SAA Council Approves Dataverse Collection Development Policy, Revisions to Bylaws and Constitution

March 25, 2021—At its March 17 virtual meeting, the SAA Council:

  • Approved the SAA Dataverse Collection Development Policy, as drafted by the Committee on Research, Data, and Assessment (CORDA). The SAA Dataverse will support active data reuse and reevaluation on behalf of the entire archival community and will welcome data deposits from our designated communities. CORDA prepared the collection development policy, with significant feedback from SAA members and stakeholders, to provide clear and consistent guidelines to all individuals and institutions who wish to contribute data to the SAA Dataverse. Keep an eye on the CORDA microsite for updates on the SAA Dataverse rollout.
  • Approved proposed revisions to the SAA Constitution and Bylaws that would update the Rules of the Business Meeting (SAA Bylaws, Section 10) to allow flexibility for virtual meetings. Minor revisions also were also made to align with this change and to decouple member referendums from the timing of the SAA Annual Meeting, bringing the documents fully into alignment with approved changes from October 2016. In addition, general updates were made to replace references to “mail ballots and voting” with “electronic ballots and voting.” See tracked revisions in Appendix A of agenda item IV.B.
  • Approved a newly revised version of the Strategic Plan Action and Timelines dashboard, most notably to focus on developing a work plan to further diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and cultural competency across the organization. A Council Internal Working Group on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will draft the work plan by May 31, with significant input from the thoughtful report of the Diversity Committee on DEIA priorities (see below).
  • Disbanded the Research Libraries Section with thanks, due to prolonged inactivity. The Council and staff will work to transition current section members to other active sections before fully decommissioning the discussion list.
  • Reviewed a report prepared by the Diversity Committee compiling the significant feedback collected during the Black Lives and Archives Forums held in summer 2020, and detailing recommendations for immediate and long-term actions that SAA can take to further the organization’s DEIA efforts. The Council and staff give their sincere thanks to the Diversity Committee for their incredible work on the forums and this comprehensive report!
  • Considered a proposal from the Preservation Section to create a standing Sustainability Committee, which the Council agreed aligns with SAA’s current DEIA priorities. The Council will prepare a formal group description and charge and then issue a call for volunteers as soon as possible.
  • Discussed at length a proposal from the Archival Compensation Task Force to require salary and compensation information in all job listings posted through all SAA communication channels. Due to time constraints, the Council agreed to continue its discussion via email and to gather more information about how such a policy could be implemented and enforced.
  • Reviewed an update on the Finance Committee’s work to develop an alternative dues structure and schedule. Treasurer Amy Fitch and Finance/Administration Director Peter Carlson advised that the committee and staff will need additional time to gather adequate data for such a significant shift from the current dues structure, and therefore recommended postponing the member vote for a future referendum in 2022. The Finance Committee will continue its work and provide regular updates to the Council.

If you have questions or concerns about these Council actions, contact SAA President Rachel Vagts ( or Executive Director Nancy Beaumont ( Comprehensive minutes for the meeting will be available soon via the SAA website

The next virtual meeting of the SAA Council is scheduled for May 2021. If you’d like to have an item considered for inclusion on the agenda, submit it to Vagts and/or Beaumont by April 21.


Corrected April 6, 2021—The news item incorrectly stated that the proposed revisions to the SAA Constitution and Bylaws would be put to an all-member referendum in the near future. The Council fully approved these revisions, per the SAA Constitution, section IX. Bylaws, item 2.