Society of American Archivists (SAA)

Publication Profiles > Book Publishers > Society of American Archivists (SAA)

Publisher analysis

About the publisher

Name: Society of American Archivists


Purpose, objective, or mission: “Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists is North America’s oldest and largest national professional association dedicated to the needs and interests of archives and archivists.” 1

Their Mission Statement is “SAA is a vital community that promotes the value and diversity of archives and archivists and serves as the preeminent resource for the profession.” 2

Their Vision Statement is “The Society of American Archivists empowers archivists to achieve professional excellence and foster innovation to ensure the identification, preservation, understanding, and use of records of enduring value.” 3

“The goal of the SAA book publishing program is to provide print and digital resources that serve the needs of members and the archives profession, are of consistently high quality, fill gaps in the professional literature (rather than duplicate existing resources), and
nurture new and veteran voices.”4

Target audience: Students and professional archivists in North America.

Owner: Society of American Archivists. 5

Are published books peer reviewed? Yes. 6

Types of books published: Guides and guidelines, reference books, book series, essay collections.

Medium: Print and digital.

Topics covered: Trends in archiving practices, ethics, case studies, contemporary issues pertaining to archives, archivists, and allied professions.

Number of titles published per year: An exact number is unknown, but SAA has published over 150 books since the 1970s.7

About the publisher’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of submissions accepted: Book prospectus

Submission and review process: “To begin the process of producing a new publication, author(s) submit a prospectus to the Publications Editor, addressing the following:

  • the theme, purpose and scope of the publication;
  • the estimated format and length of the publication;
  • whether the topic and approach are better suited to print or online format
  • an annotated outline or table of contents;
  • the intended audience and the potential market;
  • the prospective value to the archival profession;
  • the relationship of the proposed publication to the literature in the field;
  • the possibility of co-sponsorship with another organization;
  • the possibility of outside financial support;
  • graphics and illustrations the publication might use;
  • co-authors or contributors in the case of an edited work; and
  • the anticipated schedule for preparation of the publication.” 8

“Proposers should be advised that they will be asked to submit a writing sample of 10–15 pages, in a style reflecting the audience and tone of the proposed publication. The editor can provide more specific advice as proposals are developed.” 9

“The Publications Editor reviews the prospectus and sends it to the Publications Board, Director of Publishing and, if necessary, subject specialists. Depending on the author’s writing experience, two or more sample chapters and a detailed table of contents may be requested.” 10

Editorial tone: Professional.

Style guide used: The Chicago Manual of Style.11

Conclusion: Evaluation of publisher’s potential for LIS authors

This publisher states in it’s goals that they wish to “nurture new and veteran voices” 12 so there is potential for LIS authors across a broad spectrum of experience to be selected for publishing. This publisher is interested in works that speak to the needs of the archival profession, that align with strategic goals and core organizational values of SAA, and that are not already heavily represented in their current publications catalogs (unless new perspective is found).

Publishing with SAA focuses primarily on the archiving field, so it may not be an appropriate avenue for all LIS authors. However, there is some crossover in resources and initiatives with allied professions (libraries, museums, and historians). For example, SAA publishes a few books that have broader audiences (i.e. Exhibits in Archives and Special Collections Libraries and Archives in Libraries: What Librarians and Archivists Need to Know to Work Together). They occasionally partner with other allied professional associations to develop resources, such as the American Library Association.

Audience analysis

About the publisher’s audience

Size: SAA has 6,200 members.13

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: SAA primarily serves archivists and students within North America.

Reader characteristics: Readers of SAA publications are archivist students or professionals with a working knowledge in the field. Currently featured titles on their online store, including A Matter of Facts: The Value of Evidence in an Information Age, and Engagement in the Digital Era,  indicate that many newly published SAA releases discuss contemporary issues in the field. 14

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Readers will have spectrum of experience and knowledge primarily in the field of archives. Readers may have less knowledge on other general LIS subject matter than readers of other LIS book publishers in the field.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

SAA’s website states that their publications are “largely driven by members. Members write articles, chapters and books which are then vetted by members on the Editorial Board and Publications Board, who strive to maintain SAA’s commitment to furthering best practices in the field.” 15 Potential authors can expect their publications to be read by professionals, and experts, in the field.

Last updated: April 25, 2021


Show 15 footnotes

  1. “Who We Are,”, accessed April 25, 2021,
  2. “Who We Are.”
  3. “Who We Are.”
  4. “Guidelines for Book Proposals,”, accessed April 25, 2021,
  5. “Who We Are.”
  6. “Book Publishing,”, accessed April 25, 2021,
  7. “Book Publishing.”
  8. “Guidelines for Book Proposals.”
  9. “Guidelines for Book Proposals.”
  10. “Guidelines for Book Proposals.”
  11. “Guidelines for Manuscript Submissions,”, accessed March 2, 2018,
  12. “Guidelines for Book Proposals.”
  13. “Who We Are.”
  14. “Online Store,”, accessed April 25, 2021,
  15. “Publications,”, accessed February 27, 2018,
Comments are closed.