Five members were named Fellows of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) on August 30, 2001, during an awards ceremony at SAA's 65th annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Valerie Gerrard Browne, Peter Hirtle, Randall Jimerson, Deborah Skaggs and Peter Wosh received the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA, thus joining 134 current members so honored. Established in 1957 and conferred annually, this distinction is awarded to a limited number of individuals for their outstanding contributions to the archival profession.

The Committee for the Selection of SAA Fellows evaluates nominees on the following criteria: appropriate academic education and professional and technical training; a minimum of seven years professional experience in any of the fields encompassed in the archival profession; writing of superior quality and usefulness in advancing SAA objectives; and contributions to the archival profession through work in and for SAA.

As specified by the SAA constitution, election as Fellow is by 75 percent vote of the Committee for the Selection of SAA Fellows. The committee consisted of the five immediate past presidents of SAA—Luciana Duranti (chair), Brenda Banks, Nicholas C. Burckel, William J. Maher, and H. Thomas Hickerson—and three Fellows selected by Council—Richard Cameron, Susan Davis, and Robert Sink.

Following are citations given by presenters during the awards ceremony.

Valerie Gerrard Browne

Valerie Gerrard Browne, director of the Women and Leadership Archives at Loyola University of Chicago, began her archival career at Wayne State University more than 25 years ago. During that time she has served the archival profession with exceptional dedication.

Valerie is the author of the award-winning publication, Guide to the State Archives of Michigan. Within the Midwest Archives Conference she has held virtually every important elected office or appointed position—chairing four major committees, serving on five others, and serving successively on council, as vice president, and president. Her service to SAA is equally impressive—chairing three committees, serving on several more, and elected to the Nominating Committee and Council.

In every area in which she has worked, she has done an exemplary job, and perhaps none more important than in documenting the role of women, beginning with her early efforts at Wayne State—collecting, processing, publicizing, and promoting use of archival materials related to women—to her current position at Loyola. That activity has extended to work within SAA through the Committee on the Status of Women, the Women's Caucus, and Women Archivists Roundtable.

Such a record certainly warrants recognition as a Fellow, but it is an incomplete record. Valerie's nominators cited her essential humanity: "Above all, Valerie has been a model of humane generosity that has been a source of inspiration for other archivists." Another nominator notes that Valerie's colleagues "value her human decency and cordiality, which make it so easy to work with her." Yet another adds that she is "rich in these special qualities of modesty, energetic willingness to help, thoughtfulness in matters personal and professional." And finally, a colleague mentions her "warmth, generosity, [and] joy with which she has infused the projects and organizations she serves."

—Nicholas C. Burckel, Marquette University

Peter Hirtle

Peter Hirtle's value to the archival profession results from a dynamic combination of knowledge, skills, and interests. His knowledge of basic archival principles and methods is significantly enhanced by his strategic awareness of developments and trends outside of the profession that impact on archival practice. He is articulate in his explication of archival theory, but as one of those recommending his selection wrote: "Peter easily shifts from theoretical approaches to practical without missing a beat." He is well versed in archival practice, having served as curator of Modern Manuscripts at the National Library of Medicine from 1986 to 1993. Envisioning the opportunities that new technological developments would bring, Peter became coordinator for electronic public access initiatives at the National Archives in 1994.

Continuing his focus on the impact of the digital world on archival practice, Peter presently serves as co-director of the Cornell Institute for Digital Collections. His work at Cornell University has included various digital projects using archives and special collections. Additionally, he co-directed a cooperative project with the campus art museum to provide networked access to their collections, is contributing to the development of an international digital theater archive, and has served as associate editor of D-Lib Magazine, the leading electronic journal on innovation and research in digital libraries. Peter has also become an expert in intellectual property rights issues, serving as a highly valued resource for the archival and digital library communities.

Peter's service to SAA has also been exemplary. He chaired the Committee on Archival Information Exchange, coordinated the Science, Technology, and Health Care Roundtable, and served on the Task Force on the Information Superhighway and the 2000 Program Committee. He served on SAA Council from 1996 to 1999, and was named to its Executive Committee. This year he was elected vice president of SAA and will become its 58th president in 2002-03. Perhaps most importantly, Peter is a natural-born teacher and a frequently sought after lecturer. Beginning his career as an assistant professor of history at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Peter has continued this role as a leader of SAA workshops across the country, and as a key instructor in Cornell's widely-acclaimed digital imaging workshops. As one colleague put it: "He brings to the table a profound understanding of the archival implications and a clear sightedness that enables him to demystify basic issues."

As another colleague concluded, "The archival endeavor needs people with a broad understanding of technological issues and legal concerns combined with a solid grasp of archival principles and practices. Peter Hirtle serves as a distinguished example of the skills that the twenty-first century archivist should have."

—H. Thomas Hickerson, Cornell University

Randall Jimerson

Dr. Randall C. Jimerson's credentials in archival work, scholarly achievement, and service to the profession provide more than ample justification for his election as a Fellow. Furthermore, his personal characteristics of dedication to collections and students, steadfast work for the profession, and rigorous dedication to decorum and fairness in professional deliberations make his nomination timely and exemplary. After he received a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan in 1977, he served for two years as archivist at the Yale University Library before becoming university archivist and director of Historical Manuscripts at the University of Connecticut. Over the next decade and one-half, he established the archival program, launched archival education at the university, lead an innovative regional program to provide basic training for local curators, and planned the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center. In 1994, he moved to Western Washington University where he is director of the Graduate Program in Archives and Records Management.

Throughout his career, Randall has been actively engaged in contributing to the advancement of the profession by assuming responsibility and taking leadership roles in organizations including the New England Archivists for which he served as newsletter editor, Education Committee chair, and president. In SAA, Randall has been an elected member of Council, the Executive Committee, co-chair of the 1998 Program Committee, and most recently as the chair of the Committee to Review the Archival Education Guidelines. A regular speaker at professional meetings, Randall has made major contributions to archival literature, most recently via American Archival Studies: Readings in Theory and Practice (SAA, 2000), already a best seller, which will undoubtedly serve as a foundation for more than a generation to come.

As an archival educator, Randall has been a consistent mentor and ready colleague as former students make their own roads. His passion for education has been a driving force throughout his career, for example, when he devoted substantial time to a NHPRC-funded project to provide basic training for curators of small, but important, New England historical records repositories or as he has devoted his energies to build a consensus in the often divergent Committee on Education and Professional Development to develop revised guidelines for graduate archival education, ensuring that all perspectives received a complete hearing and consideration. A colleague noted has noted: "Rand's thoughtful, well reasoned points of view have always been a welcome balm on the sometimes contentious discussions surrounding archival education."

All of these accomplishments justify his election as Fellow, but the nomination cannot be complete without acknowledgment of his personal character that has contributed so much to professional deliberations. As another colleague noted: "Rand is a good person. He is living proof that soft-spoken but dedicated individuals can make a difference. Our profession and the collections in our care are the beneficiaries of his labors."

—William J. Maher, University of Illinois at Urbana

Deborah Skaggs

Deborah Skaggs' supporters describe her as an "archivist's archivist," a consummate professional who has graced the profession with her diligence, wisdom, and commitment. One of her outstanding qualities has been her versatility and her ability to move, seemingly effortlessly, from one archival institution to another and among various types of archival enterprises. She has served in university, state government, and corporate settings and has been an effective advocate for archival concerns in all venues.

Deborah has had considerable impact in shaping archival programs at the grass roots level. Deborah served with distinction at the University of Louisville and then at the Alabama Department of Archives and History, where she developed records management programs as well as important initiatives in the area of preservation, local records, and electronic documentation. She was a pioneer in the field of electronic records and digital technologies and directed an initiative to promote better understanding of these new technologies and their impact on public records. Her technical leaflets for state and local governments have been described as models of clarity. Since 1996, Deborah has been at the Frank Russell Company in Tacoma, Washington, where as manager of corporate records she has continued her leadership in records and information management, bringing to bear her experience with functional analysis and wise use of electronic technologies within the corporate environment.

Throughout her career, Deborah has also demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the archival profession, serving with distinction in a wide variety of roles. She served as treasurer of the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators and as vice-president of the Academy of Certified Archivists. More recently, she has been a member of the Emerging Technologies Advisory Committee of the Association of Image and Information Management (AIIM). She has been involved in some aspect of SAA work almost continuously for the past twenty years, including membership on many different committees and as chair of the 1995 annual meeting Program Committee. Deborah has also been a frequent and effective presenter at many professional conferences.

In all of her positions, Deborah has been able to successfully adapt core principles to widely different work environments, enriching the institutions she serves as well as the archival profession. Along the way she has mentored a new generation of archivists and promoted the development of archives throughout the nation. The accomplishments of her long and varied career, performed with creativity and distinction in every venue, merit her election as Fellow of the Society of American Archivists.

—Susan Davis, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Peter J. Wosh

Dr. Peter J. Wosh is an archivist who has built and strengthened programs throughout his career. He has been a vital contributor to religious archives and to archival education and a leader in various SAA committees, sections, boards and roundtables.

For the first 16 years of his career, Peter worked in religious archives and, in 1993, SAA recognized his outstanding contributions and commitment by honoring him with the Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award. In 1994, the History Department at New York University named Peter director of its Archives Program, and he proceeded to revitalize that program. His students consistently cite him as an exceptional teacher, a valued mentor, and someone who constantly promotes the involvement of new archivists in professional organizations.

While maintaining high academic standards for the NYU program, Peter pursues his own scholarly work, publishing in both the archival and historical literature. He has published three books, and has two more forthcoming, along with numerous articles and book reviews. Peter's writings are graced by a keen professional insight and a sly sense of humor. In 2000 he received the SAA Fellows' Posner Award for an article he wrote for the American Archivist.

One of Peter's nominators commended him for "keeping alive the vision of the archives profession as a humanistic enterprise." For this important vision, for his outstanding work as an archivist and educator, for his writings, and for his professional service, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Peter J. Wosh as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists.

— Robert Sink, Center for Jewish History