About Us

The initiative to form a student chapter of the Society of American Archivists at the University of Maryland began as early as 1992 by students interested in archives at the former College of Library and Information Sciences, currently the College of Information Studies. SAA was officially founded in August 1995.

In December 1992 students at CLIS proposed a conference of archives students to interact, present papers, and exchange perspectives on archival issues. In March 1993, the newly formed group sent a proposal to the Council on Library Resources for a conference on archival education to be held at University of Maryland, College Park. The request was denied in June 1993.

An renewed effort to establish a student group was undertaken during the Fall 1994 semester. HILS students Kristi Mashon and James Wilson faced disinterest from the student body and the attempt faltered. A spark still remained and in the Spring 1995 semester the Student Archivists at Maryland emerged full force. The purpose and goals of the group may be found in their Constitution and Bylaws.

SAM operated for one semester without official recognition from their parent organization, the Society of American Archivists, although they operated as any other recognized group by holding elections, holding regular meetings, and arranging several guest lecturers and field visits. The first President of SAM was Jodi Bunnell, a student enrolled in the University of Maryland's dual History/Library Science (HILS) degree program. Early field trips included site visits to the George Meany Memorial Archives and the new Archives II building in College Park. Hard work, dedication, and an active membership group enabled them to be officially recognized by the SAA in August, 1995.

The first official SAM elections, as a student chapter of SAA, were held in September 1995. Jodi Bunnell was re-elected as President and Heather Moore was chosen to hold the dual role of Treasurer and Secretary in charge of the Minutes. In addition, several committees were formed: programs, World Wide Web, funding, and outreach. Meetings were held in the faculty lounge at the College of Library and Information Services.

The first programs supported and organized by SAM included a visit to the Broadcast Pioneers Library, the George Meany Memorial Archives, and the Motion Picture, Video, and Sound branch of the National Archives.

Since 1995 SAM has grown in membership and increased its role as part of the iSchool community through lectures, professional development and the annual Americana Culture and Memory event.