Waldo Gifford Leland Award

Purpose and Criteria for Selection:

Created in 1959, this prize encourages and rewards writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the field of archival history, theory, or practice.


Monographs, finding aids, or documentary publications published in English during the previous calendar year are eligible. Periodicals are not eligible.

Submission Requirements:

A completed nomination form and the required number of copies of the publication.

Sponsor and Funding:

The Society of American Archivists Foundation, in honor of Waldo Gifford Leland, who authored the landmark Guide to the Archives of the Government of the United States in Washington (1904), was active in the organization of the Conference of Archivists in 1909, played a central role in the establishment of the U.S. National Archives, and served two terms as SAA President during the 1940s.


A certificate and cash prize of $1,000.

First Awarded:


Selection Committee:

The Leland Award Subcommittee of the SAA Awards Committee consists of three members of the Society of American Archivists and one of the co-chairs of the Awards Committee (ex officio). One member of the subcommittee shall be appointed each year by the SAA President-elect for a term of three years. The senior member of the subcommittee in years of service shall serve as its chair.

Application Deadline and Nomination Form:

Click here to preview the nomination form and/or to start a nomination. All nominations must be submitted by February 28 of each year.  

Waldo Gifford Leland Award Recipients:

2017:   Phil Bantin, Building Trustworthy Digital Repositories: Theory and Implementation (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016) 

2016:   Sonja Luehrmann, Religion in Secular Archives: Soviet Atheism and Historical Knowledge (Oxford University Press) 

2015:   Michelle Caswell, Archiving the Unspeakable: Silence, Memory, and the Photographic Record in Cambodia

2014:   Ellen Gruber Garvey, Writing with Scissors: American Scrapbooks from the Civil War to the Harlem Renaissance (Oxford University Press, 2013)

2013:   Astrid M. Eckert, The Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives after the Second World War (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

2012:   Francis X. Blouin Jr., William G. Rosenberg

2011:   Dr. Laura A. Millar

2010:   Karen D. Paul, Glenn R. Gray, L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin

2009:   Philip C. Bantin

2008:   Deidre Simmons

2007:   Waverly Lowell, Tawny Ryan Nelb

2006:   Mary Jo Pugh

2005:   Richard J. Cox

2004:   Gregory S. Hunter

2003:   Joan Echtenkamp Klein

2002:   Richard J. Cox

2001:   Anne R. Kenney, Oya Y. Rieger

2000:   Charles Dollar; Certificate of Commendation: Patricia Kennedy Grimsted

1999:   Not awarded

1998:   The Records of American Business, edited by James. M. O'Toole

1997:   Anne Kenney, Stephan Chapman

1996:   Charles H. Lesser

1995:   Joan D. Krizack

1994:   F. Gerald Ham

1993:   Helen W. Samuels; Certificate of Commendation: Charles Dollar

1992:   Thomas Wilsted, William M. Nolte

1991:   Richard J. Cox, Marie B. Allen, and Michael Miller

1990:   Henry P. Beers

1989: Not awarded

1988:   Nancy E. Gwinn

1987:   Frederick J. Stielow

1986:   John Barton, Johanna Wellheiser

1985:   John Fleckner

1984:   Richard C. Berner

1983:   James M. O'Toole, Lucy F. West

1982:   Edward E. Hill

1981:   H.G. Jones

1980:   Harold C. Syrett

1979:   Ronald R. McCoy

1978:   Richard C. Davis

1977:   Not awarded

1976:   Kenneth W. Duckett

1975:   Not awarded

1974:   Peter Walne, David Iredale

1973:   Ernst Posner, Patricia Kennedy Grimsted

1972:   Martin Schmitt

1971:   Walter Rundell, Jr.

1970:   Edgar B. Nixon

1969:   Henry P. Beers

1968:   Andrew Oliver

1967:   H.G. Jones

1966:   Edward E. Hill

1965:   Ernst Posner

1964:   Morris L. Radoff, Phebe R. Jacobsen

1963:   Kenneth W. Munden, Henry P. Beers

1962:   Philip M. Hamer

1961:   Oliver W. Holmes

1960:   Julian P. Boyd

1959:   Theodore R. Schellenberg, Manual C. Stampa