Society of American Archivists Council Resolution Honoring AWE Fund

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) Council recognized the AWE Fund organizing committee’s efforts ahead of this year’s annual conference.

The SAA Council also acknowledged the ad hoc committee’s efforts during the SAA Annual Membership Business Meeting on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. In her remarks, SAA Executive Director Nancy Beaumont stated:

You’ve heard the story: a committed group of members brought to the SAA Foundation Board an idea to establish a fund to support archives workers who are unemployed or precariously employed due to the pandemic… The review group was established. Turns out that part was easy. The hard part was developing a rubric for evaluating applications, promoting both the availability of the fund and donations to it, compiling applications doing the emotionally challenging labor of evaluating them weekly, and then figuring out how to get funds into the hands of individuals experiencing precarity, all in the midst of a pandemic. It pretty much does take a village.

Nancy Beaumont, SAA Annual Business Meeting, August 5, 2020

SAA President Meredith Evans remarked:

We honor 22 individuals today who collectively are known as organizers of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund… These folks came together to propose creation of a fund to provide financial assistance for archival workers experiencing difficulty unanticipated financial hardship due to the pandemic their extraordinary efforts from proposing the fund to the SAA Foundation Board to raising more than $106,000 from nearly 800 donors to distributing the much needed funds to more than 140 archival workers leaves us in all, we thank them for their truly extraordinary efforts.

SAA President Meredith Evans, SAA Annual Business Meeting, August 5, 2020

The AWE Fund started four months ago as a proposal to help archival workers experiencing hardship due to to the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to nearly 750 generous individual and organizational donors, the AWE Fund has distributed more than $123,000 to 143 archival colleagues in need to date. Thank you to the 26 SAA Sections that contributed more than $6,100 and to the SAA Foundation for the seed funding of $15,000. Thank you to everyone who contributed and if you are in need, please apply! Thank you, SAA Council, for this recognition of our community, creativity, and resolve in the face of a pandemic!

Read the full text of the resolution below or on the SAA website:

Society of American Archivists Council Resolution Honoring Organizers of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund

WHEREAS the Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWEF) was established in 2020 by the SAA Foundation to provide financial assistance for archival workers experiencing acute, unanticipated financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS the AWEF was created based on a proposal developed by an ad hoc group of concerned archivists led by Jessica Chapel and Lydia Tang and comprising Steven D. Booth, Alison Clemens, Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, Jennifer Coggins, Courtney Dean, Steve Duckworth, Carady DeSimone, Rebecca Goldman, Irene Hauzinger, Katharina Hering, Hayley Hinsberger, Valencia Johnson, Carli Lowe, Bridget Malley, Sarah McLusky, Rebecca Thayer, Lauren White, Jen Wachtel, Amy Wickner, and Katrina Windon; and

WHEREAS the ad hoc group also gathered resources relating to remote work, archival labor, mutual aid, access to unemployment benefits, and other relief efforts for archival workers based in the United States who are navigating rapidly changing conditions during the COVID-19 emergency; and

WHEREAS since the launch of the fund 740 donors have contributed more than $105,000 (as of July 2020), in addition to the SAA Foundation Board’s contribution of $21,000 in funding; and;

WHEREAS the AWEF Review Committee, comprising individuals from the ad hoc group and SAA Foundation Board members, has provided, as of July 2020, more than $121,000 to 141 applicants;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the organizers of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund be honored with a 2020 SAA Council Resolution for their work in creating a relief aid program designed to support archival colleagues affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  

Published by

Jen Wachtel

Emerging professional with experience in special collections, museum archives, museum collections, and shared governance. Pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) and Master of Arts (MA) focused in Archives and Modern European History. She/her.