Presidential Addresses


Having the entire backrun of American Archivist available online allows for the "collecting" of articles in new and intriguing ways. This first collection of journal articles consists of SAA presidential addresses—more than 70 have been published in the association's journal of record. Presented in chronological order by title, subjects run the gamut and reflect the prevailing socio-cultural forces of the time. Read them and imagine these leaders presenting their ideas in front of packed audiences during SAA's annual meetings. Hear, hear!



The Archivist in American Scholarship
American Archivist, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 217–224
Albert Newsome
1st President, 1936–1939, University of North Carolina
The Archivist in Times of Emergency
American Archivist, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 1–12
Historians and Archivists in the First World War
American Archivist, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 1–17
Waldo Gifford Leland
2nd President, 1939–1941, American Council of Learned Societies
Adventures of an Amateur Archivist
American Archivist, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 1–18
Robert D.W. Connor
3rd President, 1941–1943, National Archives and Records Administration
Some Legal Aspects of Archives
American Archivist, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 1–11
Margaret Cross Norton
4th President, 1943–1945, Illinois State Library
The Archivist's "One World"
American Archivist, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 9–24
Solon J. Buck
5th President, 1945–1947, National Archives and Records Administration
The Archivist as a Public Servant
American Archivist, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 3–8
Christopher Crittenden
6th President, 1947–1949, North Carolina Department of Archives and History
Archivists and Their Colleagues: Common Denominators
American Archivist, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 3–45
Philip C. Brooks
7th President, 1949–1951, National Security Resources Board
The Value of Records
American Archivist, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 3–11
William D. McCain
8th President, 1951–1953, Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Archives: Society and Profession
American Archivist, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 3–10
Wayne C. Grover
9th President, 1953–1954, National Archives and Records Administration
What Should Bind Us Together
American Archivist, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 3–9
Morris L. Radoff
10th President, 1954–1955, Maryland Hall of Records
What, Then, Is the American Archivist, This New Man?
American Archivist, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 3–11
Ernst M. Posner
11th President, 1955–1956, American University
Tardy Scholars Among the Archivists
American Archivist, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 3–16
Lester J. Cappon
12th President, 1956–1957, Institute of Early American History and Culture
The Pendulum Swings
American Archivist, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 3–10
William D. Overman
13th President, 1957–1958, Firestone Library
"Public Records"—Who Knows What They Are?
American Archivist, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 3–26
Oliver Wendell Holmes
14th President, 1958–1959, National Archives and Records Administration
Changing Times
American Archivist, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 3–10
Mary Givens Bryan
15th President, 1959–1960, Georgia State Archives
". . . authentic Documents tending to elucidate our History"
American Archivist, Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 3–13
Philip M. Hamer
16th President, 1960–1961, National Historical Publications Commission
The Management of Archival Institutions
American Archivist, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 3–10
Robert H. Bahmer
17th President, 1961–1962, National Archives and Records Administration
Horizons Unlimited
American Archivist, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 3–13
Leon deValinger, Jr.
18th President, 1962–1963, Delaware State Archives
Still To Be Done
American Archivist, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 3–17
Everett O. Alldredge
19th President, 1963–1964, National Archives and Records Administration
The Changing Role of the Archivist
American Archivist, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 3–10
W. Kaye Lamb
20th President, 1964–1965, Public Archives of Canada
The Archivist's Challenge: To Lead—or Not To Lead
American Archivist, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 5–16
Dorothy C. Renze
21st President, 1965–1966, Colorado State Archives
Archival Janus: The Records Center
American Archivist, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 5–12
Herbert E. Angel
22nd President, 1966–1967, National Archives and Records Administration
The Archivist and Service
American Archivist, Vol. 32, No. 1, pp. 5–9
Clifford K. Shipton
23rd President, 1967–1968, Harvard University
Not available
H.G. Jones
24th President, 1968–1969, North Carolina Department of Archives and History
Some Comments on the Archival Vocation
American Archivist, Vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 3–12
Herman Kahn
25th President, 1969–1970, Yale University
The Society of American Archivists at the Crossroads
American Archivist, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 5–11
Philip P. Mason
26th President, 1970–1971, Wayne State University
Person, Places, and Papers: The Joys of Being An Archivist
American Archivist, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 5–14
Charles E. Lee
27th President, 1971–1972, South Carolina Department of Archives and History
Broad Horizons: Opportunities for Archivists
American Archivist, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 3–14
Wilfred I. Smith
28th President, 1972–1973, Public Archives of Canada
The Archival Edge
American Archivist, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 5–13
F. Gerald Ham
29th President, 1973–1974, State Historical Society of Wisconsin
One Man's Hopes for His Society, His Profession, His Country
American Archivist, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 5–13
James B. Rhoads
30th President, 1974–1975, National Archives and Records Administration
A Becoming Regard to Posterity
American Archivist, Vol. 40, No. 1, pp. 5–15
Elizabeth Hamer Kegan
31st President, 1975–1976, Library of Congress
The Prologue is Past
American Archivist, Vol. 41, No. 1, pp. 5–15
Robert M. Warner
32nd President, 1976–1977, University of Michigan
Photographs as Historical Evidence: Early Texas Oil
American Archivist, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 373–398
Walter Rundell, Jr.
33rd President, 1977–1978, University of Maryland
American Archivist, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 18–11
Documentary Art and the Role of the Archivist
American Archivist, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 417–428
34th President, 1978–1979, Public Archives of Canada
Academic Archives: Überlieferungsbildung
American Archivist, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 449–460
Maynard Brichford
35th President, 1979–1980, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Three Pious Hopes
American Archivist, Vol. 44, No. 1, pp. 12–14
Education for American Archivists: A View from the Trenches
The American Archivist, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 295–303
36th President, 1980–1981, Case Western Reserve University
Archives and the Challenges of Change
American Archivist, Vol. 46, No. 2, pp. 125–134
Edward Weldon
37th President, 1981–1982, National Archives and Records Administration
A Time to Take Stock
American Archivist, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 8–13
The Blessings of Providence on an Association of Archivists
The American Archivist, Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 374–399
38th President, 1982–1983, University of Wisconsin
Archives and Society: The First Archival Revolution?
American Archivist, Vol. 47, No. 1, pp. 6–10
Our Future is Now
American Archivist, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 12–21
39th President, 1983–1984, Texas State Archives
Not available
Andrea Hinding
40th President, 1984–1985, University of Minnesota
With Feathers
American Archivist, Vol. 49, No. 1, pp. 4–8
Shonnie Finnegan
41st President, 1985–1986, State University of New York at Buffalo
An Uneasy, Balance: Voluntarism and Professionalism
American Archivist, Vol. 50, No. 1, pp. 6–10
Archival Education: Two Fables
American Archivist, Vol. 51, Nos. 1˗2, pp. 16–22
42nd President, 19861987, Princeton University
Searching for Common Ground
American Archivist, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 144–151
Sue E. Holbert
43rd President, 1987–1988, Minnesota Historical Society
American Archives, 1959–89: A Personal Perspective
American Archivist, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 12–21
Frank B. Evans
44th President, 1988–1989, National Archives and Records Administration
"Dear Mary Jane": Some Reflections on Being an Archivist
American Archivist, Vol. 54, No. 1, pp. 8–13
John A. Fleckner
45th President, 1989–1990, Smithsonian Institution
Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic: Speculations on Change in Research Processes
American Archivist, Vol. 55, No. 3, pp. 414–419
Trudy H. Peterson
46th President, 1990–1991, National Archives and Records Administration
Letting Sleeping Dogmas Lie
American Archivist, Vol. 55, No. 4, pp. 530–537
Frank G. Burke
47th President, 1991–1992, University of Maryland
Shaping the Future: SAA Leadership in a Changing World
American Archivist, Vol. 56, No. 4, pp. 576–584
Anne R. Kenney
48th President, 1992–1993, Cornell University
Expanding the Foundation
American Archivist, Vol. 58, No. 1, pp. 10–15
Edie Hedlin
49th President, 1993–1994, Consultant
On Being an Archivist
American Archivist, Vol. 59, No. 1, pp. 6–13
Maygene Daniels
50th President, 1994–1995, National Gallery of Art
Seeing the Past as Guidepost to Our Future
American Archivist, Vol. 59, No. 4, pp. 392–399
Brenda S. Banks
51st President, 1995–1996, Georgia Department of Archives and History
The Society: From Birth to Maturity
American Archivist, Vol. 61, No. 1, pp. 12–35
Nicholas C. Burckel
52nd President, 1996–1997, Marquette University
Archives, Archivists, and Society
American Archivist, Vol. 61, No. 2, pp. 252–265
William J. Maher
53rd President, 1997–1998, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Meeting the Challenge of Contemporary Records: Does It Require a Role Change for the Archivist?
American Archivist, Vol. 63, No. 1, pp. 7–14
Luciana Duranti
54th President, 1998–1999, University of British Columbia
Ten Challenges for the Archival Profession
American Archivist, Vol. 64, No. 1, pp. 6–16
H. Thomas Hickerson
55th President, 1999–2000, Cornell University
Reimagining Archives: Two Tales for the Information Age
American Archivist, Vol. 65, No. 1, pp. 9–23
Leon J. Stout
56th President, 2000–2001, Pennsylvania State University
Revisiting Mary Jane, or, Dear Cat: Being Archival in the 21st Century
American Archivist, Vol. 65, No. 2, pp. 168–175
Steven L. Hensen
57th President, 2001–2002, Duke University
Archives or Assets?
American Archivist, Vol. 66, No. 2, pp.235–247
Peter B. Hirtle
58th President, 2002–2003, Cornell University Library
Building Our Own "Iron Curtain": The Emergence of Secrecy in American Government
American Archivist, Vol. 68, No. 1, pp. 18–52
Timothy L. Ericson
59th President, 2003–2004, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Embracing the Power of Archives
American Archivist, Vol. 69, No. 1, pp. 19–32
Randall C. Jimerson
60th President, 2004–2005, Western Washington University
Janus in Cyberspace: Archives on the Threshold of the Digital Era
American Archivist, Vol. 70, No. 1, pp. 13–22
Richard Pearce-Moses
61st President, 2005–2006, Arizona State Library Archives and Public Records
Our Journey Toward Diversity—and a Call to (More) Action
American Archivist, Vol. 71, No. 1, pp. 21–49
Elizabeth Adkins
62nd President, 2006–2007, Ford Motor Company Archive
The Power of Archives: Archivists' Values and Value in the Postmodern Age
American Archivist, Vol. 72, No. 1, pp. 17–41
Mark A. Greene
63rd President, 2007–2008, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming
But a Thin Veil of Paper
American Archivist, Vol. 73, No. 1, pp. 19–25
Frank J. Boles
64th President, 2008–2009, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
Unifying the Archival Profession: A Proposal
American Archivist, Vol. 74, No. 1, pp. 26–37
Peter Gottlieb
65th President, 2009–2010, Archives Division, Wisconsin Historical Society
On the Occasion of SAA's Diamond Jubilee: A Profession Coming of Age in the Digital Era
American Archivist, Vol. 75, No. 1, pp. 17–34
Helen R. Tibbo
66th President, 2010–2011, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Archival Profession and Future Challenges
American Archivist, Vol. 76, No. 1, pp. 10–18
Gregor Trinkaus-Randall
67th President, 2011–2012, Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners
Feeding Our Young
American Archivist, Vol. 77, No. 1, pp. 10–22
Jackie Dooley
68th President, 2012–2013, OCLC Research
An Archival Roadmap
American Archivist, Vol. 78, No. 1, pp. 9–17 
Danna C. Bell
69th President, 2013–2014, The Library of Congress
Why Archives?
American Archivist, Vol. 79, No. 1, pp. 6–13
Kathleen D. Roe
70th President, 2014–2015, New York State Archives
Bare Necessities
American Archivist, Vol. 80, No. 1, pp. 6–18
Dennis Meissner
71st President, 2015–2016, Minnesota Historical Society
Archives, History, and Technology: Prologue and Possibility for SAA and the Archival Community
American Archivist, Vol. 81, No. 1
Nancy McGovern
72nd President, 2016–2017, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Forthcoming American Archivist, Vol. 82, No. 1
Tanya Zanish-Belcher
73rd President, 2017–2018, Wake Forest University