Thursday, July 31, 2008

Group Urges SAA to Act on Archival Accreditation

A group of SAA members and other archivists/librarians are pushing the Society of American Archivists to "Appoint a Task Force to Examine the Feasibility of SAA Accreditation of Graduate Archival Education Programs," which I think would be a good first step toward a more coherent system of archival education in this country. I've signed onto the effort, which is discussed in additional detail here.

I concentrated on archives at Simmons as part of the History/Archives Management dual-masters program there, and I work with archival materials every day, albeit from the reference end and not the processing side. We've had the debate at work over whether we're "archivists" or "librarians," and most of us on the reference side tend to say that we're "librarians who work with archival materials," which is, I suspect, similar to what many people at many points along the librarian/archivist continuum do.

As archival education programs continue to expand, it's going to be increasingly important for some standards to be met, and the logical organization to set those standards is the SAA.