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Free Publications

These edited monographs, case studies, guides, and formal papers have gone through a review process and are available free of charge.

Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (2013)
Facilitates consistent, appropriate, and self-explanatory description of archival materials and creators of archival materials. This Second Edition reflects the growing convergence among archival, museum, and library standards; aligns DACS with the descriptive standards developed and supported by the International Council on Archives; and provides guidance on the creation of archival authority records. DACS can be applied to all types of material at all levels of description, and the rules are designed for use by any type of descriptive output, including MARC 21, Encoded Archival Description (EAD), and Encoded Archival Context (EAC). The Second Edition was officially adopted as a standard by the Council of the Society of American Archivists in January 2013, following review by the SAA Standards Committee, its Technical Subcommittee for Describing Archives: A Content Standard, and the general archival community.

Also available is an earlier edition of Describing Archives: A Content Standard (2007), which was originally approved by the Society of American Archivists as an SAA standard in 2004.

Archives and Manuscripts: Law (1985)
This still-useful publication by Gary Peterson and Trudy Huskamp Peterson presents legal questions confronted by archivists and discusses reasonable means for analyzing and resolving legal issues. A companion to the newer Navigating Legal Issues in Archives.

Campus Case Studies
Reports by university archivists on working solutions for born-digital records. 

Documentation Planning for the U.S. Health Care System (1994)
Joan D. Krizack provides a systematic method for devising documentation plans presented in the context of the U.S. health care system that also can be adapted to other types of institutions. Winner of SAA’s 1995 Waldo Gifford Leland Award.

Encoded Archival Description: Tag Library (Version 2002)
An essential tool for archivists, librarians, and allied professionals. A narrative overview explains the major components of the EAD structure. It lists and defines elements and attributes and indicates their relationship to one another. Tagged examples illustrate the use of each element.

A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology (2005)
Richard Pearce-Moses has done an outstanding job on this glossary, which contains more than 2,000 defined entries and more than 600 lead-in terms, and nearly 700 citations from some 280 sources.

HathiTrust
SAA has granted full-view permission for more than 80 out-of-print publications in the HathiTrust. The oldest item is August Sueflow’s A Preliminary Guide to Church Record Repositories (1969). Highlights among the released publications include the Basic Manual Series, the original Archival Fundamentals Series, important SAA planning reports (e.g., Planning for the Archival Profession, 1986; Image of Archivists, 1984; and Evaluation of Archival Institutions 1982), Steve Hensen’s Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts (1989), three glossaries of archival terms spanning a 30-year-period (Evans 1973; Bellardo 1992; Pearce-Moses 2005), and the 1996 reprint of T. R. Schellenberg’s archival classic Modern Archives: Principles and Techniques. Beyond books, also included is a full run of the SAA Newsletter/Archival Outlook from 1979 to 1998 and Volumes 1 through 62 (1938 to 1999) of American Archivist, plus a two-volume compilation index for the first 30 volumes of the journal. 

The High Technology Company: A Historical Research and Archival Guide (1989)
Written by Bruce Bruemmer and Sheldon Hocheiser, and published by the Charles Babbage Institute, this 134-page pioneering guide to archival practices in high-tech companies lists the general types of business records and provides a “documentary probe” based on the Control Data Corporation records at CBI. Henry Lowood, curator for History of Science & Technology Collections and Film & Media Collections in the Stanford University Libraries, identified it as one of the “indispensable guides” that helped shape “the strategies and programs that guided the growth of archival resources in the history of computing.” 

The Interactive Archivist: Case Studies in Utilizing Web 2.0 to Improve the Archival Experience (2009)
Edited by J. Gordon Daines III and Cory L. Nimer. Blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networking sites, and a host of other Web 2.0 technologies have revolutionized the way that students and scholars access information. This innovative e-publication introduces archivists to practical solutions for integrating Web 2.0 technologies into their everyday work. Featuring case studies by archivists discussing actual implementations of Web 2.0 technologies it is sure to foster an ongoing dialogue about the best ways to meet patron needs. This e-publication is available at http://interactivearchivist.archivists.org/.

A Manual of Archive Administration, Including the Problems of War Archives and Archive Making (1922)
A digital version of this archival classic by Sir Hilary Jenkinson is available courtesy of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Modern Archives: Principles and Techniques (1956)
A classic collection of writings by Theodore R. Schellenberg that provide the very basis of theory and practice for the American archival profession. New introduction by former North Carolina State Archivist H.G. Jones added in 2003.

Resources for Volunteer Programs in Archives (2012)
A joint production of the National Archives and Records Administration and the Society of American Archivists, this guide introduces you to volunteer activities underway in various archives. The project descriptions outline all kinds of work, from transcription to processing, from reference to indexing. Each description is meant to offer an example of one way to organize work. If you have never used volunteer help in your organization, this guide will provide you with a sense of the possibilities. And if you are interested in expanding or rethinking your volunteer program, this guide will offer some ideas.

Standards for Archival Description: A Handbook (1994)
Compiled by Victoria Irons Walch with contributions by Marion Matters, this publication describes technical standards, conventions, and guidelines used by archivists in describing holdings and repositories.

Thesaurus for Use in College and University Archives (2009)
Compiled and edited by Kate Bowers, this thesaurus consists of a set of 1,300 terms compiled from a variety of sources and for use by any college or university archives in the United States for describing its holdings.  

Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research (2011)
This guide outlines the functions and procedures of archives, and is designed both for first-time archives users and scholars who have already conducted research in archives. The content covers how archives function, how to identify appropriate archives for your research, and how to access historical materials and research at an archives. Repositories and their collecting scopes and practices may differ, but the principles in this guide should assist you in accomplishing your research goals at any archival institution.