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Scientific Association Records Programs: A Beginner's Guide

Getting Help

Your association may decide it needs to hire an archivist or records manager, to seek on or both to serve as consultants, to build up a library of reference books on records, or to connect with archival or records professionals for occasional guidance and networking. Three national organizations, two certifying agencies, and a plethora of state, regional, and local ones are ready to help. There are also numerous companies that sell archival supplies.

ARMA is the main organization of records managers (membership about 11,000). It publishes many useful books and sells good books published by others as a courtesy to customers (members receive discounts). ARMA issues a newsletter and Records Management Quarterly, which includes book reviews. Regional groups (12), local chapters (29), and international groups (16) are affiliated with it; a list of the ones near you is available on request. ARMA meetings, usually in October, rotate around the country and are well worth attending.

This organization conducts the rigorous program for certifying records managers (about 650 persons are currently qualified). It can let you know certified managers located near you.

The SAA publishes highly useful books and sells those of other publishers that relate to archival concerns (members' prices are discounted). The society publishes a newsletter and American Archivist, which includes book reviews. SAA has about 5,000 members and about 45 state, regional, and local archives groups are affiliated with it (a list is available on request). The annual meeting, which is held in early September at various cities around the United States (and occasionally Canada) features nuts-and-bolts courses such as "The Lone Arranger" (for one-staff person archives) as well as technical sessions on theoretical and practical issues. Short courses are offered at other cities throughout the year. SAA publishes an employment bulletin and a directory of archivists who do consulting work.

Scientific associations will be especially interested in the work of the SAA Science, Technology, and Health Care Roundtable, which publishes a newsletter and a membership directory, and sponsors sessions on science records at SAA meetings. The current chairs are Sandra Tonnesen, Sandia National Laboratories, PO Box 5800, Albuquerque, NM 87185-0612, 505-845-9442, sltonne@somnet.sandia.gov, and Stephen Wagner, History of Science Collections, 521 Bizzell Library, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019-0528, 405-325-2741, swagner@harikari.ucs.uoknor.edu.

The ACA certifies archivists through examination. About 950 have qualified so far. The Academy can let you know which ones are located near your association.

For guidance, publications, and human resources on documents imaging and micrographics, AIIM is a great place to start. The association has 10,000 members and fifty regional groups, of which it will supply addresses on request. Its meetings, held in spring and summer around the country, are renowned for their exhibits on the latest technology. AIIM is well known for its work on standards for information storage methods and media.

Regional and local groups are important affiliates of these national organizations. Strong organizations such as the New England Archivists or Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference publish superb newsletters, run short courses and meetings of the highest caliber, and may even offer referral or employment services. The dues of these groups are usually very modest. They are well worth seeking out and joining.

Sources for Supplies of Archival-Grade Storage Boxes, Folders, and Photograph Materials

There are many suppliers of acid-free and buffered boxes and folders for long-term preservation of materials. The following is a sample of suppliers from whom archival-grade storage cases may be obtained and who may be contacted for catalogs and detailed ordering information. This list is by no means exhaustive. No one supplier is recommended above another.

Archivart
7 Caesar Place, Moonachie, NJ 07074
1-800-804-8428, ext. 1254

Conservation Materials
1395 Greg St., #110, PO Box 2884, Sparks, NV 89431
1-800-733-5283

Conservation Resources
8000 H. Forbes Place, Springfield, VA 22151
1-800-634-6932

Gaylord Brothers
PO Box 4901, Syracuse, NY 13221-4901
1-800-634-6307 (ask for their helpful Pathfinder booklets)

Hollinger Corporation
PO Box 8360
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
1-800-634-0491

Light Impressions
439 Monroe Avenue, PO Box 940, Rochester, NY 14603-0940
1-800-828-6216

Paige Company
400 Kelby Street, Fort Lee, NJ 07024
1-800-223-1901

Pohlig Brothers
PO Box 8069, Richmond, VA 23223
1-804-644-7824

Preservation Products
PO Box 29456, Lincoln, NE 68529
1-800-648-7329

University Products
517 Main Street, PO Box 101, Holyoke, MA 01041
1-800-628-1912

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