Latest Issue of American Archivist Now Available
In addition, the issue includes Kathleen Feeney's "Retrieval of Archival Finding Aids Using World Wide Web Search Engines," which won SAA's 1999 Theodore Calvin Pease Award for the best student paper, as well as book reviews, Council meeting minutes, and the annual index.
Production on the spring 2000 issue of the American Archivist (63:1) will begin in March. Among the intriguing articles is one by Barbara L. Craig and James M. O'Toole, "Looking at Archives in Art," which examines a selection of British and American portraits and genre paintings, discussing their presentation of records as well as the contexts in which the paintings were created and the importance of the records depicted. This issue is slated for publication in June.
Authors are invited to direct inquiries and submissions to: Philip B. Eppard, Editor, American Archivist, University at Albany, State University of New York, School of Information Science and Policy, 135 Western Avenue, #113 Draper, Albany, New York 12222; 518/442-5115; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on the Adam's Mark Hotel from SAA President Hickerson
March 6, 2000
I am writing to you today on behalf of SAA's Council and officers to report further on issues relating to the site of the SAA 2000 Annual Meeting and allegations of racial discrimination against the Adam's Mark Hotels. First, I want to express our appreciation for the guidance provided by many of SAA members. Your comments have reflected broad understanding of the various factors germane to our deliberations and also acute sensitivity to the ethical issues facing our organization and its members. I want to express our particular appreciation to the leaders of the Archives and Archivists of Color Roundtable, Kathryn Neal and Thomas Battle, who are working closely with Council members, Wilda Willis and Karen Jefferson, to develop special programming enhancing our ability to address diversity issues in our profession. Also, SAA staff members have responded aggressively in developing new options for review and in negotiating our position with the Denver hotel. Thank you.
In reporting, Council has decided to focus only on those issues directly reflecting SAA actions and planning. At this point, many organizations are responding to issues generated by the suit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice against the Adam's Mark hotel chain, and conflicting reports and predictions are becoming increasingly common. I will not attempt to summarize or interpret the actions of others but will concentrate on SAA-specific information. At this point, I want to report on five areas of development: response to Council's initial proposals; the addition of a plenary speaker focusing on diversity issues in the workplace and in our organization; response by the General Manager of the Denver Adam's Mark Hotel to SAA's concerns; SAA's contract with the Denver Adam's Mark Hotel; and current developments.
Response to Council's initial proposals has been strongly supportive. While reflecting consternation, anger, and dismay, both individuals and groups presently agree that SAA should maintain its current plan to hold the 2000 annual meeting at the Denver Adam's Mark, recognizing that to do otherwise could endanger SAA's financial future. There has been enthusiastic support for plans to respond to these regrettable developments by developing additional emphasis on diversity issues, both within this meeting and in future planning. It is evident that some members are considering staying elsewhere during the meeting, and the location of alternative lodging will be broadly disseminated.
The original meeting agenda has been modified to incorporate an additional plenary session. This session is scheduled for mid-morning on Saturday, and Kathryn Neal, Wilda Willis, and Karen Jefferson are coordinating the selection of a speaker. They have concluded that an expert on workplace and professional issues will be a more valuable contributor to our proceedings than a speaker addressing societal issues broadly. They have identified several leaders in the field, and we hope that a final selection can be announced soon. Related developments include the scheduling of buses for a special tour of the Museum of the Black Cowboy. I am also pleased to report that Anne Thurston, executive director of the International Records Management Trust, based in London, has agreed to provide our closing plenary address. In the Millennium New Year's Honours List, Dr. Thurston, was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for "Services to Public Administration in Africa". Her comments on the challenges of modern record-keeping in Africa and Asia will expand our understanding of the archival endeavor in developing countries.
Negotiations are being conducted with the general manager of the Denver Adam's Mark, Andre van Hall, by Susan Fox and Debbie Nolan, SAA's executive director and meeting planner. In recognition of the difficulties being faced by SAA and as a sign of good faith, Mr. van Hall has agreed to the following:
Negotiations are continuing.
Members have requested knowledge of the financial details of SAA's contract with the Denver Adam's Mark Hotel and potential penalties. SAA typically picks up approximately 3,000 room nights at an annual meeting. If we do so, there is no charge for the use of meeting spaces throughout the meeting. Following are the meeting room rental fees if we do not make our room block:
This is a lenient attrition penalty clause. If SAA cancels the meeting, however, we are liable for 3000 room nights times the average rate, $100, which would mean an approximate penalty of $300,000.
In conclusion, I will report on two recent developments of significant import. The NAACP has called for a national boycott of the Adam's Mark Hotel, requesting that its members and other organizations withhold business from the Adam's Mark Hotel & Resorts chain amid allegations of racial discrimination. It has also been reported this past week that the HBE Corp., the owner of the Adam's Mark Hotels & Resorts, is seeking a settlement in the racial discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice and that it had submitted a proposed agreement. SAA Council is actively monitoring these developments and many others. SAA's leadership and members care greatly about these issues, and our actions will be significantly influenced by the judgements and actions of others, but we must also strive to focus our attention on the answers that are right for SAA and its membership.
H. Thomas Hickerson
Report Brings Archival Perspective to Problems in Managing Digital Information
"Public Domain" Meeting Report
President H. Thomas Hickerson Re: Adam's Mark Hotel Chain
February 7, 2000
Several organizations, including the Episcopal Church and the Human Rights Campaign, which had planned meetings at the Denver Adam's Mark, have decided to move those events to other properties. Those organizations' decisions to cancel contracts with the hotel will require the organizations to pay substantial cancellations fees. Other organizations meeting at Adam's Mark hotels, including the Organization of American Historians, felt that they could not afford the cancellation fees and will have their meetings as scheduled.
This past weekend, Council spent almost half of its two-day meeting considering appropriate responses to these allegations. Council desires to deal with this issue in a fair, responsible, and sensitive manner, recognizing that there are significant financial and professional ramifications to this situation.In their deliberations, Council members considered the following:
At its meeting last weekend, Council took several immediate actions to begin addressing the issue:
Council was unanimous in seeking to consult broadly (though speedily) with the larger Society leadership about additional specific actions. Council considered a range of actions to address concerns relating to the Adam's Mark hotel and to ensure that all members of the Society feel they can attend the annual meeting and that they will be treated with respect at the annual meeting. Council seeks comment from those in positions of leadership in the Society on those proposed actions or on additional or alternative actions.
Council asks the leadership to comment on these suggestions and to add others. Low attendance at the Denver meeting will hurt SAA far more than it will hurt the Adam's Mark. We would like to combat the alleged discrimination of the hotel chain with a positive commitment to diversity in our profession.
H. Thomas Hickerson