Professional Archival Experience: SRMA Archives Fellowship Pilot Program

The Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists (SRMA) is offering a stipend of up to $6,000 for early professionals to participate in their Archives Fellowship Pilot Program. SRMA is a non-profit member-oriented professional organization designed to support, promote and educate on issues related to the acquisition and preservation of the evolving historical record and promotion of access to records for present and future generations. The purpose of this program is to support a more diverse field of applicants who wish to, or are curious about, embarking on a career in the archival field. Acknowledging that the archival field has high barriers to entry, including requiring an ability to complete substantial (and often unpaid) fieldwork and internships, this program is intended to allow early career professionals from underrepresented and marginalized communities to gain experience while also being paid appropriately for their work. In particular, the selection committee encourages Black, Indigenous and/or people of color (BIPOC) to apply.

The decision to create this fellowship came as a direct result of feedback the SRMA Diversity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice Task Force received from its 2020-2021 membership survey.

This is a unique experience for a new professional to develop a project based on their goals and skills and work directly with an organization to determine the project’s scope, goals, and outcomes. Institutions in SRMA member states (CO and WY) will partner with a fellow to identify a project needing the fellow’s expertise and labor. The fellowship project may last up to sixteen non-continuous weeks, but must be completed within one year of selection. Work may be done onsite, remotely, or a combination of both, depending on the fellow’s availability, the project, and the needs of the partner institution. Hours worked should scale appropriately with the length and available stipend (e.g., part-time for 16 weeks), so as to guarantee a livable wage for the fellow.

While host organizations are responsible for providing supplies, necessary tools, training, and supervision for the project, all funding for the fellowship salary will be provided by SRMA and paid directly to the fellow. Free SRMA membership for one year is also provided to the fellow.

Individuals and host organizations must apply jointly. To help facilitate the process of matching individuals with organizations, SRMA offers this spreadsheet SRMA Fellowship Spreadsheet for Interested Hosts and Individuals where interested individuals and organizations can share information and find partners. Please note that individuals and institutions must take the initiative to contact one another; SRMA will not monitor the spreadsheet nor reach out to organizations and individuals.

Eligibility Requirements for Fellow Applicants:

Successful applicants to this program will be engaged individuals who are considering or have begun to pursue a career in the archival field. They will be able to meet the following qualifications:

  • Applicants may reside anywhere in the United States, but the institution must be in Colorado or Wyoming
  • No MA/MLIS required, but applicants must be at least a college junior or higher in the fields of Library, Information, or Data Science; Archival Studies; Museum Studies; History; Area or Cultural Studies; Public History, or related field.
  • Ability to summarize skills, education, and experience
  • Ability to outline their interests in the profession, and the ways in which this project will help with their educational and/or career goals, and the mission of the institution.
  • Ability to outline how the project benefits the host institution
  • Willingness and ability to complete the project within 1 year of selection for the program.
  • Because the program is intended to help build diversity in the archival field, we encourage applications from members of BIPOC communities and also welcome applications from persons who identify as LGBQT+, persons with disabilities, and those from other historically underrepresented and marginalized communities.

Eligibility Requirements for Institutional Hosts:

Institutional hosts should be archives, libraries, museums, institutional repositories, parks, landmarks, or related institutions that are able to demonstrate the following:

  • Institution is located in Colorado or Wyoming.
  • At least one staff member is a member of SRMA, preferably the supervisor working with the fellow.
  • A clear description of the organization, project, archival materials, and/or needs.
  • Ability to supervise, mentor, and support the work of an archives fellow who is somewhat new to the profession and may require additional training or support. This will include an ability to support the candidate with resources and skills necessary for the project.
  • An outline of resources available to the candidate for the purposes of the project. This includes brief information on the staff member who will be working directly in a supervisory role, and a more detailed outline of costs of resources.
  • A commitment to supporting and advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) practices in their hiring, staff management, and archival practices. This may be demonstrated through examples of previous projects, an EDI-focused strategic plan, community participation in EDI-focused discussions or efforts, or other evidence of efforts to train an EDI lens on their work.
  • All manner of organizations, including corporations or other commercial entities, are eligible to apply; however preference will be given to nonprofits and local small businesses.

Timeline and Important Dates:

  • Application Open: mid January – March 26, 2023
  • Notification: May 1 or earlier
  • Fellowship occurs: May 1, 2023 – April 30, 2024 (within 16 weeks, non-continuous acceptable)

More Information:

Additional information about the application process and a link to the application can be found here on SRMA’s website. Questions should be submitted to the SRMA Diversity and Inclusion Committee at: Thank you for your interest and please reach out with any questions!