SAA Receives IMLS Grant for A*CENSUS II

July 24, 2020—SAA will launch the second comprehensive Archival Census and Education Needs Survey in the United States (A*CENSUS II) in early September, thanks to a $249,500 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Working with research firm ITHAKA S+R, SAA will survey 1) every self-identified archivist/archives worker in the U.S. 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 directors of archival organizations to gather data about institutional characteristics; resources; strategic directions; and equity, inclusion, diversity, and access issues. Data and analyses will be made publicly available to support research and use by archivists and archives workers, archival institutions, and members of other cultural heritage communities.

The first A*CENSUS, fielded in early May 2004, provided a snapshot of the archives profession that served as the basis for SAA’s strategic planning and programming efforts beginning in 2005. Those efforts prioritized:

  • Attracting individuals (to both the profession and the association) who more closely reflect the diversity of society at large;
  • Rethinking and retooling SAA’s professional development and publication offerings to provide archivists with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage records created in a variety of digital forms and to use information technologies to enhance access to and use of collections;
  • Understanding the nature of employment in the profession, given the extent of project work and a culture of low salaries and inadequate benefits; and
  • Creating within SAA the infrastructure to support data collection and analysis.

Read more about A*CENSUS.

“The profession has changed significantly in the last 16 years, particularly in terms of diversity, technology, and education,” said SAA President Meredith Evans. “Building on the important work catalyzed by the first census, A*CENSUS II will seek new—and actionable—information about the current state of the profession, its practitioners, and its supporting organizations. We can’t wait to get started!”