Notice: As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, 
the 34th Annual Western Archives Institute, scheduled to be held at 
San Diego State University from June 7-June 19, 2020, has been cancelled

What is Western Archives Institute?

The Western Archives Institute is an intensive, two-week program that provides integrated instruction in basic archival practices to individuals with a variety of goals, including:

  • those whose jobs require a fundamental understanding of archival skills, but have little or no previous archives education;
  • those who have expanding responsibility for archival materials;
  • those who are practicing archivists but have not received formal instruction;
  • and those who demonstrate a commitment to an archival career.

The Institute also features site visits to historical records repositories and a diverse curriculum that includes history and development of the profession, theory and terminology, records management, appraisal, arrangement, description, manuscripts acquisition, archives and the law, photographs, preservation administration, reference and access, outreach programs, and managing archival programs and institutions. There will be one introductory online session prior to the start of the on-site program.

Western Archives Institute Faculty:


Core sessions of the Institute are taught by leading archival educators. Prior Principal Faculty include Tim Ericson, Elizabeth Yakel, Elizabeth Dow, Rand Jimerson, David B. Gracy II, Gregory S. Hunter, and Dennis Meissner.  Additional sessions are taught by adjunct educators selected because of their knowledge based on a particular subject and professional recognition.

Joshua Kitchens has agreed to serve as the 2020 Principal Faculty Member. Mr. Kitchens is the Director of the Clayton State Archival Studies program, where he teaches a variety of courses that cover archival topics including Digital Preservation, Law and Ethics, Appraisal, and various special topics courses. He previously served as an Archivist for Special Collections at the Georgia College Ina Dillard Russell Library. There he was responsible for digital collections, the library’s institutional repository known as the Knowledge Box, and the university archives. He holds a BA in history from Georgia College and an MA in Applied History from George Mason University, and a Masters of Archival Studies from Clayton State University. Joshua is currently working on a Ph.D. in public history at Georgia State University. He is also a certified archivist and serves on the Examination Development Committee for the Academy of Certified Archivists. Currently, he is researching appraisal practices and representation/access of archival collections and public records.

Western Archives Institute Fees:

  1. Tuition for the Institute is $810 and includes a selection of archival publications. (To assist in tuition payment, a WAI Scholarship is available.)
  2. A non-negotiable fee is also charged for program transportation, facility costs, opening dinner, and closing luncheon. *
  3. Housing and meal plans are available at additional cost. *

*Information regarding non-negotiable fee and housing/meal costs available mid-February 2020.

2020 Application Deadline - March 2, 2020

2020 Application Forms

The application for the 2020 Western Archives Institute can be completed online by clicking on the link below. A Word or PDF copy of the application is available upon request. Please contact the Administrator at WAI@sos.ca.gov.

Click here for the 2020 Western Archives Institute Application

Local Arrangements Information 2020 (PDF)

Important Dates for the 2020 WAI (PDF)

For additional information, contact:

Western Archives Institute
1020 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Telephone: (916) 653-7715
Fax: (916) 653-7134
E-mail: WAI@sos.ca.gov

The Western Archives Institute is co-sponsored by the Society of California Archivists and the California State Archives.

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