2003-2004 Annual Report


During the 2003-2004 year (May 2003- May 2004), the University of Texas at Austin SAA Student Chapter maintained a membership of approximately 32 members. The board for this period consisted of the following officers:

  • Daniel Alonzo, President
  • Ron Drees, President
  • Aubrey Carrier, Secretary
  • Brandon Burke, Treasurer
  • Catherine Stollar, Events Chair
  • Cherie Baker, Webmaster

SAA Members: Shelley Aggeler, Daniel Alonzo, Ben Bahlmann, Melissa Bailey, Cherie Baker, John Benner, Leah Billingsley, Lisa Boettrich, Brandon Burke, Vanessa Cameron, Aubrey Carrier, Jacob Cleary, Andy Crews, Jean Davin, Ann Marie Donovan, Ron Drees, Don Drumtra, Sara Fuchs, Hollie Fulkerson, Katherine Haack, Robin Howard, Naoko Kato, Jennifer Madden, Mary Anne MarDock, April Norris, Katherine O'Dell, Tara Olivero, Angela Palmer, Anne Simmons, Sue Soy, Nora Stick, Christina Thomsen.

In May 2003, the new board began planning for Archives Week. Because the previous year had already covered Archives in War, we thought we would focus on Archives and the individual. However, we soon realized that we could not ignore the destruction in Iraq so we changed the theme of Archives Week 2003 to “Who controls the past: Archives and Political Legitimacy.”

  • Monday, October 27th: Steve Mielke, the archivist for the Woodward and Bernstein Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, spoke about this politically-charged collection. A scandal of near-mythic proportions in U.S. political history, the notorious Watergate incident has become synonymous with governmental corruption and abuse of power.
  • Wednesday, October 29th: Dr. David B. Gracy II, Governor Bill Daniel Professor in Archival Enterprise at UT-Austin’s School of Information, gave a talk entitled “‘Even I Was Appalled at the Possibilities’: The Nature and Impact of Documentary Forgery.” Dr. Gracy followed the colorful careers of forgery artists from antiquity to the present, ending with his conclusions on the authenticity of the José Enrique de la Peña Diary.
  • Thursday, October 30th: Dr. Keith Watenpaugh, Assistant Professor of History and Deputy Director of the Institute of Peace Studies at Le Moyne College in Syracuse spoke on “The Politics of ‘Mnemocide’: Archives, Libraries, and the Future of Iraq’s Past.” Dr. Watenpaugh discussed the consequences of the destruction of Iraq’s National Library and Archives.
  • Saturday, November 1st: Archives Clinic at the Austin History Center.

Attendance to all events was fair. We believe attendance to all events would have been better had there only been two speakers. Coordinating four events proved to be a bit too much for the time and resources available to us.

Before and after Archives Week, the chapter participated in a number of activities including:

  • August: Annual Fall Potluck
  • October: SAA sponsored a tour of the Center for American History that included a discussion with the archivist from Exxon/Mobil. The discussion was an enlightening look at the world of corporate archives.
  • October: SAA sponsored bowling night with the Preservation and Conservation Studies students.
  • October: Dr. Gracy gave a tour of the Capitol Building
  • February: Annual Spring Potluck
  • February: Catherine Stollar gave a tour of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center’s current exhibit, “Make It New: The Rise of Modernism.”
  • March: SAA took a trip to San Antonio to visit the Daughters of the Republic of Texas archives and the Southwestern Bell Corporate Archives.
  • April: SAA went down to the Rio Grande Valley and visited several archives and museum’s including the Archives and Manuscripts Division at the University of Texas Pan American, the Museum of South Texas History, the Reynosa Municipal Archives, the Brownsville Historical Museum, the Casa Mata Museum in Matamoros, and the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Tamaulipas. We also had time to visit the “World’s Largest Killer Bee” in Hidalgo. This trip will be the subject of SAA’s poster session this year in Boston.

As usual, SAA had a very good and productive year. The board compiled an “Archives Week Manual” to help each subsequent board plan and execute Archives Week with more efficiency. In February, the SAA website underwent a total overhaul. The website was redesigned and an “Archives” component was added, allowing users to access all of the past Archives Week websites. SAA-UT’s physical records were also processed and are now housed at the Collections Deposit Library. An inventory for our records is forthcoming and will be made available at our website.

In addition, our IT lab was outfitted with XMetal, so that archives students can now mark up finding aids and inventories in EAD. This summer, the new board will begin a Journal Club, where students will meet to discuss the latest archival literature.

SAA-UT looks forward to another great year and successful Archives Week.

Respectfully Submitted,
Daniel Alonzo, President
SAA-UT Student Chapter 2003-2004