Archival Outlook Article by Laurainne Ojo-Ohikuare Receives Award for Excellence

Laurainne Ojo-Ohikuare, athletics archivist at the University of Maryland, College Park, is a 2019 recipient of the Grand Award from APEX (Awards for Publication Excellence) for her gripping article, “Dropped onto the Processing Table: A CIA Cover-Up,” published in the Society of American Archivists’ (SAA) bimonthly magazine, Archival Outlook (November/December 2018). Given annually by Communications Concepts Inc., the award is APEX’s highest recognition of publication excellence; recipients are selected from a pool of nearly 1,300 entries.  

In her article, Ojo-Ohikuare’s shares her explosive discovery involving a decades-old cover-up by a federal government agency—and it happened by foregoing the well-known archives practice of “More Product, Less Process.” This approach advises efficient processing that allows more archival materials to be available to the public sooner. But sometimes it means that the importance of individual documents within a collection can go unnoticed. When Ojo-Ohikuare found inconsistencies among reports on the death of Dr. Frank Olson, a civilian biological warfare scientist who worked with the CIA, she further processed and described the documents so that they—and Olson’s story—could be more easily found in the archives. Her experience illustrates the influence that archivists can have through their work and the need to sometimes go beyond standard practice.

Congratulations to Laurainne Ojo-Ohikuare! This is the second year in a row Archival Outlook has been honored with an APEX Award. David McCartney’s article “Archival Bonds: Love and Friendship in the Archives (Part 2)” (Archival Outlook, January/February 2017) received a 2018 APEX Award for excellence in the category of Writing—Interviews and Personal Profiles. Archival Outlook is open access (visit