Theodore Calvin Pease Award: Ferrin Evans


Ferrin Evans, who is pursuing a master’s degree in information at the University of Toronto, is the 2021 recipient of the Theodore Calvin Pease Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes superior writing achievements by a student of archival studies, and entries are judged on innovation, scholarship, pertinence, and clarity of writing.

Evans’ paper, “Love (and Loss) in the Time of COVID-19: Translating Trauma into an Archive of Embodied Immediacy,” reflects on the personal experience of the loss of a loved one during a global pandemic and broader observations of collecting, community, and the way trauma informs people’s relationship to the archival record. “Usually discussed in the context of fields like social work and psychiatry, secondary trauma is both highly relevant and deeply underexplored within the archival field,” wrote Evans. His work resides in a liminal space, holding both the significance of the archival record and the recognition of its construction.

Evans’ paper will be published in the American Archivist 85, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2022). His nominator Karen Suurtamm, assistant professor of information at the University of Toronto, noted: “With each section, the paper spirals outward from this singular event to a consideration of the larger impacts of records, memory, and archival work relating to grief and trauma.”

The Awards Committee recognized the importance of speaking to this work in the archival profession and were moved by Evans’ lyrical writing. Evans presents a fresh voice in a troubled time, and challenges archivists to accept the fluidity of boundaries between personal and professional lives.