Recap: SAA’s 2022 Annual Section Meeting

The annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists’ Archival History Section continued the trend from the last two years, being held virtually on August 8, 2022. In addition to our business meeting and reports of work during 2021-2022, the meeting featured two speakers from the Boston area, thus acknowledging that the overall annual meeting would soon take place in this city. These speakers were by Petrina Jackson, Lia Gelin Poorvu Executive Director of the Schlesinger Library, Harvard University; and Micha Broadnax, Project Manager, The Black Teacher Archives Project, Harvard Graduate School of Education Research.  

Archival History Section Chair, Susan Tucker presided, and the full viewing of the meeting is now available on SAA website (add hyperlink). First on the agenda, Mario Ramirez, section liaison, gave an update from SAA Council, noting SAA initiatives and reports during the last year (available at https://www2.archivists.org/news/2022/saa-council-approves-strategic-plan-for-fy-2023-2025). Tucker then spoke of the Section’s activities over the last year. These included an effort to reach out to other groups within and outside SAA to promote the newsletter, especially to find more contributors, and to ask for help on the crowdsourced histories of university special collections and archives. The Steering Committee also tackled a comparison of our newsletter and the microsite, with an eye on editing the latter more completely in 2023.  

Tucker then noted the Steering Committee for next year: vice chair, Dane Flansburgh continuing from work on the Steering Committee in 2022-22, as well as new members Katharina Hering, Collin Post, and Natalie Worsham, and our Early Career member, Bernadette Birzer. Full biographies of all these members of the Steering Committee are available here.

There followed a report from Archival History News co-editor, Natalie Worsham, who discussed the popularity of this publication, especially its bibliographies. She asked for continuing contributions. 

We next announced the winners of the Archival History Article Award for 2022: James Lowry and Riley Linebaugh’s “The Archival Colour Line: Race, Records and Post-colonial Custody” that appears in The Journal of the Archives and Records Association (vol. 43, no. 3).,  Reviewing the 2021 nominees, we were impressed with how this work discusses  the “colour line” as defined by W.E.B. Du Bois, reimagines it into an archival context to tell the history of the removal of records during the European decolonization of Kenya. Congratulations to James and Riley.

We then moved to our presentations. Jackson described her personal and professional history in “Outsider Leading from the Inside: Journeying through Archives Leadership as a Disrupter.” Broadnax similarly took listeners on a personal and professional journey concerning her work especially on the Black Teacher Archive at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard. Her talk entitled “Professional Concerns: Reflections on Organizing the Black Teacher Archive” traced the network of African America teachers established throughout especially the twentieth century.  

After a question and answer period, the meeting was concluded.

-Susan Tucker, Archival History Section Chair (2022-2023)

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