2018 Fellows and Award Recipients

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) honors the accomplishments and innovations of more than twenty outstanding individuals and organizations at the Joint Annual Meeting of CoSA, NAGARA, and SAA in Washington, DC, August 12–18, 2018. Award categories include outstanding contributions to the archives profession, superior advocacy and public awareness initiatives, writing and publishing excellence, and scholarships and travel awards.

Congratulations to the following 2018 recipients. Stay tuned for more details about the honorees and cheer them on when they are recognized at ceremonies during the plenary sessions on August 16 and 17 during ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2018.

Archival Innovator Award: Dr. Doug Boyd

Dr. Doug Boyd, director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries, is the 2018 recipient of the Archival Innovator Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The Archival Innovator Award recognizes archivists, repositories, or organizations that show creativity in approaching professional challenges or the ability to think outside the professional norm or that have an extraordinary impact on a community through archives programs and outreach.  

Boyd designed and leads the development of the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS), a free digital tool that improves access to online oral histories by synchronizing text with audiovisual content on an open-source platform. Launched in 2014, there currently are OHMS accounts at more than 350 institutions in more than 20 countries and OHMS is used by a diverse array of oral history projects. Boyd’s team continues to actively develop new features, including the addition of multilingual support in 2017. This feature has greatly increased visibility of underrepresented groups in digital oral history collections, such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ use of OHMS to publish oral histories of Latinx filmmakers.

Boyd’s supporter wrote: “While it was his creative and innovative nature that envisioned the capability for OHMS to be multilingual, it was Boyd’s leadership and focus that led to the implementation of the vision that now makes this type of project possible by institutions all over the world.”

Brenda S. Banks Travel Award: Saida Largaespada

Saida Largaespada, a graduate student in the Master of Library and Information Science program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is a 2018 recipient of the Brenda S. Banks Travel Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes individuals of color who are employed in archives and who manifest an interest in becoming active members of SAA.

The inaugural recipient of the award, Largaespada has demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in both her academic and professional pursuits. As a library assistant for the UCLA Digital Program, she shares selections from digitized historical collections through social media to highlight injustices involving race, class, and misogyny and uses language centering underrepresented peoples. Largaespada is also an archivist for the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA), where she helps marginalized artists to document and preserve their own materials and develops public critical discussions that question traditional archival values. With an interest in audio documentation and preservation, she would like to build a professional network within SAA and become active in its various component groups.

Largaespada wrote: “By becoming more active in the community and joining SAA’s larger groups, I hope to contribute to the understanding of liberatory archives and empowerment through community-centered practices.”

C.F.W. Coker Award: The University of California Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description

The University of California (UC) Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description is the 2018 recipient of the C.F.W. Coker Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes finding aids, finding aid systems, innovative development in archival description, or descriptive tools that enable archivists to produce more effective finding aids. To merit consideration for the award, nominees must set national standards, represent a model for archives description, or otherwise have a substantial impact on national descriptive practice.

The Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description is a comprehensive, collaboratively-created document that provides much needed guidance for archivists. Developed by digital archivists Annalise Berdini (UC San Diego), Charles Macquarie (UC San Francisco), Shira Peltzman (UC Los Angeles), and Kate Tasker (UC Berkeley), the guidelines represent best practices based on a review of finding aids from across the country that assessed the state of born-digital archival description. The detailed crosswalks between multiple descriptive standards such as DACS, ISAD(G), MARC, ArchivesSpace, EAD3, and RDA make it an especially powerful document that is accessible to novices and experts alike and can be used by a wide range of institutions.

This best practices guide has since been adopted by all the University of California libraries, aiding in the standardization of description. In addition, the guidelines have been shared via GitHub (a web-based hosting service for version control) and the creators encourage others to submit pull requests from those outside the UC system.

As one supported noted, “The guide is easy to follow, flexible, and adaptable to institutions outside of the UC system. At the Computer History Museum [in Mountain View, California], we have been looking to the UC guidelines as we integrate software and other born-digital materials into our finding aids.”

Council Exemplary Service Award: Documenting the Now

Documenting the Now (DocNow) is a 2018 recipient of the Society of American Archivists’ Council Exemplary Service Award, which recognizes special contributions made to the archives profession—and especially to SAA—and is given at the discretion of the SAA Council.

DocNow was formed in 2016 as a collaboration of the University of Maryland, University of California at Riverside, and Washington University in St. Louis via a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. For the past three years, DocNow’s Team and Advisory Board have worked tirelessly to develop user-friendly tools and an international community that extends far beyond that of professional archivists. In seeking to provide an ethical framework for the collection and preservation of social media and web content, DocNow has facilitated an open forum for conversations about technology, surveillance, communities, and the ethics of documentation.

DocNow’s work embodies many of SAA’s core values, including access and use; accountability; advocacy; diversity and inclusion; history and memory; professionalism; responsible custody; service; transparency; and social responsibility—and promotes these values to a variety of communities for the public good. DocNow also challenges professional archivists to think critically about their actions and the results of their actions in documenting historical change through social media, while encouraging radical empathy for those communities from which we collect.

The Council recognizes and thanks the current and former DocNow Team members and DocNow Advisory Board members who have developed, sustained, and continuously expanded Documenting the Now.

Distinguished Service Award: Council of State Archivists

The Council of State Archivists (CoSA) is a 2018 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes an archives institution, education program, nonprofit organization, or government organization that has given outstanding service to its public and has made an exemplary contribution to the archives profession.

CoSA’s archival leadership, training, publication, and advocacy work between 2005 and today, combined with its earlier accomplishments as the Council of State Historical Records Coordinators between 1989 and 2005, continually reflect its deep commitment to the long-term preservation of and access to the documentary records of America’s fifty-six state and territorial governments.

In recent years, CoSA’s work has significantly contributed to the development of new archival theory and practice related to the management and preservation of digital records, the establishment of practical emergency preparedness protocols for government records, and the training of nonarchivists. Among its many initiatives, CoSA’s Digital Best Practices Series founded in 2017, State Electronic Records Initiative started in 2012, Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records Project begun in 2007, and Preserving the American Historical Record Act initiated in 2005 stand out for their innovativeness and shaping of new archives management and preservation practices across the profession.

The awards committee praised CoSA’s “tireless visionary leadership, sensitive listening to the archives profession’s needs, and the development of practical new initiatives to address preservation and access demands over time.”

Distinguished Service Award: Society of Southwest Archivists


The Society of Southwest Archivists is a 2018 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes an archives institution, education program, nonprofit organization, or government organization that has given outstanding service to its public and has made an exemplary contribution to the archives profession.  

Following the devastation of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina in 2005, members of the Society of Southwest Archivists (SSA) took action immediately by creating dedicated social media channels to help facilitate communication among the region’s archivists that had been physically dispersed. Ten days after Katrina made landfall, SSA and SAA agreed to establish the SSA/SAA Emergency Disaster Assistance grant fund to aid archives affected by the hurricanes—within four days, they had raised ten thousand dollars. By October, SSA had raised nearly ten thousand additional dollars, which enabled it to make the first three grant awards to New Orleans archives affected by Katrina. When Hurricane Rita arrived in Texas in September, the scope of the grant expanded to include that event, and today continues to furnish essential preservation support to archives throughout the United States and its territories.  

SSA has demonstrated visionary, compassionate, and collaborative work establishing the SSA/SAA Emergency Disaster Assistance Grant fund in 2005 to meet the needs of archives affected by natural disasters, deftly managed this fund with SAA until 2009, and has provided an influential model for other disaster recovery funds that have been established by other regional archives organizations across the country.


Diversity Award: Community Archivist Program, Austin History Center

The Community Archives Program, established in 2000 by the City of Austin through the Austin History Center, is a 2018 recipient of the Diversity Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes outstanding contributions in advancing diversity within the archives profession, SAA, or the archival record.

The Community Archives Program engages communities in documenting the rich and diverse histories of African American, Latinx, and Asian American residents and their contributions to the city. Over the course of eighteen years, community archivists have developed best practices for establishing ongoing, mutually beneficial relationships with community groups based on trust and commitment to shared priorities. The success of their efforts is most evident in the variety of educational and outreach programs it supports as well as innovative and timely exhibits such as Mexican American Trailblazers, Finding Refuge in Austin, Travis County Negro Extension Service, and Women in Action. A growing recognition of the program’s influence has prompted the Austin City Council to incorporate the program’s invaluable historical perspective and leadership into its new strategic plan for city planning, which will continue to shape the future of the city and its communities.

One supporter who has worked closely with the program noted, “Diversity and inclusion is often talked about within the archival profession, but the Community Archivists Program is one archives taking action.”

Diversity Award: Maya from the Margins Archives Project

Maya from the Margins is a 2018 recipient of the Diversity Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes outstanding contributions in advancing diversity within the archives profession, SAA, or the archival record.

Maya from the Margins is a collaborative project developed at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill by Dr. Patricia A. McAnany, Dr. Gabrielle Vail, Dr. Iván Batun-Alpuche, and Douglas “Biff” Hollingsworth with the support of the indigenous-focused nonprofit InHerit, the UNC-Chapel Hill anthropology department, and the UNC-Chapel Hill University Libraries’s Southern Historical Collection (SHC). The project engages high school youth with Latinx and indigenous roots in North Carolina and Yucatán, México, in exploring their complex identity and heritage, focusing on the topics of language, history, and migration. Participants visit the SHC and the State Archives of Yucatán and collaboratively curate a travelling exhibit displayed at both sites. The project models public engagement through its humanities framework, pursues civically engaged scholarship, and engages the community directly through participatory archival research. The project has set many new opportunities in motion as well, including new projects in Yucatan with the National Geographic Society and in the Imbabura region of Ecuador, which continue to build on the work of Maya from the Margins.

One supporter noted that “Maya from the Margins offers valuable insights into how archives serve an important function of diplomacy, welcome, and inclusion. It’s a model that lowers the barriers to entry not just into our archives, but into our communities and the profession at large.” Another supporter wrote, “Maya from the Margins has prompted archives colleagues to think differently about how we might work together; it has inspired students to embrace the value of archives and even seek work in archives settings; and it has challenged educators in high schools and colleges to see archives as the place where knowledge can best be co-created with a range of user communities.”

Donald Peterson Student Travel Award: Jessica Serrao

Jessica Serrao, who is pursuing a graduate degree in library and information science with a concentration in archives and records management and certificate in digital curation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), is the 2018 recipient of the Donald Peterson Student Travel Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The goal of the scholarship is to stimulate greater participation in the activities of SAA, such as presenting research or actively participating in an SAA-sponsored committee or section.

During the Joint Annual Meeting, Serrao will be chairing the education session “Documenting Decisions: Strategies and Workflows for Consistent and Transparent Processing.” She will also co-present within the session “Documentation for Team Processing: A Strategy for Internal and External Transparency,” which highlights ways team processors can collaborate and improve internal transparency through documentation strategies and how that documentation has the potential to support external transparency to the public.

F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship: Julie Botnick

Julie Botnick, who is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is the 2018 recipient of the F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The $10,000 scholarship supports the graduate archival education of a student who is studying at a United States university program. Scholarship selection criteria include the applicant’s past performance in his or her graduate program in archival studies as well as faculty members’ assessment of the student’s prospects for contributing to the archives profession.

In addition to her strong academic record, Botnick impressed the SAA Awards Committee with her insightful essay, “Archivists as Amici Curiae: Archival Frameworks in Support of the Petitioner in Carpenter v. United States,” which explores cell site location information as metadata, record, and evidence. In it, Botnick asks important questions about privacy and digital data and contends that archivists bring valuable expertise to the status of this data in legal proceedings. In her position as a teaching assistant in UCLA’s history department, she has initiated discussion sections in Special Collections, introducing a number of students to archives, and is working with the UCLA Sephardic Archive Initiative to develop a participatory digital community archives. She volunteered as a translator at the International Council on Archives Conference in Mexico City and is the processing archivist for UCLA’s Fowler Museum, working to open up the institution’s Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act records to the public.

Her faculty nominator noted that she is “someone who will end up representing US archives on the international stage as well as pushing forward the role of archives and special collections in teaching.”

Fellow: Amy Cooper Cary


Amy Cooper Cary, head of special collections and university archives at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will be inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) during a ceremony at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, and SAA in Washington, DC, August 12–18. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

Cary is a strong leader, educator, and writer, and has been instrumental in promoting access to archives and records for people of all backgrounds. Cary holds a master’s in information science with an archives specialization from the University of Michigan and a master’s in comparative literature from the State University of New York, Binghamton. She was a member of the 2008 cohort of the Archives Leadership Institute and the 2013 cohort of the Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians.

A prominent mentor and role model, Cary directed one of the most successful archival graduate training programs in the United States at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Her work on the SAA Committee on Education and the Graduate Education Subcommittee connected SAA with broader trends in the education field. She continues to teach her own classes, work with other faculty to promote the use of primary resources and archives in research, and provide students with practical experience in digital stewardship via fieldwork placement.

Cary has served in a variety of leadership capacities. As the Reviews Editor for American Archivist, she revitalized the reviews section and initiated an online Reviews Portal. She has also served on the Awards Committee and Program Committee, and is in the final year of a three-year term on the SAA Council, where she is a strong advocate for archival education and publication. Beyond SAA, she has been the editor of Archival Issues, reviews editor of RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, and grants reviewer for both the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. She is past president of the Midwest Archives Conference.

As one supporter noted, “Cary represents the best of what an archivist should be, always finding ways to improve the public understanding of the archives profession. She understands what archives can offer to the public and how to generate enthusiasm for archives as a profession, demonstrating resourcefulness, initiative, and commitment.”


Fellow: Donna E. McCrea

Donna E. McCrea, professor and head of archives and special collections at the University of Montana in Missoula, will be inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) during a ceremony at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, and SAA in Washington, DC, August 12–18. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

McCrea’s nominators noted she is a compelling example of archival leadership and management. At the University of Montana, where she oversees collection development, reference, and access for archives and special collections, she has successfully used the department as a laboratory for experimenting and applying innovative theoretical approaches to archival practice. Her application of the “more product, less process” model, for instance, accelerates access to archival materials and augments service to researchers. Throughout her scholarship, McCrea effortlessly connects national archival trends with local issues and implementation. In 2009, she was granted tenure at the university in recognition of her research, service and professional contributions.

Within SAA, McCrea has consistently brought her initiative, analytical abilities, resourcefulness, and energetic commitment to a number of projects. In addition to being elected to the SAA Council and serving on two program committees, McCrea played an influential role as co-chair and then chair of the Education Committee. When confronted with a demanding issue—one regarding the potential to have SAA act as an accrediting body for graduate archival programs—she not only took the time to understand each committee member’s viewpoint, but also sought to provide context for the discussion. As a result of McCrea’s work, the Education Committee revised guidelines and improved SAA’s online Directory of Archival Education Programs—an outcome that would not have been possible without her strong leadership and commitment to tackling difficult tasks. McCrea has also represented SAA in both the Coalition to Advance Learning in Archives, Libraries, and Museums and the Nexus Leading Across Boundaries project; she currently serves on SAA’s Task Force to Revise Best Practices on Accessibility.

As one supporter noted, McCrea’s strength is her “dogged insistence on giving back what she’s learned—the strategies, successes, and failures in her application attempts—through her numerous memorable and valuable writings and presentations. In many ways, she is the proverbial poster child for the benefits that an investment in professional organizational engagement can bring to an archival program.”

Fellow: Kate Theimer

Kate Theimer, author, educator, and creator of the blog ArchivesNext, will be inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) during a ceremony at the Joint Annual Meeting of CoSA, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, and SAA in Washington, DC, August 12–18. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

At the heart of Theimer’s work is her passion for connecting people and creating inclusive spaces for the open sharing of ideas. With a master of science in information from the University of Michigan and a master of arts in art history and archaeology from the University of Maryland, Theimer worked at the Smithsonian Institution and then at the National Archives and Records Administration. In 2007, Theimer left to start ArchivesNext, where she explored innovative uses of web technology in archives and discussed the applicability of existing archival business models in the current and emerging information environment—all while proposing modifications for a new model and engaging readers in an ongoing conversation on archives issues. ArchivesNext has served as a general outreach tool for the profession, informing readers of disaster relief resources, public awareness initiatives, and career advice. In addition to her numerous publications and presentations, she authored the book Web 2.0 Tools and Strategies for Archives and Local History Collections and created the Spontaneous Scholarships program in 2011 to assist archivists with funding for attending SAA’s Annual Meeting.

Theimer’s activities have consistently demonstrated her creativity, initiative, commitment, and resourcefulness. Within SAA, she’s served on the steering committee for the Electronic Records Section, co-chaired the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable as well as the “23 Things for Archivists” Working Group, and was a member of both the Nominating Committee and Appointments Committee. She also was elected to the SAA Council, where she was an ardent advocate for transparency and inclusivity within the profession.

As one supporter stated, Theimer has the “rare ability to incorporate complex visions for alternative futures with a commanding understanding of existing archival theory and practice.” Never afraid to “roll up her sleeves and grind out support research,” she continually challenges existing ideas and work, making her an invaluable member of the profession.

Fellow: Rachel Vagts

Rachel Vagts, head of Special Collections and Archives at Berea College and director of the Archives Leadership Institute, will be inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) during a ceremony at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, and SAA in Washington, DC, August 12–18. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

Vagts earned her master’s in library information studies with a specialization in archival administration from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Since then, she has worked in archival management, manuscript curatorship, and academic librarianship, serving with distinction at two liberal arts colleges. Vagts transformed the archives at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, into a dynamic repository, one especially known for collaborating with community partners. She continues to raise the visibility of the archives at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, providing access to collections through a new collection management system and amplifying access to a significant traditional music collection through a digital collections platform.

Vagts has also revitalized and expanded the Archives Leadership Institute (ALI), making it planned by archivists for archivists. She applied for and received two three-year grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to host ALI at Luther College and then at Berea College. In six years, ALI has trained 150 participants, giving them the knowledge and tools to transform the archival profession in practice and theory. One supporter noted that in these efforts Vagts not only managed her institutions’ collections but also “saw and pursued a broader vision for her services to the profession through her engagement with ALI to strengthen her colleagues and profession as a whole.”

Vagts’ leadership and willingness to mentor extends beyond ALI. She has served on both the Iowa and Kentucky State Historical Records Advisory Boards, chaired the SAA Membership Committee and College and University Archives Section, and was elected to the SAA Council. According to one SAA member, Vagts’ “continued encouragement and advice has been the foundation for all my continued Archon work and leadership. Vagts showed me that mentorship and management can go hand-in-hand.” 

Fellows' Ernst Posner Award: Katherine S. Madison

Katherine S. Madison, processing archivist at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Anthropological Archives, is the 2018 recipient of the Fellows’ Ernst Posner Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The 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 SAA’s journal, American Archivist.

Madison is being honored for “‘Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story’: The Use and Representation of Records in Hamilton: An American Musical,” which appeared in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of American Archivist (vol. 80, no. 1). Her article examines the presence of records both onstage as props and in the narrative of Hamilton, in which they provide both authenticity and authority for the historically-inspired story. At the same time, Hamilton depicts the archival record as incomplete, asking audiences to reflect on the constructed nature of “who lives, who dies, who tells your story.”

The SAA Awards Committee noted that Madison’s well-written and engaging essay “effectively focuses on significant archival issues concerning records creation, the silences or absence of records, and the authority of records as evidence” and is “anchored in continuity with the archival literature on the role of records in society.”

Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award: Jessica Tai

Jessica Tai, a graduate student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is a 2018 recipient of the Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes minority 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.

In addition to her strong academic work, Tai impressed the award committee with her exploratory engagement with local groups, including the production of an outreach event in a historically diverse Los Angeles neighborhood in which she taught a photo preservation workshop and facilitated digitizing participant’s photographs for inclusion in a web-based culture mapping project. She is a member of the Diversity Subcommittee of the Los Angeles Archivists Collective and a researcher for the Community Archives Lab at UCLA, where she is working on a grant that will provide UCLA MLIS students the opportunity to complete paid internships at community archives that represent marginalized and historically underrepresented communities. Tai stated that her professional goal is “to build and reinforce the history and identity of communities of color through a collaborative, community-based archival practice.”

Her supporters noted that Tai “has enormous potential” and “is poised to become a passionate, creative, and innovative leader in the field.”

Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award: Juber Ayala

Juber Ayala, a graduate student in the Master of Information program in the Department of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University, is a 2018 recipient of the Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes minority 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.

Ayala has demonstrated a strong commitment to archives through his professional work with the Puerto Rican Community Archives (PRCA) at the Newark Public Library and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. Through this work and his studies, Ayala has embraced the role of “activist archivist,” working to prevent loss of or destruction of documents and ensuring community stories are kept in the historical record. His involvement in the Organizing Our Community’s Records project, which documented a local community organization’s historical records, helped the organization understand the importance of its records, which may be donated to the PRCA in the future. In his work at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Ayala revised descriptions of online collection descriptions, increasing readability and access for researchers.

One of his supporters noted that Ayala is “motivated, curious, and capable” and has “already started a clear-cut path in the field of archives focusing on the Puerto Rican diaspora archives—and he is dedicated to this work.”

J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award: Brad Meltzer

Brad Meltzer is a 2018 recipient of the J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award honors an individual, institution, or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archival activities or programs.

Meltzer is a New York Times bestselling author, television personality, speaker, educator, and promoter of the archives profession. His popular Culper Ring fiction series of books features protagonist Beecher White, a young archivist at the National Archives who discovers that George Washington’s personal spy ring still exists today. Modeled on real archivists, this nerdy hero uses resources at the National Archives and illustrates the pivotal role archivists play as protectors of collective memory.

Meltzer has also hosted the shows Brad Meltzer’s Decoded and Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on the History Channel, engaging the public’s help in preserving historical records and collections. His work on Lost History led to the location of the missing 9/11 flag that firefighters raised at Ground Zero and which now resides at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.

His supporters noted: “Meltzer's genuine respect for history, knowledge, and education is extremely evident in his work and he praises archival professionals for helping him successfully foster these principles and effectively share them with the world.”

J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award: Yvonne Lewis Holley

Yvonne Lewis Holley, North Carolina State Representative at North Carolina General Assembly, is a 2018 recipient of the J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award honors an individual, institution, or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archival activities or programs.

For the past decade, Holley has championed archives and family history in her work with the University of North Carolina’s Special Collections, translating the value of archives to regional audiences and beyond. As a state representative, Holley has given generously of her time and talents to support a variety of initiatives and to cultivate important collections documenting African American life in Raleigh, North Carolina. An active supporter of the African American Families Initiative, she appeared in a moving online video on the Initiative’s website, in which she tells the story of her own family history that is now documented in the archives and encourages viewers that their family histories are also worth preserving.

“Holley is an ideal spokesperson to extend the reach of individual programs to acquire, preserve, and make available archival collections about African American families,” noted the Awards Committee. “Her advocacy offers a national model for how state representatives can advocate for the important use of archives.”

Josephine Forman Scholarship: Krystell Jimenez

Krystell Jimenez is the 2018 recipient of the Josephine Forman Scholarship sponsored by the General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church, in cooperation with the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The $10,000 scholarship provides financial support to minority students pursuing graduate education in archival science, encourages students to pursue careers as archivists, and promotes the diversification of the American archives profession.

Jimenez, who is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is a committed volunteer at UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center where she’s worked on a number of projects, including assisting in publicizing a KCET documentary that features the center’s archival materials. In addition, she works as a student researcher on UCLA’s Refugee Rights in Records project, collecting refugee narratives and fact-finding documentation practices in asylum processes in Istanbul. Her passion for the archival profession is fueled by the desire to improve relationships between institutions and communities and to ensure accessibility to archives and record systems that could materially benefit those who most need it.

Jimenez’s supporters were particularly impressed by her “cultural fluency, maturity, and natural sensitivity to how archives and records directly play important positive and negative roles in the lives of some of the most vulnerable individuals in our society” and by her “personal commitment to tackling issues of immigration and the democratization of archives.”

Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader Award: Harrison Inefuku

Harrison Inefuku, scholarly publishing services librarian at Iowa State University, is the 2018 recipient of the Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award celebrates and encourages early career archivists who have completed archival work of broad merit, demonstrated significant promise of leadership, and performed commendable service to the archives profession.

Inefuku oversaw the development of the Iowa State University Digital Repository. He currently leads the library’s publishing program and is exploring new digital scholarship services. His work on scholarly communication and digital repositories provide critical insights into publishing and access, which remains a vital discussion for archivists and library professionals. He has authored numerous publications on the subject and has served in leadership positions for national and international organizations that support open access work.

Inefuku also does commendable work with diversity and inclusion initiatives in the fields of library science and archival science. He has chaired SAA’s Diversity Committee and co-chaired SAA’s Archivists and Archives of Color Section. In addition, his tenure on the Advisory Board of the Association of Research Libraries and SAA Mosaic Fellowship Program included working to make the SAA Annual Meeting a great networking and educational program for Mosaic Scholars. He continues to serve as a mentor for young archivists, particularly archivists of color, which is vital to ensure an equitable and inclusive profession.

His nominator noted, “Harrison is a warm, congenial colleague, dedicated to not only providing access to archives and research but also the people with which he works.”

Mosaic Scholarship: Alexis Recto

Alexis Recto, who is pursuing a master’s of library and information science with a specialization in Archival Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is a 2018 recipient of the Mosaic Scholarship given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The $5,000 scholarship is given to a student who demonstrates potential for scholastic and personal achievement and who manifests a commitment both to the archival profession and to advancing diversity concerns within it.

In addition to a strong academic record, Recto has developed a commitment to empowering underserved communities through archival accessibility and advocating for greater diversity in the field. With an interest in accountability, she hopes to conduct research on the disparity of memory between survivors and bystanders of Martial Law during the Marcos administration in the Philippines. In her position at the Skirball Cultural Center Museum in Los Angeles, Recto has helped to create socially-conscious exhibitions such as Future Aleppo, which was exhibited in the summer of 2017 and rendered the hopes and dreams of Syrian refugee Mohammed Qutaish into an artistic installation. Her goals are to contribute to the reestablishment of the Filipino-American Library and possibly the creation of a community archives in Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles.

Her professor, Dr. Anne Gilliland, considers Recto to be one of her cohort’s top students, stating that she “sparkles with energy and initiative. Her academic work has been consistently top notch.” Additionally, Michele Urton, Recto’s supervisor at the museum, noted that her “dedication and passion are evident as she maintained her full-time work load while pursuing her master’s.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes Travel Award: Tianjiao Qi

Tianjiao Qi, a doctoral student at Renmin University of China who is pursuing research at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is the 2018 recipient of the Oliver Wendell Holmes Travel Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award enables international archivists who are training or studying in the United States or Canada to augment their experience by traveling to the SAA Annual Meeting. 

Qi has been participating in a research group with Anne Gilliland at UCLA since September 2017. Widely published, Qi’s research interests center on Chinese rural archives, digital archiving and archival management, and issues related to community memory. Qi was the student assistant for the Chinese team for InterPARES and executed the first International Digital Memory Forum in 2015. The awards committee was impressed with Qi’s clear focus on the role of archives in local cultural memory—both historic and contemporary.

Attendance at the Joint Annual Meeting will connect Qi with other students and scholars and will provide opportunities to learn more about the practice of community archives in other countries. Qi wrote: “I want to participate in international academic conferences to learn archival science, archival education, and archival practice in the context of globalization.”

Philip M. Hamer–Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award: Find & Connect, eScholarship Research Centre

The eScholarship Research Centre of the University of Melbourne, Australia, is the 2018 recipient of the Philip M. Hamer–Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes individuals or institutions that have increased public awareness of archives documents.

The Find & Connect web resource, funded by the Australian government and managed by the eScholarship Research Centre, is a unique web portal that provides resources on the history of child welfare and out-of-home care in Australia and access to related archival records. With a comprehensive search tool of highly sensitive and valuable archival records and supportive elements such as advocacy and access information, the influential site has received attention from around the world as a potential model. It was used extensively as a resource in the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; has been cited in numerous academic and nonacademic publications; is used by public policymakers, lawyers, and legislators; and most importantly, has assisted many thousands of Care Leavers—those who grew up in care—in getting access to records about them to better understand their childhoods and reconnect with family.  

Kirsten Wright, program manager of Find & Connect, noted, “"For many Care Leavers, the search for records—that can help build their identity and assist in reconnecting with family—is complicated, and traumatic. Find & Connect is a supportive environment for them to access information about institutions and records of interest. We collaborated closely with many who grew up in institutions to develop the site, and it is because of them that it is the innovative, successful project it is now.”

Learn more about Find & Connect at https://www.findandconnect.gov.au/ and its receipt of the Hamer-Keegan Award at http://www.findandconnectwrblog.info/2018/05/our-first-international-award/.

Preservation Publication Award: Laura McCann

Laura McCann, conservation librarian for the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department at New York University Libraries, is the recipient of the 2018 Preservation Publication Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) for her research article, “The Whole Story: News Agency Photographs in Newspaper Photo Morgue Collections.” The award recognizes the author or editor of an outstanding published work related to archives preservation.

McCann’s article was published in American Archivist 80.1 (Spring/Summer 2017) and examines the many complex issues surrounding the creation, use, and preservation of images in archived newspaper photo morgues. These large collections of images have substantial research value and are frequently heavily accessed by a range of users as documentary evidence of local, national, and international events, but they also have complex intellectual and physical preservation needs that repositories have not always met. The article is a superb resource for collection staff to better understand the creation and material make-up of their holdings and provides practical steps to improve storage and handling to ensure that the materials remain accessible for future users.

McCann’s supporter wrote that the article shares “excellent, data-driven information that fills a missing area of knowledge for the field” and provides “models of preservation activities for all types of archival repositories without regard for size or resources.”

Sister M. Claude Lane, OP, Memorial Award: Sister Louise Grundish

Sister Louise Grundish, S.C., archivist for the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill Archives in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, is the 2018 recipient of the Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in conjunction with the Society of Southwest Archivists. The award honors an archivist who has made a significant contribution to the field of religious archives.

A longtime nurse, Grundish entered the field of archives at the age of 71 because of her love of history, genealogy, and respect for the historical impact of the Sisters of Charity. In 2004, she began her first two years as an intern and assistant archivist for the archives. A natural storyteller and historian, she assumed full-time archivist responsibilities in 2006 and still works daily preserving the heritage and missions of her congregation. During her tenure, she has created several small exhibits and was a major participant in the Slippery Rock History Project: Sisters in Health Care in Western Pennsylvania, an exhibit later donated to the Senator John Heinz History Center in 2010.

Grundish has served as president of the Archivists of Congregations of Women Religious (ACWR) and volunteered as the editor of the ACWR newsletter. She’s an active member of SAA, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, the US Catholic Historical Society, the Catholic Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, and the Westmoreland County Historical Society. In addition, she was influential in forming the Charity Federation Archives, providing leadership for one year as its liaison.

One supporter wrote, “I can't think of a person who is more collegial, supportive, and dedicated not only to religious archives, but also to other archivists.”

Spotlight Award: B. Bernetiae Reed

B. Bernetiae Reed, project documentarian and oral historian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the 2018 recipient of the Spotlight Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes the contributions of individuals who work for the good of the profession and archival collections—work that does not typically receive public recognition.

Reed is a genealogist, historian, author, documentary filmmaker, and social activist. Over the course of decades and apart from any institution, Reed compiled a one-woman archives and extensive oral history collection documenting the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina, African Americans in Greensboro, the Tuskegee Airmen, Cooleemee plantation and Judge Peter Hairston, US Color Troops, and civil rights activist Al McSurely, among many other topics. Her work in genealogy and the recovery of African American history led her to author the two-volume The Slave Families of Thomas Jefferson: A Pictorial Study Book with an Interpretation of His Farm Book in Genealogy Charts (2007), which remains an authoritative book on the topic.

After a long career in nursing, Reed earned her MLIS at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2015. Currently she is working on UNC’s Southern Historical Collection’s Community-Driven Archives project, funded by an Andrew W. Mellon grant. In this position, Reed conducts community training in oral history and genealogical methodology to help underrepresented communities preserve their history and heritage. She is active in the dialogue surrounding the documentation of the African American experience. Her goal is to help develop a prototype for a slavery database using Social Networks and Archival Context and to create an online exhibit of letters written by enslaved persons.

Her supporter wrote that “Reed is the sort of tireless champion for communities and archives work who works so hard behind the scenes to make meaningful change” and that she works with “patience and an unfailing vision, grounded in her passion for capturing the stories of the least-heard members of society.”

Waldo Gifford Leland Award: Anthony Cocciolo

Anthony Cocciolo, dean of the School of Information at Pratt Institute in New York City, is the 2018 recipient of the Waldo Gifford Leland Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) for his book Moving Image and Sound Collections for Archivists, published by SAA in 2017. The award is given for writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the fields of archival history, theory, and practice. 

In Moving Image and Sound Collections for Archivists, Cocciolo tackles the immediate concern of audiovisual collection care and the importance of digital reformatting for archivists who may not be familiar with these formats but nonetheless find themselves responsible for caring for them. The volume presents real-life cases based on interviews alongside practical information and observations from Cocciolo’s own experience teaching about audiovisual collections. Handsomely designed, the book includes tables, sample forms, and color photographs that supplement the text to provide a manageable workflow for gaining control over audiovisual collections and for considering next steps, such as prioritizing records for digital reformatting. 

The Award Committee noted: “The book successfully fills a need in the archival literature while simultaneously maintaining a neutral stance on reformatting technology that might become obsolete in the future. This ensures that the book will remain a useful text in the archivist’s bookshelf for years to come.”