Fellows of the Society of American Archivists

Established in 1957, the distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archival 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 his/her election.

How to Prepare a Nomination:

Individual members, primary contacts of institutional members, student members, and associate members are eligible to nominate SAA Fellows. Nomination packages must include the following (incomplete packages will not be considered)

  • A completed nomination form that includes:
    • Confirmation from the SAA office that the individual has been an individual member in good standing for seven (continuous) years prior to nomination.
    • For each of the criteria, a persuasive argument that justifies how the nominee has distinguished her/himself at 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. 
    • A list of individuals who have agreed to write letters of support for the nomination.
  • 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. Letters may be included as a package or sent directly to the committee chair in care of the SAA Office. Letters must be postmarked no later than February 28.
  • The nominee’s resume or vita.

Nomination Form:

Download the nomination form as a PDF.  Send the completed form and supplementary documentation to:


Please indicate "Fellow Nomination" in the email subject line. Use standard file applications such as Word, Excel, or Adobe; attachments should not exceed 5MB.

Submissions also are acceptable via delivery and can be sent to: 

Chair, Committee on the Selection of Fellows
Society of American Archivists
17 North State Street, Suite 1425
Chicago, IL 60602

Submission Deadline:

All nominations shall be submitted to SAA by February 28.



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