FAQ: Archival Workers Emergency Fund

Created in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWEF) was established to provide one-time financial assistance for archives workers, particularly part-time, hourly, contract, freelance, temporary, and student workers, experiencing acute, unanticipated financial hardship due to the crisis. All archival workers experiencing acute, unanticipated financial hardship are eligible to apply.

For those who need additional assistance and/or do not qualify for the Archival Workers Emergency Fund, consider these additional aid resources


Frequently Asked Questions


How much funding is available?

One-time grants of up to a maximum of $1,000 will be awarded to recipients. Grants will be awarded for as long as funding permits. All grant recipients will also receive a complimentary year-long SAA membership.

If you have the means, please consider making a donation

What do you mean by “archival worker”?

To qualify for the fund, applicants should be able to demonstrate archival work performed in a repository, regardless of type. Qualifying work includes, but is not limited to:

  • Reference and public services

  • Records management

  • Collections management

  • Private family archives management

  • Processing and description

  • Digitization and metadata 

See the Application Guidelines for more information. 

Are archival researchers eligible to apply?

Unfortunately, no. Those who work with archival records for research purposes (such as authors, historians, film producers, genealogists, and professional researchers) are not eligible for the fund unless they are doing so as part of their employment by the repository.

Do I need to be a US citizen to apply?

No, but you must be able to provide a U.S. taxpayer identification number and complete a W-9 form to receive aid from the fund.

Do I have to be an SAA member?

No, SAA membership is not required to apply. If you are not an SAA member, you will be offered a complimentary one-year membership in SAA as part of your grant. Current SAA members who receive aid will also get a complimentary one-year extension to their membership.

Is there a deadline to apply?

Due to the unpredictability of the crisis and times of acute need, applications for AWEF will be considered on a rolling basis through December 31, 2021.

What are the application requirements?

Applicants must provide a description of archival work experience and a statement of need. No other documentation is necessary. See the Application Guidelines for more information. 

How will recipients be selected?

Applications that are complete and meet eligibility criteria will be assessed by the AWEF Grant Review Committee according to an evaluation rubric

When will I hear about my application?

The review committee meets weekly to evaluate applications. You will receive a response to your application within 10 business days.

Can I apply multiple times?

To ensure that these funds reach as many individuals as possible, repeat applications will not be considered.

If I receive a grant, will my name and information be made public?

No. The SAA Foundation will maintain an internal list to ensure that applicants are not awarded multiple grants, but names of recipients will not be made public. You are, however, welcome to volunteer to share your story on the #AWEFund blog.