Fellow: Rosemary Pleva Flynn

Rosemary Pleva Flynn, principal librarian and archivist at the University of North Dakota, will be inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) during an awards ceremony at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists and SAA in Washington, DC. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

Throughout Flynn’s career, first as a project archivist at Indiana University and then as the librarian and archivist at the University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center, Flynn has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to providing access to archival collections, expanding and defining an archival lexicon, teaching project and financial management to colleagues, and shaping the profession through her strong leadership in several archival organizations. Flynn earned a master's degree in library science from Indiana University, a master's degree in social science from Ball State University, a graduate certificate in UX from University of Wisconsin–Madison, and holds multiple certifications from the Association for Intelligent Information Management. She was part of the 2008 cohort of the Archives Leadership Institute and the 2021 cohort of the Women’s Fund Leadership Academy. Flynn first became a Certified Archivist in 2006 and recertified for the third time in 2023.

As an SAA leader, Flynn has served in multiple capacities, including on the Membership Committee, Standards Committee, and the Electronic Records Section, and as an instructor in SAA’s continuing education courses. Most notable is her work as chair of the Dictionary Working Group, which in 2012 began revising the publication, A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology by Richard Pearce-Moses (SAA, 2005), and created the new Dictionary of Archives Terminology. This open-access, authoritative, online resource receives more than ten percent of the SAA website’s visitors and includes hundreds of new terms and thousands of citations from more than 600 sources. For this valuable publication and their ongoing work on it, Flynn and the Dictionary Working Group received a Council Exemplary Service Award in 2020.

Paralleling her work and impact in SAA, Flynn has contributed her time and expertise to create professional guidelines and streamline workflows. As the Academy of Certified Archivists’ Regent for Exam Administration, she transitioned the ACA exam to a virtual test, increasing the number of exam takers, and she served as ACA’s representative to the Nexus LAB: Leading Across Boundaries project advisory board. She led ARMA International’s Website Records Management Working Group, which created Website Records Management guidelines, and was a member of the group that produced the Glossary of Records and Information Management, 3rd edition. In addition, Flynn was co-editor for the archival management column in the Journal of Archival Organization and has been a member of the Midwest Archives Conference, the American Library Association, the Special Libraries Association, the North Dakota Library Association, and the Mountain Plains Library Association.

One supporter noted: “Flynn represents the best of what an archivist should be, always finding ways to improve the public understanding of the archives profession. With resourcefulness and initiative, she articulates what archives offer the public and generates enthusiasm for archives as a profession.”