The Society of American Archivists (SAA) is North America's oldest and largest national professional association dedicated to the needs and interests of archives and archivists. Founded in 1936, SAA represents more than 6,200 professional archivists employed across a variety of industries.
SAA seeks to empower archivists and ensure the identification, preservation, understanding, and use of records of enduring value. The governance structure of the organization is set up by sections, groups, and committees so that it can promote the value and diversity of archives as a whole. One of those key sections is the Congressional Papers Section.
The Congressional Papers Section (formerly the Roundtable) is comprised primarily of members of SAA who work with or have special interest in the papers of members of Congress and the records of Congress. A member since 2008, Mary reports that the Congressional Papers Section has been an “integral part” of her development as an archivist.
“We have helped each other through the acquisition of digital records of our donors by creating learning modules for specific issues,” Mary said. “We’ve adapted to new paths of accessibility and changing research methods, and stayed current on the changing landscape of Capitol Hill and how it affects congressional archives,” she continued.
In addition to keeping track of and charting the developments of Congress, the Congressional Papers Section also advocates for action in the preservation and management of congressional papers and records.
Chair of the Congressional Papers Group is a three-year commitment. Over the course of her term, Mary will spend her first year as Chair of the Electronic Records Committee, her second year as Chair of the section, and her third year as Chair of the nomination committee for new officers. Additionally, Mary will be a member of the Steering Committee for all three years.
Mary’s professional work and time as a member of SAA has long prepared her for this role. Mary has been a member of the Electronic Records Committee for three years and a member of the Steering Committee for two years where she served as co-editor of the newsletter.
“I look forward to serving CPS in a leadership role as I know I have knowledgeable colleagues with which to collaborate and create,” Mary said.
Mary is the Assistant Librarian and Director of the W. R. Poage Legislative Library and Bob Bullock Archivist at Baylor University. Mary joined the team at Poage in 2008 after working four years in the Fine Arts Library and eight years in library development.
Mary earned her Master's in Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to being elected chair of the Congressional Papers Group of SAA, Mary is a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists and a Digital Archives Specialist.