And the 2001 SAA Awards Go To...

The Society of American Archivists recognized and celebrated outstanding archival achievements for the calendar year 2000 at an awards ceremony held August 30, 2001, during its 65th annual meeting at the Hilton & Towers in Washington, D.C. Subcommittees of the Awards Committee, which was chaired by Roland Baumann, Alexandra Gressitt, and Deborah Day, selected recipients of the SAA-sponsored awards. SAA heartily congratulates all of the award winners.

Distinguished Service Award


The OHIO HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Archives/Library Division, is the recipient of SAA's 2001 Distinguished Service Award. Established in 1964, the award recognizes a North American archival institution that has provided outstanding public service and has made an exemplary contribution to the archival profession. GEORGE PARKINSON (pictured at left), chief of the Archives/Library Division, received the award on behalf of the institution.

With technology changing, costs rising, and state money often shrinking, it is a daunting challenge for state archives to find ways to meet the needs of an ever-more insistent public for increased, if not instantaneous access, to historical information. The Archives/Library Division of the Ohio Historical Society has risen to this challenge and provided more than one model for those dealing with the same issues. Through the clever and careful use of state money and grant funds, Mr. Parkinson and his staff have shown that it is possible not only to increase access to historical records via the Internet, but at the same time, launch major initiatives to manage electronic records of historical value being created by a variety of government departments.

The results of their work for researchers may be seen on the Ohio Historical Society's outstanding Web site Interested in the basic records defining governance? Then, click on the Ohio Fundamental Documents Database where you can find the text of the Ordinance of the Northwest Territory of 1787 as well as the state's constitutions. Interested in the state's African-American history? Then go to award-winning African-American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920, developed as a contribution to the Library of Congress' American Memory project. Looking for genealogical information? Then check out the searchable Ohio Death Certificate Index, 1913-1937.

This Web site also provides evidence of the Archives/Library Division's leadership role in developing management strategies for state government's electronic records. The division was the driving force behind the organization of an Electronic Records Committee that brought together government supervisors from various departments with an interest in managing the preservation of electronic records. The breadth and depth of the committee's work is reflected in the documents available electronically, for example: "Digital Document Imaging Guidelines," "Electronic Records Management Guidelines," and "Managing Electronic Mail."

Nominators for this award noted that one reason for the division's recent successes was due in large part to their leaders' unshakeable belief in collaborating with other state institutions and government departments. This willingness to go out and find partners to accomplish common goals is an object lesson for all institutions struggling to organize similar projects. Another key to success mentioned by the nominators was the division's use of one successful project to leverage another. For example, the division is currently working with the Ohio Bicentennial Committee to develop the Ohio Memory Project. Building on the knowledge gained from the African-American Experience in Ohio, this project will be a collaboration of the state's leading archives and libraries to create a digital collection reflecting the most important events in the state's long and rich history.

Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award

SHELLY HENLEY KELLY of the University of Houston-Clear Lake received SAA's 2001 Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award for increasing public awareness about a specific body of documents. Established in 1973, the award honors the memory of two SAA Fellows and former presidents.

Ms. Kelly, formerly assistant archivist at the Galveston and Texas History Center at the Rosenberg Library, worked with primary documents from the Rosenberg Library relating to the deadly and disastrous Galveston hurricane of 1900. For the 100th anniversary of the event, she wrote articles, made presentations to schools and civic groups, and publicized documents about the storm in the archives holdings. The final culmination of her work was the publication, Through a Night of Horrors: Voices from the 1900 Galveston Storm, a compilation of manuscripts and oral histories of storm survivors, which is both well documented and illustrated, in addition to being very readable.

Ms. Kelly has demonstrated historical entrepreneurship and perseverance in instigating this project and getting it done. SAA commends her commitment to the project, and the quality of her activities throughout the two or more years that were required to bring the book and related materials to the public.

C.F.W. Coker Award


WAVERLY LOWELL of the Environmental Design Archives at University of California, Berkeley and KELCY SHEPHERD of Special Collections and Archives at W.E.B. Du Bois Library at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, received SAA's 2001 C.F.W. Coker Award for their guide, Standard Series of Architecture and Landscape Design Records: A Tool for Arrangement and Descriptions of Archival Collections. Established in 1983, the award honors the memory of SAA Fellow C.F.W. Coker.

The Coker Award recognizes finding aids, finding aid systems, projects that involve innovative development in archival description, or descriptive tools that enable archivists to produce more effective finding aids. To merit serious consideration, the nominees must, in some significant way, set national standards, represent a model for archival description, or otherwise have substantial impact on descriptive practices.

Ms. Shepherd and Ms. Lowell's guide, published by the University of California Regents (2000), provides a much needed model for thinking about, organizing, and consistently describing a format of material that has received little attention--the project-based profession. It creates a useful, practical standard. As one nominator noted, "Many descriptive standards and projects focus on data and data elements, but the standard series concept as elaborated in this volume addresses a more fundamental level of archival description, the organization and arrangement of a unit of archival material, the process from which the description emerges.... The authors do a wonderful job of showing how, in the specific area of records of architects and landscape designers, the career patterns and records production of individuals and firms lend themselves quite well to a standardized series organization."

Fellows' Posner Award


SAA's 2001 Fellows' Posner Award was presented to PHILIP C. BANTIN, university archivist of Indiana University, for his article, "The Indiana University Electronic Records Project Revisited," published in volume 62 of the American Archivist, SAA's semi-annual journal. Established in 1982 by the Fellows of the Society of American Archivists, the award recognizes outstanding work dealing with some facet of archival administration, history, theory and/or methodology published in the latest volume of the journal.

Many grant-funded projects provide models of theory or practice for other repositories. Few, however, report on the problems and shortcomings that follow their initial success. By revisiting a project that has already had a significant impact on the management of electronic records, Mr. Bantin has demonstrated the value of continued critical thinking and has set an example for others to follow. His article offers a realistic view of the real world of archives and records management. He also provides archivists with a useful analysis of the recent literature of related disciplines and suggests new allies for archivists in identifying information of continuing usefulness. Others in the profession will benefit from the integrity and insight he demonstrated in evaluating his own model, a practice that will be encouraged, it is hoped, by this recognition of his achievement.

Waldo Gifford Leland Award


SAA's 2001 Waldo Gifford Leland Award for writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the field of archival history, theory, or practice was presented to ANNE R. KENNEY (pictured at left) and OYA Y. RIEGER of Cornell University for Moving Theory into Practice: Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives (Research Libraries Group, 2000). Established in 1959, the award is named for one of North America's archival pioneers and SAA's second president.

Digital projects have become the expectation at most of institutions where archivists are confronted with the challenge of taking on these new access tools and integrating them with other operations. Ms. Kenney and Ms. Rieger's publication provides the answers and, like its predecessor, Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives (Cornell University, 1996) (which also received SAA's Leland Award) will be on the active reference shelf of every institution contemplating or constructing digital projects.

Moving Theory into Practice covers the broad range of issues from a conceptual point of view and also provides a wealth of practical information in the form of benchmarks, case studies and other contributions from leading practitioners of digital imaging for archival and library collections. The book is well written, clearly designed and easy to follow. Ms. Kenney and Ms. Rieger have earned the gratitude of the archival profession for their authoritative, informative and timely work.

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


KINGA PERZYNSKA, director of the Catholic Archives of Texas, is the recipient of SAA's 2001 Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award for her significant contribution to the field of religious archives. Established in 1974 and conferred annually, the award is sponsored in conjunction with and funded by the Society of Southwest Archivists.

Since making archival enterprise her profession ten years ago, Ms. Perzynska has been actively involved in regional, national, and international professional and religious archival organizations. Ms. Perzynska has served on the Executive Board of the Society of Southwest Archivists as well as other positions within her regional organization.

Ms. Perzynska has served on SAA's Religious Archives Section as a Steering Committee member and as chair of the Nominating Committee. In 1998, Ms. Perzynska received the Certificate of Recognition of Dedication to the Archival Profession from SAA. Also in 1998, as co-chair of the Association of Catholic Diocesan Archivists' Thesaurus Committee, Ms. Perzynska successfully prepared a grant to create and publish a book of controlled diocesan terms. The Thesaurus of Catholic Diocesan Terms was completed and made available in 2000.

At the international level, Ms. Perzynska contributes to the International Council on Archives, Section of Archives of Churches and Religious Denominations, currently serving as secretary. She has worked on the section's Steering Committee and the Program Committee, through which she helped organize the Church Archives Conference in Seville, Spain, in September 2000. A highlight of Ms. Perzynska's career came in 1997 when Pope John Paul II, appointed her to a five-year term as a Consultor of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church in the Vatican.

Ms. Perzynska teaches in the History Department of Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, as well as serving as a consultant for the staff of Texas Catholic Dioceses, where she emphasizes the basics of recordkeeping and preservation of archives.

Preservation Publication Award

SAA's 2001 Preservation Publication Award was presented to GREGORY S. HUNTER for Preserving Digital Information: A How-To-Do-It Manual (Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2000). Established in 1993, the award recognizes the author or editor of an outstanding work, published in North America, that advances the theory or practice of preservation in archival institutions.

Mr. Hunter's book provides a thorough and systematic review of the issues, best practices, and challenges associated with the preservation of digital objects. As one nominator noted, Mr. Hunter does "a great job of summarizing and articulating very complicated issues in terms that can be understood and appreciated, and he does this without distorting the facts." Further, he successfully identifies the most important current research on digital preservation and electronic records management and effectively summarizes the results of these projects. Lastly, the book presents a multi-step approach to implementing a digital preservation program that is well reasoned, sound, and based on the best knowledge available.

Theodore Calvin Pease Award


SAA's 2001 Theodore Calvin Pease Award was presented to JAMES M. ROTH of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his student paper, "Serving Up EAD: An Exploratory Study on the Deployment and Utilization of Encoded Archival Description Finding Aids." Established in 1987, the award is named for the first editor of SAA's semi-annual journal, the American Archivist, and recognizes superior writing achievement by a student enrolled in archival administrative classes or engaged in formal archival internship programs. This paper will be published in a forthcoming issue of American Archivist

Mr. Roth master's paper, written for Professor Helen Tibbo of the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, reports on a survey of repositories that have implemented Encoded Archival Description in an effort to determine the methods used for deploying EAD finding aids, to assess what kinds of evaluations of the use of EAD finding aids have been undertaken, and to explore the perceptions of archivists regarding the end use of EAD finding aids. This is clearly an area of major concern to the archival community, and the paper lays out some of the real benefits and obstacles to the use of EAD. Its recommendation that we must double our efforts to understand and evaluate how end-users are actually using EAD finding aids sends a strong message to repositories planning to develop or expand their use of Encoded Archival Description. The study evidences careful scholarship, clear presentation, and thoughtful analysis. Mr. Roth is currently an archivist at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Award


SAA's 2001 Oliver Wendell Holmes Award was presented to EUN G. PARK from Korea. Established in 1979, the award is named for an SAA Fellow and former president. The award assists overseas archivists already in the United States or Canada for training, to travel to and attend SAA's conference.

Ms. Park is enrolled in the doctoral program in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has been working on exploring constructs of authenticity as they are understood by different recordkeeping communities. Her work compares similar electronic recordkeeping functions in universities and archival institutions in different national, cultural, juridical, and organizational contexts to understand the extent to which these variables impact requirements for permanently preserving authentic records in electronic student records systems. Her research thus examines communities of practice in electronic recordkeeping across a broad range of organizational and national contexts. This allows her to bring her academic expertise in business administration, information systems, and archival science to bear on examining an area of the nonprofit sector-administration and academic institutions-which will benefit from such research from the standpoints of policy, organizational theory, and technology.

Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award


ROSE ROBERTO of the University of California, Los Angeles is the recipient of SAA's 2001 Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award. The award recognizes minority undergraduate and graduate students of African, Asian, Latino or Native American descent who through scholastic achievement manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of SAA. Established in 1993, the award honors the late Dr. Harold T. Pinkett, an SAA Fellow who served with distinction during his long tenure at the National Archives and Records Administration.

Ms. Roberto earned her master's degree in Library and Information Science in June from UCLA, specializing in the areas of archives and electronic records management. During her years at UCLA, she was very active with the SAA student chapter. As vice president of the chapter she organized field trips, onsite and offsite SAA meetings, and coordinated a panel discussion contrasting information seeking activities and priorities of public libraries, special libraries, and archives. Ms. Roberto is now employed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the NASA Center in Pasadena, California.

For more information on SAA student chapters, please click here.

Colonial Dames Scholarship Award

LAURA POLO of the Crawford County (Penn.) Historical Society and JOHN MARTINEZ of the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives received the Society of American Archivists' 2001 Colonial Dames Scholarship Award. Established in 1974, the award enables two archivists each year to attend the Modern Archives Institute of the National Archives and Records Administration. Each scholarship covers up to $1,200 of the total tuition, travel, and housing expenses associated with attending the institute. To be eligible for this scholarship an individual must have been employed less than two years as an archivist and work in an archives or manuscripts collection where a fair percentage of the repository's holdings predate 1825. The award is funded by the Colonial Dames of America, Chapter III, Washington, D.C. Ms. Polo attended the winter institute and Mr. Martinez attended the summer institute.

Council Exemplary Service Award


CARROLL DENDLER received SAA's 2001 Council Exemplary Service Award. Ms. Dendler, SAA's finance and human resource director, was cited for her "extraordinary grasp of the Society's financial minutia and human resources," as well as for the "firm hand she has kept on SAA's financial tiller for a number of years." The four treasurers of the association who have worked with Ms. Dendler since she joined the staff of SAA nine years ago noted how fortunate they have been to work closely with a "remarkable person." In his presentation, SAA President Leon Stout, himself a former treasurer, said that Ms. Dendler "can coax a report out of a cranky accounting system at the drop of a hat [and] she can explain a Federal Accounting Standard so that even I could understand it."