ALA/SAA Joint Statement on Access Review Task Force
A newly formed joint task force of SAA and ALA members is charged with reviewing, updating, and revising the 1994 ALA/SAA Joint Statement on Access to Original Research Materials. In pursuing its charge, the group will benefit from a preliminary revision of the statement by an ALA/RBMS task force. SAA appointees are: Joseph Anderson (American Institute for Physics), Pat Michaelis (Kansas State Historical Society), and Donna Webber (Simmons College). ALA/ACRL/RBMS appointees are: Elaine Barone (Buffalo & Erie County Public Library), Timothy Murray (University of Delaware), and Diane Windham Shaw (Lafayette College).
Prepare a statement for the Council's consideration that addresses as comprehensively as possible the issues and policies related to researcher access to archives and manuscripts collections (commonly referred to as manuscript collections, special collections, and archives) owned or maintained by a clearly defined set of repository types (it is unclear at this point whether the statement is meant to apply to all repositories, including for example business archives and other private organizational archives such as churches, or instead to only a subset of repositories, e.g. college and university libraries, archives, and special collections, state and local public and private historical societies, independent research libraries, state and local libraries and archives, federal archives, records centers, and presidential libraries).
The original ALA-SAA Joint Statement on Access to Original Research Materials in Libraries, Archives, and Manuscript Repositories was developed jointly in 1978 by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of ACRL and the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Committee on Reference and Access Policies (C&RL News 40, April 1979, pp. 111-12).
In response to a request for periodic review by ACRL, RBMS established a Committee on Access Guidelines, chaired by Robert Blesse, in 1993. This committee prepared an initial revision and then referred the document to the ALA/SAA Joint Committee in 1994. A final compilation was prepared by a working group appointed by the Joint Committee. Members of the working group were Mark Vargas (chair), Cathy Henderson, Timothy Murray, and Elena Danielson.
In 2006, and RBMS committee, chaired by William Joyce, was created to prepare an initial revision mandated by ALA standards policies. When that draft was brought to the attention of SAA, a new joint task force was formed to complete work on a major revision, to be submitted to both SAA and ALA standards committees/boards for review prior to review by governing boards. The 2007 task force is composed of six members, including 2 co-chairs, three members each from RBMS and SAA.
The task force will convene by phone and email.
The task force chairs shall submit to the SAA President and the RBMS Chair periodic informal reports on the task force's progress and recommendations.