Visual Materials Section Annual Report for 2015-2016
Submitted to SAA August 30, 2016 [via online form] by 2015-2016 Chair Paula Jeannet Mangiafico
1. Name of Section/Roundtable
Visual Materials Section
2. Council Liaison
3. Report Submitter Information
Paula Jeannet Mangiafico
4. Roster Updates: Please list all newly elected or appointed steering committee members. Include their full name, position title, and term end date.
Kim Andersen, Chair-Elect, July 29, 2017
Elizabeth Reilly, Member-at-Large, August 15, 2019
5. Roster Updates: Please list the full name(s) of those rotating off the steering committee as of August 2016. (Visit the group’s microsite to see the current roster.)
Matthew Mason, Past Chair
Mary Samouelian, Member-at-Large
SAA’s component groups are integral to improving SAA and the profession, as well as being many member’s primary experience with SAA. Please indicate all projects and activities your group has completed this year, continues to work on, or plans to implement in the next year.
Highlights from this year include:
- On October 3, 2015, several Section members served as “resident experts” and participated in “Ask An Archivist Day,” monitoring the SAA and VMS Twitter feeds and answering questions about visual materials.
- The Chair, Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, hosted the midwinter meeting in Durham, N.C. on February 26-28, 2016, during which time the nine attendees planned out the year ahead and discussed new and old projects. A lunch for the group was sponsored by the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In addition to local tours, a special discussion session on complex data visualization and visual arts projects and the preservation/access challenges they present was held at Duke University Libraries and drew 20 attendees in addition to the six speakers.
- Bylaws are reviewed every four years, with the last review occurring in 2012. In 2016 the Steering Committee reviewed the Bylaws and proposed changes to the membership. The main change passed by membership at the annual meeting, August 2016, was to allow for online voting. The other proposed changes will be voted on by the membership after the Section re-shapes its bylaws according to the new SAA template for sections.
- The Section’s Communications Committee, led by Kim Andersen, was very active during this year, accomplishing three goals this year: the team re-vamped the Section website, established an Instagram presence; and updated and improved the Views The Views newsletter team published three content-rich and visually beautiful issues, and VM members and others are increasingly visiting the social media outlets for announcements and for sharing interesting information and visuals. A full report can be found in the VMS annual meeting minutes at http://www.saavms.org.
- The Education Committee, led by Ricky Punzalan, created a membership survey, released in the first week of August 2016, to gather data about archival education and needs. Responses to the survey will help the VM Section design future training projects and develop ways of advocating for visual materials concerns in archives graduate programs.
- The Section’s anniversary year, 2016, was celebrated with a special issue of Views, as well as publicity and outreach, and an anniversary dinner during the 2016 annual meeting. The Section wishes to thank the SAA administration for their support in recognizing this and other affinity groups anniversaries.
- The Chair and Chair-Elect posted an internship description and reviewed applicants, and in August the Section’s new intern, Nicola Shayer, began her term. The current Chair will supervise the intern as she supports Section projects and planning.
- Steven Fletcher and Patrick Cullom, supported by Section leadership, developed a pre-conference session, open to all SAA members, on handling born-digital visual materials. The session was well-organized and well-received by the 78 attendees.
- The annual meeting was held August 4. There were 68 attendees from a wide variety of institutions. Full minutes can be found on the Resources page of the VM Section’s web site at http://www.saavms.org. During the business portion, membership discussed Council’s policy changes, heard Committee reports, and voted on proposed Bylaws changes. Allen Tullos from Emory University, editor of the online journal Southern Spaces, spoke about the role of visual materials archives and archivists in the effort to create and publish new digital resources about Southern history. As part of the SAA annual meeting, the Section also held office hours in the Expo Hall on August 5.
- The Education Committee created a Photo Archives Syllabus Working Group in mid-2016. Members of this group are: Ricky Punzalan, Laurie Baty, and Miriam Meislik. The task of the working group for 2016-2017 and beyond is to create the following teaching resources on photo archives: 1. a model full semester syllabus (or course outline). 2. a one-class session module that can be easily incorporated in existing intro to archives course.
These resources will be disseminated to educators and posted on the VM Section’s website. The group will also develop complementary resources such as a “train-the-trainer” workshop for archives educators. A full description of this project can be found in the Committee Report in the annual meeting minutes.
- In addition to planning for the 2017 midwinter and annual meetings, Section leadership is beginning to plan another pre-conference event for the SAA 2017 annual meeting, to be determined.
- The Communications Committee continues to develop and refine the Section’s vision for its social media outlets, which now include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as its web site and newsletter.
- In 2016-2017, Section leadership will be considering the VMS communications model and the roles of each outlet, with the possibility of developing a new VMS journal devoted to visual materials-related professional issues, and disseminating Section news and announcements via other outlets such as the website, the list, and a newsletter.
- The Section has launched an update of the VMS bibliography, which will include the latest resources on working with visual materials, and will identify gaps in guidelines or information that the Section can address; this updated resource will be shared with the ICA-PAAG (International Council on Archives’ Photographs and Audiovisual Group) Steering Committee, which is planning an update of their resources.
- To continue highlighting the Section’s 65th anniversary, two new resources will be developed for 2016-2017: a Historypin site with geographical pins representing VM Section members, their institutions, and a selection of their favorite holdings; and a Section online “scrapbook” celebrating our history. Project developers include Kim Andersen, Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, Alan Renga, Gerri Schaad, and John Slate.
SAA’s Strategic Plan is the guiding document for the entire association (See: www2.archivists.org/governance/strategic-plan/2014-2018.) Please review the current Strategic Plan and indicate below how your group has contributed to each of the 4 main goals.
9. Goal 1: Advocating for Archives and Archivists
- To promote the value of visual materials archives and archivists, the VM Education Committee is currently developing visual materials-related syllabi and curriculum models that will be freely available to library school and archives program educators.
- The VM Section advocated for the long and rich history and good works of its membership by researching its founding, and approached the SAA administration with a request to recognize its 65th anniversary; this led to a new SAA commitment to widely promote all sections celebrating milestones ending in -0 or -5.
10. Goal 2: Enhancing Professional Growth
In order to support professional growth among our members and allies, from beginning to senior archivists, the Visual Materials Section:
- Sponsored a 2016 preconference workshop on born-digital visual materials
- Disseminated freely available content on best practices, techniques, new standards, and newsworthy events through its website, email list, and newsletter
- Supported the development of annual meeting session proposals on visual materials
11. Goal 3: Advancing the Field
The Visual Materials Section supported the advancement of professional knowledge by focusing our attention on born-digital visual materials best practices and new guidelines. The Section:
- Sponsored a midwinter meeting forum bringing together academic staff, project staff, and archivists to discuss the preservation and access challenges presented by complex visual projects
- Launched an update of the VMS bibliography, which will include the latest resources on working with visual materials, and will identify gaps in guidelines or information that the Section can address; this updated resource will be shared with the ICA-PAAG (International Council on Archives’ Photographs and Audiovisual Group) Steering Committee, which is planning an update of their resources.
One of our goals for the next year is developing increased collaboration with other groups such as the SAA Digital Object and Metadata Section.
12. Goal 4: Meeting Members’ Needs
The Visual Materials Section responds to its members’ needs by:
- Communicating proposals, planning, events, and other activities to its membership with transparency and timeliness
- Monitoring and developing social media outlets in order to offer them as effective sites for shared communications among Section members and allies
- Inviting member feedback throughout the year via distributed emails, surveys, and during the annual meeting
- Supporting new professionals by offering them an inclusive environment, sponsoring a new professional lunch meet-up, and encouraging participation in Section leadership
2016 Joint Annual Meeting
14. Number of Attendees
15. Provide a summary of meeting activities and highlights (no minutes, just notes)
1) The Chair opened meeting with announcements and introduced the new intern, and spoke about VMS and its efforts to promote inclusivity and diversity within its membership.
2) SAA Council Amy Cary gave her report on Council activities and reviewed changes to sections and roundtables.
3) Committees on Communication, Education, and Election gave their reports.
4) Discussion of proposed change to Bylaws to allow online voting; membership voted unanimously to adopt change.
5) Election results: the membership welcomed Chair-Elect Kim Andersen and new Member-at-Large Elizabeth Reilly, as well as incoming Chair Gerrianne Schaad, who gave highlights on Section activities and initiatives for 2016-2017.
6) Program: Speaker Allen Tullos, Emory University, followed by Q&A.
7) Outgoing Chair closed meeting and handed the reins over to incoming Chair.
15. Link to meeting minutes on the group’s microsite (optional):
16. Questions or concerns for the SAA Council? Include notes on potential budget requests for Fiscal Year 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018).