Author: Seattle Area Archivists

Call for Nominations: SAA Spotlight Award

The SAA Spotlight Award Subcommittee invites nominations for the 2020 Spotlight Award.  This award “recognizes the contributions of individuals who work for the good of the archives profession and of archival collections, and whose work would not typically receive public recognition.”  Nominees do not have to be members of SAA. 

Purpose and Criteria for Selection: Established in 2005, the Spotlight Award recognizes the contributions of individuals who work for the good of the archives profession and of archival collections, and whose work would not typically receive public recognition. The nominee(s) should have achieved distinction in one or more of the following ways:

 *   Participating in special projects.
 *   Exhibiting tireless committee or advocacy work.
 *   Responding effectively to an unforeseen or pressing need or emergency.
 *   Contributing innovative or creative ideas to the profession.
 *   Performing extraordinary volunteerism.
 *   Quietly but effectively promoting the profession.

Eligibility:  Awarded to an individual archivist or a group of up to five archivists who have collaborated on a project. Preference is given to archivists working in smaller repositories, especially those without institutional support for professional activities.

Prize:  A certificate and complimentary registration for the individual recipient or group (of up to five individuals) to the SAA Annual Meeting occurring in the year in which the award is presented.

Nomination Form: Click here to preview the nomination form and/or to start a nomination.

Submission Deadline: February 28, 2018. 

ARMA Seattle Meeting 2/5/2020

Passive Storage and Active Preservation – “What’s the Difference?”

How are you ensuring long-term access to your permanent electronic records? Join us as Martin Gengenbach addresses this issue and more.

For more info and to register, please visit:

So, your organization has implemented retention policies – GREAT! But how are you ensuring long term access to your permanent electronic records and information? As we know, digital preservation is a complex undertaking because of software obsolescence, fixity issues during file transfers and storage, persistence of metadata, and other challenges.

Join ARMA Seattle at our next meeting, where Martin Gengenbach will address the differences between passive storage and active preservation; the concept of a “trusted digital repository” and its implications; and some of the risks involved in not managing preservation actively. On a practical level, he’ll also talk about digital preservation applications including Archivematica and Preservica (from the user perspective) as possible solutions to many of these issues. Bring your questions!

Martin Gengenbach is the Lead for Preservation at the Gates Archive in Seattle, where he oversees physical and digital preservation activities. He holds a Master of Science in Library Science with a concentration in Archives and Records Management from the School of Information and Library Science at UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Master of Arts in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.

Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Time: 8:30 am – 9:00 am Networking

9:00 am – 10:00 am Meeting

Location: Sound Transit Union Station

401 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104

The meeting is in the Concourse Conference Room. It is located immediately off the Union Station Great Hall to the right of the public restrooms. You do not need to check in at reception and can come directly to the conference room. The reception desk can, however, give you directions if you need help finding the room.

* ACTION NEEDED! Protect NARA Seattle! *

As you may be aware, the National Archives location in Seattle is slated to be sold and the records dispersed across the country.

We can all make an appeal to keep the National Archives Seattle archival records in the region. If you are interested, here are some talking points you can use or adapt:

“Dear ________,

It would be a disservice to the community and the region to completely remove NARA’s archival collections from the Pacific Northwest. Sale of the facility should not drive closure of the regional branch of the National Archives, it should be moved to another facility in the Pacific Northwest region.

The potential removal of the regional archives currently held at the National Archives at Seattle would be detrimental to researchers for the following reasons:

  • Educating youth — Each year youth in middle and high schools participate in National History Day. Students in the Pacific Northwest region will now be deprived of accessing the stories and documents held by NARA relating to their region’s history.
  • Upholding democracy — According to NARA’s mission statement, “Public access to government records strengthens democracy by allowing Americans to claim their rights of citizenship, hold their government accountable, and understand their history so they can participate more effectively in their government.” Removing records from the communities they describe does a disservice to these communities and ultimately harms democracy.
  • Access to research facilities — In 2014, the National Archives at Anchorage, Alaska was announced to be closing. This was a blow to the region and researchers interested in the history of Alaska, which was a federal territory between its purchase from Russia in 1867 until it achieved statehood in 1959. These archival records were moved to Seattle. These will now be even further away from their source if they are removed from the region and relocated to Riverside, California, more than 3,500 miles away. Since Seattle is the repository for records created by Federal agencies in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, citizens from all of these states will be impacted as they will have to travel much further to see most records since only a small percentage of these are digitized.
  • Complementary research in area — Researchers of all levels have a complex of regional history available to them in the Seattle area. Researchers planning trips to Seattle can consult with a multitude of archival resources relating to the Pacific Northwest region including those at the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections, the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), the Seattle Municipal Archives, and the National Archives, just to name a few. Removal of the National Archives at Seattle will sever NARA from this network of rich resources for PNW research.
  • Access to original records in their context — While it has long been a goal to make more records accessible through digitization, digital representations cannot always replace the importance of the original documents. Some documents are important primarily because of their informational value, whereas others also have artifactual value which cannot be reproduced. Moreover, physically handling records and being able to understand each document in connection with other related documents will be a potential loss as those communities losing their records will be further distanced from their histories. “

Please consider contacting your national representatives, state representatives, city council representatives, the Archivist of the United States (David S. Ferriero:, the Public Buildings Reform Board (PBRB:, and other interested parties.

Seattle Area Archivist Meeting!

Please join Seattle Area Archivists and The Winthrop Group at Folio Seattle for our next quarterly meeting! On Friday, February 21st, from 12:30-2pm, we’ll be hearing from an exciting array of business archivists on the inventive ways they leverage their collections.

Business archives programs can serve as vital resources for company executives, employees, and other departments, as well as help guide marketing and branding initiatives, along with engaging a variety of communities. In serving the evolving business needs of their organizations, archivists have developed creative approaches to manage collections, foresee opportunities, and build connections, at times wearing multiple hats.

Come join us at Folio Seattle to learn more about corporate archives in the area, including Microsoft, Pendleton Woolen Mills, Laird Norton, and about other heritage activities from the business community. This event is free and open to the public with RSVP. Light refreshments will be provided.

Panelists include:
Ryan Anthony Donaldson, Senior Consultant, The Winthrop Group
Ryan offers over a decade of experience specializing in enterprise content management, digital asset management, institutional history and heritage branding for a variety of internal and external audiences. Ryan currently serves on the Archives Month Committee of Washington State and previously with the Society of American Archivists Business Archives Section Steering Committee.

Richard Hobbs, Senior Consultant, The Winthrop Group
Richard brings to clients in the Pacific Northwest more than twenty-five years of experience as an archivist, historian, records manager, and writer. He has provided archives management, records management, and historical services to foundations, family businesses, corporations, state and local governments, the University of Washington, as well as the Government of Bahrain.

Amy Stevenson, Archives Manager, Microsoft
Amy has managed the Microsoft Archives for the past 15 years. She oversees collection development and management, conducts historical research for all areas of the company and provides heritage consultation for external and internal storytelling in traditional and new media formats.

Please RSVP at Deadline to RSVP is 2/19 at 5PM.

About Folio Seattle: Inspired by the country’s earliest libraries, Seattle Folio is an independent member-supported library located in the Economy Building at Pike Place Market. With stunning and expansive views of Elliott Bay, Seattle Folio offers a robust public programming schedule, including readings, cultural events, and more.

How to find Folio Seattle: Folio Seattle is located at 93 Pike Street, #307, on the third floor of the Economy Building in Pike Place Market.

Enter the Market at First & Pike, and walk up to Rachel the Piggybank. Standing there, and facing Pike Place Fish, head left, and take the staircase (Atrium Suites) next to Sunny Honey Company. Folio Seattle is at the top of the stairs, to the right.

The Accessible Market Entrance to the Economy Building (Atrium) is just south of DeLaurenti’s on 1st Ave. Take the elevator to the third floor and find Folio Seattle on your left.

2020 Western Archives Institute

San Diego State University

The 34th annual Western Archives Institute will be held at San Diego State University from June 7-19, 2020. The Western Archives Institute is an intensive, two-week program that provides integrated instruction in basic archival practices to individuals with a variety of backgrounds, including those whose jobs require a fundamental understanding of archival skills, but who have little or no previous archives education; those who have expanding responsibility for archival materials; those who are practicing archivists but have not received formal instruction; and those who demonstrate a commitment to an archival career. The application deadline is Monday, March 2, 2020.

For more information on the program, and links to the online application, please visit: