Josephine Forman Scholarship: Elias Larralde

Elias Larralde is the 2022 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 students of color pursuing graduate education in archival science, encourages students to pursue careers as archivists, and promotes the diversification of the American archives profession.

Larralde is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science with a certificate in archival studies at the University of Arizona, where he works as a student archivist at the university’s Center for Creative Photography. He received his undergraduate degree from Florida State University (FSU). He previously interned at FSU’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Missouri Botanical Garden. In both internships, he worked with collections in curatorial roles, as well as explored how the greater public engages with archival materials. He also worked on FSU’s LGBT Oral History Project of North Florida (OHP), for which he developed contacts with and interviewed drag performers.

Larralde is passionate about increasing diverse and respectful representation of different communities and using metadata to ensure many entry points to an archives. His continued work with oral history participants after the end of his time at OHP demonstrates dedication to and an appreciation for his contributors. As one of his recommenders wrote, “To put his work in context, most students struggled to recruit the minimum number of oral history narrator-volunteers during a season of COVID-19 and contentious national politics. Elias excelled in recruiting more than the minimum, developing a social network among drag performers from the region who were interested in OHP, and fostering the enthusiastic participation of these performers.” The SAA Awards Committee was especially impressed by Larralde’s commitment to go above and beyond and look forward to future contributions.

The Josephine Forman Scholarship was established in 2010 and is named for Josephine Forman, who served as archivist for eighteen years at the Southwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church.