2020 Annual Meeting Minutes


Society of American Archivists
Science, Technology, and Health Care Section

Thursday, August 20, 2020
1:00 PM-2:15 PM CDT


Business Meeting, 25 minutes:

SAA Council Liaison report (Petrina Jackson)

               At its August 3 virtual meeting, the SAA Council:

·        Approved significant revisions to the Core Values of Archivists and Code of Ethics for Archivists.

·        Agreed to support and pursue a requirement for elected and appointed SAA positions to submit a diversity statement, devlop guidelines and mentorship on creating diversity statements.

·        Selected Amy Cooper Cary to serve as Editor of American Archivist for a three-year term beginning January 1, 2021

·        Approved a description of the newly created Crisis, Disaster, and Tragedy Response Working Group, formed on the recommendation of the Tragedy Response Initiative Task Force.  A call for volunteers for this group will be issued immediately following the Annual Meeting.

·        Elected Lisa Mangiafico to serve a three-year term as a Class B member of the SAA Foundation Board of Directors, beginning August 14, 2021.

·        Approved a petition to form a new student chapter at North Carolina Central University.

·        Discussed a recommendation from the Committee on Public Policy about SAA’s involvement in the Ahmad vs University of Michigan case, and agreed to support COPP and the Committee on Public Awareness in providing information and sponsoring educational programming inspired by this and other court cases that address the status of personal papers held by public institutions.

·        Briefly discussed a recommendation from the American Archivist Editorial Board that the Council form two task forces, one on professional mediation, facilitation, and conflict management and the second on publication ethics. 


Welcome by section co-chairs (Jennifer Ulrich & Jennifer Langford)


Approval of 2019 meeting minutes (Jennifer Ulrich)

            Minutes of the 2018 STHC Business Meeting were approved unanimously.


Archival Elements newsletter report (Jennifer Langford)

The newsletter is delayed. This year’s issue will be small, which is to be expected, given the COVID-19 situation. Although the deadline was extended and the call was amended to request COVID-19 related submissions, few articles were received. STHC are encouraged to participate in next year’s issue. The assistance of the newsletter committee members, Peter Collopy and Nora Zaldivar, was greatly appreciated.


STHC website report

            No report given; not much website activity.


STHC listserv report (Jennifer Ulrich)

            258 section members

            60 discussion threads


Steering Committee/Leadership changes (Jennifer Ulrich)


·       Gabrielle Barr has been elected to serve as Junior Co-Chair of the STHC Steering Committee  

·       Brandon Pieczko has been elected as STHC Steering Committee Member at Large

·       DiAnna Hemsath has been elected STHC Steering Committee Member at Large and was appointed to serve as Website Liaison

·       Alison Oswald completed her term as immediate past chair

·       Elizabeth Shepard resigned as Member at Large

·       David Krah resigned as Web Liaison

·       Nora Zaldivar was nominated by the Steering Committee as Newsletter Committee member.



Old/New Business (Jennifer Ulrich)

                        DNA as a record

This initiative has been rejected by the SAA Executive Committee due to the “wide scope, large size, and additional organizations needed for the project.”

                        Unsung Heroes

This year, no new entries were received for the project. The Section is interested in revitalizing the project, and encourages Section members to contact the co-chairs with ideas for the project.


The Business Meeting was adjourned and the panel discussions began immediately after.


Program: Panelists questions, 50 minutes:

1.     How are STHC institutions collecting and/or documenting COVID-19?

Speakers will offer their own examples and the challenges. 5-10 minutes
Discussion will follow in Zoom breakout rooms


Collecting COVID-19’s Impact on NC State University

Todd Kosmerick, University Archivist, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries.


Collecting COVID-19 Material at a Medical University       

DiAnna Hemsath, Archivist and Assistant Professor, McGoogan Health Science Library, University of Nebraska Medical Center


2.     How are STHC archives addressing white supremacy and patriarchy in their collections and parent institutions? 5-10 minutes. 

Discussion will follow in Zoom breakout rooms.


Eugenics and Commemoration in Science Archives

Peter Collopy, University Archivist and Head of Special Collections, California Institute of Technology


Recovering Diverse Voices: Women Inventors       

Alison Oswald, Archivist, Archives Center and Lemelson Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Answer chat: 5 minutes (co-chairs)

Breakout: 10 minutes (STHC steering committee)


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Society of American Archivists
Science, Technology, and Health Care Section