Meeting Minutes: August 16, 2013, New Orleans, LA

Society of American Archivists

Women’s Collections Roundtable

August 16, 2013, 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Grand Salon 19/22

New Orleans, LA



Alexandra Krensky | Co-Chair

Elizabeth Novara | Co-Chair

Tali Beesley | Vice Co-Chair

Helice Koffler | Vice Co-Chair (absent)

Stephanie Bayless | Incoming Vice Co-Chair

Leslie Fields | Incoming Vice Co-Chair (absent)


Welcome and Introductions

  • We began with a welcome and brief introductions, asking everyone to sign in.




Alexandra Krensky

History Associates


Elizabeth Novara

University of Maryland


Tali Beesley

Historical Resource Center,

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Vice Co-Chair

Stephanie Bayless

Butler Center

Incoming Vice Co-Chair

Anna Gurton-Wachter


Beth Ann Koelsch

UNC Greensboro

Courtney Dean


Deborah Richards

Smith College Archives

Derek Webb

Mississippi University for Women

Donna McCrea

U Montana

Doris Malkmus

Penn State

Emilyn L. Brown

Schlesinger Library

Fernanda Perrone


Janice E. Ruth


Jolene Beiser

Pacifica Radio Archives

Laura Peimer

Schlesinger Library

Lisa Magiafico

Soroptimist International of the Americas

Lucinda Manning

Consulting Archivist

Mark Vassar

Schlesinger Library

Martha Tenney


Rachel Binnington

Landscape Institute

Rebecca Johnson Melvin

U Delaware

Sam Crisp


Shannon ONeill


Sherrie Bowser

Virginia Tech

Susan Earle

Schlesinger Library

Susan Tucker


Weatherly Stephan



Introduction of New Officers

  • We then introduced our new officers, Stephanie Bayless (present) and Leslie Fields (absent).

Old Business

  • By-Laws Committee

    • We thanked our by-laws committee, Alexandra Krensky, Elizabeth Novara, Tali Beesley, Helice Koffler, Bethany Anderson, and Kate Colligan for drafting the by-laws, which were ratified by a unanimous vote before the meeting.

  • WCRT Bibliography

    • We reminded members about the WCRT bibliography, which is a selection of published works that discuss archival theory and practice in relation to women’s archives/collections. If anyone has anything to add to the bibliography, please send it to either Tali Beesley ( or Helice Koffler (

  • WCRT Social Media

    • We discussed the need for creating a LinkedIn group, which Beesley said she would be willing to create. We discussed whether it’s important to not be redundant by placing the same posts in numerous places and there seemed to be a consensus that it was okay to be redundant. There was a discussion about which social media platform is the most conducive for asking questions, as some members have not been getting responses to their questions on the list-serv. The idea was brought up that it may be useful if we see that someone is not getting a response on the list-serv to move the question to one of the other platforms. It was also mentioned that if people are not receiving the list-serv messages, that they may need to check their settings with SAA.

    • WCRT Blog - the leadership will be reaching out to members in the future and asking that they contribute to the blog during a certain month. Leadership sent around a sign-up sheet asking for volunteers.

New Business

  • Session proposals – due September 30th – The theme is Ensuring Access 

    • We learned that the next SAA’s council is hoping to promote more innovation in session types, and that they encourage us to be creative in our types of proposals. The session blocks will be a maximum of 75 minutes

    • Beth Ann Koelsch (UNC Greensboro) and Sherri Bowser (Virginia Tech) are considering creating a session on challenges and successes in processing/promoting women’s collections in traditionally male fields (e.g. women in the military, women architects). They are open to input and to people who would like to join the proposal.

  • The co-chairs asked for ideas for speakers for the next meeting:

    • Invite people from the area.  A way to see the place that we're in.

      • Someone from the National Women's Museum

      • Reach out to Associations in DC with large women’s membership

      • Gayle McCormick

      • DC Metro Library and their local history – also active in LGBT issues

  • Report from SAA Council

    • Each section has an official liaison with the council, ours is Lisa Magiafico

    • This year, the council

      • adopted practices for improving the annual meeting

      • created an advocacy and public policy committee

      • encourages us to look at draft of the action items that are part of the strategic plan

News and Updates from the group

  • Pacifica Radio Archives – digitizing recordings related to the women's movement

    • 1963-1982

    • Interviews with women who are leaders in the women's movement such as Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, as well as recordings of consciousness raising groups, authors, women's music/festivals, lesbian separatists, radical feminists, women in film, movies about women, documentaries about the suffragettes

    • digitized folio collections

    • in touch with some historians

    • creating a long-term preservation plan

      • should get in contact with Tom Dublin @ Berkeley

  • Greensboro, November 9th – Annual Women's Veteran Event

Questions that came out of Women's Archive Symposium

  • How to encourage more women to submit proposals for technology sessions?

    • Some attendees said when they saw the proposal they didn't know what the session would be about, or felt intimidated – especially by the word “innovative.”

    • Attendees reflected that after they went to the symposium they realized they are doing work worth talking about, and that it’s nice to have a history of sessions to be able to look at to see if your idea would fall in line with the history of the symposium. There seemed to be general consensus that attendees would be interested in going to and presenting at another symposium either in the coming year or in the following year.

    • The leaders of the symposium were impressed with the turnout, and felt it was largely due to the fact that they didn’t charge. For a future symposium, it would be helpful to have an institution willing to host in their space and provide funding. Some folks brought up the possibilities of corporate sponsorship and its benefits.

    • If people who presented at the conference want to publicize their work, the WCRT is willing to post the materials to the blog and/or Facebook.

    • Possible topics for another symposium include focusing on who the users of women’s collections are.


  • We discussed the similarities and differences in mission between WCRT and WAR and whether there are ways to promote synergies between the two groups. Some attendees felt WAR should morph into more of an advocacy group. Some attendees felt that the two should remain distinct groups but that they should hold meetings together so as to not make attendees choose between meetings.

We also had a break where beignets were served and attendees were given a chance to network and discuss ideas for future proposals.