Applications now open for 2024-2025 Community Archivist Fellowship

Published March 20, 2024
Updated April 10, 2024

The Community Archivist Fellowship Program at the ASU Library is looking for community college students interested in becoming professionally trained archivists or librarians. Students will be introduced to community-driven archives and work closely with archivists and staff from the Community-Driven Archives (CDA) Initiative and the Labriola National American Indian Data Center

Applications for the Aug. 2024 through May 2025 program are due Friday, May 17, 2024.

This grant-funded project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The Community Archivist Fellowship program is for community college and Tribal college students in Arizona from underserved and underrepresented communities.

Ah’sha Notah is the program coordinator for the IMLS grant, titled Centering BIPOC Memory Keepers and Advancing Equity and Inclusion, and is working to recruit the second cohort of students. Led by project investigators Nancy Godoy, Jessica Salow, and Alex Soto, the first cohort of fellows are reaching the halfway point of their IMLS project and preparing to present their service learning projects to local communities. 

“We’ve had an incredible experience with our first cohort of community college students this past year. We can’t wait to welcome our next cohort in the fall,” said Notah. “No prior experience in libraries or archives is needed to apply. In addition, fellows will receive a $10,000 stipend after completing the program.”

In 2015, a survey conducted by the Society of American Archivists showed that 86% of archivists are white, 2.34% Latino, 2.26% Black, 0.69% Native American, 0.27% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander and 1.52% Asian and East Asian. “The goal of the fellowship is to introduce BIPOC students to archives and inspire them to enter the library profession early in their careers,” added Notah.

The CDA Initiative works to introduce archives and community archiving to students, helping them realize that these professions can be a career path. An archive is a time capsule and active space where past and present merge and it contains primary resources that preserve the history of several generations. 

Several people working at a table looking through archival materials and boxes
Memory Keeper fellows and CDA staff looking through archival materials at Hayden Library.

Notah is connecting with Maricopa Community College social clubs across the valley such as MechA and Black Student Union clubs to share this opportunity. This year the IMLS team hopes to reach students at Tohono O'odham Community College.

Even though recruiting for the second and final cohort has begun, fellows in the program are working toward their final projects experiencing first hand the impact of working in archives.

Esme McHarg, a student at Paradise Valley Community College is majoring in animation and shared how the in-person sessions at Hayden Library helped make the experience informative and fun. “I’ve gotten to work with my amazing mentor Kenia who has been helping me out so much with getting the hang of archiving documents from the Lopez Papers,” McHarg. “At moments it is overwhelming since the collection we are working on is a bit scattered and mostly miscellaneous, but Kenia has really helped me keep a calm and collected attitude toward it and helped me see how fun it is to organize and sort through all the interesting and informative material that is the Lopez Papers.”

For CDA staff, it’s also an opportunity to provide one-on-one mentoring, teaching about the basics of archiving and how to adapt those skills to cultural customs in their local communities. 

"Mentoring Esme has been extremely rewarding, she is a passionate and attentive student who brings great joy into our space, said Kenia Menchaca Lozano, a specialist with CDA. “As her mentor, I want to ensure that she understands how to process collections while enjoying the process. Within this role, I hope to inspire Esme to become a memory keeper."

Students majoring in Black Studies, American Indian/Indigenous Studies, Mexican American Studies, and Ethnic Studies are highly encouraged to apply.

Submit an application to the Community Archivist Fellowship Program.

The hybrid program (virtual and in-person) will run from Aug. 2024 to May 2025 (30 weeks; 15 weeks each semester).

  • Fellows will be expected to dedicate at least 4 hours per week to their Service Learning Project.

  • Fellows will be supported with professional development and travel funds.

  • Fellows will receive a $10,000 stipend after completing the program. This amount can cover almost a full year’s tuition at ASU.

For any questions, contact Ah’sha Notah at