ARCHIVES 2008: Archival R/Evolution & Identities
72nd Annual Meeting
Pre-conference Programs: August 24–27, 2008
Conference Dates: August 27–31, 2008
2008 Exposition Dates: August 28–29, 2008
Hilton San Francisco
Call for Program Proposals
If there is a single American locale that evokes creative
soul searching, it’s San Francisco. From revolutionary counterculture
movements to ever-evolving political and demographic
identities, it’s a city that inspires questions of who we are,
where we are, and where we’re going….
The archives profession meets in San Francisco in 2008 at
a pivotal moment in its own development. Each of SAA’s three
key strategic priority areas—technology, diversity, and public
awareness—addresses uncertainty about our status and our
future as a profession. What is technology’s true impact on
our work, and are we fully embracing its opportunities? How
can the archives profession and the record of society more
accurately mirror the changing makeup of America? Where
are the solutions for ensuring greater public appreciation and
stakeholder support for the archival mission? Underlying all
is an even deeper question about the core identity of the
profession: Have we defined the fundamental boundaries
of our profession? Are we “there” yet?
San Francisco’s location on the Pacific Rim also urges
us to consider the international aspects of these questions of
definition and direction. Are our colleagues in other Pacific
nations facing similar r/evolutionary moments or uncertainties?
What does our emerging (yet under-developed) international
consciousness and participation have to say about our professional
As we look forward to SAA’s 72nd Annual Meeting,
the Program Committee asks whether the archives profession
is at a transformative (revolutionary) crossroad or a more
natural (evolutionary) state of maturation. Also, is our “identity”
better understood as “identities”? Where are our differences,
what are our commonalities, can we understand and
accept our colleagues, and how do we prosper as one profession?
These considerations factor into all aspects of archival
activity, and the Program Committee especially encourages
proposals that recognize the connection of the proposed topic
to this broader context of “who we are, where we are, and
where we’re going.”
The 2008 Program Committee invites submissions for session
proposals for ARCHIVES 2008: Archival R/Evolution & Identities,
the 72nd Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists
in San Francisco, August 26—30, 2008. We invite you to
participate in development of the meeting by 1) proposing
sessions that will be of interest and value to the profession
or 2) volunteering to share your own knowledge and expertise
as a presenter.
NEW for 2008
Preparing for the Annual Meeting program is similar to
the publishing process for a professional journal. Sessions are
proposed, peer reviewed, and selected using certain criteria,
sometimes revised to provide the best product, and compiled
as a program that should address a theme and topics of concern
to diverse perspectives and constituencies and to archivists
at all levels of experience. An important goal for this
meeting is to assist you in presenting a successful proposal
to the Program Committee.
At first glance, the 2008 Program Proposal Submission
Form will appear familiar. We encourage you to read it completely
before formulating your proposal. We are asking for
more information and we are giving more guidelines for your
responses, so that the Program Committee can better understand
your plans. To make a more effective case for acceptance,
you should emphasize why you are proposing the session,
the speakers’ experience, what the audience will know
or be able to do after participating in the session, and how the
speakers will engage the audience in learning. Please note that
we are asking for the 75-word abstract as part of the proposal.
This should help you in presenting a coherent description,
reduce the number of editing rounds for accepted proposals,
and speed submission for final program publication. Proposals
must be complete, including all information related to speakers.
Special consideration will be given to proposals
- Elements of the Annual Meeting theme.
- A focus on SAA’s top three strategic priorities:
technology, diversity, and public awareness.
- Section or Roundtable endorsements. (Each SAA
section and roundtable may endorse up to two
proposals. Please note that an endorsement does
not guarantee acceptance.)
- Content targeted to “new” archivists as well
as to more experienced veterans of the profession.
Proposals that address other aspects of contemporary
archival theory and practice also are welcome. Suggestions and
tips for preparing a successful proposal are available on the
SAA website at: www.archivists.org/conference/proposals101.
The 2008 Program Committee encourages submission
of proposals in the following formats:
- Traditional. Open session (ie, unlimited attendance) of 90
minutes, consisting of two or three fully prepared papers
of 15 minutes each and a comment-and-discussion period.
Please do not propose sessions of more than three presenters.
Paper titles are required. A chair is not required for
this format; chair duties may be performed by one of the
speakers, who must also be designated as the key contact
for the session.
- Work in Progress. Open session of 90 minutes, consisting
of two presentations of 15 minutes each, describing ongoing
research topics and including at least 60 minutes for
feedback and discussion. Paper titles are required.
- Panel Discussion. Open session of 90 minutes, consisting of
a panel of three to five individuals who informally discuss
a variety of theories or perspectives on the given topic. No
paper titles are required. A moderator or commentator is
- Workshop. Limited-enrollment session of 2 hours, usually
designed to teach or refine skills. No paper titles are
- Seminar/Roundtable. Limited-enrollment
session of 2 hours, usually designed as a
directed discussion among attendees sharing
a common experience or preparation.
- Special Focus Session. Open session of 60
minutes designed to highlight innovative
archives or records management programs,
new techniques, and research projects.
Audience participation is significant.
No paper titles are required.
- Poster Presentation. Report in which information is summarized
using brief written statements and graphic materials,
such as photographs, charts, graphs, and/or diagrams
mounted on a poster board. Posters will be on display during
the meeting, and presenters will be assigned a specific
date and time at which they must be at their poster to discuss
it with participants.
An important reminder: Archivists and records managers
who participate in the program must register and secure
institutional or personal funding. Participants who are not
archivists or records managers, or who are from outside the
United States and Canada, are eligible for complimentary registration
upon request. SAA cannot provide funding for speakers,
whether they are international, non-archivists, non-records
managers, members, or nonmembers.
For additional information, contact the 2008 Program
Sheryl B. Vogt
University of Georgia
sbvogt [at] uga.edu
Joel F. Wurl
National Endowment for the Humanities
jwurl [at] neh.gov