Guidelines for Standardized Holdings Counts and Measures for Archival Repositories and Special Collections Libraries

These guidelines were developed to provide archivists and special collections librarians with a set of practical, well-defined counts and measures that can be used to quantify and communicate holdings information. The counts and measures were also formulated to support the aggregation of holdings information from multiple repositories.

Careful attention was given to formulating the counts and measures so that any type of repository can use the counts and measures to quantify holdings in a manner that is consistent with their application by other repositories. These guidelines consider and address both the wide range of types and formats of collection material typically held and the different ways collection material is managed and described.

Read the standard here.


Holding Counts and Measures User Group

SAA and ARCL/RBMS invite anyone using the Guidelines for Standardized Holdings Counts and Measures for Archival Repositories and Special Collections Libraries to share their questions, prospective uses, and implementation experiences with the greater professional community via this User Group discussion board. By connecting individuals using the Guidelines, both organizations hope to evolve a community of practice that leverages the benefits of the Guidelines while at the same time informing their maintenance and future development.

To subscribe and post to the User Group discussion board, login to SAA Connect (or create a free SAA profile for login). From the User Group homepage, click the "Join Community" button in the top right—and then start posting! If you have any questions or issues, contact SAA staff at

SAA Council Approval/Endorsement Date: 
August 2019
SAA-ACRL-RBMS-HoldingsCountsMetrics_2019.pdf740.98 KB
Appendix B Table 1 Intellectual Units Held.xlsx47.29 KB
Appendix B Table 2 Physical Space Occupied.xlsx75.52 KB
Appendix B Table 3 Digital Space Occupied.xlsx55.22 KB

Related Resources:

Browse the following member-contributed references to case studies, journal articles, events, and other resources related to this standard.
No related resources have been added.
SAA Members: Log in to add Related Resources.

The Standards Portal is maintained by the SAA Standards Committee.

SAA Members: Contribute related resources (e.g., journal articles, case studies, etc.) by using the links at the bottom of listed standards.

Other Related Resources

Developed with support from
Delmas Foundation logo