Society of Southwest Archivists

Society of Southwest Archivists History

In 2022 the Society of Southwest Archivists commemorates our golden jubilee! Please join us in celebrating a very special milestone. It has been 50 years since SSA was founded and we believe that a 50th anniversary is a marvelous opportunity to reflect on five decades of history.

The Society of Southwest Archivists is a professional organization established to stimulate and make available the results of research in archival administration and records management; to promote the adoption of sound principles and standards for the preservation and administration of records; to promote opportunities for the education and training of archivists, records managers, and custodians of private papers; to maintain and strengthen relations with others in allied disciplines; and to cooperate with other professional organizations and institutions having mutual interests in the preservation and use of human recorded heritage.

While much has changed over the last 50 years, these objectives have remained central to SSA. Through our evolving understanding of the archives and records professions, our programs and activities have changed. Yet the principle at SSA’s founding remains the same: To improve ourselves and to strengthen relations among our colleagues and those in allied disciplines.

A key part of SSA’s work is providing a vibrant, responsive community - for professional development, for scholarly inquiry and presentation, and for the all-powerful purpose of sharing information and simply having fun.

In the last 50 years, our organization has:

Held annual meetings from Arizona to Louisiana. Each spring, the members of SSA meet to share their experiences and concerns. Distinguished speakers from across the country enhance these gatherings and presentations illuminate new aspects of a wide range of archival, records management, and manuscript repository issues.

Provided year-round educational opportunities. Our Professional Development Committee sponsors low cost workshops on all aspects of the archival enterprise. We also work with the Society of American Archivists and other organizations to bring major training sessions and nationally-known instructors to the Southwest.

Sponsored annual awards which encourage professional excellence.

o SSA’s Distinguished Service Award is presented to a member who has made significant contributions to the society and the wider archival profession. In 1996 Metal Edge, Inc., graciously began sponsoring the award.

o The Sister M. Claude Lane Award recognizes significant contributions to the field of religious archives. SSA sponsors and funds the award but the Society of American Archivists Awards Committee chooses the recipient. It is the only award established and funded by a regional organization but presented by SAA. Established in 1974, it is an enduring example of regional/national cooperation.

Offered scholarships. We fund and award four scholarships to further the continuing education of our members and to help defray the costs of attending the annual meeting:

o A. Otis Hebert, Jr. Continuing Education Scholarship

o John Michael Caldwell Student Scholarship

o David B. Gracy II Student Scholarship

o SSA Annual Meeting Scholarship

Since 1972, SSA has worked with our members to meet the educational needs of the archives and records professions. We have always had a focus on serving all stages of work experience – from students and entry level professionals to mid and late career archivists. As we view a bright future ahead, we look forward to seeing relationships in the Southwest region’s archives community continually renewed and strengthened.

© Society of Southwest Archivists

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