Facts and Figures

Research about archivists and the archival field demonstrates the value and impact of the work we do. SAA, as supported by the Committee on Research, Data, and Assessment, compiles and makes available data sets, reports, statistics, and other related tools.


SAA Dataverse

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) Dataverse is a repository that supports the reuse of data sets for purposes of fostering research, knowledge, insights, and a deeper understanding of archival organizations, the status of archivists, and the impact of archives and archival work on broader society.

The SAA Dataverse welcomes submissions of quantitative or qualitative data and associated documentation from the archival community. Click to see the full collection development policy. Additional information on submission procedures is available in the SAA Dataverse: https://doi.org/10.15139/S3/X4ZO8P

To learn more about the SAA Dataverse and how to use it, check out these short video tutorials.

Explore the SAA Dataverse:

Evaluation and Assessment

Data about American archives and archivists that evidence the value of archives for society. 




Predigested quantitative and qualitative information gathered together/curated from diverse sources.


  • A*Census (Archival Census and Education Needs Survey in the United States), Society of American Archivists.
    • Special section on A*CENSUS, The American Archivist. 69, (2), 291-527
    • A*Census Dataset in SAA's Dataverse.

      The A*CENSUS, the first comprehensive survey of individuals in the archival profession since 1982, was designed to collect baseline demographic data on archivists in the workforce in the United States, identify the knowledge and skills archivists need to do their jobs and adapt to future demands, and gauge the capacity of graduate and continuing education programs to deliver the necessary knowledge and skills. Detailed information was collected from all respondents in the following subject areas: basic demographic information (age, gender, race/ethnicity), employment (full/part-time, average hours per week, type of employer, years employed, functions), education (degrees, majors, years awarded), training and continuing education (sources, delivery formats and methods, support from employer for obtaining, barriers to obtaining, topical priorities), career paths (impetus for first archival job, careers prior to entering archival work, plans to leave archival work including retirement), professional association affiliation (membership in archival and other associations, support from employer for participation, impetus for joining), leadership/professional involvement (conference attendance, presentations, publications authored, teaching experience, leadership positions in archival and nonarchival organizations, strength of ties to archival profession), and issues of greatest importance.

  • A*CENSUS II: Your Story. Our Future. (Archival Census and Education Needs Survey in the United States), Society of American Archivists.
    • A*CENSUS II All Archivists Survey Report. Skinner, Makala and Ioana Hulbert, Ithaka S+R. 

      The All Archivists Survey, fielded 17 years after the original A*CENSUS collected foundational data for the field, provides a measure of how far the field has come in nearly two decades as well as introduces new or expanded areas of exploration, including sections on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, community archives, and student loan debt.

    • A*CENSUS II: Archives Administrators Survey Report. Skinner, Makala, Ithaka S+R. 

      Seven hundred and forty-six archives administrators representing academic institutions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, and community archives across the United States shared information about their organizations and their perspectives on key issues in the field by completing the A*CENSUS II Archives Administrators Survey. This report shares findings on archives’ budget and collection sizes, staff recruitment and retention, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility practices. It examines the perspectives of archives administrators on the strategic directions of their organizations, the most significant challenges they are facing, as well as their own role within the organization. As a major nationwide survey of administrators within the archives profession, the findings in this report offer data on institutional as well as administrator demographics.


  • SAA Employment Survey (2015). Survey Data.

    Results from a survey of SAA members launched to gather employment data relating to archivists and the archives profession. A total of 3,976 individuals responded to the 23-question survey.

  • Rebecca Goldman and Shannon M. Lausch (2012) . Job search experiences and career satisfaction among recent archives program graduates.

    In June 2012, Rebecca Goldman and Shannon Lausch conducted a survey of recent archives graduates to investigate job search experiences, career satisfaction, satisfaction with archival education, and overall life satisfaction. They presented the results of their research at the Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting in San Diego on August 9, 2012. Included here are the survey questions, anonymized versions of the survey data, and Goldman and Lausch's presentations from SAA.


  • Women Archivists Section (2002). Survey Results .

    In 2000 and 2001, the WAR Steering Committee and membership devised a survey that sought to explore the relationship between women archivists and their profession, highlighting the issues critical to women archivists and proposing a statistical analysis of those issues. Questions related to respondents' work (including their geographic location, work "climate," professional activity, education, training and responsibilities), and the balance of work and home (flextime, child and elder care, professional and personal leave), as well to working with "women's collections." The questions were then compiled and reviewed by the Steering Committee, and a final survey was established in August of 2001. The survey was completed by a total of 227 women archivists.


  • Women Archivists Section/SAA Salary Survey (2017). Initial Results and Analysis.

    The Women Archivists Section Salary Survey, created by the Women Archivists Section (WArS) of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and funded by the SAA, inventories salary, employment, and leadership in the archives profession. The survey was developed in response to member interest in salary data about the archives profession and, in particular, in data about women archivists across intersectional identities.

  • SAA Salary Survey (1996).  Survey Results.

    Detailed results from a comprehensive salary survey of SAA members conducted four years in advance of A*Census. The very granular breakdown of results is organized into 36 tables by job category and job characteristics.

  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics for Archivists.

    May 2020 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates.

SAA Membership: Sections and Roundtables 

  • Design Records Section. Member Survey Results (2019).

    A Survey of DRS members about the scope of design and architecture records in their collection, the type of work they do, and the support that they need from the section to successfully carry out their work.

  • Public Library Archives/Special Collections Roundtable. Member Survey (2018).

    o A survey developed to gather information from former and current Public Library Archives/Special Collection (PLASC) section members to determine member needs and how PLASC can best serve them.




Access and Collection Management

  • Acquisitions and Appraisal Section (2017). Development Policy Survey.

    Summary responses and full but redacted data is provided in this report.

  • Collection Management Tools RoundtableSurvey on Needs for a Documentation Portal (2015).

    The Steering Committee surveyed the roundtable membership to gather data on: 1) which tools are being used, 2) how long institutions plan to use these tools, 3) issues encountered in implementing these tools, and 4) to identify the most desired support documentation for specific tool functions.

  • OCLC Research (2010). Taking Our Pulse: The OCLC Research Survey of Special Collections and Archives.

    This extensive research report (129 pp.) this OCLC Research report concludes that much rare and unique material in US special collections remains undiscoverable, and monetary resources are shrinking at the same time that user demand is growing. The report contains extensive analytics and tabular data.

Corporate Archives

  • Business Archives Section.Survey of Business Archives (2017).

    A survey gathering information on United States Business Archives. Questions were divided into three categories: 1) Information about the broader corporate entity; 2) Information about the archives department; and 3) Information about the collections. A final free response question asked respondents to share their greatest challenge.

  • The Society of American Archivists, Business Archives Section. Directory of Corporate Archives in the United States and Canada.

    Directory of Corporate Archives in the United States and Canada includes companies that maintain their historical records themselves, as well as companies that contract with historical consulting firms to maintain their archives collections for them, and libraries that contain business records. Those businesses that contract outside the company for archival services are marked by an asterisk. This directory also includes the archives of professional associations as these collections document various industries and companies that may be of use to corporate archivists.The Directory of Corporate Archives in the United States and Canada contains complete entries arranged alphabetically by name of corporation.



Library & Archives Graduate Programs

Professional Development

  • SAA Membership Committee Survey on Professional Development (2018)

    Thorough analytics from survey of professional development opportunities available to members, which gathered 1,006 responses, or 18% of SAA’s total individual membership.



Tools and Resources

Find sharable tools and resources, developed both by SAA and external agencies, to assist you in your archival practice, research, and advocacy. 




Direct access to a host of standards germane to archival practice is facilitated through SAA's Standards Portal . The portal is designed to educate the archives community about the value and role of standards, enhance the application of standards to archival practice, and facilitate successful partnerships with related information organizations with mutual concerns and interests. The portal includes SAA-approved standards, guidelines, and best practice documents. SAA's long-term goal is to establish a comprehensive clearinghouse that includes contextual information to assist archivists and allied professionals in moving these and other external standards from theory to practice.

Tools and Workbooks

A compilation of tools, toolkits, workbooks, and other resources developed by various repositories to regulate local practice and to create efficiencies. All of these resources are included because they have potential to be adapted by other repositories. 

Tools and Toolkits

  • Archival Metrics Investigators. Archival Metrics Toolkits.

    Our project seeks to promote a culture of assessment in the archival domain by creating standardized user-based evaluation tools and other performance measures. Our user-based evaluation toolkits are ready-made packages that include validated, tested questionnaires, administration and coding instructions, and sample reports illustrating how to effectively communicate study results to others. Adoption of these standardized measures will support the movement to allow repositories to compare their performance with others' thereby identifying best practices, and helping all institutions improve their user services.

  • New York University. Archival Collections Management: Arrangement and Description. Processing Plan Template

    A formatted model, with embedded instructions, used by the repository to create a standardized processing plan document to guide each project.

  • SAA. Regional Archival Associations Consortium. Disaster Planning and Response Resources

    A wide-ranging set of resources--including tools, toolkits, and guidelines--that are intended to provide archival repository employees with useful information about disaster planning, response, and recovery so they have somewhere to turn when an emergency strikes. While the list is not all encompassing, the links here will guide you in the right direction. The resources provided are for informational purposes only and are not meant as an endorsement by RAAC or its members. Many of the pages contain links to additional resources.

  • Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Linear Footage Calculator.

    This simple form-based calculator allows one to convert a group of storage containers of various types and sizes into a linear footage total.

  • North Carolina State University Libraries. Social Media Archives Toolkit.

    In 2014, the NC State University Libraries was awarded an EZ Innovation Grant from the State Library of North Carolina to develop a freely available web-based documentary toolkit that publicly documents their own effort to develop a sophisticated social media archival program in a way that may help guide cultural heritage organizations that are interested in collecting and curating social media content. The toolkit may help archivists develop collecting strategies for content, see how peer institutions have done so, assess legal and ethical implications, understand potential of such content for researchers, and utilize labor- and cost-saving techniques.

  •  Special Collections and Social Media Wiki.

    This site is intended to be resource for the libraries and archives communities, providing an aggregate of links to the social media sites that special collections libraries and archives use. There is also a section in which participants can consider best practices, ask questions, and share ideas with each other. This wiki is organized by social media type.

Resource Guides


A gateway into a variety of resources that can be useful for understanding current and recent research efforts and how they can be adapted or emulated, as well as suggestions for fruitful areas for future research projects. 

An Annotated Reading List

  • Cifor, M., Evans, J., Punzalan, R., Ramirez, M.H., Soyka, H. Wartenbe, M., & Wilczek, E. (2014, July 14).  “Grand challenges.” Plenary panel at AERI 2014, University of Pittsburgh.

    A detailed examination by the AERI Grand Challenges Working Group of four selected grand challenge areas--Organizational transparency and accountability, Environmental sustainability, Human rights and social justice, Peace and security--and denoting recent archival research aligning with them.

  • Council of State Archivists. (2013).   The importance of state archives. Albany, NY: CoSA.

    This document has been prepared by the Council of State Archivists to identify the importance of the programs and functions provided by the state archives programs in the United States.

  • McKemmish, S., with Gilliland, A., Evans, J., Lau, A., & Rolan, G. (2016, July 9).   “ARK research: The state of the art.” Plenary presented at AERI 2016, Kent State University.

    This paper reports on the state of the art of archival and recordkeeping research in the English‐speaking world. It will present a thematic analysis of ARK research over the past 10 years, update previous analyses by Gilliland and McKemmish of the methodologies and methods being used in ARK research, and identify emergent areas.

  • Meissner, D. (2017, Spring/Summer).   "Bare necessities." American Archivist 80(1): 6-18.

    This presidential address argues that archivists must develop an understanding, supported by meaningful data, of who our users are, what services they value, how they want to use our collections, and which potential users we are not serving. We must understand the real economic impact of archives and archivists on their communities. The goal in this regard is to provide access to compelling data about American archives and their users that speak to the value of archives for society and that also help us improve our services to our consumers.

  • ProjectARCC.   Climate change syllabus.

    ProjectARCC members compiled a large and varied assortment of resources related to climate change, from general resources for the beginner, communication strategies about climate change, disaster response, and popular science.

  • Project STAND (2018).   Student Activism Now Documented website.

    Project STAND was formed in 2016 as an online collaborative project led by academic archives that serves as an access point for archival materials related to historical and current student activism, particularly in support of marginalized or underrepresented identities, including a toolkit to support the collecting activities. It provides an online clearinghouse where academic institutions can provide researchers a centralized access point to historical and archival documentation on the development and on-going occurrences of student dissent.

  • SAA Council (2022).   SAA Strategic Plan, 2022-2025.

    The SAA strategic plan, among its other uses, suggests useful areas for research that that would benefit the association and the archival community.

  • University of Cape Town (2018).   Archival platform.

    The Platform was envisaged as a vehicle for nurturing and promoting archival activism. It did this through information-sharing, dialogue and advocacy for social justice across South Africa’s archival and broader memory sectors. At the heart of the Archival Platform’s mission was a commitment to playing a catalytic role in enabling practitioners, theorists and the general public to reimagine the concept of ‘archive’ and to re-think the ways in which archiving is practiced in a changing world.

  • Weber, C. S. 2017.   "Research and learning agenda for archives, special, and distinctive collections in research libraries." Dublin, OH: OCLC Research.

    This research and learning agenda represents the latest in a long line of OCLC Research efforts on behalf of archives and special collections in research libraries, to discern and respond to current and emerging needs in the community, and to convene colleagues across the profession to collectively move the profession forward. It is practitioner focused and represents the results of numerous conversations, reading broadly, and thinking carefully about the most pressing needs that face our collective collections and operations. The agenda addresses areas of inquiry and potential research and learning opportunities, building on recent work in the profession.


A diverse repository of ready reference statistical sets, dashboards, infographics, and other resources intended to aid archivists and repositories in developing and presenting advocacy messages to a variety of audiences. 


  • Council of State Archivists. CoSA Reports and Surveys.

    The CoSA Reports and Surveys are a rich set of resources useful for archival advocacy. They include research reports, whitepapers, surveys, and infographics.