An Updated Snapshot of the Archival Profession
Gearing up for A*CENSUS II
In 2004, the Society of American Archivists led A*CENSUS, the first broadscale survey of individual archivists in the United States in nearly thirty years. The initiative resulted in tremendous impact for the archival field. For institutions and professional organizations, the data informed the design of new curricula and the assessment of current educational offerings; for archival institutions, the opportunity to advocate for resources, set goals, and benchmark against peers; and for researchers, the data needed for studying trends in the changing workforce. Yet, the archival profession has changed significantly over the last decade and a half and there is a great need for fresh data.
Today I am thrilled to share that thanks to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, we will be working with SAA to build on the important work catalyzed by the initial initiative by providing an updated snapshot of the current state of the profession, its practitioners, and its supporting organizations, through A*CENSUS II.
Through A*CENSUS II, we will examine the current demographic characteristics of archivists and archival organizations, and how this makeup has shifted since the initial survey. We will identify the educational needs of archivists, the extent to which these needs are met, and the opportunities for addressing gaps. We will also explore the strategic direction archival organizations are taking and the resource challenges they face. Lastly, we will examine the extent to which archival workers and directors view their organizations as inclusive, equitable, and diverse.
A*CENSUS II will include two surveys, one of self-identified archivists on their individual identities, educational needs, job placement and status, salaries, and perspectives on key issues in the field, and another of the directors of archival organizations on organizational characteristics, resources, strategic directions, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and access issues.
We are excited to get to work with SAA and look forward to sharing updates as we gear up for this important initiative.
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services [LG-246367-OLS-20].
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.