RMS Section Election: please vote!

Election Timeline + Logistics

Ballots will open on Wednesday, August 25, and remain open for 2 weeks, closing on Wednesday, September 8.

Ballot Page: https://mysaa.archivists.org/myballots

The “View Ballot” link will direct users to the usual SurveyMonkey election ballot. Users must be logged in to access the page. Once they submit one ballot, users will be redirected back to the main page to complete their next ballot.

Information on candidates:

Ballot choices

Vice-chair/chair-elect (one vacancy):
Ryan Leimkuehler

University Records Manager and Assistant Professor at Kansas State University 

As the records manager for KSU for the past 4 years he has focused on training, outreach, and records retention guidance for the university community. Ryan is a member of the Midwest Archives Conference, Kansas City Area Archivist, and the Society of American Archivists and serves as a steering committee member for the Records Management Section. Ryan also holds both a Certified Archivist and Digital Archives Specialist credentials.
Candidate Statement: I am interested in the position of vice chair/chair elect for the upcoming election cycle. As a current member of the steering committee, I have seen the passion, work, and efforts first hand and I would like to continue to give support and guide the RMS into the future. I am interested in the multiple opportunities throughout the year to interact with RM colleagues and provide avenues for professional growth or ways to share the expertise in our community. If elected I look forward to continuing the activities and energy provided by the RMS into the future.

For steering committee (one vacancy): 

Jennifer Motszko
Digital Scholarship & Preservation Archivist, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

For steering committee (one vacancy): 

Jennifer Motszko holds a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and has Master’s Degrees in History and Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.  She has over fourteen years of experience working in both corporate and academic archives.  Jennifer began her archival career with the Harley Davidson Motor Company as a museum technician, but spent over ten years as manuscript archivist for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2018, she moved back to Wisconsin to head the Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she manages university records, genealogical resources, and manuscript collections that document the agricultural, business, and supernatural history of Southeastern Wisconsin.  In her role as the UW-Whitewater Records Officer, Jennifer manages University records for temporary and permanent retention.

Candidate Statement: 

In her role as the UW-Whitewater Records Officer, Jennifer manages University records for temporary and permanent retention.  While this is only one part of her job, Jennifer enjoys educating faculty and staff on public records and ensuring the proper retention and disposition of materials.  Records management in a University setting presents many challenges and the SAA Records Management Section has been a great resource to ask questions and see the issues that others face.  As part of the steering committee, she will share her insight as it pertains to the academic records management setting.

For steering committee, early career (one vacancy): 

Jennifer Dantchev
Graduate student at Long Island University – Post Campus

I will be starting the Master’s program in Library and Information Science this upcoming Fall 2021 with an emphasis in Rare Books and Special Collections. I will also be concurrently completing a Certificate in Advanced Study in Archives and Records Management also offered through the program. My career goal is to become an Archivist and/or Records Manager. I had previously looked into graduate programs in Library and Information Science over 10 years ago but was unfortunately not in a position to take on such a program at that time. I am now on track to begin my studies and am excited to finally be able to work on a degree in something I’ve had an interest in for more than a decade.

Candidate Statement: 
When I discovered SAA, I immediately became a member. The organization is a wonderful opportunity to learn, explore, and network with people engaged and interested in the field. The opportunity to become an Early Career Member of the Records Management Section would be an exciting way to participate, learn, and help the RMS Section and interested SAA members. I am always eager to listen and learn from those who have experience and wisdom to share!


SAA Annual Meeting 2021, Records Management Focused Sessions!

Please check out our list of records management focused sessions for this year’s SAA Annual Meeting. This list is dynamic and we will be adding more content (if needed). Have fun at the meeting, all!

Business Archives / Records Management Sections Joint Colloquium
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, August 3

2A – Records Management in Higher Education: Examining Systemic Power Dynamics and Vital Records
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT on Wednesday, August 4

1A – Active Collecting During Difficult Times: Critical Reflections on COVID-19 Documentation Projects
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM EDT on Wednesday, August 4

S01 – Live Q&A: Archive and IT Relationships: Four Elements of Success
2:45 PM – 3:05 PM EDT on Wednesday, August 4

5A – Diversifying the Portfolio: Sharing Inclusive and Equitable Histories to Drive Better Business
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM EDT on Friday, August 6

3A – Should Collections Closed under a Donor Agreement Be “Public Records” under FOIA? Archivists Disagree
1:30 PM – 2:30 PM EDT on Thursday, August 5

S16 – Live Q&A: Records Management at a Distance, or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Have a Sunny Disposition
3:15 PM – 3:35 PM EDT on Thursday, August 5

Register for RMS Section Meeting! July 13th, 2pm EST

Please Join us! We have an informative and lively session planned!

Register here

July 13th 2pm EST


1. RMS Committee Annual Overview (Jessika Drmacich, Chair; Krista Oldham, Vice-Chair)
2. Panel Discussion: “Presidential Records and Presidential Transitions: The View from NARA”

Presidential Records and Presidential Transitions: The View from NARA
Two National Archives leaders who work closely with the White House will be joining us to talk about how the Presidential Records Act really works on the ground. Our speakers will be Gary M. Stern, NARA General Counsel, and John Laster, Director of NARA’s White House Liaison Division, both of whom have been through multiple presidential transitions. John and Gary will talk about how the National Archives works with the White House during an administration, what authority NARA has (and doesn’t have) under the law, and how physical records, electronic records, and museum objects are managed at the end of an administration. The speakers will address how the 2021 transition was the same and how it was different from past transitions, and they’ll bring you up to date on the current status of the Trump records. Bring your questions!


John Laster, Director of the White House Liaison Division, NARA
He has been with NARA since 1996 when he began his career as an archivist at the George Bush Library. He transferred to Washington in 2001 and served as a senior policy archivist and then Director of the Presidential Materials Division before assuming his current position. Laster received a MA in History from Auburn University. John’s office has the lead responsibility for managing the transfer of records and artifacts from the White House to NARA. He works closely with the White House Counsel’s Office, the White House Office of Records Management, the National Security Council, and various other offices on records management, access, and transition issues.

Gary M. Stern, General Counsel, NARA
Gary M. Stern has been the General Counsel of the National Archives and Records Administration since 1998, and also serves as NARA’s Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer, Senior Agency Official for Privacy, and Dispute Resolution Specialist.
Gary provides legal and policy guidance with respect to NARA’s implementation of the Federal Records Act, the Presidential Records Act, and all of the other statutes, regulations, orders, and directives that govern NARA’s multiple archival and records-related responsibilities.
Gary earned his law degree in 1987 from Yale Law School and his AB in Ancient Greek from Vassar College.

Live and recorded

Register here

More information

Register for RIM Month Virtual Colloquium, April 7th 1-3pm EST!


The SAA Records Management Section invites you to attend our free (!) RIM month virtual colloquium highlighting records and information management issues. Mark your calendars for April 7th, 2021 1pm-3pm EST.

Outline of Event:

7 wonderful presenters working in records management, with 7 minute lightning round presentations (see below!).

30 minutes will be allocated for discussion and questions following the lightning rounds.

Presentation order

All are welcome to attend.


Angela Ossar, Office of the Governor of Texas

Incorporating RIM into HR Onboarding/Offboarding

This short presentation will discuss the ways that RIM is incorporated into the onboarding and offboarding of employees at the Office of the Governor of Texas. In addition to presenting at New Employee Orientation on a biweekly basis, the Records Management Officer developed RIM Entrance & Exit Checklists to ensure smooth transitions. The checklists are required for all incoming and departing employees and were developed in consultation with IT, Legal, and HR.

Hillary Gatlin, Duke University

Surveying and Collecting Electronic Records

With COVID-19 restricting our ability to collect and preserve physical materials, Duke University Archives has changed its focus to collecting electronic university records of historical value. This presentation will discuss the process of surveying and reviewing these records in situ, provide examples of inventories that are useful for Technical Services staff, and discuss lessons learned as the Records Management program continues collecting university records despite physical restrictions.

Betty Shankle, University North Texas Health Science Center

Wrangling a Struggling RIM Program

Backlog of records awaiting transfer to off-site storage, check; outdated records management software, check; dated records transmittal and disposition forms, check; and no RIM workflow in place, check. Inheriting a struggling records management program can be daunting; however, it is manageable. From creating a network of Records Management Representatives across campus to upgrading RIM software that is seven versions behind, step by step records management can be wrangled.

Alexander Hughes and Shannon Gavin Johnson, Troup County Archives

Redeveloping relationships with records creators

The Troup County Archives works with three different local government entities to provide records management services. These relationships began in the 1980s but became strained within recent years. Troup County Archives leadership worked to redevelop these relationships and found great success. A budget increase and an intergovernmental renovation of the largest records storage facility occurred in 2019. This presentation seeks to show how these relationships were redeveloped and archival advocacy occurred.

Beth Cron, National Archives and Records Administration

Records Management Requirements for Systems

Have you ever been tasked with coming up with records management requirements and don’t know where to start? Beth will share how you can use NARA’s Universal Electronic Records Management Requirements as a starting point when identifying how to meet records management requirements when procuring or implementing a new system.

Jessie Graham and Anita Vannucci, University of Virginia

Going Remote: Moving RIM Training to a Virtual World

The move to remote work at UVA during the COVID-19 pandemic called for a new approach to RIM training. The RIM Team identified cheap and easy ways to take training virtual via live Zoom sessions and on-demand pre-recorded courses. In this session, the RIM Team will discuss ways we modified content and made virtual training more accessible. We will look at the tools we used and lessons learned along the way.

Coffee Chat: Email Archiving!

Link to virtual meeting

February 19th 2pm- 3pm EST

Please join the Records Management and College & Universities Sections as they co-host our next coffee chat on the exciting topic of email archiving! Our fabulous chat guides will be Krista Oldham of Clemson University and Jessika Drmacich of Williams College. Come participate, listen, or just observe!

Teasers below!

Krista Oldham, Clemson University

A Record is a Record is a Record. Sound familiar? I bet that if you are a records manager, or have records management responsibilities, you have probably heard this phrase if you haven’t said it yourself. I can certainly say that I’ve used this phrase countless times when speaking with records creators about their digital records-especially email. During that conversation I inform them that emails, like paper records, need to be managed in accordance with federal and state laws and university policies. At some point, I also get to inform them that not all records are valued equally and the ones that, as the University Archivist, I am concerned about are the emails that have enduring value.  After this statement I am usually met with a “Well how do you do that?” or a “Do you have a system in place that takes care of all of that?” My response of late has been “We’re working on that.” Preserving emails is not a small undertaking. Email by its nature presents challenges to archival preservation including the variety of email message formats, message components, and the interrelationships between messages and attachments. Managing email at a large scale presents another significant challenge. Before identifying the technology/application(s) needed and developing workflows for email archiving, archivists and records managers should focus on having policies and partnerships in place to encourage compliance and buy-in from their record creators. For the past six months, the Records Management Team at Clemson University has been doing this type of work. At our next coffee chat I will share my experience and encourage conversation with attendees and their experience nurturing collaborative partnerships for email archiving. 

Jessika Drmacich, Williams College

Effectively navigating email collection, preservation, and access involves extensive work in the beginning of emails’ lifecycle. Institutional cultural change and building effective technical workflows are also crucial. At Williams College, email is considered record of the College as stated in our records policy; however, compliance for email as record is entirely another story (in other words, it’s super hard!). As Records Manager, I work with units helping them identify records and help guide records to their appropriate destination at the end of their life cycle. As digital resources archivist, I create access for and preserve digital materials. With these areas of focus with my work, I decided to start small in my venture to collect email as record. Working with a colleague in IT, we created a sustainable workflow for capturing both MBOX format and PDFs of email as artifact. Also, I worked with administration to be added to various all-campus listservs. This grouping of all-campus emails are now my first *email as record* accession. At our upcoming coffee chat I hope to discuss my own workflows, but also ponder:

  1. Is pdf format enough to capture email as artifact and record?
  2. Creating access for email collections: RATOM, EPADD.
  3. Incorporating access for embargoed emails. Example: preserved emails only available to a small section of campus?
  4. What about cultural shifts? How do we effectively advocate for email to be considered record at private institutions?
  5. Email in the time of Covid: more important than ever. Let’s reflect!

Records and Information Management Month Virtual Colloquium

For Records and Information Management month (April), the SAA Records Management Section is seeking proposals for 5-7 minute presentations on the topic of records management. If you are interested in presenting or participating please complete the following survey questions regarding the colloquium no later than Feb 17th, 2021. We will notify presenters the week of Feb 23rd, 2021. The date/time of the virtual colloquium will be shared at that time too!

The event will be free!

Send any questions or concerns to saarecordsmanagement@gmail.com or committee chair, Jessika Drmacich (jgd1@williams.edu)


Onboarding in the time of Covid-19

Jes Martell, of Penn State, discusses onboarding for her new records management position during the time of Covid-19:

There is no better feeling than nailing an interview and getting offered the position you were hoping for. Starting a new job is an exciting opportunity to explore your potential within a business, company, or institution, and yet the first few weeks in your new position often present a new set of challenges that you may not have necessarily planned to encounter. What will a day in this new job look like? How will I build relationships with my peers and co-workers? And, of course, what will the onboarding process and job training be like? When I accepted my job offer for the position of Records Center Specialist at the Pennsylvania State University in March of 2020, I had all of these same feelings and thoughts running through my head. Unbeknownst to me, I would face the obstacle of onboarding during a pandemic that was just around the corner. In this post, I will be sharing my experience stepping into my new role in Records Management during the time of COVID-19.  

Just after, I accepted my job offer, the governor announced a state-wide closure of all non-essential businesses. At this time, I wasn’t sure how this might affect my job offer at the University. The hiring manager was fully honest with me about the situation. Penn State University would be experiencing a hiring freeze and we were unsure what this would mean for my onboarding. While this possibility was scary to consider, I appreciated the transparency. Luckily, I made the cut-off and was able to be onboarded into the Office of Records Management team.  

The Records Center, which normally operates at full-time hours during the week, would be required to cut back operations to three days a week. On my first day at work, we began by establishing Records Center operations during COVID and implementing safety plans to help mitigate the spread of the virus. This included use of separate offices, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves, enhanced cleaning, maintaining physical distancing at all times of at least 6 feet or more, and video conferencing for all meetings. As a new employee, it was reassuring to know that my team would be taking all precautions to keep us safe during these uncertain times. As a large majority of my position requires physical labor, I was also able to observe and be trained on the physical aspects of my job, such as records destruction and operation of machinery, during my first week of work. 

The two days of the week that I wasn’t working on-site, I was assigned a laptop and webcam to work remotely. I never worked from home before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Being so new, I hoped that I would still be able to be productive and contribute to projects as part of the team. Working remotely those two days allowed me the time to complete the necessary University onboarding requirements such as HR remote document verification, selection of benefits, on-line lift training, and IT tech orientation. While working at home, I was also able to assist my team with a shared drive migration project. Each member of our team was assigned folders within the shared drive to review, after confirming that all records inside of those folders were still necessary to keep, I was responsible for moving the records from our previous file-sharing application, Box, to Microsoft SharePoint. We also used this time to review our Records Center website. I reviewed each page on our website and made notes about any suggestions that I had and we shared our edits as a team during our daily meetings. By the end of the first week, I was feeling much more confident in my ability to learn both on-site duties and be an active team member remotely. On Friday, April 3rd, we received notice that the Records Center would be shut down completely until further notice in response to COVID and would operate on an on-call request basis only.  

For the following 10 weeks, we made a few brief appearances at the Records Center once or twice weekly to provide access to records for life-sustaining services, such as Human Resources, University Health Services, and Penn State Law. I used those on-site opportunities to do as much hands-on work as possible in hopes that when we did return full-time, I would feel confident in my ability to successfully operate the Records Center. I felt optimistic that I would be able to learn the physical duties required of my position; the biggest mystery for me was learning Records Management. I did not have much of a background working in the field prior to this role, so I knew there would be a lot for me to learn.  

One of the most valuable tools that my team has been using during the remote work period is Microsoft Teams. We use the application for all meetings, including our daily morning meetings which give us the opportunity to touch base on projects, talk about current events, and get to know one another, as I had only met a few of my team members in-person once at this point. We also used Microsoft Teams to provide Records Management training for me on topics such as audits, litigation holds, University policies, records retention schedules and many others. My team invited me to consultation meetings with different departments at the University so that I could observe the retention schedule creation process for a variety of records. I was also included in meetings with departments we work closely with, such as Human Resources, Archives, and General Counsel, to introduce myself and ask any questions I had. In a way, I feel that the pandemic afforded me additional undivided attention for training sessions and opportunities to ask questions that perhaps I may not have had otherwise during what would typically be very busy weeks had we been working on-site. I felt surprisingly positive about how well I was able to learn remotely.  

By the beginning of June, our Team was feeling ready to return to on-site operations, so we submitted the required “PSU Return-To-Work” proposal for consideration and on June 10th, we were approved for a partial return-to-work schedule of 3 days per week for 6 hours per day. Although I was somewhat anxious returning on-site with the virus still very much present in Pennsylvania, I knew that my team was taking all precautions to keep me safe and it was always made very clear to me that if at any time I did not feel comfortable working on site, there would be no hesitation in accommodating my concerns. As a new employee, this was extremely comforting to me and it meant a lot knowing that the focus was not on productivity at this time, but instead on our health and safety as individuals.  

As of August 24th, the Records Center is open again and I have returned to work full-time alongside the Records Center Manager. With her guidance, I have become fully competent in my physical duties working on-site and, thanks to my entire team, I feel confident and knowledgeable in the space of Records Management. Stepping into a new job position in a remote environment presented me with many challenges but also a lot of opportunities for individualized training. In my opinion, the most valuable resource that I had while onboarding was my team. If you have a patient, supportive team dedicated to helping you grow and succeed then you too can survive onboarding, even in a pandemic! 

RMS Section Meeting Teaser #6

Our sixth and final panelist teaser is from Jessika Drmacich of Williams College.

*The RMS panel is set for this coming Monday, July 27th at 3pm ET.

Synopsis of her lightning round presentation:

The records management program at Williams College began formally in 2012 and has since evolved into a robust ecosystem across campus. In her presentation, Jessika will provide a short overview of the program, the role itself, and discuss how good records management contributes to institutional efforts to diversify and enrich documentation of its histories. She’ll also explore the creativity required to navigate and document power dynamics.

RMS Section Meeting Teaser #5

Our next teaser is from panelist Eric Stoykovich of Trinity College!

Reminder: our section meeting is free and it is set for Monday, July 27th at 3pm ET.

Are Records Essential to Governance of Higher Education during a Crisis?

Colleges and universities often face existential threats or once-in-a-lifetime crises which require quick or possibly unilateral actions on the part of administrators. At such times of exigency, consultation or consent of faculty, staff, alumni, or parents may be difficult or impossible. Administrators may also wish to innovate in ways which reflect well on the independent traditions of their schools, when the more prudent response may be collaborative or imitative.

During such crises, the continued management and access to college and university records ought to be viewed as a stabilizing force, reaffirming the variety of roles which administrators and faculty have played in the past during previous upheavals on campus. For example, at Trinity College (Hartford, CT), many professors taught outside their fields of training during World War II, when 1/3 of the faculty had left for war work.

In 2020, maintaining present college records is challenged on two fronts. Not only are records creators and archives’ staff restricted from access to physical records, but most staff and faculty working remotely and often creating and storing “institutional records” on dispersed servers, such as personal computers, and in new electronic formats, including Zoom meetings. The college or university staff responsible for records and archives management will need to confront both of these challenges now and in the coming months. Communicating the value of transferring all college-related work products, especially those normally maintained as part of a records retention schedule, to institutionally-maintained servers or cloud storage on a regular basis could be an important first step in this process of making the best of the situation of near universal remote work in higher education settings.