Donald Peterson Student Travel Award

Purpose and Criteria for Selection:

Established in 2005, this award supports students and recent graduates from graduate archival programs within North America to attend SAA’s Annual Meeting. The goal of the scholarship is to stimulate greater participation in the activities of the Society by students and recent graduates. This participation must include either a presentation of research during the Annual Meeting or active participation in an SAA-sponsored committee or section.


Awarded to an SAA member in good standing who is currently enrolled in an archival education program or who graduated from an archival education program in the previous calendar year. Applications are evaluated based on the merits of the applicant’s essay and letters of recommendation. If the scholarship is declined by an individual selected by the subcommittee, the subcommittee may select an alternate from the pool of applications received for that year. If, for any reason, the subcommittee is unable to select an awardee, it may choose not to award the scholarship for that year.

Sponsor and Funding:

The Society of American Archivists Foundation, in honor of Donald Peterson (1908–1999), New York lawyer and philatelist, whose deep appreciation of world history and preservation developed early through his stamp collecting and held true throughout his life.


Up to $1,500 in support of registration, travel, and accommodation expenses associated with the SAA Annual Meeting.

First Awarded:


Selection Committee:

The subcommittee consists of three members of the Society of American Archivists and one of the co-chairs of the SAA Awards Committee (ex officio). The members shall be appointed as necessary by the SAA President-Elect to serve a three-year term. The senior member of the subcommittee in years of service shall serve as chair and present the award.

Application Deadline and Requirements:

Click here to preview the application and/or to apply. All applications must be submitted by February 28 of each year and include the following:   

1. A 500-word essay describing the applicant's career goals and potential impact on the archival profession.
2. Unofficial transcript to verify student status or copy of graduate diploma.
3. Two letters of recommendation from individuals having definite knowledge of the applicant's qualifications. NOTE: Please notify your references ahead of time. Your references will need to upload their letters of recommendation to your online form by the application deadline.

Donald Peterson Award Recipients:

2017:   Elizabeth Vallen (University of California, Merced)

2016:   Alessandro Meregaglia (Indiana University Bloomington)

2015:   Colin Post (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

2014:   Michelle Chiles (Simmons College)

2013:   Samantha Norling (Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis)

2012:   Amanda Strauss

2011:   Brittany Turner

2010:   Keara Duggan

2009:   Jessica Sedgwick

2008:   Katherine Blank

2007:   Chela Scott Weber

2006:   Jessica Lemieux