Archives Institutes

When you are new to a profession, learning all the ins and outs can be intimidating. There seems to be many books, journals, listservs, and blogs to read, and then you try to figure out how to put all of that into practice. Luckily, there are a few intensive archives institutes which you can attend to help you make sense of it all. Here are four well-known annual institutes that would be well worth your time.

  • Real School Archives in a Virtual World: Summers at The Taft School in Watertown, CT
  • Modern Archives Institute:  June 2-13, 2014 in Washington, DC
  • 47th Annual Georgia Archives Institute: June 9-20, 2014 in Morrow, Georgia (just south of Atlanta)
  • 28th Annual Western Archives Institute: July 6-18, 2014 at the University of California, Riverside in Riverside, California

Real School Archives in a Virtual World

This workshop is designed for those who have been asked to “do something about the school archives.” No prior archival training is expected. Topics covered will include policy development, records surveys, appraisal of material, arrangement and description, conservation and preservation, space and storage planning, as well as reference and outreach, potential uses of archives in the school environment, and the effects of electronic records and the demand for digitized collections, on the future of archives. The approach, a pragmatic one, is designed particularly for those who are short of both time and money.

This course has been taught during the summer by Ed Desrochers, C.A. Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter, NH), since the 1980s. It is offered based on a demonstrated need, but Mr. Desrochers tries to offer it at least every other year. Interested individuals should express their interest to Alison Oriente ( at the TAFT Education Center.

Modern Archives Institute: June 2-13, 2014


Participants in the 2012 Modern Archives Institute.

The National Archives and Records Administration, in cooperation with the Library of Congress, presents two sessions of the Modern Archives Institute each year, in order to introduce participants to archival theory and practice and the responsibilities of archival work.

Participants usually have limited archival experience and represent a wide variety of archival repositories, large and small, public and private. Priority is given to persons who work with archives or manuscripts. Managers whose organizations include archival units, persons from other professions who require a basic understanding of archival work, and those who are preparing for a career in archives and manuscripts will be admitted on a space-available basis.

The two-week program provides an introduction to archival principles and techniques for individuals who work with personal papers, as well as those who work with the records of public and private institutions and organizations. It is intended to help archivists acquire basic knowledge about caring for archival materials and making them available.

The Institute concentrates on the following basic archival functions:

  • Acquisition of archival material
  • Appraisal and disposition
  • Arrangement and description
  • Preservation
  • Reference and access
  • Public programs

Other topics include the management of archival institutions; administration of special types of archival materials, such as photographs and electronic records; funding; and ethics. The program includes lectures, discussions, workshops, a full day of activities at the Library of Congress, and tours of various units of the National Archives and Records Administration. Continuing education units are offered. Participants will receive several archival publications as well as other materials.

The fee is $775. This includes publications and instructional materials. Transportation, room, and board are not included. Payment is required before participants can be considered enrolled, though slots may be reserved without payment before the payment deadline. Slots are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis for persons currently working in archives or manuscripts Learn about a scholarship opportunity.

Participants are responsible for securing their own accommodations. Lodging information will be provided on request.

Most sessions will take place at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. We expect to spend two days at the National Archives Building in College Park, Maryland. The Institute will also meet one day at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

Classes will be held Monday through Friday of the two weeks. There are no evening sessions. The Institute will end at noon on the last day.

47th Annual Georgia Archives Institute: June 9 – 20, 2014


The Georgia Archives located in Morrow, Georgia, just south of Atlanta.

Randall C. Jimerson, professor of History and director of the Graduate Program in Archives and Records Management at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, will be the principal instructor.  He is a Fellow and past president of the Society of American Archivists. Topics will include acquisition, appraisal, arrangement, description, reference, as well as legal and administrative issues.

During the second week, classes will be provided on preservation and digital records.  To link archival theory with real world application, students will also participate in individualized, three-day internships at local archival repositories.

Tuition is $500.  Enrollment is limited and the deadline for receipt of application, resume, and $75 application fee (refunded if not admitted to Institute) is April 1, 2014. Tuition does not cover transportation, housing, or meals.

Tuition scholarships are available from the Society of Georgia Archivists, and The Friends of Georgia Archives and History, Scholarships may have earlier deadlines.

For an application to the Institute or information, please visit the Georgia Archives Institute web site at or contact:

Georgia Archives Institute
P.O. Box 4074
Decatur, GA 30031

28th Annual Western Archives Institute: July 6-18, 2014

The Western Archives Institute (WAI), held this year at the University of California, Riverside, is an intensive, two–week program that provides integrated instruction in basic archival practices to individuals with a variety of goals, including:

  • those whose jobs require a fundamental understanding of archival skills, but have little or no previous archives education
  • those who have expanding responsibility for archival materials
  • those who are practicing archivists but have not received formal instruction
  • those who demonstrate a commitment to an archival career

The Institute also features site visits to historical records repositories and a diverse curriculum that includes history and development of the profession, theory and terminology, records management, appraisal, arrangement, description, manuscripts acquisition, archives and the law, photographs, preservation administration, reference and access, outreach programs, and managing archival programs and institutions.

Ciaran B. Trace has agreed to serve as the Principal Faculty Member for the 2014 program. Ciaran trained and worked as an archivist in Ireland before moving to the United States in 1997 to pursue a doctoral degree in Library and Information Science at the University of California at Los Angeles. While at UCLA, she worked as the Associate Director of the Institute on Primary Resources, a program aimed at fostering the use of archival materials in the K-12 classroom. Her initial faculty appointment was at the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she was the coordinator of the Specialization in Archives and Records Administration. Ciaran currently works as an assistant professor at the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin where she teaches courses on archives and records management.

Core sessions of the Institute are taught by a leading archival educators. Prior Principal Faculty include Tim Ericson, Elizabeth Yakel, Elizabeth Dow, Rand Jimerson, David B. Gracy II, and Gregory S. Hunter. Additional sessions are taught by adjunct educators selected because of their knowledge based on a particular subject and professional recognition.

  1. Tuition for the Institute is $700 and includes a selection of archival publications.
  2. Residents and commuters also pay a non–negotiable fee for program transportation, facility costs, opening dinner, and closing luncheon.*
  3. Housing and meal plans are available at additional cost. Non–negotiable fee and housing/meal costs available February 2014
  4. Application Deadline: March 1, 2014

2014 WAI Application (pdf ~ 66 KB)
2014 WAI Application (word ~ 81 KB)
Application Cover letter (pdf ~ 33 KB)
Local Arrangements (pdf ~ 84 KB)
Important Dates for 2014 WAI (pdf ~ 65 KB)

For additional information, contact:
Western Archives Institute
1020 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Telephone: (916) 653–7715
Fax: (916) 653–7134


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s