Standing Rules

Society of American Archivists
Visual Materials Section



Article  1. Name.

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

Article 2. Objective.

To promote greater communication among visual materials archivists and to represent and promote appropriate care, management, and use of visual materials collections to the greater archival community through annual meetings, continuing education programs, and publications, including a newsletter, web site, and appropriate social media, reporting on the Section's activities and other matters related to visual materials 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. 

These standing rules of the Visual Materials 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. 

Article 5. Leadership.

  1. The Section shall be guided by a Steering Committee composed of Chair, Chair-elect, Immediate Past Chair, elected members-at-large, and Committee Chairs.
  2. Terms of office.
    1. The Chair and Chair-elect shall serve a term of one year each.  The Chair may not be elected to serve as Chair-elect in the year immediately following his/her  term of office.
    2. The three elected  Steering  Committee members  shall serve alternating three year terms.
    3. The Communications Coordinator, Views Editor and Webmaster are appointed by the Chair, with advice from the Steering Committee, to a two year term each, which  can be renewed  indefinitely.
    4. The Chair, Chair-elect, and elected  Steering Committee members  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.
  3. Nomination and Election.
    1. Nomination
      1. The Elections Working Group shall call for nominations for Chair-elect and Member-at-large on the Section listservs  and the Section website.
      2. Only individuals who have consented to nomination may be listed on the slate of candidates.
    2. Election.
      1. The Elections Working Group shall prepare a ballot for distribution through SAA electronic channels. This ballot shall include provision for a write-in candidate.
      2. 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.

    3. Vacancies  in Office.
      1. Chair. In the case of vacancy in the office of Chair, the Chair-elect shall assume the office and duties of Chair.
      2. Chair-elect. In the case of vacancy  in the office  of Chair-elect, the office  shall remain vacant  until the next annual Section meeting,  at which time a new Chair and Chair-elect shall be elected.  The Chair shall assume the duties of Chair-elect in the interim,  although the Chair may ask a member  of the Section to assist in fulfilling the duties of Chair-elect.
      3. Member-at-Large. In the case of a vacany, the Chair, guided by the Steering Committee, shall appoint a replacement who shall fill the position to the end of that position's next Section election cycle. The elected replacement shall serve for either the full term of three years if elected during the year of that member's end of term, or a portion of the term if elected during a year when that Member-at-large position would not come up for election.
  4. Duties of the Officers.
    1. Chair. The Chair shall preside over Section  meetings, and with the advice and assistance  of the Steering Committee and Working  Group Chairs,  shall direct the Section's  activities. The Chair, with advice of the Steering  Committee, appoints Committee and Working  Group Chairs  and Liaisons;  submits the final Long Range Plan and summary to SAA Council  after receiving a draft from the Long Range Plan Working  Group chaired  by the Chair-elect; submits  budget requests  to SAA Council; and turns over the records of his/her  administration to the Chair-elect. After the annual Section meeting, the Chair gathers reports from committee and working group leaders and submits a final annual Section report to the Section's Council liaison. 
    2. The Chair-elect shall advise and assist the Chair in conducting the Section's business.  In the absence  of the Chair, the Chair-elect assumes  the duties of Chair. The Chair-elect leads the Long Range Plan Working Group and submit  a draft plan to the Chair for approval  and submission to SAA Council. The Chair-elect leads program planning for the annual meeting.

Article 6. Business.

  1. Meeting times.  The Section  shall meet 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 on the Section listserv and Section website at least three weeks in advance of the meeting.
  2. Other meetings.  Additional  Section meetings  may be scheduled at the call of the Chair. Such meetings  shall be announced on the VisualMat listserv, the SAA Section  listserv, and the Section  website.
    1. Such meetings shall be announced on the Section listserv and the Section website.
    2. A report of a meeting  called by the Chair must be posted on the Section web site within three weeks following the meeting.
    3. Decisions proposed  during any meeting  called by the Chair must be posted on the Section  web site immediately following the meeting,  and approved by the membership at large during the annual election 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. 
  3. Voting.  All policy decisions shall be determined by a plurality of members in an online vote. Voting in these cases shall be coordinated by the Chair and Chair-elect with guidance from the Steering Committee, and will be communicated clearly and in a timely manner to the membership by means of the Section membership listserv and the website. For elections voting, see Article 5.C.2.

Article 7. Committees and Working Groups.

  1. The Chair may appoint or dissolve Committees (ongoing) and Working Groups (ad hoc) as needed. Each Committee and Working Group shall have a written charge; Working Groups shall also have a specified period of service. Committees and Working Groups shall report on their activities at the annual Section meeting and on the Section website prior to the annual meeting.
  2. Elections  Working  Group.
    1. The Elections Working Group shall consist  of the two most recent, available, past Chairs and should include the Immediate Past Chair if possible. Members  of the Working  Group shall serve for no more than two consecutive years. Members  of the Working  Group may not nominate  themselves or each other for office.
    2. The Working  Group  shall prepare  a slate of candidates  for election  reflecting the diversity  of the Section's  membership, especially in terms  of location,  size, and type of employing institution. The Working  Group  shall request of nominees consent to candidacy and a brief biographical and position  statement for posting on the Section web site immediately preceding the annual Section meeting. The annual election is 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.
  3. Communications Committee.
    1. The Communications Coordinator is the Chair of the Committee as appointed by the Section Chair.
    2. The Views Editor is appointed by the Chair in consultation with the  Communications Coordinator. The Editor  may appoint  assistant  Editors from among the Section members.  Prior to publication, the newsletter shall be prepared and reviewed  by the Editor and Assistants  and forwarded to the Section  Chair for approval.
    3. The Webmaster is appointed by the Chair in consultation with the Communications Coordinator. The Webmaster may appoint  assistant Webmasters from among the Section  members.  The Webmaster is responsible for posting time sensitive  announcements on the website  in a timely  manner.
    4. The Views, website  and other social media shall be published  in compliance with the SAA Guidelines for Sections.
  4. Cataloging and Access Committee (VMCAC)
    1. The Visual Materials Cataloging and Access Committee (VMCAC) provides a forum for archivists and others working with visual collections to discuss cataloging and access issues including, but not limited to, description methods, digitization, cataloging tools and standards, and other esoteric topics. 
    2. VMCAC shall be an ongoing contributor to VMS's newsletter, Views, with a column, "Voices from VMCAC," dedicated to VMCAC member projects and contributions. 
    3. The VMCAC chair shall be appointed by the VMS chair annually and shall serve on the VMS Steering Committee.

Article 8. Policy for Revision of Standing Rules.

Standing Rules shall be reviewed every 4 years by the Steering Committee and Working Group members. All proposed changes to the standing rules shall be distributed via the Section listserv and posted on the Section web site 30 days prior to the annual section election. Proposed revisions to the standing rules will appear on the section's annual election ballot for final approval by a simple majority of the section's membership.

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 final approval by a simple majority of voters. 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. Parliamentary Authority.

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


Last Adopted 1990 August 31, Seattle, Washington; Revised, 2004 January, Boston, Massachusetts; Revisions adopted, 2004 August, Boston, Massachusetts; Revisions adopted, August 2008; Revised, February 2009; Revised, July 2012; Revisions Adopted, August 2012. Updated per the member affinity group transition approved by the Council, August 2016. Revisions approved July 2018. Cataloging and Access Committee created/approved November 2018. 

Visual Materials Section_Standing Rules_2018 Proposed Revisions.pdf155.42 KB
VisualMaterialsSectionBylaws2012.pdf176.09 KB