SPA News, June 2012

The Steering Committee of the Section of Professional Associations (SPA) held its annual planning meeting in Weimar, Germany between 26 and 28 March. The meeting was hosted by Dr Bernhard Post, the Director of the Thuringia Central Archives and the German archives association, Verband deutscher Archivarinnen und Archivare.

The Committee met with Dr Michal Hollmann, the President of the German Federal Archives and Dr Clemens Rehm, the Vice President of the Verband deutscher Archivarinnen und Archivare. A number of visits to local archives were arranged for the Committee including the Thuringia Central State Archives, Bauhause University Archives, the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek, the Goethe and Schiller Archives, the old Synagogue at Erfurt, Wartburg Castle, the Buchenwald Memorial (Burchenwald Concentration Camp) and the exhibition ‘The Engineers of the ‘Final Solution’ Topf & Sons – Builders of the Auschwitz Ovens”. The exhibition was developed by the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials foundation in conjunction with the Jewish Museum in Berlin and the Auschwitz State Museum. As a consequence of the visit to the exhibition the Steering Committee has made a commitment to arrange a world business archives conference in Erfurt on the topic of Archival Ethics in Business.

Two new guidelines are being prepared to assist associations improve their management and services to members. One covers the establishment and management of association award programs and the other on producing association publications. The draft of the awards program was approved by the SPA Steering Committee in Weimar and is currently being translated into French and Spanish and will be available on the SPA website. The publications guideline is being developed by the editors of the Archives and Records Association, UK and Ireland and will be available after the Brisbane Congress.

The SPA Steering Committee and the Working Group on Human Rights are producing a document on the Principles on the Role of Archivist. Other current SPA projects include establishing a framework to facilitate communications between professional associations and supporting the promotion of the Universal Declaration on Archives.

At the Weimar meeting the Steering Committee spent time developing a draft 2012-2016 SPA Business Plan. Ideas included the development of two promotion and advocacy campaigns, creating tools for world wide distribution with the themes ‘Why do archives matter?’ and ‘What does an archivist do for you?’.