Access and Reuse of Analog Materials in the Archives

Melissa Torres
University Archivist
W.I. Dykes Library
University of Houston-Downtown
Chair, Lone Arrangers Section
Society of American Archivists
torresme@uhd.edu

Dear Collective Wisdom

A hopefully recurring feature on Solo!

Last fall, Meg Miner (University Archivist & Special Collections Librarian at Illinois Wesleyan University) submitted a question to the listserv, asking for policy language for access and reuse of analog materials in the archives. She had a researcher who offered to bring in his own recording equipment if they would give him permission to “upload audio cassettes to a device or laptop.”

She was uncomfortable with that approach.

After a couple of months, some discussion on and off list, she reported back to us all in December about the strategies she chose to employ. Firstly, “reproductions are provided for research purposes and do not imply permission to publish.” Secondly, “pre-payment is required before [reproduction] requests can be processed.” Initiating a payment system ensures that her labor is not being abused. She goes on to define for potential users the terms reproduction, use, and what the rights of the archives are with regard to reproduction and re-use.

She reported to the listserv that the initial user was satisfied and not upset about the forms or policies. She has decided to waive costs for her internal users (like administrators) but to notify them overtly that their fees are being waived.

Lone Arrangers who are not currently subscribed to the section’s listerv should feel encouraged to visit the SAA page about connecting online.

New SAA Position Statements and Resolutions

Melissa Torres
University Archivist
W.I. Dykes Library
University of Houston-Downtown
Chair, Lone Arrangers Section
Society of American Archivists
torresme@uhd.edu

SAA recently released a statement on the Executive Order restricting entry into the United States. This statement opposed, in the strongest possible terms, the Trump administration’s now-defunct order restricting entry into the US from seven Muslim-majority countries. The statement, available here, is one of many voices raised in protest to the order, which ultimately helped keep the conversation going. This collective voice contributed to the dissolution of the order by federal judges.

SAA also released an issue brief on the confidentiality of private information held in executive agencies of the federal government. Starting from the premise that individual privacy is not a perpetual right, SAA supports the notion that existing federal safeguards should not be lengthened, that access to public records should be made universal 100 years after the date on an individual record, and that whenever possible, federal law should provide for a means to open records at the earliest possible date for research. The full brief can be found here. Lone Arrangers can find current and past SAA position statements and resolutions on the SAA website.

We are now the Lone Arrangers Section!

The SAA Council approved a plan in August 2016 to transition all sections and roundtables to “sections” in order to consolidate and better serve SAA’s member affinity groups. SAA Staff have updated all microsites, email discussion lists, and internal systems, so all roundtables are now “sections,” and past history and information can still be accessed as before. You can now find information and resources for our new Lone Arrangers Section here.