A*CENSUS II: Your Story. Our Future.

December 2022—As SAA looks to the future of archives work and advocates on behalf of the profession, it’s critically important that we understand who is doing the work now, the issues that archives workers face, how we’re being compensated, and so much more.

That’s why SAA sought (and received!) funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to conduct two surveys of the archives profession under one umbrella: A*CENSUS II.

The original A*CENSUS, conducted 17 years ago, focused on establishing a baseline of information about archivists, including demographics, education, and professional development needs. A*CENSUS II is even more ambitious! In Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, we surveyed:

1. Every self-identified archivist/archives and community memory worker in the United States to gather information about their demographics, educational background and needs, job placement and status, and salaries, as well as their perspectives on key issues in the field, and

2. The administrators/directors/leaders of archival institutions to gather baseline data about institutional characteristics, resources, strategic directions, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and access issues. 

Importantly, A*CENSUS II broadened participation by including community archives and community archivists—groups that were not identified in the original survey.

Our partner in this work was Ithaka S+R, which has an excellent reputation in the humanities and heritage sector for designing and executing rigorous research studies in collaboration with academic and cultural communities. A 14-member Working Group of archivists provided conceptual framing of the studies as well as feedback and review of the surveys.

The first survey—of all archivists—was fielded October through December 2021. The survey of administrators launched in March 2022. Results of both surveys will be shared widely and freely with the profession. The survey data will be available via the SAA Dataverse for use in individuals’ and institutions’ future research. Reports on the data will be published in American Archivist.

Read the General FAQs.

Read the All Archivists Survey report.