SAA Council Drafts New Goals, Adopts DACS Revision

The SAA Council at its January 23-26 meeting devoted nine hours to a strategic planning session that yielded a high-level first draft of a five-year Strategic Plan for SAA.  Following additional refinement, the draft plan will be circulated to members for comment later this spring.  As the draft evolves, additional feedback will be sought—including at an Annual Meeting forum in August.

In addition, the Council:

  • Adopted as a standard the revised version of Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) prepared by the Standards Committee’s Technical Subcommittee on DACS.  The document advances archival standards in its expansion of the rules for describing the creators, and will support efforts by the archives community to participate in or develop automated authority networks.  To better serve the needs of members and the global archival community, the standard will be available as a free download in the "Standards Portal" on SAA’s website.  Print copies also will be available for sale through the SAA Bookstore.
  • Discussed a proposal to revise payment options for dues and fees for students and new professionals and amended the Finance Committee’s recommendations by extending to two, nonconsecutive years the "bridge" membership (dues rate = $48), which is available to renewing SAA members who are unemployed.
  • Approved a recommendation to allow Sections and Roundtables to include employment announcements in their publications/online media.
  • Charged the SAA staff to monitor the process for allocation of audiovisual equipment to roundtables at the Annual Meeting and to work with the Council to resolve any unexpected demand that cannot be met within the existing budget.  The Finance Committee will consider including an allocation for roundtable AV in future budgets. 
  • Approved a petition to form a Web Archiving Roundtable, whose purpose is to “heighten advocacy and awareness of the issues that archivists encounter related to selection, appraisal, harvesting, management, and preservation of web resources.” The group’s organizational meeting will be held in conjunction with the Joint Annual Meeting in New Orleans in August.
  • Agreed to continue to explore opportunities for collaboration with regional archival organizations, based on recommendations from the SAA/Regionals Summit held in conjunction with the 2012 Annual Meeting.  The 2012 participants are now connected via a discussion list and SAA will host a meeting of the representatives at the 2013 Joint Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
  • Discussed a proposal from the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable to transition the Roundtable into two SAA committees (the Issues and Advocacy Committee and the Research and Public Information Committee) and to adopt a set of procedures to be implemented when an archives is under the threat of closing.  The Council acknowledged the many good ideas presented and will take them into account as it considers how to “do” advocacy (i.e., infrastructure, procedures, resources) in the context of the Society’s strategic goals. 
  • Appointed a Council subgroup to work with the SAA Archivist at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and a representative of the Records Management Roundtable to draft records retention guidelines for SAA, with a final report to the August 2013 Council meeting.
  • Discussed the Interim Report of the Annual Meeting Task Force and expressed enthusiasm about the group’s progress in collecting data and member feedback in the areas of content, meeting model, online access, and social responsibility. Check out the work of the task force at
  • Discussed options for Annual Meeting sites in 2015, 2016, and 2017 that take into account early recommendations of the Annual Meeting Task Force, and provided staff with preferences so that site selection may proceed.
  • At the request of the Cultural Property Working Group, approved a name change to the Cultural Heritage Working Group to "ensure that the group considers all forms of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, and complies with a more universal definition."
  • On the matter of the Boston College/IRA Oral History project, agreed to publish an information piece prepared by the Government Affairs Working Group that provides background and discussion of the case.  The Oral History Section also is preparing information for its microsite and for publication in Archival Outlook; the materials will be cross-linked. In addition, the Section is planning to host a live webchat on the various archival issues associated with the case.  
  • Elected three new members to the SAA Foundation Board of Directors: Ann Russell (retired director of the North East Document Conservation Center, for a one-year term), Becky Haglund-Tousey (associate director of archives and information resources at Mondelez International, for a two-year term), and Carla Summers (executive director of Alachua County Historic Trust in Gainesville, Florida, for a three-year term).
  • Appointed Tom Frusciano (Rutgers University), Mary Jo Pugh (consultant), and Helena Zinkham (Library of Congress) to the 2013 Committee to Select SAA Fellows.
  • Reviewed the section, roundtable, committee, working group, and external representative annual reports and noted questions and concerns to which Council liaisons and staff will be responding.

All materials presented at the January 2013 Council meeting are available via the meeting agenda at Minutes of the meeting will be posted on the SAA website no later than 60 days after the meeting.

The SAA Council will meet again May 15-17, 2013, at SAA headquarters in Chicago. The deadline for proposal of agenda items for all Council meetings is four weeks prior to the start of the meeting.  Forward your agenda items to SAA President Jackie Dooley (, to your SAA Council liaison (for component groups), or to SAA Executive Director Nancy Beaumont (