Be a part of a Delegation of American Archivists in China

Are you curious to learn about the archives profession in another country? How about a country that has an enormous, and growing, impact on the world's economy and society? Now is your opportunity to join colleagues in a visit this October to China!

Former SAA President Elizabeth W. Adkins, CA, will be leading a delegation of American archivists to the People's Republic of China on October 10–20, 2008, as part of People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs. People to People International is a nonpolitical, private-sector organization dedicated to promoting international understanding. Since its founding by President Eisenhower in 1956, People to People has developed high-level professional exchanges to encourage dialogue with counterparts in other nations.

To date, 22 individuals have signed on to the delegation. More are welcome!  Many members of SAA and the Academy of Certified Archivists received invitations to the delegation in February, with a requested initial response date of March 4 to gauge interest, but there is still time to join the delegation – whether or not you received the initial invitation.  It would be ideal if the delegation consisted of a broad base of professionals, reflecting a diversity of backgrounds, to represent the archives profession in the United States.  Applications are being accepted through July 11 (although it may be possible to accept participants after that date, if travel and lodging space is available). 

Delegates are beginning to identify topics to explore during the visit and plan to build on the following:

  • Compare and contrast the role of archivists in government, universities, and private organizations in the United States and China;
  • Access to archives in the U.S. and China;
  • Reference services in the digital age;
  • Long-term digital preservation;
  • Archival education in both the U.S. and China; and
  • Professional identity in the U.S. versus China.

The delegation would depart from Los Angeles on October 10, and would spend the first half of the trip in Beijing, and the second half in Shanghai.  The itinerary includes visits to archival repositories and important cultural sites, such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China, and the Shanghai Museum.  Delegates are welcome to bring guests; a separate sightseeing program will be available to guests.  The delegation would return to Los Angeles on October 20.  These dates could be extended at either end by choice:  All delegates and their guests are welcome to participate in a pre-program trip extension to Hong Kong, or a post-program extension to the historically significant areas of Xi'an and Kunming.

To Apply: If you wish to be considered for the delegation and have not yet received an invitation, or if you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Adkins at eadkins [@]  You may also contact an associate of People to People Citizen Ambassador Programs by phone at 877-787-2000, by fax at 877-676-5844, or by email at professionals [@]  

The estimated cost per delegate or guest is $4,495 USD, which includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, group transportation, meetings and cultural activities, accommodations, most meals, and essentially all other costs associated with participation.  

Consider participating in this once-in-a-lifetime professional adventure!