Archives on the Hill Advocacy Event

[posted on behalf of Dennis Riley and Kathleen Roe, SAA Committee on Public Policy]

Dear Colleague:

Archivists will be on Capitol Hill in August – and we hope you’ll join us!

In our ongoing effort to develop strong advocacy for archives at the federal level, SAA is co-sponsoring an “Archives on the Hill” day during our Joint Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, this August.  We’re contacting you because you live and/or work in the district or state of a key member of Congress who can influence important legislation for archives funding—and we’re hoping you might participate.

We have two goals for “Archives on the Hill”:

  • ​To raise awareness of archivists’ issues and concerns with key members of Congress. It’s a first step that sets the stage for us to make our presence felt in Congress.
  • ​To give SAA members a “live” opportunity to be trained and to do real-time advocacy at the federal level. We hope to develop a strong cadre of archivists who are prepared to do legislative advocacy not only in Washington, DC, but also in their home districts and states.

Here are the preliminary details:

When and where?  Archives on the Hill will be held all day on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, in Washington, DC. We’ll meet in reserved space on Capitol Hill for training and orientation, form small teams to conduct visits, and reconvene at the end of the day to debrief.

How will it work? We’ll match you with your members of Congress who serve on key House and Senate subcommittees and set up meetings in their offices. (In most cases, you’ll be meeting with staff rather than members, as Congress will be in summer recess.)  You’ll spend 15-20 minutes in one or more offices talking about archives and key archival issues (like federal funding for archives, copyright, or electronic records).  You’ll be teamed with others from your district or state to make these visits, and we’re hoping to place one experienced advocate on each team.  You won’t be alone!

How will you know what to do and say? We’ll provide you with handouts, talking points, and background information for your meeting(s) and take care of setting up your appointment(s).  We’ll also provide online training in advance on how to do a visit and how to discuss the issues so that you’re prepared. On August 14, we’ll meet as a group in the morning to get you and your team started. Colleagues will be available throughout the day in the Congressional office buildings (as well as by text and social media) to help you if you have questions. And we’ll debrief at the end of the day.

Who’s involved? SAA is working in partnership with the Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, and the Regional Archival Associations Consortium on this important effort. Each organization is inviting participants so that we can share ideas and perspectives and provide a unified message in our meetings with Congressional offices.

If you’re able to participate, if you have questions before committing, or if you’re not attending the Joint Annual Meeting but would be willing to visit your Representative’s or Senator’s district office, please let us know at: (using the subject line: Archives on the Hill).

We’ll share more information and materials beginning in early June.  We hope you’ll join us in taking a great step forward in advocating for archives and archivists!

With best regards –

Dennis Riley and Kathleen Roe
SAA Representatives
Archives on the Hill Joint Task Force​

The first Sound Archivist for 2016 is now available!

Sound Archivist starts 2016 with a timely topic for today’s social and political climate – racism. Our two feature articles are “Trump and Racist Hysteria”, by Caitlin Oiye, and “Racism and Records Retention”, by Joshua Zimmerman. They describe examples of how Archives and Records Management can record, remind, and raise awareness of how racism has historically affected, and continues to affect America. Please read and consider.
Other archival news and events in this issue include King County Archives’ new collection search site, the reopening of Tacoma Community College’s Archives, and a request for nominations for this year’s Steering Committee Officer election. Sound Archivist, Winter 2016

We hope you enjoy reading it!

PAHR needs YOU!

This following is a letter from Scott Cline (Seattle Municipal Archives) to the Northwest Archivists membership. You may have already seen it, but it is important enough to see again.  Contact your Senators and Representatives!

I am writing in my capacity as a member of the Society of American Archivists Council. As you know, proposed legislation known as Preserving the American Historical Record (PAHR) has been introduced in Congress. The bill would provide federal formula grants to every state for projects that preserve historical records and make them more accessible.

PAHR has enthusiastic support from the archives, library, history, and museum communities. What it doesn’t have, yet, is enough sponsorship from with Congress. There are currently 45 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives; none of these representatives are from NWA states. In the Senate, only Orrin Hatch has agreed to sponsor the legislation.

NWA has officially given PAHR its support and is so noted on the PAHR website. But what we really need is support and sponsorship from our Senators and Representatives. I encourage NWA to ask its members to contact their Senators and Representatives and request sponsorship of the PAHR legislation. This is particularly important in the Senate. If any NWA members have personal relationships with their Senators or their staffs, we request that they make contact on behalf of PAHR.

The PAHR website ( includes information about contacting Congress, talking points, tips for effective contact, and draft letters. PAHR Task Force chair, Kathleen Roe has indicated that this is a particularly critical time, especially regarding attaining Senate support.

Please consider sending a call-to-arms email to the NWA membership on behalf of PAHR and the future of the American record.




Scott Cline, C.A.

Seattle Municipal Archives

October 30th Action Alert: Virtual Advocacy Day, Preserving the American Historical Record

Please pass this message along to help raise awareness about this very important issue that affects archival repositories both in this state, and throughout the whole country.  See the Preserving the American Historical Record (PAHR) website for more info.  The letter below is from Kathleen Roe, Chair of the PAHR Task Force:

“As the budget axe falls for many of us, and as Archives Month reminds us of the need for support and awareness of archives, it’s time to make a big push for PAHR.

Here’s the situation: We have 42 sponsors in the House, but we need to have at least 50, better 60-70, for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to be willing to take it up on their agenda as a serious piece of legislation. Only four more sponsors came in after the SAA/CoSA annual meeting, although we plugged, pushed, and pleaded with many, many people.

So the PAHR Task Force has decided to hold a Virtual Advocacy Day on October 30th–see the attached materials describing what we are calling the “Fright Fest for PAHR”. Please work with your State Historical Records Advisory Board, your friends group, your researchers, or any other groups and individuals on whom you can call to help us with this effort. If we can’t get the additional sponsors we need by December, our ability to move this bill during this Congressional session will truly be in jeopardy.

Attached is an announcement you can circulate, as well as materials to make this easier for you/your constituents to do including a sample letter, talking points for calls/visits, and tips on making calls/visits. Adapt them as needed–If you need more or different, contact me.

If you can’t move letters, and particularly calls and visits on that day, please do so within one to two weeks. Members will be in the holiday season rush-to-get-done mode soon after–we have to do this now. Times really are getting frightening for all of us in state government archives–now, more than ever, we need to take action to change the status of our resources at the federal level.

What more can I say? Is there more we can do to help you or your constituents? Please contact me or any members of the PAHR Task Force if you have questions or need help.

Kathleen Roe, Chair, PAHR Task Force

PAHR Task Force members:
CoSA: Vicki Walch, David Carmicheal, Karl Niederer
NAGARA: Jelain Chubb, Tracey Berezansky
SAA: Steve Hensen, Sue Hodson, Ben Primer, Nancy Beaumont”