Harold T. Pinkett Student of Color Award: Erin Castillo

Erin Castillo, a graduate student in the Library and Information Science program at San Jose State University (SJSU), is the 2022 recipient of the Harold T. Pinkett Student of Color Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes BIPOC graduate students who, through scholastic achievement, manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of SAA.

Castillo’s passion for documenting and preserving the histories of communities of color starts with her own family and a personal archival project called La Casa de los Abuelos (Our Grandparent’s House). La Casa de los Abuelos documents her family narrative of immigration to the United States and their roots in El Colomo, Mexico. Castillo notes that her interest in archives began with visits to her grandparents in El Colomo where she would find family relics and ask her aunts about their origins. Castillo writes: “With every visit to El Colomo, my love, admiration, and gratitude for my family and our humble origins grew.”

Castillo’s goal as an archivist is to expand La Casa de los Abuelos into a multigenerational library program and resource center for communities of color. She hopes to create a dedicated community archives where patrons can build, digitize, and maintain their family archives. One supporter commented on Castillo’s “passion and dedication to learn about archives.” Castillo says: “I hope to inspire communities of color to dive deeper into archives and feel love, admiration, and gratitude for their own histories.”

Established in 1993, the award honors the late Dr. Harold T. Pinkett, who served with distinction during his long tenure at the National Archives and Records Administration and who was a Fellow of SAA.