Area 78

Alberta / Northwest Territories

Archives

The Mission of the Archives Committee is to document permanently the work of Alcoholics Anonymous in Area 78, to make the history accessible to AA members and other researchers, and to provide a context for understanding AA’s progression, principles and traditions.

Like any other AA service work, the primary purpose of those involved with archival work is to carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Archives service work is much more than mere custodial activity; it is the means by which we collect, preserve and share the rich and meaningful heritage of our fellowship. It is by the collection and sharing of these important historical elements that our gratitude is strengthened.

The scope of the Area 78 Archives is to provide a sense of its own past to the fellowship and to keep accurate records so that myth does not predominate over fact.

Overview

Self education is important for those involved in Archives service. All members of the Area 78 Archive Committee are encouraged to download and read the Archives Workbook, using it to be better informed on AA best practices in regards to Archives issues.

Tasks

  • To receive, classify, and index all relevant material including (but not limited to) the following:
  1. Administrative files and records
  2. Correspondence
  3. Literary and artifactual works considered to have historical import to Alcoholics Anonymous in Area 78.
  • To hold and preserve such material, making access possible as determined by the present Archivist in consultation with the Archives Committee and Area 78 Archives Guidelines, to members of Alcoholics Anonymous and to those of the public who may have a valid need to review Archive Material.
  • To ensure access to Archive Material always respects and maintains the anonymity of AA members.

Archives Committee

Collects, preserves, and shares the rich and meaningful history and heritage of AA in Area 78.

The archives committee is responsible for establishing policies, budgets, and procedures. It undertakes and maintains final responsibility and authority for the use of the archives, and exercises its group conscience in regard to matters of general policy. In all of its actions, the archives committee needs to be mindful of and guided by AA’s primary purpose.

Committee Composition

Comprised of the Archivist, the Archives Chair, and the current DCM's and GSR's who are appointed to the committee by the Registrar for their two year term of service.

Others selected for the committee may include past Officers or long-time members recommended by the Archivist for their knowledge in Archives work. Area 78 visitors may participate on this committee, but they do not have a vote.

Duties

  • Ensure that the Committee functions properly.
  • Facilitate full participation during meetings.
  • Make certain that all relevant matters are discussed.
  • Insure that all committee decisions are recorded in the Area Minutes.
  • Report directly to the Area Assembly on pertinent committee decisions.
  • Travel to and present at Archives workshops in the Area, upon request.
  • Transport and set up the Archives display at Area 78 Area Committee Meetings.
  • Produce a synopsis of the background information on the Conference Agenda Items assigned by the Delegate for the Pre-Conference Assembly.
  • Establishes Area 78 parameters for gathering materials of historic significance, reducing the time, space and cost of preserving random bits and pieces of dubious value.
  • Coordinates Archives storage and the Archivist activities.
  • Provides the Archivist with hard copies of Area Minutes, Agendas and Financial Statements for each Assembly and Area Committee Meeting.
  • Collects and preserves one copy of all roundup posters distributed at Area meetings.

Questions about the Archives, the Archives Committee, or Archives' service work can be emailed to the Archives Chair by using the form on the Contact Us page.

Background

The Archivist is appointed by the Archives Committee, and is a person with specialized skills and / or training. Their term of service is open ended, but must be reaffirmed every two years at the Election Assembly. This individual is responsible for both physical and intellectual integrity of the collection. It is important that they understand they must protect the anonymity of members whose names are included in the collected documents.

Reporting regularly, the Archivist keeps the Archives Committee informed about new material received, and gives status updates about ongoing projects (like the digitizing of Area 78 Archival materials).

Qualifications

  • Organized, neat and methodical.
  • Should have a reasonable length of sobriety, in order to have an understanding of the AA Steps and Traditions.
  • Trained, experienced, or educated in archival work, or willing to learn from manuals, relevant materials, and/or courses offered in their immediate area.
  • Should reside close enough to the Archives viewing and storage area so ongoing projects can be sustained in a timely fashion.
  • Computer skills, including some database management knowledge, or a willingness to learn same.