Archives & Archivists (A&A) List from April 21, 1993 to September 28, 2006

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This is a collection of messages posted to the Archives & Archivists (A&A) List from April 21, 1993 to September 28, 2006. A&A is a publicly accessible mailing list devoted to discussion and information sharing among the archival profession.

Donna Harlan and John Harlan initiated the A&A List in 1989. In 1993, Robert M. Schmidt began hosting the list at Miami University of Ohio (MUO). None of the pre-1993 messages were transfered to MUO, and there are currently no known copies of those earlier messages. As a hosting service, MUO claimed no ownership of the lists content.

In 1998, the Society of American Archivists (SAA) assumed sponsorship and administrative responsibility for the A&A List. In August 2000, SAA created a Terms of Participation document, which stated:

Although authors of messages to the list retain the copyright in those messages, sending a message to this list for posting will constitute permission to SAA and to the list subscribers for electronic distribution and downloading for nonprofit educational purposes with proper attribution to the author, the originating list, and the date of original posting.

In September 2006, SAA began hosting the list. Once again, this did not involve a transfer of any existing list messages. After the transfer, MUO staff told SAA staff that they would like to cease hosting of the 1993-2006 messages.

On August 1, 2006, the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (site of the SAA's institutional archives) reported to Council that the collection did not contain sufficient evidential or informaitonal value about SAA itself to warrant preservation by the SAA archives. In September 2006, SAA President Elizabeth Adkins created a task force, chaired by Vice President Mark Greene to further consider the disposition of the collection of messsages. The task force recommended that SAA not take steps to preserve the collection.

On March 8, 2007, SAA Council voted for the collection to be "disposed." On March 13, Nancy Beaumont, Executive Director of SAA, announced this decision, along with associated background information and the rationale for the decision. That same day, after consulting with Paul Jones, director of ibiblio, Cal Lee, Assistant Professor at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), contacted Nancy Beaumont, Mark Greene, and Elizabeth Adkins, offering to coordinate the transfer and hosting of the list at ibiblio. After a period of deliberation and discussion, in November 2007, SAA and ibiblio signed an agreement to transfer the 1993-2006 A&A List collection from MUO to iBiblio.

MUO used Listserv as its list management and access platform. Tim Kingman, Listserv Administrator for MUO, provided Cal Lee and iBiblio a copy of the 788 log files (359 MegaBytes) that Listserv used to organize the messages (each log file containing one week of postings to the list). Based on an agreement made by the Society of American Archivists in January 2007, all of the postings (341 total messages) were removed from one individual from the period of April 1993 to December 1996. The removed messages represent .4% of the original collection, which contained 92611 messages. Ken Chestnutt, Jennifer Mantooth, Don Sizemore, and Simon Spero were responsible for the transformation of the collection from Listserv log files into its current form. This involved removing the 341 messages mentioned above, converting the log files into mbox format, and then using MHonArc to generate a set of cross-referenced, browsable Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) files from the mbox files.