Council Wrap Up

SAA Council Approves Code of Ethics Review Process, Meets with Ferriero and Funders

February 2 - 4, 2010
Washington, D.C.

Supplementing a hefty business agenda at its February 2-4 meeting in Washington, D.C., the SAA Council engaged in a half-day strategic planning session on public awareness; a half-day joint meeting with the Council of State Archivists Board of Directors to discuss strategies for ensuring passage of the Preserving the American Historical Record Act in 2010; and a meeting with Archivist of the United States David Ferriero, Deputy AUS Adrienne Thomas, and National Archives External Affairs Liaison David McMillen to hear Ferriero’s views on NARA’s priorities and the agency’s relationship with the broader archives community.

In addition, the Council learned about 2010 grant program priorities from representatives of three major funding agencies: Kathleen Williams of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, Joel Wurl of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Kevin Cherry of the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Among actions taken by the Council were the following:

Approved a recommendation by the Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct to undertake a review of the SAA Code of Ethics, understanding that any revision will maintain the Code’s "aspirational" character. The approved 18-month process provides opportunities for broad member comment.

Discussed possible responses to the crisis in Haiti, noting that SAA Past President Maygene Daniels would be meeting with the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield the following day to discuss a coordinated response by the worldwide archives community. Council members noted that, in addition to other efforts, SAA should highlight information on its website (via the MayDay page) on disaster preparedness and ways in which individuals might contribute and/or volunteer for specific emergencies as they arise.

Agreed to become a partner, with the American Library Association, the Library of Congress, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, in promoting National Preservation Week, May 9–15, 2010. For more information, see the NPW website at

Resolved to present two motions for Constitutional amendments at the August 2010 Annual Membership Meeting regarding criteria for eligibility to be elected an SAA Fellow, and approved a recommendation to revise the eligibility criteria to nominate SAA Fellows.

Voted to offer Peter Wosh, of New York University, a contract for a second three-year term as Editor, Print and Electronic Publications.

Approved petitions to form two new SAA roundtables: the Human Rights Archives Roundtable and the Public Library Archives/Special Collections Roundtable. Both groups will hold their organizational meetings at ARCHIVES*RECORDS: DC 2010 in Washington, D.C. in August.

Approved staff recommendations to create a revised Uniform Guidelines for SAA Websites and Online Communications. Included in the new guidelines: All component groups will be provided with a subdirectory in SAA’s new content management system (i.e., Drupal) in order to promote a more coordinated approach to content management. The creation of independent "auxiliary sites" is restricted unless there are "clear and compelling functional needs that are not or cannot be effectively provided by the SAA office."

Approved recommendations to revise the charge and description of the Standards Committee along with other standards-related procedures. In other actions related to the Standards Committee, the Council created and charged a new Technical Subcommittee for Encoded Archival Description; disbanded the EAD Working Group with thanks; created and charged a new Standards Committee Schema Development Team; and extended the charge of the DACS Working Group (renamed the DACS Technical Subcommittee) through May 2010 to monitor how Resource Description and Access (RDA) and DACS will interact, pursue further discussion related to the revision with the RDA implementation groups, and draft recommendations for the Council’s consideration.

Approved amendments to the composition of the Diversity Committee to enlarge the committee to 12 members and designate seats for representatives from the Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable, the Latin American and Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives Roundtable, the Lesbian and Gay Archives Roundtable, the Native American Archives Roundtable, and the Women Archivists Roundtable with the Women's Collections Roundtable (this last seat is a joint seat appointed in consultation with both roundtable chairs).

Referred the mandated periodic review of SAA dues to the Finance Committee.

Discussed proposed activities and timelines for celebration of SAA’s 75th anniversary, as submitted by the 75th Anniversary Task Force, and directed the task force to develop for Council consideration in May 2010 an itemized activity budget with estimated expenses and anticipated sources of new revenue to support 75th Anniversary activities.

Discussed the withdrawal of scholarship funding by the Colonial Dames of America due to financial concerns and resolved to suspend indefinitely the provision of two annual scholarships to attend the Modern Archives Institute.

And reviewed and discussed the 2008-2009 annual reports submitted by Representatives, Sections, and Roundtables.

Minutes of the Council meeting will be posted on the SAA website within 60 days of the meeting. To view Council minutes, go to

The SAA Council will meet again May 26-28 in Chicago. If you have recommendations, requests, or concerns to bring to the Council’s attention, contact SAA President Peter Gottlieb ( or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont ( for information about how to submit your ideas or materials for Council consideration. Information must be received by April 26 in order to be considered for inclusion on the agenda.