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Oliver Wendell Holmes Travel Award

Purpose and Criteria for Selection:

Established in 1979 (and modified in 1991), this award enables international archivists, who are currently training or studying in the United States or Canada, to augment their experience by traveling to the Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists.


Archivists who are not U.S. or Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Sponsor and Funding:

The Society of American Archivists Foundation, in honor of Oliver Wendell Holmes, who joined the National Archives staff in 1935 and served in many capacities, including that of executive director of the National Historical Publications Commission. Holmes was a Fellow of SAA and past president.

Selection Committee:

The committee is composed of three members of the Society and one of the co-chairs of the SAA Awards Committee (ex officio). One member of the subcommittee shall be appointed each year by the SAA President-elect to serve a three-year term. The senior member of the subcommittee in years of service shall serve as its chair.

Application Deadline and Nomination Form:

All applications shall be submitted to SAA by February 28 of each year.  CLICK HERE to download the RTF nomination form.


A certificate and a cash award consisting of the income of the prize fund for that year, which is divided between or among recipients.

First Awarded:


Oliver Wendell Holmes Travel Award Recipients:

1979:   Steve Mwiyeriwa (Malawi)

1980:   Not awarded

1981:   Zhang Tien-ming (China)

1982:   Egart Anderson (The Netherlands)

1983:   Stuart Strachan (New Zealand)

1984:   Alvan Ives (Australia), Aauel Polka Toe (Liberia)

1985:   Luciana Duranti (Italy), Maria Luisa Acuna (Mexico), Amanda Rosales (Mexico)

1986:   Joan VanAlbada (The Netherlands), Michael Roper (Great Britain), Michael Dreyfus, Charles Kecskemeti (France), Alvan Ives (Australia), Egart Anderson (The Netherlands), Luciana Duranti (Italy), Peter Sigmond (The Netherlands), Maryna Fraser

1987:   Jan E.A. Boomgaard (The Netherlands), Darwin Matthews (Australia), Gordon Read, Peter Sigmond (The Netherlands)

1988:   Ann Pederson (Australia), Jan E.A. Boomgaard (The Netherlands), Alan Ives (Australia)

1989:   Valerii Leonov (USSR)

1990:   Samuel Njovana (Zimbabwe)

1991:   Julie Stacker (Australia)

1992:   Veronika Emlerova (Czechoslovakia)

1993:   Not awarded

1994:   Not awarded

1995:   Not awarded

1996:   In support of an International Reception

1997:   Liu Yunming (China)

1998:   Ntombizandile Kwatsha (South Africa)

1999:   Ciaran Trace (Ireland)

2000:   Zhou Xiaomu (China)

2001:   Eun G. Park (Korea)

2002:   Not awarded

2003:   Ji-Hyun Kim (Korea)

2004:   Bart Ballaux (Belgium)

2005:   Not awarded

2006:   Not awarded

2007:   Gerald Chaudron (New Zealand)

2008:   Not awarded

2009:   Ricardo L. Punzalan (Philippines)

2010:   Elaine Goh (British Columbia, Canada)

2011:   Patrick Ansah (Ghana) and Umi Asma’ Mokhtar (Malaysia)

2012:   Georgia Barlaoura (Greece) and Lara Mancuso (Brazil)

2013:   Weimei Pan (China)

2014:   Not awarded