History

The SUV began when forty-one archivists from thirteen countries attended the first meeting of the provisional section at the 1992 ICA Congress in Montreal. It came about by-and-large through the vision and work of an Australian archivist, Alan Ives, who, with the support of Charles Kecskemeti, Secretary General of ICA, gathered together an ad hoc committee of university archivists and planned a program to launch the section. A steering committee was elected and with some changes, provided leadership for the section during its first four years.

Marjorie Barritt took over as chair from Alan Ives in August of 1993. The Section’s articles were approved at the Beijing September, 1996 ICA General Assembly (Archivum vol. 43 (1997) 365).

While a provisional Section of ICA, the SUV held seminars in 1994 (Lancaster), 1995 (Washington), 1996 (Beijing), and the model for subsequent years, with an emphasis on annual seminars was launched.

As reflected in the central topic of the Lancaster meeting, “Documenting Science and Technology in an Academic Setting,” from the outset, the Section had an interest in the archives of science, and at this time, the ICA executive asked the SUV to include the existing ICA Committee on the Archives of Science within the SUV. The Lancaster meeting also saw the establishment of the Bibliography Committee, a group that has subsequently issued separate bibliographies of works relating to archival practices in universities and research institutions covering publications from United States, works in Spanish published in Latin America, publications in Portuguese, and French works on contemporary science archives.

Subsequent annual seminars or conferences have been held across the world and the full list can be viewed on the SUV Events & Projects page. Each focused on a specific theme, although general topics of university and science archives administration were also discussed. Each included valuable tours of local archives and historic sites.

In 2017, the SUV founded a new committee, the Committee on the Archives of Science and Technology (CAST), in order to bring together different ideas and perspectives about how to effectively capture contemporary scientific and technological records during or soon after their creation, and preserve them as archives for all, archivists need to collaborate with scientists and ensure that they have a place within scientific institutions.