Ensuring Access: Archivist Attends National Meeting

I’m just back in the office after a trip to Washington D.C. and the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) where members discussed ways in which to better “Ensure Access” to archival materials.  SAA is the primary professional organization for archivists in the United States and Canada and I’ve attended all but one meeting since 1994!

The meeting is frequently held in D.C. due in part to the large number of archivists working in the area.  The National Archives and Records Administration alone has about 3000 employees – in D.C. and in regional facilities – so you can see why it’s a popular location for archival gatherings.  This year I participated in a panel presentation and met with colleagues to discuss a variety of topics relating to the keeping of records specific to religious organizations.   It’s always an enjoyable learning experience to hear what archivists in similar – and not so similar - environments are working on.

This meeting was also particularly noteworthy for The Episcopal Church as Mark Duffy, Canonical Archivist and Director of Archives for the Archives of The Episcopal Church, was inducted as a Fellow of the Society.  The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.  For more information about Mark and this honor go to:  http://www2.archivists.org/node/18929.  It was an honor well-deserved and I was very happy to play a small part by writing one of the nomination letters on Mark’s behalf.  One could not ask for a better mentor, colleague and friend.

As usual, I came back from this gathering of dedicated archivists with a renewed sense of the value of archives and of the work I do.   I also brought back some new ideas about "Ensuring Access," the theme of this year's meeting, which I’ll share with you in blogs to come.  

Diane Wells, CA
Archivist and Records Manager
206-325-4200 ext. 2023