Exhibits and Events Standing Committee

The Reference Access and Outreach (RAO) Section of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) has established a new standing committee, the Exhibits and Events Committee (E2), and we are recruiting potential members through December 13, 2017.  Visit https://goo.gl/X9r18i to volunteer.


Background and rationale for the establishment of E2:

Several members of the Reference Access and Outreach (RAO) 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 programming  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. Archival 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 both within and outside the archival profession.

●      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


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.


E2 Membership Guidelines

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 volunteer to serve on the committee and should use the volunteer link above.  They may also keep abreast of E2 activities by joining the RAO listserv.


Creating an SAA profile is free and does not require membership

Non-members may subscribe and post to section listservs just as members do by:


  1. Visiting  the SAA website and creating an SAA profile to manage subscriptions,
  2. Navigating 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?


If you have any questions, feel free to contact the committee’s co-chairs:


Jill Severn




Amy Schindler




Jessica Lacher-Feldman


We look forward to hearing from you by December 13, 2017.  See https://goo.gl/X9r18i to volunteer.





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