n. (abbr. ALI)ay-ell-EYE, less commonlyAH-leea training and immersion program, funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, to expand the leadership qualities and skills of archivistsSAA 2008, 12Leadership is a trait that archivists must develop if they want adequate and true representation when decisions are made affecting the profession. The timeless topic was recently explored at the first-ever Archives Leadership Institute held in June at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, funded in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.MARAC 2009, 10A leadership institution by itself does not produce leaders, but can provide the tools for those interested in creating a better future for the profession. Funded by a grant from the NHPRC, the fist Archives Leadership Institute (ALI) was held in Madison, Wisconsin during the summer of 2008.Mariz et al. 2011, 119The NHPRC/University of Wisconsin Archives Leadership Institute, held for the first time in 2008, helps to fill this gap in archival continuing education. This institute provides mid-career archivists with instruction designed to strengthen the leadership skills and knowledge that archivists need in all aspects of their work, careers, and public service.MAC 2013, 16This session looks at the complexity of leadership roles and issues in the archives profession. Vagts, Luther College and Archives Leadership Institute director, will share a director’s experience of developing the latest iteration of ALI, including the move to experiential learning, the issues of curriculum development, and working with leadership experts from beyond our profession.Huth 2013, 4The Archives Leadership Institute (ALI) began in 2008 at the University of Wisconsin–Madison as an experiment in cultivating leaders in the archives profession. Working with archivists who demonstrated leadership skills, the weeklong institute focused twenty-five archivists on the process of becoming leaders for their institutions, their profession, and themselves. ALI had such an impact that alumni went on to apply to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission for a grant to rethink ALI and make the experience even better and more durable in its effects.Vagts and Griffin 2014, 137–138In practical terms, the Archives Leadership Institute had its genesis in February 2003 when Kathleen Williams, then at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, sent a letter to the Society of American Archivists Council expressing her concern that available continuing education offerings focused primarily on technical topics and did not provide the leadership training necessary for midcareer archivists.
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission has, thus far, awarded funding to five separate Archives Leadership Institutes. The first was hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison and extended from 2008 to 2012. The second was hosted by Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, from 2013 to 2015. The third was hosted by Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, from 2016 to 2018. The fourth was hosted by Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, from 2019 to 2021. The fifth was hosted by the University of Virginia in Charlottesville from 2024 to 2026.The Archives Leadership Institute was the 2015 recipient of the Society of American Archivists’ Distinguished Service Award.