Society of Southwest Archivists

SSA Archivist-in-Residence Program

Applications accepted December 1, 2023 – March 1, 2024

Award Overview

The Society of Southwest Archivists is offering a $5,000 stipend for one graduate student (or recent graduate within two years) to receive an Archivist-in-Residence opportunity. The purpose of this residency is three-fold: 1. To offer upcoming and new professionals with paid career development opportunities to apply knowledge in archives, libraries, museums, or a related field; 2. To teach new archivists how to accurately calculate the value of their education, experience, and overall value as an archivist; and 3. To provide an opportunity for archival organizations to work toward the long term goal of eliminating unpaid work within the field. The residency may last up to 12 weeks to be completed by the end of the current calendar year. The resident will receive a one-year complimentary membership to the Society of Southwest Archivists.

This is a unique experience for a new professional to develop a project based on their career goals and work directly with an organization to determine the project’s scope and outcomes. The Archivist-in-Residence will be managed by an engaged supervisor assigned by the host organization, though the resident may interact and work under the temporary direction of a number of other employees depending on the scope of the project.


The resident must produce a monthly report for each month of employment and submit it to the SSA Internship Committee. Monthly reports should include: number of hours worked, progress on the project, and any goals or outcomes completed. The resident will prepare an article for publication in The Southwestern Archivist detailing their experience after completion of the residency. Host organization will submit an end of residency report detailing how the resident met the goals of the residency.


Applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate-level program or have graduated within two years of the application date: March 1, 2024. The award does not define the type of graduate program as to encourage both traditional and interdisciplinary programs. SSA welcomes diversity in all respects, including but not limited to age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, and personal background.

The residency may be applied to any archival organization that is within the geographic region covered by Southwest Archivists membership (Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas). The host organization must be an institution or agency responsible for the custody, study, teaching, control, or use of records, archives, and/or personal papers. 

Applicants must reside within the SSA region.

Financial Management

The monetary award will be paid as a stipend to the Archivist-in-Residence on a monthly basis. A budget must be submitted as part of the application process defining the appropriate hourly wage for the resident based on a documented calculation of the regional cost of living, their experience level, and the complexity of the project. The hourly wage must not be lower than the estimated regional cost of living for the host institution as defined by the MIT Living Wage Calculator ( This budget will also define the total number of hours to be worked based on the needs of the project. The total stipend based on the proposed wage and hours is not to exceed the total award amount listed in the call for proposals, nor the maximum 12 week timeframe of the residency. Housing, benefits, and transportation are not included within the stipend provided by SSA.

Sample Budgets

Example 1:  

Project based in Houston, Texas

Minimum wage: $7.25

Calculated living wage: $14.29

  • Completed masters degree and 1 year of experience
  • Project requiring technical expertise and independent work

Total hourly wage: $20.00

Hours: 30/week for 8 weeks

Requested funding total: $4800.00

Example 2:

Project based in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Minimum wage: $9.00

Calculated living wage: $13.70

  • First year graduate student with minimal archival experience
  • Project requiring extensive oversight and mentorship

Total hourly wage: $16.50

Hours: 25/week for 12 weeks

Requested funding total: $4950.00

Application Process

The Archivist-in-Residency Award application will be opened December 1, 2023. Applications will be due March 1, 2024. The SSA Paid Internship Committee will review applications and select the Archivist-in-Residence and host organization based upon their joint application. Final selection will be communicated to applicants at the time of the committee’s decision, followed by a public announcement via SSA communication channels. The residency must be completed by the end of the calendar year.

This is a joint application between the resident and the organization. The resident should propose a project or experience specific to the site and work with the organization to clarify scope of project, timeline, supervisor, goals, and project outcomes. The organization and supervisor must be determined in advance of final application.

For final consideration, the applicant should work with the host organization to complete the application form in full and submit it along with a 2-page resume (from the proposed resident) to:


Questions may be directed to the SSA Paid Internship Committee at:

Helpful Links

SSA’s Archivist-in-Residency is based upon the work of the program created by the Northwest Archivists, Inc. in 2019. 

For a better understanding of the Archivist-in-Residence in practice, the following links may be helpful.  

Northwest Archivists 2019-2020 Archivist-in-Residence End of Residency Report Northwest Archivists 2020-2021 Archivist-in-Residence End of Residency Report

The Northwest Archivists Paid Internship Committee hosted an informational webinar for the Archivist-in-Residence application on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. It can be viewed via YouTube:

Project Criteria

Applications must include a project description, to be developed jointly by the applicant and their host organization. The project proposal will factor heavily into the selection process; the application should indicate clear communication of expectations between the applicant and the host organization, as well as a set of expectations for meaningful work and definable project outcomes. 

Preference will be given to projects that fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Strengthens or introduces new skills relevant to the resident’s educational needs and career goals, and develops the resident’s understanding of how archival theories and methods are applied in practice. 
  2. Includes clearly defined learning objectives related to the resident’s professional goals and/or current coursework.
  3. Serves a need within the host organization and/or enhances the archives profession. Examples include collections work (processing, preserving, digitization, or describing archival collections), institutional planning (drafting preservation plans or metadata guidelines), or research into topics related or beneficial to the archival profession. 
  4. Provides the resident an opportunity to produce a complete work product or play a significant role in a group project. The project should be designed so the resident can later refer to their discrete role and accomplishment when applying for employment.
  5. Does not include routine work to support the general operations of the host organization outside of that which is necessary for the completion of the resident’s discrete project and that which is demonstrably beneficial to the resident as a learning experience. This program is not intended to support collections-based historical or genealogical research.

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