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Newsletter Features

From the Chair...
Annual Meeting Minutes

News Items
MAS Membership
Contribute to the Newsletter


Annual Meeting Minutes

Museum Archives Section

Society of American Archivists Annual Conference
Thursday, August 5, 2004, 10:30am-12:00pm
Park Plaza Hotel
Boston, Massachusetts

Officers: Kristine Kaske-Martin, Chair; Laura Peimer, Recording Secretary


Kristine Kaske-Martin brought the meeting to order. She thanked Anthony Reed, out-going chair, and Deborah Wythe for her work as editor on the Museum Archives Manual.

Museum Archives Manual

Deborah Wythe, editor of the Museum Archives Manual, 2nd ed., made a brief presentation, acknowledging the authors and contributors to the publication. She announced that she was going to be signing books on Friday at the SAA bookstore.

Museum Archives Directory

Kristine announced that she and a committee are working on the museum archives directory database, which will be available online. Kristine will be sending out a survey to institutions to obtain the following information for the online directory:

--Museum name
--Name of archives
--Title (contact)
--Type of collections
--Free text section

Volunteers will be needed for data entry once the information is collected. Announcements will be sent to regional archives groups.

General Announcements

Kathleen Williams reported on the NHPRC. She announced that the commission is celebrating its fortieth year and a new NHPRC website dedicated to publicizing grants will be launched ( On the site, the grants will be searchable by subject and individuals will be able to apply online. Guidelines, which are now in the process of being revised, will also be online.

The NHPRC is starting an internship program in the areas of research, communications, and grants administration. This year, the government allocated full funding to the Commission ($10 million); however, for 2005, the funding may be cut to $3 million. Kathleen encouraged members to contact their senators to express their support for more funding.

The NHPRC also sends out applications to peer reviewers. She encouraged anyone who is interested in reviewing grants to talk with her.

As SAA representative for the ALA/SAA/AAM joint committee, Sue Koutsky reported on a meeting of the committee. She explained that the committee is devoted to increasing communication between these three professional organizations. The committee is organizing a session proposal about the Cataloging Cultural Objects guide, an initiative by Visual Resources Association to standardize cataloging data for visual objects. This standardization of description will promote better sharing of data.

Project details regarding the Cataloging of Cultural Objects standards manual is up online at The Museum Archives Section members voted that they will help sponsor this session at ALA.

Anthony Reed announced that he is interested in organizing a National Park Service Roundtable at SAA. This Roundtable would include international, state, and government institutions, both civic and cultural. It would also be open to those interested in park service.

Susan Von Salis of the Museum Computer Network announced the fall meeting.

Maygene Daniels announced a new position at the National Gallery of Art.

Session Proposals

Out-going SAA Council representative Megan Sniffin-Marinoff reported that Peter Gottlieb will be the new council liaison. She stated that this past year there were 127 proposals for 54 slots and many people were disappointed that their proposals were rejected. In order to increase the chance for a proposal to be accepted, she encouraged applicants to get endorsements from more than one section.

Kristine than asked for an initial offering of session ideas, which will be sent out on the listserve for more review:

Deborah Wythe and Bernadette Callery suggested a session regarding the many research uses of travel documents of museum curators, collectors, and donors. Travel diaries, notes, etc. are resources that document how individuals travel, what they collect and how this reflects upon how museums function. This session could get another endorsement from the manuscript repositories or visual materials sections.

Maygene Daniels and Paula Stewart suggested a session on the archivist in the role of fundraiser. Panelists could include an archivist and a professional fundraiser talking about their experiences raising money. This session could be endorsed by the colleges and university archives section.

Maureen Boyle from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society suggested a session on good collections that don't get promoted by the larger institution and how to publicize "hidden gems." This session could possibly be endorsed by the performing arts roundtable.

There was also a suggestion for a working group meeting next year on how accessioning policies between museums and museum archives differ.

Election of Officers

Polly Darnell and Molly Wheeler volunteered to be co-editors of the newsletter and section members approved. The newsletter editors will be responsible for publishing the newsletter in electronic format and will also help out with the up and coming museum archives section website. Deborah Wythe stated that the newsletter editor needs to be proactive in obtaining articles. Various members volunteered to contribute articles.

Maygene Daniels nominated Stacey Flatt as vice chair. Sarah Demb seconded Maygene Daniels' nomination and section members approved. Deborah Wythe stated that she believes a vice chair does not need to be elected until next year and will review the section by-laws to confirm.


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