Roving Archivist Program

What is a Roving Archivist?

A Roving Archivist is a trained archival professional who is contracted by the MA SHRAB, through funding from the NHPRC, as part of its mission to provide leadership, advocacy and guidance to help ensure the identification, preservation and use of the Commonwealth’s historical resources, both public and private. The Roving Archivist Program connects stewards of historical records with a trained professional archivist to provide advice on policies, procedures, arrangement and description of records, preservation planning and emergency preparedness.

We are adjusting the application categories for our Roving Archivist program to better reflect the work that is most needed. The Roving Archivist services will be awarded in the following category:

Strategic Assessment of the Institution and Documentation Review

This category of assistance is for institutions that are just beginning to assess their needs. Preference will be given to institutions with smaller collections, within the range of 500 linear feet or less. The Roving Archivist will engage with key members of the institution, including the Director or Chair of the Board (for small historical societies). S/he will review the condition of the collections and address the basic components of running an archives, such as the importance of collection development policies, disaster planning, and preservation. The Roving Archivist will then complete a report of recommendations and a list of resources customized to the needs of the institution.

Follow-up activities with these institutions may include assisting them in creating appropriate policy and procedure statements, or reviewing existing documentation that may be in place. Applicants with no policies and/or processes should review examples of policy models that are available online from the Society of American Archivists.


Submit this application to apply for Roving Archivist assistance.

Timeline for application review and service provisioning

The MA SHRAB receives applications on a rolling basis. The MA SHRAB meets on a bi-monthly basis and your application will be reviewed at the next meeting following receipt of your application. If your application is approved, you will be connected with the Roving Archivist to schedule a meeting. Currently initial meetings are being scheduled several months out.