Archival Outlook


Publication analysis

About the publication

Title: Archival Outlook

ISSN: 1520-33791


Purpose, objective, or mission: A newsletter €œmembership benefit€ for members of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) that updates readers on the work of the Society and its many component groups and reports on regional, national, and international news of relevance to members of the profession.2

Target audience: Those interested in or specializing in the archival profession or one of its allied fields.3

Publisher: The Society of American Archivists (SAA)4

Peer reviewed? No.5

Type: LIS professional news.6

Medium: Print and online.7 Print issues are mailed exclusively to members, but digital versions are available to the general public on the SAA website.8

Content: Features often cover best-practice and how-to articles on timely archival topics; notable collections, projects, or advocacy work; how archives are used by the public; and profiles of archives or archivists at work. SAA aims to nurture both new voices and established writers; the content is primarily written by the organization’s members and those in the profession.9

Frequency of publication: Bimonthly: January/February, Marcy/April, May/June, July/August, September/October, November/December.10

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines:

Types of contributions accepted: A range of relevant topics will be considered, but articles typically focus on best practices, unique collections, notable achievements by an archivist or archives, and updates on the Society and its component groups. Articles should include “some kernel of information that will enlighten the reader professionally.”11 Illustrations are encouraged. Articles should run 700 words for a one-page story or 1,200 words for a double-page spread.12

Submission and review process: Send queries and article ideas to the current Editorial and Production Coordinator via email. This position is currently held by Abigail Christian.13

Editorial tone: This is the member newsletter, not the official journal. While the articles are highly relevant to the archival profession, the tone is more friendly and laid back.14

Style guide used: No style guide is specified.

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

This newsletter is a perfect place for students in the archive sector to share short articles or feature stories on news, information, special projects or advocacy, or profiles of SAA members. It is neither peer reviewed nor the official SAA scholarly journal, so it is most likely not an avenue for publishing in efforts to gain tenure, but it would be an excellent place to start writing about all things archives, explore different topics within the archives world, or share information about relevant individuals, organizations, and conferences.


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: 6,200+ members.15

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: The Society is based in Chicago and is North America’s oldest and largest national archival professional association.16 Outlook is written in English.17 The newsletter accepts international updates and news, but is a North American publication.18

Reader characteristics: The newsletter can have a very insider, quirky tone because it is directed at SAA community members. A unique feature is the use of visuals (mostly archival photos) to tell a story or as stand-alone pieces.19 If a LIS student came across an interesting visual, this would be the place to share it. The publication’s articles are largely written by members and those in the archives profession. The newsletter is strictly for those in the archival profession, or those interested in it. This does not just mean those in library-specific archives: professionals from all sectors within the profession are profiled and encouraged to share news and updates.20 Readers are positively archival advocates. This is a newsletter that is very proud of being all about archives and celebrating archival and library professionals.21

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: As the readership is comprised of professional archivists, LIS knowledge and language is encouraged, though education level and degrees may vary.22

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

Readers of this publication have one crucial aspect in common: their love of archives. Articles need to focus on positive aspects of the profession -€“ this is not the venue to share negative comments or criticisms, although critiques might be accepted, and definitely reviews of new exhibits, books, or professionals would be fine. The level of LIS knowledge is high -€“ this is not a newsletter for neophytes but is directed toward professionals. However, its tone is friendly, open, and welcoming to anyone with an interest in archives. This would be a fun, interesting place to publish with the aim to keep readers up to date as well as entertained.

Last updated: June 30, 2019


Show 22 footnotes

  1.  Society of American Archivists, “Archival Outlook,” accessed June 30, 2019,
  2. Society of American Archivists, “Benefits of Membership,” accessed June 30, 2019,
  3. Society of American Archivists, “Archival Outlook.”
  4. ProQuest, “Archival Outlook,” Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, accessed June 30, 2019,
  5. ProQuest, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.
  6. ProQuest, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.
  7. Society of American Archivists, “Archival Outlook.”
  8. Society of American Archivists, “Benefits of Membership.”
  9. Society of American Archivists, “Archival Outlook.”
  10. Society of American Archivists, “Archival Outlook.”
  11. Society of American Archivists, “Archival Outlook.”
  12. Society of American Archivists, “Submit an Article,” accessed June 30, 2019,
  13. Society of American Archivists, “Submit an Article.”
  14. Society of American Archivists, “Benefits of Membership.”
  15. Society of American Archivists, “Archival Outlook Display Ad Information,” accessed June 30, 2019,
  16. Society of American Archivists, “Who We Are,” accessed June 30, 2019,
  17. ProQuest, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory.
  18. Society of American Archivists, “Archival Outlook.”
  19. Society of American Archivists, “Archival Outlook: Back Issues by Year,” accessed June 30, 2019,
  20. Society of American Archivists, “Benefits of Membership.”
  21. Society of American Archivists, “Archival Outlook: Back Issues by Year.”
  22. Society of American Archivists, “Archival Outlook.”
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