Lisa H. Lewis took her boss’ advice and decided to enter the “Best Elevator Speech” contest conducted by SAA in celebration of American Archives Month 2007. Her 28-word entry took first place and won her a free year membership in SAA and a $50 coupon for books. The associate archivist for the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge says it was easy to compose her entry because she had already developed a simple explanation to help anyone who is unfamiliar with the profession understand what she does for a living.
The selection committee, a subgroup of the American Archives Month Task Force, also named an “honorable mention” in the contest: Jacquelyn Ferry, cataloguing archivist and EAD coordinator for the Wisconsin Historical Society. She won a $50 coupon for books. The winning entry: “Archivists bring the past to the present. They’re records collectors and protectors, keepers of memory. They organize unique, historical materials, making them available for current and future research.” Honorable mention: “Archivists acquire, manage, preserve, and help patrons identify and use historically significant collections of unique materials, such as government records, manuscripts, photographs, films, and sound recordings.”