Abstract: On July 8–12, 2016, the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Kent State University hosted the eighth Archival Education and Research Institute (AERI). AERI is an annual event that brings together researchers, educators, students, and professionals from North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand to share knowledge, promote collaboration, and mentor new and emerging scholars in the areas of archival research and pedagogy. The conference was attended by ninety-five participants from eight countries, including faculty members, doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, and ten undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in the AERI-affiliated Emerging Archival Scholars Program (EASP). The five-day event included sixty-three paper presentations, fifteen posters, seven workshops, two plenaries, and a half-day unconference event. In this introduction, the hosts of the conference and co-editors of this issue, Leisa Gibbons and Karen F. Gracy, provide a brief overview of the conference highlights and introduce the research papers presented here.