Brenda S. Banks Travel Award: Polly Peralta

Polly Peralta, who has just completed a nine-month internship at the Museum of Pop Culture, is the 2022 recipient of the Brenda S. Banks Travel Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award, which recognizes individuals of color who are employed in archives and who manifest an interest in becoming active members of SAA, provides assistance to attend the 2022 SAA Annual Meeting, held virtually and in-person in Boston on August 25–27. 

Peralta holds a master of science in library and information science from San Jose State University and a bachelor of arts in music from San Francisco State University. She earned a certificate of advanced studies in archives and records administration from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2021. Since her graduate studies, Peralta has been a digital projects manager at the V.E. Petrucci Library at California State University and an adjunct librarian at Clovis Community College. She has presented and written about viticulture and “grey literature collections,”—literature produced outside of traditional publishing and distribution channels—including a co-authored article in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Information.

In her personal statement, Peralta noted the importance of cultural representation in history and archives, saying it “helps us feel connected and not alone despite what other voices may say. ”At this year’s conference, Peralta will attend sessions and engage with colleagues on topics ranging from digital collections to cataloging. Peralta’s professional goals are to better serve researchers through inclusive descriptive practices and collection-building with communities that have been excluded from the broader historical record.

Created in 2017, the award honors SAA Fellow and Past President Brenda S. Banks, who co-founded the SAA Archivists and Archives of Color Section. Past recipients include Shelly Black (Cyma Rubin Library Fellow at North Carolina State University), Victor Betts (North Carolina State University's Special Collections Research Center), and Tracy Drake (Chicago Public Library’s Vivian G. Harsh Research Center).