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Archival Association Leadership List (AALL)



The Archival Association Leadership List (AALL) is designed to facilitate timely communications among all archival professional associations in the United States at the national, regional, state, and local levels.


In 2002, COSHRC issued "Connecting the Archival Community" which found that there are now more than 60 professional associations serving archivists in the U.S. The Project's Working Group, whose members represented many national, regional, state, and local archival associations, suggested a number of ways to bring these organizations into closer working relationships with one another. One specific recommendation was to establish a listserv for leaders of all of these associations.


A subscription to the listserv is available to the president (or equivalent) of each U.S. archival professional association. The president is then invited to select up to 4 additional individuals from among the association's leaders to participate in the listserv. These individuals could be officers, governing board members, committee chairs, newsletter editors, webmasters, staff, or others who are actively involved in the management of the association.

COSHRC staff will be responsible for registering listserv participants and updating the subscribers' mailing list. The president (or other officers) of each association will determine who will represent that organization in the listserv (up to a maximum of 5 individuals per association) and should contact COSHRC staff ( with corrections or additions.

Scope of the List

Subjects appropriate to the Archival Association Leadership List include issues of broad concern to archivists and their professional associations as well as announcements, success stories, or challenges faced by association leaders. The listserv is not intended to address the day-to-day work of archivists—the Archives and Archivists Listserv already exists for that purpose. The postings on this listserv might cover the following kinds of topics:

  • Calls for action on legislation or other issues
  • Conferences and meetings (dates, locations, themes, etc.)
  • Workshops and other continuing education programs
  • Publications
  • Additions or changes to Web sites
  • Outreach activities
  • Special programs or initiatives
  • Member services, development, and retention
  • Announcements about grant deadlines, reports, personnel changes, or other significant actions from allied professional associations or federal agencies

We encourage posters to the listserv to use the subject line to clearly indicate the topic involved so participants can more easily determine if the message pertains to their specific responsibilities.

Subjects to be avoided include:

  • Off-topic discussions;
  • Spam;
  • Messages unrelated to archives or the profession;
  • Commercial advertisements for goods or services;
  • Messages directed to specific individuals (contact them directly);
  • Flames (personal attacks); and
  • Virus warnings, chain letters, or "please post widely" messages. Generally, such messages are hoaxes;


Those wishing to post to the list agree to abide by these Terms of Participation; to restrict their messages to the scope of the list; to respect the interests and rights of other readers and of the list host; to follow generally accepted principles of netiquette; and to respect the law.

The listserv manager will contact each archival association's president (or equivalent) annually to update the list of participants who represent that association on the listserv. Individuals no longer officially representing an association may be removed as subscribers.

The list will be unmoderated at the outset, but our intention is that the postings will be of high interest to association leaders who are, by the nature of their positions, already very busy people. We will review the decision to operate as an unmoderated list after several months. If too much "noise" has developed, we may, with advice from listserv participants, choose to institute a moderator.

The listserv sponsors and manager reserve the right to block an individual from posting if off-topic or abusive postings threaten to disrupt the functioning of the list. Further, the list manager may block an individual from posting if he or she believes that the individual has violated these Terms of Participation and has persisted in postings messages that violate these Terms after notice from the manager. An individual blocked from posting may be allowed to resume posting when the list manager and sponsors feel that the individual is willing to abide by these guidelines.

Copyright Notice

PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. COSHRC and SAA consider all messages posted to the Archival Association Leadership List to be a form of publication. One of the primary purposes of this listserv is to provide a vehicle for quick and easy dissemination of information to archival associations throughout the U.S. and, by extension, to the members of those associations. To facilitate this intent, while authors of messages to AALL retain the copyright in those messages, sending messages to this listserv constitutes permission to AALL and its subscribers for electronic distribution of those messages and downloading for nonprofit educational purposes with proper attribution to the author, the originating list, and the date of original postings.

Original messages to AALL are not in the public domain and may not be used for other than educational, nonprofit purposes without the permission of the copyright holder and notification to AALL. In general, the author retains copyright rights to publication of any submission to the list, and grants to AALL, COSHRC, and SAA permission to store, disseminate with full attribution, and make available to subscribers such submissions without further permission.

As a profession directly associated with protecting the intellectual property rights of authors whose works are in our custody, participants are encouraged to set a high standard of respect for copyright with the above provisions in mind.

Participants forwarding messages written by others should recognize that they are effectively publishing those messages. Participants should assume that any material not authored personally to be protected by copyright. As such, the participant should consider the possibility that they are violating the original author's copyright and that they are opening themselves to the possibility of litigation.

Simply put, copyrighted material beyond brief quotations should not be posted to the list without appropriate permissions. Participants wishing to direct others to copyrighted text are encouraged to post a link to the copyrighted materials on the Web as long as: a) such links do not circumvent any fees charged by the site; b) the URL is not to a site which is itself in violation of copyright.


Individuals or organizations who feel their copyright has been infringed should send a hard-copy letter (on letterhead, if appropriate) to the President, Council of State Historical Records Coordinators, PO Box 1771, Dover DE 19903-1771, and to the Executive Director, Society of American Archivists, 17 North State Street, Suite 1425, Chicago, IL 60602-3315. Complaints should:

  1. specify the content they believe to be infringed;
  2. the date of posting;
  3. other information necessary to identify the content in question, and;
  4. include a clear statement that the individual making the complaint is the owner of copyright or authorized to act on behalf of the owner of copyright.

On receipt of a bona fide complaint of copyright infringement, the list manager will contact the individual(s) responsible for the alleged violation and request that the individual(s) cease future postings from that source. If the individual making the post believes the complaint to be in error or that that the material has been misidentified, it is the responsibility of the individual making the post to earn acknowledgement of error/misidentification either from the complainant or from a court of law, at which point COSHRC and SAA will permit future postings.

If COSHRC and SAA receive multiple, bona fide complaints regarding an individual posting copyrighted materials, the list manager may block posts from that individual as described in Participation.


For a general discussion of netiquette, see Netiquette by Virginia Shea: <>. Messages should trigger discussion through a question or observation, or should further a discussion by adding something new.

Participants should remember that other readers receive messages in a different context from the author. Messages—especially responses—should be long enough to be understandable, including enough of the original message (by quoting or paraphrasing) to provide context. However, when replying to a message, avoid including the full text of long messages.

Avoid inflammatory remarks of a personal nature. Similarly, when reading a message, be slow to take offense. In general, assume that an individual had good intentions when posting a message, but the rapidity of the medium, the lack of visual cues, and other factors may make an otherwise innocent message seem insulting. Countering with insults on the list is considered off-topic.

Participants should consider whether their reply if of interest to the list as a whole or only to the individual making the posting. Do not automatically use the reply key (which usually responds to the whole list). The best and most experienced participants will occasionally make this mistake, which is entirely forgivable.

Avoid posting styled text (messages formatted with html code) to the list, as many e-mail readers and the digest readers are unable to read these messages easily.

List Ownership

The Archival Association Leadership List is jointly sponsored by the Council of State Historical Records Coordinators and the Society of American Archivists. COSHRC staff manages the list while SAA provides hosting services. Copies of this document and additional information about this Listserv are also available on the COSHRC Web site at

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