Archives Leadership Institute@Virginia

Transforming Archivists. Transforming Archives.

The Archives Leadership Institute (ALI) is a program of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and seeks to build the capacity of mid-career archivists as leaders both in their own institutions and in the archives field. It consists of a week-long, in person experience followed by quarterly virtual gatherings. Over the course of a year, members of the cohort will undertake a project that the cohort will create and that will explore some aspect of the profession.

Applications open at 12:01 am on December 1, 2023

The deadline for receipt of applications will be January 12, 2024.

Application Details!

Steering Committee members–Steven Booth, Petrina Jackson, Audra Eagle Yun, Brenda Gunn, and Mary Brackett–met in Charlottesville, Virginia on September 26 and 27, 2023 to develop the application process, and finalize the timeline leading up to the June 2024 Institute.

The application platform will be Qualtrics. In addition to the typical identifying questions, the application will prompt you to: 1) Record a 2-3 minute video or audio directly into the application form; either recording should address your commitment to being an agent of transformation, and what you aim to transform. 2) Upload a brief resume that emphasizes leadership experience. 3) Share a brief thought piece on the significance of place for you. Applicants will also need to supply the names and contact information for two references who can speak to your leadership capacity.

ALI Information Webinars – Slides and Q&A available!

The Steering Committee hosted two webinars in November to present the ALI@Virginia program and to answer prospective applicant’s questions. The recording for the November 16th webinar is now available as are the webinar slides and the November 1 questions and answers.

Where will ALI be located?

ALI will be hosted by the University of Virginia Library in 2024, 2025, and 2026. UVA is located in Charlottesville, in central Virginia. Charlottesville and the University of Virginia is on the ancestral homeland and traditional territory of the Monacan Indian Nation.

What makes UVA Library a good place to host this program?  

UVA has a strong commitment to leadership development and training, and the UVA Library has excellent facilities that can be used for in person portions of the program. These buildings are across the street from the West Lawn, part of the Academical Village which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The locations will be replete with history and symbolism, and will support the Institute’s concept of the power of place. The ALI@Virginia experience will be grounded in place and our landscape, and the cohort will explore leadership through the lens of the unique emotional and historical landscape that UVA offers.

What will the Archives Leadership Institute look like at UVA (how long is the program, where will students stay, etc.)?

ALI is a week-long, in-person immersive, intensive, and interactive program. The cohort arrives in Charlottesville on Sunday, June 16 and marks the beginning of the ALI experience with a reception and dinner. The cohort begins their work in earnest on Monday morning. Sessions will continue through Friday night with an end-of-institute capstone event. Cohort members depart Charlottesville on Saturday. It doesn’t end there, though. Following the in-person experience, the cohort will continue to learn together on a quarterly basis till they officially become alumni, when the next cohort is selected.

Is this the same ALI program that was held at University of Wisconsin, Madison; Luther College; Berea College, and Purdue University? 

Like these four previous programs, ALI@Virginia is sponsored by the NHPRC and maintains an emphasis on a strong cohort relationship, a residential setting, and the development of leadership skills within the context of the archival profession. We will have some programmatic differences and will use UVA’S particular historical context as a backdrop for the institute. It will have its own flavor and personality, as did all of the predecessor instances.   

Who is the ideal candidate?  

Archivists and memory workers from libraries, archives, and museums, and from a variety of settings and situations. Additionally, we believe it is important to have representation from a wide variety of life experiences and backgrounds, as well as geographical and intergenerational diversity. We do not have formal educational requirements, but do expect that candidates are currently working in the field.  

Minimum requirements to apply: a memory worker in any archival setting; 5-15 years of management, team, program, or project lead experience or a combination of these. Applicants will less experience may also be considered.

We are looking for archivists who have an appetite for moving the profession forward, who want to refine their social justice lens, who want to be aware of the environment in which they work and be responsive to their communities, who desire to lead their organizations with empathy and compassion, and to be skilled in developing strong relationships as well as repairing fractured and broken ones.

What are some of the topics covered?

Responsible stewardship and partnerships; self knowledge and individual growth; and organizational leadership. We’ll also incorporate current topics and professional interests such as community archives and collaborations; ethics of care and mutual aid; social justice and intercultural relations. We believe that part of ALI’s mandate is to incorporate real world issues and scenarios, and weave leadership topics into those discussions.

What is the cost of the Institute? 

The cost is $500 per individual. Grant funds cover transportation to and from Charlottesville, lodging, breakfast, lunch, and most dinners. The only out-of-pocket expenses for the cohort will be any sundries the cohort member wishes to purchase while at ALI and several evening dinners. Each cohort member will receive a $600 stipend to help defray any costs they have with attending the institute.

How many people in each cohort?  

ALI@Virginia aims to have 25 in each cohort over the course of the three-year grant term.  At the end of the grant term, ALI@Virginia will add 75 new members to the ALI alumni community.   

Where will the cohort stay?

The cohort will stay in Bond House on the University of Virginia campus. Bond House, named for civil rights leader Julian Bond, features apartment-style housing, with four bedrooms per apartment (single-occupancy), two bathrooms, a living room, and a full kitchen.

What are the dates for ALI in 2024? 

June 16-22, 2024. Dates are yet to be determined for 2025 and 2026.  

How do I apply for the 2024 cohort? 

Applications will open on December 1, 2023 and close on January 12, 2024

How can ALI alumni be involved?  

Stay tuned! We have many ideas for alumni involvement, such as serving as mentors, communication liaisons to regional associations, spreading the word at SAA and other conferences, and sharing your expertise in after-institute virtual meetings. To get involved, email ALI Director, Brenda Gunn,

Who is involved in the administration and leadership of ALI@Virginia

Brenda Gunn will be the administrative director at UVA; Steering Committee members include: Steven Booth, Petrina Jackson, and Audra Eagle Yun. Mary Brackett will facilitate the cohort learning experience.

Whom do I contact for more information?

You can contact any of the ALI leadership through emailing: