New Additions: Introducing New Leadership for the Accessioning, Acquisition & Appraisal Section

As we welcome in the New Year, we also welcome additions to the Accessioning, Acquisitions and Appraisal Section team! Three new members were elected, joining the section’s leadership in August 2021. Below are short introductions from each new member answering why they joined the committee, why they are excited about the new name change, and what they are looking forward to doing as members. During the fall, the leadership team has been getting to know each other better and getting up to speed on all the exciting things our section currently has in progress, including:

  • We created a survey to help plan future programming and are excited to start moving forward with this information. 
  • Section members are leading a three year working group, officially launched in May 2021, charged with creating the first set of National Best Practices for Archival Accessioning 
  • SAA Council officially approved adding the term Accessioning to the section’s title and charge in late fall of 2021. The section will now officially be known as the Accessioning, Acquisitions & Appraisal section. We are currently working with SAA to make all appropriate name changes on the website and blog. More information will be forthcoming about this name change and what it means for the section.

And while we are introducing new folks in our leadership, we want to remind all section members that we are always thrilled to hear from each of you! Please reach out to any member of the leadership with questions, ideas, and your thoughts at

Rosemary K. J. Davis, Accessioning Archivist, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University (Vice-Chair/Chair Elect, 2021-2023)

While I’ve been an archivist for over a decade, accessioning labor has only been a part of my professional life since I started working at the Beinecke in 2016. It’s been eye-opening to see how the different facets of accessioning affect the archival lifecycle so deeply–from interpersonal relationships to physical space to description and access. The formal addition of accessioning to this section’s title and mission might seem like a simple name change, but it’s more than that. Having representation for those of doing accessioning work is vital in terms of advocacy, progress, and solidarity. And to have an SAA home with acquisitions and appraisal is such a perfect fit; there is so much we can learn from each other. I’m honored to be part of this section’s leadership and we’re thinking about ways to foster more conversation and connection, but also: bring us your ideas for how the section can serve you better! Together we can make this group an even stronger community for professional growth and personal connection. 

Rose Oliveira, Accessioning Archivist, University of Virginia, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library (Steering Committee Member 2021-2023)

When I started my job at the Small Library in 2020, it was a position that hadn’t existed for the institution. Building an accessioning program was exciting but also daunting, especially during the pandemic. I was grateful to find a community in the Acquisition and Appraisal section. I was even more excited when I learned that accessioning would be included in the name of this section. Many people have worked to elevate and spotlight this part of the archival life cycle and having a home for it in this section helps achieve that goal. I enjoyed and benefited from the programming I was able to attend like the quarterly Third Thursday chats and the section meetings held during the annual meeting. These opportunities to meet, share our thoughts and workflows were important to me and I am excited to work with old and new leaders of the section to keep them happening. I don’t know about you, but balancing participation in professional organizations with all the other responsibilities of life can be difficult. But meeting a new person, seeing a problem in a new way, and sharing something exciting makes it worth it. I am excited to be part of the team that will bring you programming that is useful, relevant, and fun.

Tamar Zeffren, Director of Archival Partnerships, American Jewish Historical Society (Steering Committee Member 2021-2023)

The archival functions of accessioning, acquisitions, and appraisal have come under acute pressure during the previous cataclysmic two years. However, I really view them as the most impactful vehicles for education and critical (and iterative) thinking about the archival enterprise. These functions encompass multitudes: collaborative learning and outreach, donor management, collection policies, documentation…and beyond!

Since I applied to volunteer with this section, I have begun a new position, in which I am supporting a complete reassessment of accessioning procedures. I could not have predicted this confluence, but it has only amplified my appreciation for the resources and lucid discussion that this Section offers. The recent addition of Accessioning to the current name/scope reflects the group’s responsiveness to actual working conditions and the decisions that archival professionals have to make every day.  Thus, I’m incredibly excited to be more involved with the Steering Committee, to continue to learn from peers, and to support existing forums like the Third Thursday chats, and to envision additional ways of addressing Section members’ needs. 

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