Exhibits and Events Standing Committee

The Exhibits and Events Standing Committee (E2) serves as a nexus for learning, innovation, and collaboration for archives-centered exhibits and events. This committee will serve in an advisory role and collaborate with related committees both inside and outside SAA. The committee’s products are intended to benefit anyone engaged in these spheres of activity.

Committee Leadership (2021-2022):

  • Chair: Carlyn Osborn
  • Vice chair/Chair-elect: Francesca Marini
  • Past chair: Holly Robertston
  • Membership manager: Julie Judkins


To join this committee, please complete the E2 Membership Form

You can follow us on Twitter (@ExhibitsEvents) and connect with other E2 members in our Facebook group. All are welcome!


Several members of the Reference Access and Outreach Section of the Society of American Archivists led by Jill Severn, Amy Schindler, and Jessica Lacher Feldman proposed that the Reference Access and Outreach Chair and Steering Committee establish a new standing committee within the Section focused on exhibits and events.  This committee would  meet growing demand for training, scholarship, collaboration, and innovation in these spheres as many archival institutions move to embrace more significant and intentional outreach programs that include exhibits (both physical and digital) and public events and programs that are innovative, professional, and meaningful for diverse audiences. The proponents of this new standing committee assert that existing professional archival resources to support these spheres of outreach work are insufficient to meet current demand and, despite some foundational texts and some good public presentations on the theory and practice of archival exhibit and event development and design, cite the lack of a national professional entity that exists as a nexus for sustained dialogue, collaboration and innovation for these arenas. Furthermore, they point out, to get help and ideas for these endeavors, most archivists have to turn to museum or library organizations for assistance, but archival exhibits and events often have characteristics and interests that diverge from those developed by museums and libraries. Archives exhibits and events need archives-centered solutions, they conclude.  

E2 Scope of Activities:

The Exhibits and Events Committee (E2) will create a community of practice for those engaged in the exhibit and event spheres by:

  • Acting as a clearinghouse of information and ideas about relevant practices, training, scholarship, technology, and resources via RAO, SAA, and other interested allied organizations.
  • Promoting adoption of best practices in curation, design, execution, and assessment of exhibits and events.
  • Creating opportunities for creative and innovative collaboration and experimentation in developing exhibits and events. 
  • Fostering access to high-quality continuing education and training opportunities through conference programs, workshops, online learning, publications, and other avenues of professional engagement.
  • Advocating for the critical role that exhibits and events play in archival practice.
  • Providing an annual report to RAO and all interested parties.
  • Collaborating and communicating broadly with groups from SAA, AAM, RBMS, and other organizations

Communication and Documentation: 

  • E2 communicates information to members via email: saa-rao-exhibits-and-events-committee@googlegroups.com
  • The E2 group maintains a Facebook Group for E2 members.

  • The E2 group maintains a Google Drive area for storage of resourcebank materials, minutes, team project materials, rosters, and foundational documents. 

  • The vice-chair of E2, who leads the communication team, maintains the email list. Changes of member contact information should be directed to this individual. The vice-chair also invites new members to the Facebook group and provides access to the committee's Google Drive folder. 

Committee Activities: E2 maintains several committees that work on projects of importance to the mission and interests of the committee.

E2 Communications Team: This is an ongoing project. The initial agenda for this team is to develop, implement, and maintain a strategy to communicate E2 activities, pursuits, and interests to each other and to the wider world via articles in the RAO newsletter, the SAA newsletter and In the Loop, the RAO Section listserv, the E2 listserv, relevant blogs, and skywriting if opportunity presents itself. 

2019-2020 Member Roster:

E2 Resource Bank Team: This is an ongoing project to create something like a SPEC Kit  that would bring together relevant examples of E2-related policies, procedures, contracts, MOUs, personnel information (position descriptions, job advertisements, language to describe E2 activities effectively for cv, cover letters, and promotion documents), and other germane materials. The initial agenda for the team working on this would be to create a scope document outlining the resources needed and to develop and implement a strategy to collect examples of materials that would be housed in the E2 Google Drive folder, or possibly on the RAO E2 Web space and which will be chiefly an internal resource for members of this group.  

2019-2020 Member Roster

E2 Bibliography Team: This is an ongoing project to create and maintain a  bibliography of E2-related lit like RAO’s Bibliography of Teaching with Primary Sources Literature.  The initial agenda for this team would be to determine a platform for maintaining the bibliography (RAO TPS uses Zotero and RAO’s E-Records committee used html), determine if it is useful to ingest the references cited in Jessica Lacher-Feldman’s Exhibits in Archives and Special Collections Libraries into the platform, gather and upload literature published  since the work’s publication.

2019-2020 Member Roster: 

E2 Foundational Documents Team: This is an ongoing project that will explore the theoretical and practical underpinnings of exhibits and events work in the context of Archives.  What are the characteristics of our practices, products, training, and professional position?  What measures of impact and efficacy apply to us and our work?   What education and training is required, recommended, desired?   What do we share with allied professions / professionals and what is distinct?  This committee’s initial activities should frame a series of “white paper” This-We-Believe projects and determine which to work on first and then develop a work plan to develop these resource documents. This committee will work closely with the other project teams to ensure that the work is shared appropriately and broadly among members and beyond.  

2019-2020 Member Roster

E2 Annual Meetings: E2 plans and hosts a face-to-face and/or virtual annual meeting in association with the Society of American Archivists annual meeting each year. When resources allow, all or part of the E2 annual meeting will include a virtual access component.

2019-2020 Member Roster

  • Jill Severn - Team Leader
  • Holly Robertson
  • Jessica Lacher-Feldman
  • Pam Hackbart Dean

E2 Standing Rules: 

Membership: Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the activities and goals of the Exhibits and Events Standing Committee and who agree to abide by the Code of Ethics of the Society of American Archivists.  E2 operates under the aegis of the Reference Access and Outreach Section of the Society of American Archivists and thus all members are subject to the code of ethics of its parent bodies.  Committee members will be solicited primarily, but not exclusively, from the SAA RAO Section membership. Committee Chairs/Co-chairs will be appointed by the SAA RAO Chair. Non-SAA members may join the committee by completing  the: E2 Membership Form. They may also keep abreast of E2 activities by joining the RAO listserv by first creating an SAA profile (profile is free and does not require membership in the organization. Non-members may subscribe and post to section listservs just as members do by following the instructions below: 

  1. Visit the SAA website and create an SAA profile to manage subscriptions.
  2. Navigate to the RAO Section microsite.
  3. Clicking the join/leave link from the menu just below the RAO section name.
  4. This will subscribe you to the section’s discussion list.
  5. Adjustments to subscriptions can be made at http://saa.archivists.org/4DCGI/person/ListServ.html.

For questions about membership, annual meetings, and projects, please contact the current E2 Chair. 

Governance: Leadership of the E2 Standing Committee  is shared by the  current chair, the chair-elect/vice-chair, and the past chair.


  • Vice chair/chair-elect manages the communications team of E2 and should be able to attend the annual meeting during their term as chair. 
  • Chair oversees all aspects of planning and activities for the annual conference during their term. 
  • Past chair oversees all actitivies associated with appointing or electing a new vice chair. 

Elections and Appointment of Leadership

  • Appointment/election of vice-chair/chair elect begins with the past chair putting  a call out to current members in September for applicants to serve as vice chair/chair elect. Applicants will provide verification that 1) they are members in good standing with SAA and the RAO section, 2) that they can attend the annual meeting during the year they serve as chair, and 3) outline their interest in serving. 

  • If more than one person applies, then the past chair will oversee an election process. The new vice-chair position will begin on or before September 30. 

Appointment of Project Team Leaders: 

  • Project team leaders volunteer to serve for 1 term with the option to renew for additional years if chair and vice-chair are in accord with the extension. Project team leaders do not have to be members of RAO or SAA. 



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