Archiving ESA-related Materials

Researchers work room at the Hargrett Library.

Researchers work room at the Hargrett Library.

The historical record of ESA as an organization, as well as ecology as a discipline, depends on individuals involved ensuring that records of their service are passed on for future use. Staff and officers can help fill gaps in the record by depositing materials in ESA’s official archive, the University of Georgia Library, where they are available to researchers.

What kinds of records should I save?

  • Minutes (including changes to by-laws)
  • Newsletters
  • Annual reports if they are not printed in the Bulletin.
  • Materials related to programs or activities, such as correspondence of officers, photographs, lists of members, and materials that demonstrate process

Archiving ESA Records

In 2011, HRC’s Archives Subcommittee worked with staff at the University of Georgia to develop more detailed Archiving Guidelines for Staff and Officers of Sections, Chapters and Committees (pdf).

These guidelines provide direction for submitting documents to ESA’s official archival repository at the University of Georgia Libraries (UGAL). These guidelines are for documents of historical value that document the organizational history of ESA, its chapters, sections, committees, and other entities.

Process for Submitting Documents

Annually, ESA’s Washington Office sends documents to the Hargrett Library at the University of Georgia. The documents of ESA officers and chairs could be submitted with those materials, which would require that the documents be delivered to ESA headquarters at the following address:

Ecological Society of America
Attn: Katherine McCarter
1990 M Street, NW Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

Phone: 202-833-8773

Individual records
Many ecologists deposit their professional papers in an appropriate archive at their institution. Often, we find documents relevant to ESA history in those collections, especially for ecologists who have served the organization in some capacity. Because these records are so important to our understanding, HRC is working to compile a “road map” to where the papers of prominent ecologists are located. You can help by letting us know when you encounter such collections so we can provide links to them.

Oral histories
HRC has an oral history project to capture relevant recollections of members. Interviews are captured in high-quality WAV files that are then transmitted to the ESA Archives at the University of Georgia as part of the permanent record. Read more about the Oral History project.

If you would like to do an oral history pertinent to the history of ESA or ecology, or if you know of one that could be added to ESA’s archives, please contact Dennis Knight, coordinator of this project, at Written permission is required to record the interview. Also, the Historical Records Committee has an oral history kit that can be mailed to those interested in doing an interview. It contains a simple, high-quality digital recorder with instructions, the permission form that must be completed, and suggestions for how to proceed.

Other digital files
The Hargrett Library now also accepts official electronic records, such as meeting minutes and reports, memoranda, and important emails with attachments. These materials should be transmitted to Steven Armour at: If anyone wishes to send electronic records to Steve, please also send a Word file that provides any needed context or explanation of the nature of the materials, along with the name and contact information for the person submitting the documents.

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