Friday, May 4, 2007

Museum Archives Section Business Meeting Minutes 2006

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Hilton Washington, Washington, DC

Business Meeting, 4 August 2006

Following a call to order by Section Chair Kristine Kaske-Martin, each of the 60 members of the section present introduced themselves.

On-going section activities

Kristine provided a brief updates on one on-going section project, the proposed Directory of Museum Archives. The intent of this project is to provide an online searchable directory of museum archives, not specifically of museum archivists in North America. Those who had volunteered in the past to work on this project included Kristine Kaske-Martin, Marisa Bourgoin and Bernadette Callery. For this project, museums will be defined as having collections of 3-D objects. The directory project plans to use the terminology used by the American Association of Museums to distinguish between various types of museums. Respondents will be asked to provide name, contact information and a basic statement of their collection policy.

Introduction of section officers

Other officers of the section were then introduced. Kristine is the outgoing chair, having served a total of three years. She will be succeeded, following this meeting, by incoming chair Marissa Bourgoin. Kristin Parker (not able to be present at this meeting) serves as Secretary. Polly Darnell and Molly Wheeler are outgoing Newsletter editors. Daniel Alonzo and Ambika Sankaran are current section webmasters, with Lisa Grimmm volunteering to replace Ambika. All members of the section are encouraged to contribute to the workings of the section and are encouraged to contact any of the officers identified above directly with an offer of help.

Section newsletter

Polly and Molly characterized their editorial responsibilities as that of soliciting articles on topics of interest to the group, reports on projects from the section membership and personnel news. They saw their primary task as one of reminding people of their offers to contribute, and limited editing of the articles received. They have produced 3 newsletters per year (Fall, Winter and Spring), with at least one 750-1000 word article in each issue as well as news items, and reports on projects, particularly those supported by grant funds. Bernadette Callery and Collette Hill volunteered to serve as the next co-editors of the section newsletter.

Several attendees volunteered articles and reports, including Courtney Yevich on NEH funding, Susan Roper on the process of beginning a new archive (Clark Art Institute), The Getty’s posted finding aids (Nancy Enneking) and the Rockefeller project with the Smithsonian (Lynda Schmitz Fuhrig). Authors were also solicited to summarize the sessions of particular interest to the Section held during this conference, including “What Makes A Great Leader? For Libraries? For Archives? For Museums?” (Kathleen Crossman) and “Ties That Bind or a Different Worldview? The Intersection of Archives, Museums and Libraries,” organized by the section’s own Anthony Reed.

SAA update

Steve Wright of the Winthrop Group, representing the Program committee for the 2007 SAA meeting in Chicago encouraged the group to submit proposals, encouraging proposers to move away from the traditional 3 personal panel and moderator to more interactive formats. This year, each section may only endorse 2 proposals, and the program committee promises to look very carefully at those sessions. In order to allow the program committee to make their decisions by December, all proposals must be submitted electronically by 9 October. Please see for more information on submitting proposals. Presenters were also urged to avoid the use of PowerPoint as equipment rentals and Internet connections are rapaciously expensive at conference hotels.

Mary Jo Pugh, new editor of American Archivist also spoke, encouraging the group to submit articles to that publication, particularly those that support the [goals] of the society, i.e. Technology, Diversity and Advocacy. She is particularly interested in receiving articles discussing practice-based research with wide applicability to the profession and essay reviews which would deal with a number of related publications. She would also like to see more on the experience of the grant-funded pilot project – particularly what happened along the way – and how or if the project was continued after the grant funding was expended. In addition to book reviews, she would also like to see reviews of websites and exhibitions. She would also like to initiate reviews of websites and see more on grant-funded projects, particularly those that progressed beyond the initial or pilot stage. Other article possibilities were those programs which were proposed, but didn’t make it into the annual SAA conference. As she will be serving on the program committee, she is anxious that we also re-purpose the oral presentations that were made. For those just venturing into print, she recommended that they consider volunteering to write book reviews and contacting Book Review editor Jeannette Bastian.

If you have ideas or further questions, please contact Mary Jo Pugh at americanarchivist[at]archivists[dot]org

David Gracy also reminded us that he was soliciting articles for Libraries and Culture, and was particularly interested in articles that deal with the preservation of the cultural record and the relationship between the creators of those records and the museum collection they document.

Deborra Richardson of the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, our representative with the joint committee of the American Association of Museums, American Library Association and SAA, the Committee on Archives, Libraries and Museums, CALM. CALM is responsible for the touring Collecting Cultural Object workshop.

[discussion of Joint statement on access to original material. Were comments being requested? To whom? By when?]

Ideas for proposed sessions for 2007 SAA conference

Ideas for the session proposals for the 2007 SAA conference were generally discussed, including museums of the gilded age, collaborating with for-profit organizations, the ethics of fees for service, particularly the use of images in museum archive collections, determining the right of access to collections and the ethics of use generally. Other approaches suggested were to use a case study approach to a session, and the topics for that included women instrumental in starting museums, various models of cooperative project management, particularly across different types of museums and the use of photo houses as a means of making your images accessible to a wider buying public.

Originally published August 24, 2006


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