Fellow of the Society of American Archivists

Established in 1957, the distinction of Fellow—the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA—is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession. This is an elite recognition and, in accordance with SAA's constitution, the total number of Fellows may not exceed five percent of the SAA membership as of the previous annual business meeting.


Candidates must qualify based on meeting every one of the following criteria:

  • Appropriate academic education and professional and technical training in any of the fields of SAA's interest.
  • Professional experience in any of the fields of SAA's objectives for a minimum of seven years, which shall include evidence of professional responsibility.
  • Contributions to the profession demonstrating initiative, resourcefulness, and commitment.
  • Writings, presentations, and/or educational services (such as workshops or seminars) of superior quality and usefulness contributing to the realization of SAA's objectives.
  • Contributions to the archives profession through active participation in SAA and innovative or outstanding work on behalf of SAA.
  • Be an individual member of SAA in good standing for at least seven years immediately preceding their election.

Nomination Requirements and Deadline:

All nominations must be completed online by February 28. Individual members, primary contacts of institutional members, student members, and associate members are eligible to nominate SAA Fellows.

Nominations must include:

  • For each of the criteria, a persuasive argument that explains how the nominee's accomplishments achieve a level that merits being selected as a Fellow. A recitation of facts, such as a list of publications, is not sufficient, and would often be redundant with the nominee’s resume. The nomination should describe how those facts are exceptional, such as the impact that the nominee's publications have had on the profession. Nominations will be judged in part on these descriptions. 
  • At least three, but no more than five, letters of support from individuals who are familiar with the nominee’s work or contributions to the profession. Ideally each letter should address a different aspect of the nominee’s contributions to SAA and/or the profession. Letters may be written by individuals who are not members of SAA. 
  • The nominee’s résumé or curriculum vitae.
  • Confirmation from the SAA office that the nominee has been an individual member in good standing for seven (continuous) years prior to nomination.

Preview the nomination form and/or create an account to start a nomination. All nominations must be submitted by February 28 of each year.  


Distinguished Fellows of the Society of American Archivists, 1957–date.