, please take the time to complete the "Survey of Preservation Section Expertise and Needs." The information we receive from this survey will help us to serve you and the broader community better. You can also make sure we are the type of organization you want us to be by getting involved. Committee work is interesting, satisfying, and makes a nice addition to your resume.

Preservation Section members came up with four program proposals which were submitted for consideration for the 2001 meeting in Washington. We are also co-sponsoring two more proposals with other sections. Thank you to Linda Overman for coordinating this effort. If you're interested in learning about or discussing a topic, this is your chance! Put your idea into proposal form this summer. We have a problem with people being overwhelmed because the deadline to submit proposals comes very soon after the Annual Meeting and when folks are gearing up for Archives Week activities. Let's avoid the last-minute scramble next year. The Committee Chairs and I are looking forward to hearing from you.

Preservation Section Leadership

  • Sarah Talley, Chair (Utah State Archives & Records Administration)
  • Diana Vogt-O'Connor, Vice Chair/Chair-Elect (National Park Service) diana_vogt_o'
  • Pamela Hackbart-Dean, Chair, Nominating Committee (Georgia State University)
  • Glenda Stevens, Member-at-Large (Texas Christian University)
  • Clark Center, Member-at-Large (University of Alabama)
  • Cathy Lynn Mundale, Chair, Education Committee (Atlanta University)
  • Sheila McAlister, Chair, Outreach Committee (University of Georgia)
  • Julie Graham, Web Administrator (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Linda Overman, Chair, Program Committee (Alabama Department of Archives & History)
  • Elli Bambakidis Co-Chair Publications Committee (Dayton & Montgomery County Public Library)
  • Anke Voss-Hubbard, Co-Chair Publications Committee (Illinois Wesleyan University)
  • Clark Center & Anke Voss-Hubbard, Newsletter Co-editors
  • Thomas Connors, Council Liaison (University of Maryland)

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Society of American Archivists Preservation Publication Award

Congratulations! to Eleonore Kissel and Erin Vigneau, winners of the 2000 SAA Preservation Publication Award, for their publication: Architectural Photoreproductions: A Manual for Identification and Care. New Castle:Knoll Press, April 1999.

Now seeking nominations for 2001! The Preservation Publication Award recognizes the author(s) or editor(s) of an outstanding published work (audiovisual, electronic, or print; article, report, chapter, monograph) related to archives preservation published in North America during the preceeding year. The award, a certificate, is presented in late summer during SAA's annual meeting. Nominations must be postmarked by February 28, 2001. Requests for additional information should be addressed to: The Society of American Archivists, 527 S. Wells, 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60607 phone: (312) 922.0140 fax: (312) 347.1452. Nomination forms and additional information about the award are available at

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Preservation News and Deadlines

Moving Theory into Practice: Cornell's Digital Imaging Tutorial
As a follow-up to its book and workshop, Cornell University's Preservation & Conservation Department has now issued an online tutorial version of "Moving Theory into Practice: Digital Imaging for Libraries & Archives." The book, by Anne R. Kenney and Oya Y. Rieger, is available from RLG, see:>. The workshop continues into 2001, when it will be offered three times at Cornell: May 14-18 (registration begins December 15, 2000); July 23-27 (registration from March 1); and October 1-5 (registration from June 1). For further information on the workshop, see:

The National Park Service Museum Management Program announces the publication of the next supplement of the Conserve O Gram technical leaflets with leaflets on the following topics: * 19/21 Planning Digital Projects for Preservation and Access * 19/22 Managing Digital Projects for Preservation and Access * 02/12 Safe Techniques for Archival Surveying and Assessment *02/12 An Introduction to Respirator Use in Collections Management. The Leaflets will be posted shortly with the several hundred other Conserve O Gram leaflets on the Museum Management Program Web site of the National Park Service at:

While at the Web site, please take a few minutes to look at the other features, including: Additional Publications, such as: - Disaster Planning Primer for downloading - A Museum Management Bibliography with direct links to many publications on preservation; A Number of Online Exhibitions featuring NPS Collections and Activities, such as: - A New Lease on Life: Museum Conservation in the National Park Service - Legends of Tuskegee: Booker T Washington, The Tuskegee Airmen, and George Washington Carver - Camp Life: Civil War Collections from Gettysburg National Military Park - Symbols in Battle: Civil War Flags in NPS Collections - American Visionaries: Frederick Douglass - American Visionaries: Thomas Moran; Park Profiles, or Brief Summary Descriptions of the archival and museum collections in the parks; Treasures of the Nation, or a brief illustrated tour of some of the high points of NPS archival and museum collections."
Submitted by:Diane Vogt-O'Connor, National Park Service

The National Preservation Office (NPO) of the British Library website now contains some of NPO's preservation leaflets. The leaflets are available in PDF format at Paper copies of the same leaflets are available from the National Preservation Office, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB, England or email:

National Archives & Records Administration 16th Preservation Conference
The 16th Annual National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Preservation Conference 2001, A Case Oddity: Preserving the Physical Evidence of Artifacts and Records, is scheduled for March 27, 2001, National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD.

The 2001 conference will bring together conservation scientists, preservation professionals, archivists and records managers to discuss technical issues related to maintaining and handling artifacts and records found in holdings subjected to or subject to forensic examination.

Preregistration is required.The Registration Fee is $75.00 (Includes buffet lunch). Please send check payable to: National Archives Trust Fund and/or obtain registration information from: Eleanor Torain Conference Coordinator (NWT),8601 Adelphi Road, Room 2807,College Park, MD 20740-6001,phone: (301)713-6718 fax: (301)713-6653,email:

Niso Standards Available Online
All NISO standards and technical reports can now be downloaded as pdf files for no charge from the NISO website. From the NISO homepage ( click on the NISO Press icon, and then click on Standards, Books and Software. You can search for the title you want or review a list of all the approved and published NISO standards and technical reports. To my knowledge NISO is one of the few (if not the only) accredited standards developer in the U.S. making its standards freely available on the web. Your support as a Voting Member is making this possible. Thank you for allowing NISO to take the lead in supporting the widest possible distribution of our publications. NISO is continuing its print publication program and will continue to sell the hardcopy standards.

Submitted by Pat Harris, National Information Standards Organization (NISO)

Are you searching for preservation-related information? Do you need to locate a conservator? Are looking to update your training? Here are just a few of the many useful sites on the Web: AMIGOS Library Services:; American Institute for Conservation:; Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts:; Northeast Document Conservation Center:; SOLINET Southeastern Library Network:; Conservation Online:

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Preservation Section Steering Committee Meeting

August 30, 2000, Denver, Colorado

Those who attended: Pam HackbartDean (Chair), Clark Center, Elli Bambakidis, Julie Graham, Anke Voss-Hubbard, Sheila McAlister, Glenda Stevens, Sarah Talley

Participants introduced themselves. Pamela Hackbart-Dean announced election results for the 2000-2001 Steering Committee: The new Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect is Diane Vogt-O'Connor, new Member-At-Large is Glenda Stevens, and Evelyn Frangakis will serve on the Nominating Committee. The other members of the Nominating Committee are Sarah Wagner and Pam Hackbart-Dean. Clark Center will be serving the second year of his term as Member-At-Large.


Outreach Committee (Sheila McAlister):
The "Survey of Preservation Section Expertise and Needs" was published in Infinity. We only received four responses. Sheila brought fifty more to hand out at the business meeting and it's on our website. With the work of Julie Graham, the website is up and running. The new Selected Readings have been posted there in PDF format. There's also a survey about the website, but no responses have been received yet.

Publications Committee (Clark Center): The Committee completed Selected Readings in Preservation for 1999 and now the publication is up-to-date. We don't have a budget for printing or mailing, so it's on our website in HTML and PDF formats. Many people contributed and a lot of work was done by "dragooned" students. Julie Graham requests information be sent to her in MS Word for conversion to PDF format.

Education Committee (Glenda Stevens): Forms manual: The plan was to gather preservation policies and statements from various institutions and create a manual. The SAA Publications Committee said there was an SAA/ARMA committee already revising the forms manual, and suggested we pool our efforts. Policies have been submitted but the Publications Chair, David Haury says they're not quite ready for publication. They will be returning any policy statements they don't use to us, so we can put those on the website along with links to other policies on the web.

Workshops: Two preconference workshop proposals were submitted, but neither "made it." Only six people registered for each. Renetta Webb, the SAA Education Director, says they would be willing to do these again because people are still interested. This is an ongoing problem (preservation-related workshops haven't been held due to lack of registrants since Orlando in `98) and there was discussion of why. There are some problems with mailings and advertising on listservs, etc. Pamela Hackbart-Dean has discussed this problem with our Council liaison, Fynnette Eaton. Unfortunately, the SAA Acting Education Director Renetta Webb only works part time. Hopefully things will improve once this position has been filled. Various people gave examples of things not working when the SAA office advertises workshops, and successful workshops on the local and regional level. The high cost of SAA workshops compared to what regional organizations have been able to offer was discussed. Julie Graham asked how much lead-time we give SAA on advertising. It's anywhere from three to ten months' notice about workshops, so the problems don't come from timing. Clark Center asked which workshops went through and which didn't. There doesn't seem to be a pattern of popularity by subject. Education and Outreach will use information gathered from the survey to see if we can target audiences and topics better. The Education Committee would like names of applicants for the workshops that didn't fill up to see if it would be useful to have either workshop held in a particular region.

Preservation Management Institute: "Current Issues in Management and Practice" will be held October 27-29 in College Park, Maryland at a cost of $560 for members. This is a three-day version of the week-long institute held in the past.

Publications Fair: Ready to go. It will be held in the Exhibit Hall for the first time this year. For next year, Elli Bambakidis and Sheila McAlister suggested having demos of basic holdings maintenance or conservation procedures or have various specialists at the booth so SAA-goers can "ask an expert."

Program Committee (Sarah Talley for Linda Overman): There are several preservation-related programs being offered at the conference this year. The deadline to submit proposals to the SAA Program Committee for next year is October 6, which means Linda has to receive them by September 29. Proposals do better when they're submitted jointly with other sections. This also keeps down overlap. Timing is really difficult because folks only have about a week to recover from this meeting before we have to start planning the next one.


Online Archival Continuing Education Project: (Pamela Hackbart-Dean)
Richard Pearce-Moses is working on an NHPRC grant to deliver training online and wants to include a preservation component. This was one of the needs identified by the National Forum on Archival Continuing Education (NFACE) this year. Obviously, there can't be any hands-on work in this kind of training, which is a drawback. Pamela Hackbart-Dean distributed the proposal she wrote (which includes possible instructors). It's based on the three-week Preservation Institute. Instructors will teach to a test group of students, professionals, and archivists who have no background in preservation. Then they'll make the necessary adjustments and teach the course for real. The course will be held for 4 hours every Saturday morning for 8 weeks. There will then be time for discussion of available resources, as well as comments and questions. There is some concern about finding somebody qualified who's willing to give up 16 Saturdays. Sheila McAlister said that online courses are a little different and that there's a whole field of specialists and consultants out there. Other questions raised included, How will students and their assignments be checked on, will they have reading assignments ahead of time, etc.?

Standards Liaison: (Pam Hackbart-Dean) Kris Kiesling has asked for a section liaison to the Standards Committee because the majority of standards issued have to do with preservation. Since no one person in the section has expertise on everything, Julie Graham will be a filter - she'll be the liaison and then forward standards to the Steering Committee and anyone with specialized knowledge.

Operating Practices: (Pam Hackbart-Dean) These were written a long time ago and Pam believes the people who wrote them made a lot of assumptions that were never written down. They now include information on the newsletter editor and the website. She suggests that we review and revise the Practices after talk with former Steering Committee members to see what they remember about why things are done the way they are.

Newsletter Distribution: (Anke Voss-Hubbard) The situation is frustrating. There are 520 members in the Section, but the recent newsletter only went out to 411. Anke says that the Chicago office knew of mailing list problems but never shared this information with the newsletter editors. In the future there needs to be better communication with editors. An ongoing concern is also that SAA only supports the printing and distribution of 8 pages (16 sides) each year. This isn't enough room for articles, just official Section news. There was some discussion of applying for a grant or other means to support expanding coverage.

Elections: (Pam Hackbart-Dean) Only 11 people voted in the election of the Steering Committee this year. It would be nice to have contested elections, with candidate bios in the newsletter. Discussion followed about having election held at the annual meeting to generate interest and providing absentee ballots for those who can't attend. Since we don't have by-laws, we don't have to put this change in procedure to the Section for a vote (besides, the problem is that nobody's voting anyway). We need to assign a task force to evaluate the timing of our elections and the procedure and submit a report to the Steering Committee by February 1, 2001.

Distribution List/Listserv: (Anke Voss-Hubbard) Since the newsletter is so infrequent, the membership doesn't get news about deadlines and upcoming events in time to be useful. We could use e-mail to communicate time-sensitive information to section members. SAA could sign people up automatically when they join the section and the new members can choose to unsubscribe. Messages wouldn't be more frequent than monthly. People will feel involved. Committee strongly agrees that if it's a listserv, it should be moderated. NEDCC and other regional centers would love to have a targeted group like this to send workshop and grant announcements to. This seems to come under the heading of outreach, so Sheila McAlister will contact SAA to see what we can/may do. Pam Hackbart-Dean said the Congressional Papers Roundtable has done this and suggested talking to Todd Kosmerick (University of Oklahoma).

Committee Chairs/Appointments: (Sarah Talley) The Section Chair usually appoints committee chairs just before the end of their appointed term. Pam Hackbart-Dean wanted Sarah to have some say in the selection of people she'd be working with during her term, so we tried to get as many appointments made before the meeting as possible. Cathy Mundale is the new Education Committee Chair, to replace Glenda Stevens. Julie Graham, who had never been formally appointed, is now appointed Webmaster. Anke Voss-Hubbard and Clark Center are now Co-Editors of Infinity. No one had been appointed to the Publications Committee by the time of the meeting. Clark Center had been Chair, but since he's co-editing the newsletter and has another year left as Member-At-Large, we need to find somebody else. Anke Voss-Hubbard and Elli Bambakidis then volunteered and were appointed Co-Chairs of the Publications Committee.

Submitted by Sarah Talley, Utah State Archives & Records Service

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Preservation Section Business Meeting

September 1, 2000 - Denver, Colorado

After the Section's Steering Committee gave a report of its meeting (see page 3 hard copy), several presentations followed:

Charles C. Kolb updated members on the National Endowment for the Humanities'( new initiatives. A new Preservation Grant Program (the next submission deadline is April 3, 2001) will make awards nationwide, but as part of the Extending the Reach initiative special consideration will be given to applicants in jurisdictions that have been identified as underserved by the National Endowment for the Humanities. These jurisdictions include: Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

Richard Cameron of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission ( updated Section members on NHPRC's documentary editing and electronic records program, and SHRAB initiatives.

Section liaison, Fynette Eaton provided an update from the international initiative, InterPars (International Research and Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems) Project, ( She discussed the various domains of the initiative, including conceptual requirements to preserve authentic records, appraisal criteria, preservation procedures andrequirements, and the development of policies and standards.

What followed were presentations by Clark Center (University of Alabama) and Bryan Collars (South Carolina Department of Archives & History), on their experience of "Moving An Archives" at their institutions. The Business Meeting concluded with the following break-out sessions: Care of Audio/Visual materials (Sarah Talley), Educating Volunteers/Interns about preservation (Vanessa Simmons), General preservation challenges (Theresa Montgomery), and Moving an archives (Clark Center & Bryan Collars).

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ECURE Conference Examines Policy Questions

The ECURE 2000: Preservation and Access for Electronic University and College Records Conference, sponsored by Arizona State University, was held October 5 and 6, 2000. The conference website at is being updated with presentation slides and outlines.

Clifford A. Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, was the keynote speaker. Lynch focused on the explosion in the number and kinds of new records being generated in the digital age, and the questions they pose for university administrators. These range from selective retention of video-recorded classroom lectures, to preservation of dynamic Web sites, to the legal status of online documents and the use of institutional public key infrastructures. In addition, universities are generating data "that we are not sure we want to be records," Lynch said, citing the telemetry data from "smart" buildings as one example.

New policy issues are arising that will require a dialogue across the institution, Lynch said. "We have to fundamentally rethink a lot of what we're doing about records." Some universities are beginning to examine the need for metadata standards, he said. Issues of concern include integrity and provenance, and the methods by which data are captured. Standards will need to be generalized rather than institution-specific.

Though Y2K is behind us "and the world mostly hasn't ended," computer system architecture will continue to be of concern. "It is high time for really serious dialogue with the producers of those systems about what our requirements are in this area," Lynch said.

Dr. Lynch's presentation will be videostreamed through the ECURE website, and plans are underway for hosting ECURE 2001 next fall, according to conference co-chair Rob Spindler. Spindler added, "We believe ECURE is helping to increase recognition that effective recordkeeping is essential and that many professions bring necessary skills to the system design table."

Submitted by Kolleen Roberts, Arizona State University

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SAA Preservation Section Nomination Form

In 2001, the Preservation Section will elect the following officers: Vice Chair/Chair/Elect (the Vice Chair assumes the position of Chair after serving one year in the Vice Chair/Chair Elect position); a Member-at-Large (two-year term); and one Nominating Committee Member (two-year term). Please use this form to recommend individuals for consideration. Provide as much information as possible about each person, to assist the Nominating Committee in evaluating potential nominees. Attach additonal sheets if needed. Return this form by April 2, 2001, to Pamela Hackbart-Dean, Chair, Nominating Committee, Special Collections Department, Pullen Library, Georgia State University, 100 Decatur Street, SE, 8th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303-3202.

Your Name:

Your Work Address:

Your Work Phone:

Your Email:

Would you be interested in serving on a Preservation Section Committee?