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VisualMat Listserv Terms of Participation

(Modification based on Archives & Archivists Listserve Terms of Participation)


VisualMat is a list begun in 1999 as an open forum for topics relating to visual materials collections in archives and as a means of communication among members of the Visual Materials Section and the Visual Materials Cataloging and Access Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists.



VisualMat provides a venue for the discussion of all aspects of the management and cataloging of historic visual materials collections, particularly in archival repositories.


The principal audiences include professional archivists and visual materials catalogers. The list is open to all with an interest in image collections and their preservation, arrangement, description, and use.

Its initial, core membership is members of VMCAR and the Visual Materials Section of the Society of American Arvhists, however, membership in the society is not required for participation in the list.

Scope of the List

  • Visual materials in archival repositories;
  • Management of visual materials collections;
  • Cataloging of visual materials;
  • Administrative business of the Visual Materials Section and the Visual Materials Cataloging and Access Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists;
  • Resources and events relevant to visual materials professionals.
Subjects to be avoided include:
  • Offtopic discussions
  • Messages unrelated to visual materials or the profession
  • Commercial advertisements for goods or services
  • Messages directed to specific individuals (contact them directly)
  • Flames (personal attacks)
  • Virus warnings, chain letters, or úplease post widelyĒ messages


Anyone may subscribe to the list and receive messages at no cost. 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 list is unmoderated. Hence, individuals are expected to be selfpolicing. In genenral, participants are not sanctioned for failing to comply with these guidelines, although the list manager reserves the right to block an individual from posting if a significant number of offtopic or abusive postings threatens, in the opinion of the list manager, to disrupt the functioning of the list. An individual blocked from posting may be allowed to post when the list manager feels that the individual is willing to abide by these guidelines.

An individual may be blocked from posting if the list manager believes, in his or her sole opinion, that the individual has violated these Terms of Agreement and has persisted in posting messages that violate these Terms after notice from the list manager. An individual blocked from posting may have that block removed at the discretion of the list manager.


Participants retain copyright to their individual postings to the list and control all rights to the use of those postings. Commercial publication of the discussion posted on the List requires the permission of the the individuals who own copyright to the posting.

Participants forwarding messages written by others should recognize that they are effectively publishing those messages. 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.

Copyrighted material beyond brief quotations should not be posted to the List without appropriate permissions AND citations. Participants should assume that any material not authored personally to be protected by copyrighted.

Participants assume responsibility for all materials they post to VisualMat.


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. 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 email readers and the digest readers are unable to read these messages easily.

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Pubs Catalog 2009

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