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About the Texas Archeological Society

Records Transfer, Retention and Archive Plan

Archives Policy

It shall be the policy of the Texas Archeological Society to retain in perpetuity records important to the organization.  These records shall include, but are not limited to, papers of the administration (officers, regional directors and committee chairmen), of the field school (registration data and finances), of the Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society, of the conferences and annual meetings and of the members as warranted.  Said records shall be housed in a permanent repository and shall be available as public documents for research as per terms of agreement.

Introduction

Since the Texas Archeological Society (TAS) was established in 1928, it has played a major role in scientific investigation and preservation of Texas' past.  Records generated by TAS are important for their historical content and research potential, and they also support the conduct of TAS business in an orderly manner.  The Records Transfer, Retention and Archive Plan for handling and curating TAS records has been developed by the Reports and Curation Committee (RCC) to support all of these purposes, and to provide continued access to these public documents as personnel change through time.

Overview and Definitions

The purpose, organization, and operation of TAS are specified in the Constitution and Bylaws, drawn up in 1928 and revised periodically from time to time.  Bylaw revisions are published in Texas Archeology newsletter prior to their consideration at Annual Business meetings.  A current version of the Constitution and Bylaws is posted on the TAS website.

The primary source of information on TAS business is the Minutes of the Board of Directors meetings and Annual meetings recorded by TAS Secretaries each year.  Elton Prewitt and Jonelle Miller currently hold books containing Minutes for the first 30 years of TAS.  The Minutes covering the period from 1960 to the present also should be located and make into similar books.  Bill Richmond and Elton Prewitt have compiled excerpts from the Minutes into a summary volume, Proceedings of the Board of Directors, Texas Archeological Society:  A Compilation of Selected Motions Introduced and Considered by the Board of Directors, 1960-2000.  Organized by broad topics, this volume includes an appendix containing all TAS policies that are currently in effect.  Elton Prewitt and Jonelle Miller are presently expanding this volume to include excerpts from minutes of the first 30 years of TAS.  The current version of the 1960-2000 Proceedings should be placed on the TAS website so that it is accessible to members, to be replaced by the expanded version when it becomes available.  A copy of the 1960-2000 Proceedings have been placed in archives (Box 2R782).

A number of lists containing summary information on TAS officers, awardees, fellows, annual meeting locations, and field school locations have been compiled by Carolyn Spock into The Texas Archeological Society, 1929-2002: The List of Lists, currently maintained by Carolyn Spock and Laura Beavers.  This document is posted on the TAS website and should be updated periodically.  A current version (2002) is in the archive (Box 2R782).

Most or all of the Annual Meetings held by TAS since 1929 produced printed programs to document the speakers, titles, and content of topical presentations.  TAS members and institutions such as the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory of The University of Texas at Austin (TARL) hold extensive collections of Annual Meeting programs, but the entire series has not been archived at one location to date.  A comprehensive collection of these programs should be gathered and curated.

The TAS Business Office holds officer and Committee records submitted by retired officers, by successor officers and by current and past Committee chairmen and members.  These records hold vital information concerning the history and current operation of the Society.

TAS business is also documented in two publications: the Bulletin and the Newsletter. The Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society (BTAS) is currently in its 73rd volume (2001).  A complete set of BTAS is held at TARL, and additional sets may be preserved in other institutions; these locations should be identified and noted on the TAS website.  The Center for American History of The University of Texas at Austin (CAH/UT) also houses a few of the earlier volumes.  Copies of some of the more recent BTAS volumes can be purchased from the TAS office in San Antonio; ordering information and availability are listed on the TAS website.  Recently, the Center for Archaeological Research at Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, has begun to scan and compile the earliest BTAS volumes on a compact disk (CD) database that can be searched by word and printed.  Volume 1 was reprinted in 1999, and future plans may include hard copy reprints of additional volumes.  These CDs will be available for purchase through the TAS office (order information will be listed on the website).  The TAS website contains the tables of contents for all volumes, which can be searched by word.  An index to the first 50 BTAS volumes, organized by author, title, county, and key word, was published in BTAS 50 (pp. 237-312),

The Texas Archeology newsletter was established in 1957 and currently is published on a quarterly basis.  A complete set of the Newsletter is held at TARL and CAH/UT is now receiving copies for curation.  Additional sets may be preserved in other institutions; these locations should be identified and noted on the TAS website.

TXARCH-L is an email forum for TAS members to discuss matters of archeological interest, including meetings, publications, current events, and other topics.  Subscription to TXARCH-L is restricted to TAS members in good standing.  TXARCH-L archives are password-protected, but are accessible to persons registered to the list, and are searchable by author and subject key word.

Archeological collections generated by the 40 Field Schools held since 1962 are primarily curated at TARL, or at institutions in regions where Field Schools were conducted.  These collections include artifacts, bulk samples, field manuals, field notes, photographs, and maps.  Data generated during Rock Art Task Force recording sessions since 1989 also are curated in research institutions, and consist primarily of scaled drawings, photographs, and notes.  Collections not fully reported are in the hands of the principal investigators.  The RCC maintains a database on the curation facilities where Field School collections are currently held.  This database is posted on the TAS website so that it is accessible to researchers with periodic updates provided by the Committee.  The Committee is also compiling a database on Rock Art Task Force projects to include locations where those records are held.  When complete, this database should be posted on the TAS website.

Reports on the data generated from TAS Field Schools have been compiled by May Schmidt and Gail Bailey into a Field School Bibliography, organized by year of the Field School.  This document will be posted on the TAS website for members and researchers.  Corrections and updates should be relayed to the Reports and Curation Committee who will provide periodic updates.  Long-range plans include preparation of a parallel bibliography with citations listed by author and year of publication.

Archive Plan

Over 17+ linear feet of TAS records are currently curated at the Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (CAH/UT).  Abbreviated inventories of the holdings are appended below.  This repository is willing to curate additional TAS records and is working with the RCC to transfer additional documents.  CAH/UT required a document relinquishing ownership of records to the University and has received a Deed of Gift signed by current TAS President Jimmy Smith completing the agreement between both institutions.  Although the CAH/UT has authority to cull the collection and dispose of unwanted material, by careful sorting and boxing prior to transfer, the records should be complete and documented sufficiently so that culling is not necessary.  The CAH/UT allows researchers access to the records in accordance with their current rules and regulations.  The TAS may, in the future, present additional standards, guidelines and restrictions for researchers to CAH/UT if so desired.

The RCC recommends additional records be placed at the CAH/UT facility according to the guidelines below.  In general, all records slated for curation should be transferred to the RCC (through the TAS Administrative Director at CAR/UTSA) where they will be organized and inventoried prior to their submission to the repository.  In general, records should be scheduled for transfer once they are no longer of immediate use by the Society or they are 7 years old.  Society members may transfer their records to the TAS Administrative Director who will inform the RCC Chair.  The committee will process these records for final curation at CAH/UT based on the retention schedule.

Retention Schedule

Constitution and Bylaws
One copy of each prior version of the Constitution and Bylaws should be curated in perpetuity at CAH/UT.  The Reports and Curation Committee will inventory the archives and define deficiencies if any.

Minutes of the Board of Directors and Annual Meetings
Original versions of the Minutes for Board and Annual Meetings should be curated in perpetuity at CAH/UT.  After the 1928-1959 Minutes have been incorporated into the Proceedings document, this document and original copies of more recent Minutes, greater than 7 years old, should be curated at CAH/UT.  The TAS Administrative Director should hold all original Minutes until released to the RCC for transfer.

Proceedings of the Board of Directors
An updated copy of the Proceedings covering the period from 1928 to 2000 should be curated at CAH/UT when it becomes available (See above).

List of Lists
A copy of the List of Lists should be curated at CAH/UT.  The List of Lists should be updated every ten years at each decade change and resubmitted for curation.

Correspondence
TAS correspondence is defined as letters addressed to TAS, or letters sent from the TAS Business office, TAS officers, and/or TAS committee chairs.  Routine correspondence is defined as membership registrations and renewals, bill payments, requests for information, publication requests, and bulk mailing information.  All routine TAS correspondence should be retained for a period of 7 years, and may then be discarded.

All non-routine TAS correspondence greater than 7 years old should be curated in perpetuity at CAH/UT, unless it is still being used for ongoing business matters.  TAS correspondence less than 7 years old and not required for daily business, may be transmitted to the RCC where they will be held until transfer to CAH/UT.

Officer and Committee records
Copies of all Officer and Committee lists should be curated in perpetuity at CAH/UT.  Original officer and Committee lists greater than 7 years old should be curated.  All Officers and Committees should review their records annually or at the end of their term, and retain those records that they believe should be curated in perpetuity at CAH/UT.  This is particularly important for the office of President. Officer and Committee records greater than 7 years old should be curated.  The kinds of records to be curated include correspondence, meeting notes, committee records, and other records that highlight and document the officer's interactions with the board and members of the Society during their term.  If past officers or committees do not wish to hold records that long, they may be transmitted to the RCC where they will be held for transfer to CAH/UT.

Financial records
Financial records include annual budgets, income and expense reports, asset summaries, annual reports of the Fiscal Overview Committee, 4-year audits, receipt books, bank statements, cancelled checks, check stubs/carbons, check registers, expense reports, tax payment records, and income tax returns.  The Field School Committee, along with other committees, may keep financial records from separate bank accounts opened to do TAS business at particular locations.  These records should be retained or transmitted to the TAS Administrative Director or the Reports and Curation Committee when no longer needed.  The TAS Administrative Director should hold all financial records until of no further use or until the transfer date.  In general, all financial records greater than 7 years old should be curated in perpetuity at CAH/UT.  However, receipt books, cancelled checks, and check stubs/carbons and check registers may be destroyed after 7 years as long as these are recorded in an official ledger to be archived.

Field School business and activity records
Field School records include contracts with Principal Investigators, correspondence with Principal Investigators, expense summaries, receipts, registration rosters, registration forms, as well as all event documentation (includes evening programs, lecture notes, group tours information, photographs, song books, lab manuals, or other documents defining field school activities).  A comprehensive collection of these records should be gathered and curated at CAH/UT.

All financial records related to Field School should be retained in accord with the protocol for Financial Records, above.  Field School registration forms and receipts that are greater than 7 years old should be discarded.  All other Field School records greater than 7 years old should be curated in perpetuity at CAH/UT, unless they are still being used for ongoing business matters.

Annual Meeting programs
A comprehensive collection of these programs should be archived at CAH/UT.

Texas Archeology Newsletter
One copy of every edition of Texas Archeology and any other TAS newsletters should be curated in perpetuity at CAH/UT.

Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society
The original manuscripts submitted for publication in each volume of BTAS should be curated in perpetuity at CAH/UT.  A final copy of each BTAS volume should also be curated at CAH/UT.  A copy of the CD database also should be curated.  Camera ready copies, an electronic original or the metal masters of each edition should be held at the TAS office where they will be available for duplication or reprint.  Other records of the editor greater than 7 years old should be transferred to the Reports and Curation Committee for curation in perpetuity at CAH/UT.  The Bulletin editor holds certain manuscript reviews, correspondence, and other reviews pertaining to the TAS publication.  In order to maintain confidentiality, these records, once transferred to CAH/UT, shall have restricted access for a period of 14 years.  The restriction period begins on the date of the last correspondence to or from the Editor concerning the individual manuscript. The manuscript itself shall not be restricted.

Retention Schedule

Records normally retained by the TAS Administrative Director will continue to be the responsibility of the Administrative Director.  The TAS Administrative Director will determine which records will remain active, which will be retained for the archives, and which will be discarded according to the Retention Schedule outlined above.  After this determination, the Administrative Director and/or a member of the Records and Curation Committee will box and inventory these files based on the previous Records Inventory (see Appendix).  Then the Records and Curation Committee will make a request to the CAH/UT for box labels to be placed on the boxes.  The Records Inventory will be updated to reflect these permanent location numbers and the boxes transferred to the CAH/UT for final housing.  Records sent to the TAS Office from Officers and Committee Chairs will be assessed based on the above Retention Schedule and Archival Categories defined below.  These records will then be boxed and inventoried by members of the Records and Curation Committee followed by a request for box labels to the CAH/UT, update of inventory reference, and then final transfer of the records themselves.

Archival Categories

The Record Inventory will follow the general categories established herein.  Additional categories may be added in the future as need arises.  The established record inventory for archival categories are:

Constitution and Bylaws
Minutes of the Board of Directors and Annual Meetings
Proceedings of the Board of Directors
List of Lists
Correspondence
Officer and Committee records
Financial records
Field School business and activity records
Annual Meeting programs
Texas Archeology Newsletter
Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society

In general, all records that are slated for curation at CAH/UT should be transferred to the Reports and Curation Committee, so that they can be organized and inventoried prior to their submission to the repository.

Appendix

TAS Records Curated at the Center for American History of the University of Texas at Austin as of 06/07/2003

Business, Correspondence, Financial Papers
(3 linear inches)
CAH/UT Reference 3C45, 3C46 records curated prior to 1990 consist of Business records dating from 1932 (May), 1944, 1947-1955.

Business Archives
(17 linear feet)
CAH/UT Box numbers 2R776 through 2R789 records curated on 11/16/02 consist of 14 boxes dating circa 1938-1999.

For complete inventory, see CAH/UT registrar or look up the inventory when placed on the TAS web site.

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