Waldo Gifford Leland Award

Purpose and Criteria for Selection:

Created in 1959, this prize encourages and rewards writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the field of archival history, theory, or practice.


The author(s) of a monograph, finding aid, or documentary publication published in English during the previous calendar year. Periodicals are not eligible.

Submission Requirements:

A completed nomination form and the required number of copies of the publication.

Sponsor and Funding:

The Society of American Archivists Foundation, in honor of Waldo Gifford Leland, who authored the landmark Guide to the Archives of the Government of the United States in Washington (1904); was active in the organization of the Conference of Archivists in 1909; played a central role in the establishment of the U.S. National Archives; and served two terms as SAA President during the 1940s.


A certificate and cash prize of $1,000.

First Awarded:


Selection Committee:

The Leland Award Subcommittee of the SAA Awards Committee consists of three members of the Society of American Archivists and one of the co-chairs of the Awards Committee (ex officio). One member of the subcommittee shall be appointed each year by the SAA President-elect for a term of three years. The senior member of the subcommittee in years of service shall serve as its chair.

Application Deadline and Nomination Form:

All nominations shall be submitted to SAA by February 28 of each year.  CLICK HERE to download the application form.

Waldo Gifford Leland Award Recipients:

1959:   Theodore R. Schellenberg, Manual C. Stampa

1960:   Julian P. Boyd

1961:   Oliver W. Holmes

1962:   Philip M. Hamer

1963:   Kenneth W. Munden, Henry P. Beers

1964:   Morris L. Radoff, Phebe R. Jacobsen

1965:   Ernst Posner

1966:   Edward E. Hill

1967:   H.G. Jones

1968:   Andrew Oliver

1969:   Henry P. Beers

1970:   Edgar B. Nixon

1971:   Walter Rundell, Jr.

1972:   Martin Schmitt

1973:   Ernst Posner, Patricia Kennedy Grimsted

1974:   Peter Walne, David Iredale

1975:   Not awarded

1976:   Kenneth W. Duckett

1977:   Not awarded

1978:   Richard C. Davis

1979:   Ronald R. McCoy

1980:   Harold C. Syrett

1981:   H.G. Jones

1982:   Edward E. Hill

1983:   James M. O'Toole, Lucy F. West

1984:   Richard C. Berner

1985:   John Fleckner

1986:   John Barton, Johanna Wellheiser

1987:   Frederick J. Stielow

1988:   Nancy E. Gwinn

1990:   Henry P. Beers

1991:   Richard J. Cox, Marie B. Allen, and Michael Miller

1992:   Thomas Wilsted, William M. Nolte

1993:   Helen W. Samuels; Certificate of Commendation: Charles Dollar

1994:   F. Gerald Ham

1995:   Joan D. Krizack

1996:   Charles H. Lesser

1997:   Anne Kenney, Stephan Chapman

1998:   The Records of American Business, edited by James. M. O'Toole

1999:   Not awarded

2000:   Charles Dollar; Certificate of Commendation: Patricia Kennedy Grimsted

2001:   Anne R. Kenney, Oya Y. Rieger

2002:   Richard J. Cox

2003:   Joan Echtenkamp Klein

2004:   Gregory S. Hunter

2005:   Richard J. Cox

2006:   Mary Jo Pugh

2007:   Waverly Lowell, Tawny Ryan Nelb

2008:   Deidre Simmons

2009:   Philip C. Bantin

2010:   Karen D.  Paul, Glenn R. Gray, L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin

2011:   Dr. Laura A. Millar

2012:   Francis X. Blouin Jr., William G. Rosenberg

2013:   Astrid M. Eckert, The Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives after the Second World War (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

2014:   Ellen Gruber Garvey, Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (Oxford University Press, 2013)

2015:   Michelle Caswell, Archiving the Unspeakable: Silence, Memory, and the Photographic Record in Cambodia

2016:   Sonja Luehrmann, Religion in Secular Archives: Soviet Atheism and Historical Knowledge (Oxford University Press)