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October is American Archives Month!

Sep 30, 2019 12:32 PM
SAA Headquarters
Need ideas for making your archives program and your profession more visible during American Archives Month? We’ve got four easy ways to get involved this October: 

Participate in #AskAnArchivist Day on Wednesday, October 2, when archivists around the country will answer questions about archives. Find ideas for promoting the day among your users and developing a plan with your colleagues to respond to tweets. Follow other #AskAnArchivist Day participants, and email Abigail Christian with your institution’s Twitter handle to join the list.

Advocate for Archives! Find out when your Representative and Senators will be at “home” during American Archives Month. It’s the perfect time to begin building a relationship! For tips on making a district visit, see our Advocacy Guide.

Plan an event or issue a press release to attract media coverage. SAA has evergreen resources to assist you in enhancing public awareness of your repository-and your profession. Download the new American Archives Month graphic for use in promoting your events. (Shout out to Eve Neiger, archivist at Yale University, who designed the new graphics!) 

Take part in the Council of State Archivists’ Electronic Records Day on Wednesday, October 10, to highlight the importance of electronic records and digital preservation issues in government and in our lives.

New Job Posting! Head of Special Collections at the Woodson Research Center at Rice University

Head of Special Collections

The Fondren Library at Rice University seeks a creative, visionary, and collaborative leader for the position of Head of Special Collections. The Head of Special Collections is responsible for leadership and the overall management and administration of the Woodson Research Center, which includes the Rice University archives, manuscript collections, and rare books. The Head of Special Collections works collaboratively with other library units and administration on digital initiatives, preservation, grants, development efforts, and public engagement, and actively participates on the Fondren Library management team.  The position reports to the Vice Provost and University Librarian.  The department includes four professional archivists plus temporary staff, volunteers, and student workers.


Provides leadership in a team environment to achieve the goals and vision of the Woodson Research Center.  Develops policy and is responsible for long term planning and strategic development of special collections through strengthening of existing collections and growth in new service areas in support of the fundamental goals of the Fondren Library and Rice University.  Works collaboratively within the library, across campus and within the academic community to acquire official records and other materials of historical significance and to promote relevance and significance of special collections.  Works collaboratively with other library units and administration on digital initiatives, preservation, grants, development efforts, and public engagement.  Responsible for projects that combine traditional manuscript, archival and book processing activities with digital initiatives.

Requirements include: 

ALA-accredited Master’s degree in Library Science OR a graduate degree appropriate to working in archives or special collections. 

Society of American Archivists certificate program OR Academy of Certified Archivists certification.

Five years of professional experience leading special collections/archival services/operations and demonstrated evidence of progressively increasing scope of supervisory and management responsibility in an academic or research library or similar institution; Experience supervising a team of professionals; Demonstrated experience working with analog and born-digital archival materials; Experience that demonstrates a strong commitment to user-focused design of collections and services; Demonstrated experience with preservation or conservation standards and their challenges for a variety of content types.

Preferred qualifications: 

Knowledge of current and emerging trends, issues, workflows, and standards and best practices in the worlds of archives and special collections, including digital content acquisition and curation as well as digitization of analog formats.

Demonstrated expertise using archival technology tools (e.g., content management tools, such as ArchivesSpace; web publishing platforms, such as Omeka; and institutional repositories, such as DSpace.

Familiarity with legal, privacy, and ethical issues associated with archiving digital and print content.
Experience in donor relations and growing philanthropic support.

Familiarity with metadata standards that are MARC and non-MARC compatible.

Familiarity with Geospatial mapping software, such as ArcGIS.
Excellent interpersonal skills; Demonstrated commitment to professional development.
Strong service orientation and interest in anticipating and supporting information users’ values and needs.

Salary & benefits:  $90,000 minimum, with hiring salary commensurate with experience and qualifications; no state or local income tax; 21 benefit days; 8 study days; a range of retirement options including TIAA/CREF; health and life insurance; and tuition waiver.

Environment:  Rice University provides a stimulating work environment, with opportunities to participate in the delivery of innovative library services supported by leading edge technologies.  Fondren Library ( is a research library with over 2.9 million volumes and over 170,000 serial subscriptions.  The Library has a state-of-the-art offsite shelving facility and completed a major building renovation project in 2006.  An active program of digital resource development and delivery is underway.   

Houston is a vibrant, multicultural city, with world-class visual and performing arts ranging from the traditional to the avant-garde. The fourth largest city in the country, Houston enjoys a moderate cost of living and easy proximity to the Gulf Coast. 

For more information, see:

Applications received by September 30, 2019 will receive first consideration.  Please apply with cover letter, resume, and the names, titles, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three references at:  Inquiries:  Melinda Reagor Flannery, Assistant University Librarian/Search Coordinator at (713) 348-3773 or e-mail  Rice University is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer.

SAA Update: Advocating for Archivist Pay

Posted on June 28, 2019 by Meredith Evans | Leave a comment

The Society of American Archivists is committed to advocacy on behalf of our members. In our Strategic Plan, the goal of “Enhancing Professional Growth” is focused on archivists having access to the professional community and resources they need to be successful and effective in their careers. Fair wages and equitable salaries are part of this work and we want to share the results of our ongoing discussions and future activities of SAA in support of this issue.

  • Professional support at the Annual Meeting
    • Salary Forum: hear a panel of experts participate in an open discussion about salaries in the archival profession and explore potential solutions, including those that place responsibility on institutions and administrations.
    • Onsite Career Center: from mock interviews to tips on salary negotiation, seek out mentors who can help you navigate the job market and your professional growth.
  • Mentoring Program
    • Meet and connect with a mentor who will listen and provide guidance on negotiating and advocating for better pay.
  • Job Postings in the SAA Online Career Center
    • We strongly recommend salary information be included in all job ad postings.
    • “Research Salaries” button on all job ads can help with regional salary range information, even if a job does not include a salary range.
    • An updated data set will illustrate salary ranges per state and by region, helping archivists stay abreast of current salaries across the U.S.

For those attending the 2019 Annual Meeting, join the SAA Council on Sunday, August 4, 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm, in Austin for an Open Forum on Archivist Salaries. This forum will serve as a space for members to discuss the initiatives listed above as well as brainstorm additional ways that SAA can continue to advocate for archivist salaries. Mark your online schedule!

Archivists of the Houston Area Statement on Texas Legislature HB 1962

The following letter was sent out today to Senators Creighton, Alvarado, Bettencourt, Taylor, Miles, Whitmire, Huffman, and Kolkhorst in response to the HB 1962:

Dear Senator _________,

The Archivists of the Houston Area (AHA!) is a professional organization of archivists and those with an interest in archives made up of about 150 members across the Houston area.  The organization exists to increase contact and communication between archivists and those working with records, to provide opportunities for professional development, and to promote archival repositories and activities in the greater Houston, Texas area.

The Archivists of the Houston Area (AHA!) object to Section 441.206 of Committee Substitute to HB 1962 (The Texas State Library and Archives Commission “Sunset Bill”) which changes the ownership of records housed within the TSLAC repository, as well as Regional Historical Resource Depositories (RHRD) across the state.

Professional archival practice is that an archive will have ownership over the records they house.  Section 441.206, as currently written, will abandon professional standards and leave ownership with the various legislative bodies that transfer the records, rather than the archives.  This would make TSLAC and other regional archival facilities into record storage locations rather than institutions preserving and providing access to the history of Texas, including the legislative process. 

Allowing the transferring entities to remove records at their discretion is an even greater risk.  Due to the length and complications of the legislative process, records may never be returned to TSLAC et al.  With no provisions made for their safety and security, these records could be mistakenly or intentionally destroyed without proper or legal authorization.  As archival materials are often unique and irreplaceable items, losing them would create significant gaps of the in the historical record, leaving Texans and researchers with an incomplete account of the state’s history.  If TSLAC et al. do not receive legal title to the records transferred, their ability to process, provide public access, and invest resources into the stewardship of the Texas legislature’s historical record will be irreparably compromised.  Their focus, understandably, would be with records that are under their permanent protection. 

Being asked to fulfill public information requests on records that they do not control is an undue burden on TSLAC and regional repository staff members.  Additionally, regional repositories do not receive state funding and would be under strain to send in records when requested.  This could end up costing the state more money as the colleges, universities, and public libraries that serve as regional repositories may decide the cost of participation is higher than the benefits. This would leave TSLAC to house the records and fulfill requests left in the wake of these previously dedicated partners.

The Archivists of the Houston Area (AHA!) requests the removal of Sec 441.206 from HB 1962 to ensure the preservation of archival records of historical and cultural significance to the State of Texas.


Board Members of the Archivists of the Houston Area (AHA!) on behalf of the group membership.

Texas Legislature House Bill 1962

Please see the below SAA announcement in  opposition to Section 441.206, Committee Substitute to House Bill 1962 (The Texas State Library and Archives Commission “Sunset Bill”).

Former AHA! President Emily Vinson notes, “it is very important that records be maintained by the Texas State Library and Archives in perpetuity to ensure access to the state’s legislative history. In addition to the alert below, here is a link to a statement by the Council of State Archivists. and the Society of Southwest Archivists:”

We encourage you to find your Texas Senate and House representative here and contact them today! For information on monitoring the bill’s status see this page.

First AHA! Meeting of 2019!

Our first meeting of the year will be Thursday, April 11 at 6:00 PM at the Woodson Research Center, located in Fondren Library on the campus of Rice University. Dr. Joshua Furman will speak to us about the Houston Jewish History Archive.

Founded in 2017 in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Jewish History Archive is dedicated to the study and preservation of Jewish life in South Texas. By collecting artifacts from all facets of Jewish life, the HJHA sheds light on how Jews in and around Houston have balanced maintaining their traditions and heritage with adapting to life in Texas and the United States.

Prior to Dr. Furman’s discussion, we will have a short business meeting including an update on the upcoming Houston Archives Bazaar. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Lilly Carrel at


The closest parking to Fondren Library is the Rice Central Garage.  Please see the Rice University interactive campus map for more information:

Questions please contact: Emily Scott at

We hope you will join us for our 2019 inaugural meeting!

SSA Education Coming Near You!

Do you steward digital archives and electronic manuscripts through the digital curation life cycle?

SAA is offering the following DAS course at Rice University in the Fondren Library:

Tool Integration: From Pre-SIP to DIP #1962
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Friday, May 3, 2019
Collaboration Space, Fondren Library
Rice University

Instructor: Max Eckard

Early-Bird Deadline: April 3, 2019

The digital curation “ecosystem” is large and complex. Made up of tools that perform small, discrete tasks, to those that cover particular format groups or functional areas of models (such as OAIS), and even those that claim to be more or less comprehensive, this ecosystem is in a constant state of flux. In this course, you’ll explore options for suites of tools that can work together to steward digital archives and electronic manuscripts through the digital curation life cycle. 

Who should attend? Archivists, records managers, special collections curators ,and other practitioners or managers responsible for stewarding digital archives and electronic manuscripts through the digital curation life cycle

Additional information on the course can be found here.

Information on visiting Rice, including campus maps, can be found here.