2011 Fellows and Award Recipients

CHICAGO — The Society of American Archivists (SAA) honored the accomplishments, innovations, and over-the-top efforts made by professionals in the archives field at a ceremony on August 26, at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. Eight new Fellows were named and 16 awards were announced at ARCHIVES 360◦. Award categories included outstanding contributions to the archives profession, advocacy and public awareness, writing and publishing excellence, and scholarships and travel awards.

Awards and Scholarships

Writing/Publishing Excellence

Waldo Gifford Leland Award

Archives: Principles and Practices by Dr. Laura A. Millar was awarded the Waldo Gifford Leland Award, which honors writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the fields of archival history, theory, and practice. The volume draws on a comprehensive review of the English language professional literature and the author’s wide-ranging career to create, in the words of one nominator, “a truly international text for a globalizing archival profession.” Millar’s arguments are reinforced by examples from actual practice and sample policy statements. 

 C.F.W. Coker Award

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum received the C.F.W. Coker Award, which recognizes finding aids, finding aid systems, or projects that involve innovative development in archival description, or descriptive tools that enable archivists to produce more effective finding aids. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Digital Archive and the “Access to a Legacy” project are models for archival repositories interested in large-scale digitization and description projects. The redesigned website includes a user-friendly single search interface that provides access to both digitized and undigitized holdings with advanced search functionality. The project relies on standard descriptive practices, but uses a traditionally corporate digital asset management tool as its all-purpose archival management system.

Preservation Publication Award

Digital Curation: A How-To-Do-It Manual by Ross Harvey received the Preservation Publication Award, which recognizes the author(s) or editor(s) of an outstanding published work related to archives preservation. Digital Curation (Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 2010) delivers a detailed and practical guide to the Digital Curation Centre’s lifecycle model. The manual pulls together an exposition of the concepts and activities involved in digital curation, with comprehensive lists of references and links to online tools.

Special Commendation: Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage Collections, by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, Richard Ovenden, Gabriela Redwine, with research assistance from Rachel Donohue, received a special commendation. Digital Forensics (Council on Library and Information Resources, 2010) introduces archivists to a set of tools for the preservation of digital resources. The book serves as an introduction to techniques that allow recovery of unchanged digital materials that were originally developed in the disciplines of law enforcement, computer security, and national defense. 

Fellows' Ernst Posner Award

Paul Conway was honored for his article, “Modes of Seeing: Digitized Photographic Archives and the Experienced User,” The American Archivist 73:2. Conway examines the transformative nature of digitization and posits a new theory for understanding how highly skilled researchers derive meaning and value from digitized photograph collections. He brings a variety of disciplinary perspectives to bear to set the research context. The archival values derived from a digitized photograph collection are convincing and the exegesis of the interview transcripts concise and apt. The Fellows’s Ernst Poser Award recognizes an outstanding essay dealing with some facet of archival administration, history, theory, and/or methodology that was published during the preceding year in the journal.

Theodore Calvin Pease Award

Lora J. Davis (a student in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee) was honored for her paper “Providing Virtual Services to All: A Mixed-Method Analysis of the Web Site Accessibility of Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) Member Repositories.” Her paper explores the ability of the websites of repositories in the PACSCL to meet the needs of archives users with disabilities. She uses both automated accessibility checkers and content analysis to assess the accessibility of these repository websites. From choice of topic, methodology, and presentation, the paper demonstrates a high level of scholarship, creativity, and originality.

Outstanding Contributions to the Archives Profession

Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award

Malachy R. McCarthy was honored with The Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award, which honors an individual archivist who has made a significant contribution to the field of religious archives. McCarthy has worked for over 30 years in religious institutions: serving 26 years as the Archivist at Saint Anselm Abby and College in Manchester, New Hampshire and seven years as the Province Archivist at Claretian Missionaries Archives in Chicago. He initiated a collaborative effort among 21 archivists in the greater Chicago area that developed into the Chicago Area Religious Archivists (CARA). McCarthy’s passion for archival education led him to develop many workshops, including the popular “Introductory Archives Workshop for Religious Communities” in 2007 with Ellen Pierce, archives director from the Maryknoll Mission Archives.

Spotlight Award

Teresa Kiser, director of the Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County, was honored for her continued dedication to finding ways to improve libraries in the state. A strong supporter of the Alabama Virtual Library, she applied in 2002 for a Library Services and Technology Act grant to purchase large format scanners to begin a project of digitizing, organizing, and properly storing the Russell Brothers glass plate negative collection that documents Anniston Alabama’s growing years. Kiser’s foresight and perseverance in digitizing the negatives has brought recognition to the collection. The Public Broadcasting Service requested use for various segments, authors have used the images in books including two on the history of Anniston, and local businesses provide a visual history of Anniston through exhibited reprints.

Council Exemplary Service Award

Mary Jo Pugh received the Council Exemplary Service Award, which honors special contributions to the archives profession and especially SAA. Pugh was cited for her ambitious vision for the semi-annual journal, in which she embraced both its scholarly richness and its role in documenting the work of best professional practices. Pugh adhered to her vision of an enhanced and expanded professional journal throughout her six-year tenure. Since becoming editor in 2005, she embraced challenging goals for The American Archivist and dramatically increased the number of manuscript submissions. Among her many accomplishments she succeeded in getting The American Archivist published online. She oversaw the digitization of the entire back file of 242 issues of the journal, leading the Editorial Board in developing a process, issuing RFPs, and recommending a vendor to make the entire body of scholarship available to members, subscribers, and the public. In Spring 2010, the first comprehensive survey of The American Archivist readership was conducted and published. Pugh’s tenure as editor ends on December 31, 2011.

Advocacy/Public Awareness

J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award

The television program “Who Do You Think You Are” was honored for its realistic and supportive presentation of archival work. The show explored the wide range of archives and historic materials available worldwide as different celebrities sought answers to their family history. The stories shown on NBC have inspired citizens around the country to visit or contact archives. The J. Franklin Jameson Award honors an individual institution or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archival activities.

Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award

The March On Milwaukee Civil Rights History Project team at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Libraries was recognized for its promotion of the Archives Department’s primary source collections relating to the African American civil rights movement in Milwaukee. The digital collection provides unprecedented access to materials such as personal papers, organizational records, photographs, television news footage, and oral history interviews. The team has actively pursued public outreach and education about this material, including co-sponsorship of a symposium with the Milwaukee Public Library in September 2010. The Hamer Kegan Award recognizes individuals or institutions that have increased public awareness of archival documents for education, instructional, or other public purposes.

Travel Awards

Oliver Wendell Holmes Travel Award

Patrick Ansah and Umi Asma’ Mokhtar are the recipients of the 2011 Oliver Wendell Holmes Travel Award, which enables overseas archivists who are already in the United States or Canada for training to build upon their experience by traveling to SAA’s annual meeting. Ansah is a student enrolled in the second year of the Master of Archival Studies degree at the University of British Columbia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in publishing studies from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, and certificates in publishing and global health. He serves as a graduate research assistant for InterPARES 3 (International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems) and has worked and volunteered for the Anglican Church Archives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Mokhtar is a doctoral student at the Department of Information Science, Faculty of Technology and Information Science, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, who is a visiting student at the University of British Columbia. Her student research focuses on the preservation of electronic records of the Malaysian Syariah Court. Mokhtar received a bachelor’s degree from MARA University of Technology and a master’s degree from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She is the author of several articles and conference papers on records management in Malaysia and electronic legal records.

Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award

Kelly E. Lau and Melvin J. Collier were honored the Harold T. Pinkett Award, which acknowledges minority undergraduate and graduate students who, through scholastic and personal achievement, manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of SAA.

Lau is a Masters of Archival Studies and Master of Library and Information Studies student at the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia. She is affiliated with many professional organizations including the Chinese American Libraries Association, the UBC Chapter of the Association of Canadian Archivists, and the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association. She is also the recipient of the Association of Research Libraries Fellowship.

Collier is a library assistant in the Archives Research Center of the Robert W. Woodruff Library- Atlanta University Center. As a graduate assistant, he processed the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collection and worked with the HBCU Alliance Project. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University and master’s degree from Clark Atlanta University. An avid genealogist, Collier is the published author of Mississippi to Africa: A Journey of Discovery, which details his search to document his family’s genealogy and provides best practices for African American Genealogical Research. He expects to graduate in 2012 with a master of Archival Studies from Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia. 

Donald Peterson Student Scholarship Award

Brittany Turner is the recipient of the Donald Peterson Student Scholarship, which recognizes a graduate student or recent graduate for exceptional leadership and the desire to become actively involved in the archives profession. Turner is pursuing her Master’s in Library and Information Science through the University of Alabama. Commending her work on archival security for the New York State Archives, one nominator stated that she has identified and reached out to colleagues around the country to assist her with the project and as a result, involved the State Archives in the OCLC’s Missing Materials webinar and the San Jose Virtual Archives Conference on Public Records/Public Trust.


Mosaic Scholarship

Rose Chou and Helen Kim were both awarded Mosaic Scholarships, which offer financial support to minority students who manifest a commitment both to the archives profession and to advancing diversity concerns within it.

Chou is a master of library and information science student, specializing in archives at San Jose State University. Her goal is to work in an archives of color and use emerging technologies to expand the visibility and accessibility of archival materials and the many voices contained in them. As vice president of AHANA Leadership Council, the undergraduate student government for students of color at Boston College, she fought for the administration to implement a hate crime protocol, to diversify the core curriculum to include non-Western history perspectives, and to include sexual orientation in the university’s statement on non-discrimination.

Kim is working toward a master of science in information studies with a focus on archival science at the University of Texas at Austin. She volunteered at Central Texas’ Lower Colorado River Authority and the Austin History Center, where she conducted processing projects, including the records of the Korean Association of Greater Austin. She was also a State Preservation Board intern at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum where she worked on the library’s outreach and education program. One of her nominators cites her commitment to studies and the quality time she dedicates to the archival calling to be so strong, fulfilling, and sound, that her energy animates all the archivists around her.

F. Gerald Ham Scholarship

Eric Willey, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Library and Information Studies, was honored with the F. Gerald Ham Scholarship, which offers financial support to one or more second-year students in a graduate archival education program. Willey has worked or completed internships at the McCormick/International-Harvester Archives at the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Illinois State Archives, and at the Western Illinois University Archives. He is noted for his outstanding quality of the writing, analytical skills, and thoughtfulness displayed in the paper “Appraisal in Community Archives Collections: A Case Study of University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Appraisal Methods and Decisions for LGBT Collections.”

Josephine Forman Scholarship

Nidya G. Gonzalez was honored with the inaugural Josephine Forman Scholarship, a $10,000 award that provides financial support to minority students pursuing graduate education in archival science, encourages students to pursue a career as an archivist, and promotes the diversification of the American archives profession. Gonzalez began studies at the University of Pittsburgh where she is enrolled in the MLIS program with a specialization in archives, preservation, and records management. Prior, she interned at the University of the Pacific in the library/archives at the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California. Her senior paper at the University of Pacific, “Off to Work They Go: An Analysis of Mexican Immigrant women Laborers in Canneries,” received praise from one of her nominators, who noted that “this original research project included both archived oral histories from the 1980s and oral histories that Gonzalez herself complete with research subjects.”


Eight individuals are now among a list of 170 Fellows, the highest individual honor annually bestowed by SAA for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

George Bain

Retired archivist George Bain spent his entire career in Ohio, working for 10 years in the Local Government Records Program for the Ohio Historical Society (State Archives), and for 20 years as head of the Robert E. and Jean R. Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections at Ohio University Libraries, where he retired in 2007. At Ohio University, he was lauded for his “holistic view of archives” and for “opening up the profession” to his students and younger colleagues. Bain’s interests and service are vast and varied. He served for eight years as editor of SAA’s Performing Arts Roundtable newsletter, and for 28 years also has worked tirelessly with colleagues in SAA’s Reference, Access and Outreach Section, coaxing, leading, encouraging—and living outreach.  “Any archivist in Ohio will tell you that Archives Month is celebrated because of George Bain,” said one of his nominators. “Even after his so-called retirement, George took on the Preserving the American Historical Record, or PAHR, bill as a cause—and successfully got Ohio Congressmen as sponsors. For his entire career, George put others first.” Bain is a regular contributor to local, regional, and national archival periodicals. His analysis of state archival law, from his days as a government records archivist, is described by one colleague as a “milestone” document in telling the story of state archives in the United States.

Kaye Lanning Minchew

Kaye Lanning Minchew, executive director, Troup County Historical Society and Archives, developed the institution into a model local government records repository and local history program. In 2008, the SAA Council honored the Troup County Archives with its Exemplary Service Award, and by doing so also recognized Minchew’s work. Within the state of Georgia, she was a founding member of the State Historical Records Advisory Board and served in many positions for the Society of Georgia Archivists, the Georgia Historical Society, and the Georgia Records Association. At the national level, she was “the driving force” in the founding of SAA’s Local Government Records Roundtable and assumed leadership positions in the Government Records Section. She also served on the Academy of Certified Archivists’ Board of Regents and on the Government Archivists and Record Administrators’ Board of Directors. She co-chaired the Council of State Archivists’ national local government records project, “Closest to Home.” NAGARA chose Minchew to testify before a Congressional committee in 2010 in favor of NHPRC’s reauthorization. One of her nominators wrote, “one would not describe [Kaye] as an imposing physical presence. But the package you get—recognizable immediately upon working with her in any capacity—is a tenacious and passionate advocate on behalf of the historical record.”

Timothy Murray

Timothy Murray, head of special collections, University of Delaware, is one of the preeminent voices speaking for special collections, and more particularly for literary manuscripts in the nation. A member of SAA since 1983, Murray has attended more than 25 annual meetings. His strength rests in his ability to share his expertise and create interesting and arresting programs for the membership. He has served on SAA program committees, the Publications Board, and chaired the Manuscripts Repositories Section and the Privacy & Confidentiality Roundtable. Most recently he served as co-chair of the ACRL/SAA Joint Statement on Access to Research Materials in Archives and Special Collections Libraries Task Force. Murray is a frequent contributor to publishing and lecturing on the issues of acquisition and collection development, access to collections, preservation, ethics, privacy, and the other legal questions relating to literary manuscripts. Another nominator commented that, “Tim’s subject expertise ranges across all aspects of literary archives management and [that] he has had a demonstrable impact on contemporary practice in this field.” 

Janice Ruth

Janice Ruth, assistant chief of the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress, has been leaving her mark on the archival profession for 25 years. She is the first woman to hold her current position at the Library of Congress, a role in which she has improved the description of the holdings. Ruth is widely recognized for her role in the development of Encoded Archival Description (EAD). She participated in the formative meetings in Berkeley, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich., in the 1990s to define the technical underpinnings of the standard; served as lead editor for written documentation and the Tag Library; and because of her superb writing skills and clarity of expression, was selected by the other developers to explain EAD structure and the tagging of finding aids in what are viewed as seminal pieces of professional writing. When she secured the adoption of EAD in the Library of Congress, she helped assure the future of online research. One of her nominators stated, “Janice was an absolutely critical piece of the process and EAD would not have achieved the success it did without her contributions.” Ruth has been advancing the work of SAA for two decades. She has served on the Committee on Archival Information Exchange, and as member and co-chair of the Program Committee, and on the C.F.W. Coker Award Committee. 

Bradley Westbrook

Bradley Westbrook, digital archivist/metadata librarian at the University of California, San Diego, has more than 20 years of experience working with the breadth of cultural memory. His experience encompasses bibliographic materials and art collections, sound recordings, and photographs. In addition to his current position at UC, San Diego, he also serves as archives analyst for the ArchivesSpace planning project. For the past several years, Westbrook has worked as project manager on Archivists’ Toolkit. Among Westbrook’s contributions to the profession are leading workshops on Archivists’ Toolkit, Digital Preservation Management, and Digital Preservation Metadata, as well as 20 publications and numerous conference presentations. His service on SAA committees and to other archival groups further demonstrates his commitment to the profession.  I believe that Brad is a model digital archivist,” said one of his nominators. “Even when working with traditional formats, Brad’s knowledge of technology has allowed him to make significant contributions to the profession.”

Deborah Wythe

Deborah Wythe, head of digital collections and services at Brooklyn Museum, began her career teaching music, but quickly expanded to cataloging music, then arranging and describing music-focused archival collections within museums. Her numerous national and international conference presentations have examined the challenges of digitization, automation, and automated access for museum archives. Within SAA, she has served on the Annual Meeting Task Force, the Committee on Educational and Professional Development, as chair of the Museum Archives Section, and on the Publications Board. A prodigious writer, Wythe contributed five chapters to, and also took on the challenging task of serving as editor of, the second edition of Museum Archives: An Introduction (SAA, 2004). As one of her nominators stated, “If publications play an instrumental role in the vitality of SAA and the archives profession, then Deb has struck all the right chords through her versatile work on the  Museum Archives book and on the Publications Board.”

Julia Marks Young

Julia Marks Young, director of the Archives and Records Services Division at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, has made her imprint as a leader in the profession through a variety of positions. She currently is president of the Council of State Archivists as well as on its Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records (IPER) Project, a member of the steering committee of a three-state (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama) Archival Training Collaborative, the Mississippi Digital Library Advisory Committee, and the Mississippi Cultural Alliance. Young is an acknowledged expert on disaster preparedness and recovery and on coordinating stewardship and use of cultural patrimony. She is widely recognized for co-authoring with Frank Boles the game-changing article, "Exploring the Black Box: The Appraisal of University Administrative Records" (The American Archivist, Spring 1985). It laid out the particulars and nuances of what would later be called microappraisal. For SAA she has served as Editor of The American Archivist, chair of the Acquisition and Appraisal Section, member of the Trusted Archival Repository Program Task Force, and a frequent conference presenter and workshop instructor.

Tanya Zanish-Belcher

Tanya Zanish-Belcher, associate professor and special collections department head at Iowa State University, has served the archival profession in numerous capacities. She has assisted the State Historical Society of Iowa as a gubernatorial appointed member of the Iowa Historical Records Advisory Board. As a consultant with the Technical Assistance Network for one of its grant programs, her advice helped organizations design projects that met standards, received funding, and were successfully implemented. Zanish-Belcher has made more than 30 professional presentations at a variety of venues. Within SAA she has chaired the Nominating Committee and chaired or co-chaired the Membership Committee, the Women’s Collection Roundtable, Reference and Access Section, Committee, the Oral History Section, and the Science, Technology, and Healthcare Roundtable. “Tanya’s service to SAA has been dedicated and able, has been continuous over a dozen years, and has taken place at all levels along the leadership chain,” noted one of her nominators. Zanish-Belcher has contributed articles to a variety of professional periodicals and is currently under contract with SAA to co-edit the Women’s Archives Reader. She currently serves as president of the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC.