The Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference (MAAC) was established in 1970 to open up communication between archaeologists throughout the mid-Atlantic region. The group has met annually to exchange papers at panel presentations and discussion groups, sit in on specialized workshops, attend yearly business meetings, and socialize and reconnect with fellow MAAC members. Additionally, MAAC publishes the Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology , a once-yearly academic journal.
MAAC includes professional and avocational archaeologists from a wide variety of backgrounds. Conference members hold positions in academia, state and federal historic preservation agencies, and with cultural resource management firms, as well as a number of other careers. Despite these varied professions, however, all of the members share a common interest in the archaeology of the region stretching from New York to Virginia and from the Atlantic Ocean to West Virginia. As of 2008 the group continues to strive to fulfill its mission statement, namely: "To provide a yearly conference and a professional journal for archaeologists, both avocational and professional, working in the Middle Atlantic area: a place to meet, discuss problems and issues, present recent work, and socialize with our colleagues."
"Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference." http://www.maacmidatlanticarchaeology.org (accessed June 19, 2008).
Additional information derived from the collection.
The records of the Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference (MAAC), spanning over twenty-five years beginning in 1978, document the work, activities, and annual meetings of the Conference, a body which is dedicated to bringing together professional and avocational archaeologists from across the mid-Atlantic region. The great majority of the collection is made up of the "working files" of long-time member and Conference Secretary Faye Stocum. The collection also includes seven audio-cassette tapes of MAAC business meetings from the late 1980s and 1990s.
The collection is organized into two series. The first, Series I. Files of the Secretary, includes a twenty-six year run of the files kept by MAAC Secretary Faye Stocum. While these materials were compiled by Stocum, they include more than just the work that Stocum produced as secretary. Rather, the folders contain correspondence generated by a large number of individuals, including members of MAAC’s executive board, the general membership of the group, individuals requesting more information about the MAAC, and vendors and officials with whom the Conference was working.
Much of the correspondence found in the collection illustrates the day-to-day workings of the group. Many letters, for example, are either requests to become a conference member or to renew membership for the coming calendar year. Additionally, many pieces of correspondence each year pertain to making arrangements with the host hotel for room rental, daily refreshments, and setting a group rate for guests. Until the 1990s nearly every conference was held at the Henlopen Hotel in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Beginning in 1990, most of the conferences were held in Ocean City, Maryland.
While the bulk of the correspondence is devoted to the general business of the group, there are exceptions. Several letters illustrate the group’s advocacy for the field of archaeology. One such example is a span of letters by 1989 MAAC president Michael Stewart to Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources, John W. Daniel II, and Virginia Governor Gerald L. Baliles, requesting that the state continue to work to preserve the Thunderbird Paleoindian Site in Warren County, Virginia. Additionally, several letters have to do with the personal lives and professional work of fellow MAAC members. As an organization partly founded to facilitate opportunities for archaeologists from across the region to get together and socialize, MAAC members often were friends. The letters exchanged between members frequently demonstrate this friendship. For example, much of the correspondence from 2004 details the responses many individuals had to hearing the news of the death of long-time MAAC member Ronald Thomas. The 2004 MAAC meeting included a remembrance of Thomas and many members attended and helped plan a separate memorial service held in his honor.
Beginning in about 1999 the vast majority of the pieces of correspondence are print-outs of e-mails, rather than traditional "snail mail." Even prior to this transition from postal mail to e-mail, the group had begun to rely more and more heavily on fax transmissions in the early 1990s.
In addition to correspondence, these working files also contain copies of programs for each year’s conference as well as yearly membership rosters. In some instances other materials, such as examples of voting ballots, written meeting minutes, and copies of the organization's tax returns, have also been preserved in the yearly files. The final folder of Series I. includes two miscellaneous items - a 1988 receipt book for the group as well as a steno notebook containing the minutes of every business meeting from 1987-1993.
The final series, Series II. Recordings of MAAC business meetings, includes seven audio-cassette tapes of the annual meetings of the Conference kept by Secretary Stocum. These tapes have been removed to the media section as noted on the removal sheet found in the collection.