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The Archival Education and Research Initiative (AERI) is a collaborative effort amongst academic institutions to support the growth of a new generation of academics in archival and recordkeeping education and research who are versed in contemporary issues and knowledgeable of the work being conducted by colleagues. The initiative seeks to promote state-of-the-art in scholarship in Archival Studies, broadly conceived, as well as to encourage curricular and pedagogical innovation in archival education locally and worldwide.
AERI is engaged in a number research and infrastructure building initiatives as well as annual week-long summer Archival Education and Research Institutes (AERIs) that are hosted by partner institutions. These working Institutes are designed to strengthen education and research and support academic cohort-building and mentoring. The Institutes are open to all academic faculty and doctoral students working in Archival Studies as well as to others engaged in archival education and scholarship, both nationally and internationally. AERI is also committed to nurturing a larger and more diverse cohort of doctoral students in Archival Studies. To this end, it maintains The Emerging Archival Scholars Program (EASP) as a targeted recruitment and outreach program to encourage students at the undergraduate and graduate levels from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the archival field anywhere in the world to consider undertaking doctoral education focusing in Archival Studies. Scholarships to participate in EASP, with funding from the U.S. Institute for Library and Museum Services (2011-2019), are available for U.S. citizens and permanent residents who would be returning or first-time AERI attendees. There is also bursary support for EASP participants and for other categories of AERI attendees, particularly students and junior academics from countries other than the United States, to the extent that AERI has funds available each year.
The Building the Future of Archival Education and Research Initiative was funded between 2008-2015 by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) – Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. The Emerging Archival Scholars Program has also been funded under a grant from IMLS for 2016 to 2019.