Free Publications

These edited publications have gone through a review process and are available free of charge.


HathiTrust  |  SAA Books in HathiTrust

SAA has granted full-view permission for dozens out-of-print books in the HathiTrust. Beyond books, also included is the SAA Newsletter/Archival Outlook from 1979 to 1998 and Volumes 1 through 62 (1938 to 1999) of The American Archivist, plus a two-volume compilation index for the first 30 volumes of the journal. 

A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology (2005)
Published by SAA in 2005 as one of seven volumes in the Archival Fundamentals Series II, the Glossary, by Richard Pearce-Moses, contains more than 2,000 defined entries, more than 600 lead-in terms, and nearly 700 citations from some 280 sources, and is based primarily on archival literature in the United States and Canada.

Archives and Manuscripts: Law (1985)

This still-useful publication by Gary Peterson and Trudy Huskamp Peterson presents legal questions confronted by archivists and discusses reasonable means for analyzing and resolving legal issues. A companion to the newer Navigating Legal Issues in Archives.

Archives in the Ancient World (2003)

In 1972 Ernst Posner created for the first time a sound historical basis for the archivist's understanding of the genesis of the profession by drawing on the findings of Assyriologists, papyrologists, and classicists. This 2003 edition includes an introduction by SAA Fellow and Boston College History Professor James M. O'Toole.

Documentation Planning for the U.S. Health Care System (1994) 

Joan D. Krizack provides a systematic method for devising documentation plans presented in the context of the U.S. health care system that also can be adapted to other types of institutions. Winner of SAA’s 1995 Waldo Gifford Leland Award.

The High Technology Company: A Historical Research and Archival Guide (1989)

Written by Bruce Bruemmer and Sheldon Hocheiser, and published by the Charles Babbage Institute, this 134-page pioneering guide to archival practices in high-tech companies lists the general types of business records and provides a “documentary probe” based on the Control Data Corporation records at CBI. Henry Lowood, curator for History of Science & Technology Collections and Film & Media Collections in the Stanford University Libraries, identified it as one of the “indispensable guides” that helped shape “the strategies and programs that guided the growth of archival resources in the history of computing.” 

The Interactive Archivist: Case Studies in Utilizing Web 2.0 to Improve the Archival Experience (2009)

Edited by J. Gordon Daines III and Cory L. Nimer. Blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networking sites, and a host of other Web 2.0 technologies have revolutionized the way that students and scholars access information. This innovative e-publication introduces archivists to practical solutions for integrating Web 2.0 technologies into their everyday work. Featuring case studies by archivists discussing actual implementations of Web 2.0 technologies it is sure to foster an ongoing dialogue about the best ways to meet patron needs. 

A Manual of Archive Administration, Including the Problems of War Archives and Archive Making (1922)

A digital version of this archival classic by Sir Hilary Jenkinson is available courtesy of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Modern Archives: Principles and Techniques (1956) 

A classic collection of writings by Theodore R. Schellenberg that provide the very basis of theory and practice for the American archival profession. New introduction by former North Carolina State Archivist H.G. Jones added in 2003.

Oral History Cataloging Manual (1995) 

Compiled by Marion Matters, the manual was created to mainstream oral history cataloging. Because of the affinities between oral history materials and archival records, the manual is based on the archival approach to cataloging.


Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (2013)

Facilitates consistent, appropriate, and self-explanatory description of archival materials and creators of archival materials. This Second Edition reflects the growing convergence among archival, museum, and library standards; aligns DACS with the descriptive standards developed and supported by the International Council on Archives; and provides guidance on the creation of archival authority records. DACS can be applied to all types of material at all levels of description, and the rules are designed for use by any type of descriptive output, including MARC 21, Encoded Archival Description (EAD), and Encoded Archival Context (EAC). The Second Edition was officially adopted as a standard by the Council of the Society of American Archivists in January 2013, following review by the SAA Standards Committee, its Technical Subcommittee for Describing Archives: A Content Standard, and the general archival community. Also available is an earlier edition of Describing Archives: A Content Standard (2007), which was originally approved by the Society of American Archivists as an SAA standard in 2004.

Encoded Archival Description: Tag Library (Version 2002)

An essential tool for archivists, librarians, and allied professionals. A narrative overview explains the major components of the EAD structure. It lists and defines elements and attributes and indicates their relationship to one another. Tagged examples illustrate the use of each element.

Standards for Archival Description: A Handbook (1994)

Compiled by Victoria Irons Walch with contributions by Marion Matters, this publication describes technical standards, conventions, and guidelines used by archivists in describing holdings and repositories.


Ten papers from a conference held in Tokyo in May 2007.

EAD@10: Proceedings from a Symposium Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Encoded Archival Description (2008)
Audio presentations from nine speakers who reported on EAD implementation in Europe as well as what the future may hold for EAD. 

New Skills for a Digital Era (2007)
Proceedings from a colloquium held May 2006 in Washington, DC, which brought together information professionals, educators, managers, and technologists.