The Society of American Archivists
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Society of
American Archivists

17 North State Street
Suite 1425
Chicago, IL 60602-3315
tel 312/606-0722
fax 312/606-0728
toll-free 866/722-7858


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Frequently Asked Questions About Education


What does an archivist do?

The primary task of the archivist is to establish and maintain physical and intellectual control over records of enduring value. The archivist selects, arranges, describes, and ensures the long-term preservation of such records, and assists researchers who wish to use them. Archivists with administrative responsibilities must understand and apply principles of sound management.

So You Want to be an Archivist: An Overview of the Archival Profession

Where can I attend graduate school to prepare for a career as an archivist?

SAA Directory of Archival Education

Where can I find archival continuing education training in the U.S. and Canada?

SAA Professional Education Workshops

How do I establish an SAA Student Chapter at my university?

SAA is pleased to welcome Student Chapters into the organization. A Student Chapter seeking recognition from SAA should submit the following information to the SAA Education Office:

  1. chapter constitution and bylaws
  2. the names and addresses of the chapter coordinator(s)
  3. a copy of a letter of recognition from the academic institution where the chapter is located, granting the Student Chapter official recognition as a student organization.
  4. a letter from the faculty advisor, who must be an individual member of SAA and either an archival educator or an archivist within the parent institution who has indicated his/her willingness to work with the Student Chapter.
  5. a list of all SAA members enrolled as students at the institution who wish to form a Student Chapter.
Other Requirements
  1. All members of an SAA Student Chapter must also be current individual members of SAA.
  2. Student Chapters must have a minimum of five members to be recognized by SAA.

The SAA Council approves the establishment of new Student Chapters at regular meetings. All of the above listed documents must be submitted and requirements met at least thirty days before a Council meeting for a Student Chapter proposal to be heard at that meeting.

How do I inquire about co-sponsoring an SAA course in my area?

SAA would be happy to work with you to bring the highest quality archival continuing education right to your door. If you would like to host an SAA educational event in your facility or area, there are a few questions to ask yourself before you formally inquire:

  1. Who is the proposed audience for the educational event?
  2. Do I have evidence that this audience needs this educational experience and would attend a workshop if one were scheduled?
  3. Where and when might the workshop be offered?
  4. Have I planned for sufficient time to successfully market the workshop? A year in advance is ideal.

After answering these questions, contact SAA's Education Director(s) to discuss possible continuing education offerings in your area.

What can I do to get the courses I would like to attend scheduled?

  1. Contact the planning committee of your regional association and/or the next meeting you pan to attend and let them know you are interested in a particular SAA workshop.
  2. Contact your colleagues to find out if they share your interest; perhaps they will join you in writing to the committee or sign your letter.
  3. Get in touch with libraries and find out if they would be willing to co-sponsor a SAA workshop.

What are the SAA Education Office policies and procedures?

SAA Education Office Policies and Procedures

Pubs Catalog 2009

Online Publications Catalog