The Society of American Archivists Foundation announces the creation of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWEF) to support archival workers experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis.
Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to financially vulnerable and at-risk workers. All U.S.-based archival workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis are eligible to apply to the fund. Applications will open on April 15 at 3:00 pm CT.
As repositories have been forced to temporarily close or institute remote work in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, many archival workers — particularly those in contingent positions — are facing significant financial and employment challenges. The AWEF will help to meet urgent financial needs, providing support to archival workers who have lost income because of a change in their work status or circumstances such as inadequate sick or family leave time.
Many thanks to the ad hoc group of concerned archivists who developed the proposal for this fund, including: Steven D. Booth, Jessica Chapel, Alison Clemens, Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, Jennifer Coggins, Courtney Dean, Steve Duckworth, Carady DeSimone, Rebecca Goldman, Irene Hauzinger, Katharina Hering, Hayley Hinsberger, Valencia Johnson, Carli Lowe, Bridget Malley, Sarah McLusky, Lydia Tang, Rebecca Thayer, Lauren White, Amy Wickner, and Katrina Windon.
The fund will be administered through the SAA Foundation, which is providing seed money of $15,000. Tax-deductible donations to the AWEF are being accepted beginning April 15.
“We know through anecdotal evidence and through the survey results cited by the proposers that the COVID-19 crisis has had a serious impact on many of our colleagues,” said Foundation Board President Scott Cline. “What we can do is only a piece of what is needed, but we believe it is imperative that we undertake this task. This is an opportunity to do something good and important for the archives community.”
Due to the unpredictability of the crisis and times of acute need, applications to the fund will be considered on a rolling basis up to December 31, 2020.