Fellow: Jeannette A. Bastian

Jeanette A. Bastian, recently retired (June 2019) director of the Archives Management concentration in the School of Library and Information Science at Simmons University, 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 and SAA in Austin, TX, July 31–August 6. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

Bastian is a prolific author, educator, and scholar. Author or editor of over six books, eight book chapters and numerous peer-reviewed articles on archival topics, she has been invited to speak around the world. She holds an MLS from Shippensburg University, an M.Phil in Caribbean Literature from the University of the West Indies and a Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh. Following a career as a practicing librarian and archivist in the United States Virgin Islands, she received her Ph.D. in 1999 and became an archival educator at Simmons College (now Simmons University) bringing a deep knowledge of archival practice and a drive to teach and write. In addition to teaching and mentoring her students, Bastian, over her 20-year career at Simmons created a nationally ranked archives program that responded to the profession’s evolution while implementing educational innovations to better prepare future archivists. Her writings focus on significant archival issues, such as displaced records, decolonial archival practices, and memory and archives, and are regularly cited in archival literature.

Bastian has served the profession in a variety of roles. Beginning in 1972, she worked as a librarian in the U.S. Virgin Islands and was the Director of the Territorial Libraries and Archives from 1987 to 1998. She has served as the chair of the New England Archivists Local Arrangements Committee and as an Archives Commission Member for the City of Boston Archives from 2008-2014. Her closeness to professional practice and governmental archives inspired the Massachusetts Municipal Clerks Archival Education Program, funded by a National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant, where she served as Principal Investigator. Additionally, she is one of the founding members of the Archival Education and Research Initiative, which for more than a decade has brought together an international group of archival educators and doctoral students. An active member of SAA, she was on the 2004 Annual Meeting Program committee, the A*CENSUS Working Group, and the Cultural Heritage Working Group where she served as chair from 2011-2013.

Her scholarship and her service has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2008 Fred Alexander Fellowship from the University of Western Australia, the 2007 Margaret Cross Norton Award from the Midwest Archives Conference, the 2007 Ernst Posner Award from SAA, and the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the New England Archivists.

As one supporter noted, “There is virtually no area of scholarship that she has not related to the value and importance of archival matters as a contributing factor. Her work has spanned many continents, cultural contexts, and political regimes, giving her an international and multidisciplinary impact on archival research that is both rare and refreshing.”