Fellows' Ernst Posner Award

Purpose and Criteria for Selection:

Established in 1982, this award recognizes an outstanding essay dealing with some facet of archival administration, history, theory, and/or methodology that was published during the preceding year in The American Archivist.


Author(s) of an article published in The American Archivist during the preceding year.

Sponsor and Funding:

The award is funded by the Society of American Archivists Foundation.  The Fellows of the Society of American Archivists sponsor this award honoring Ernst Posner, a former state archivist of the Prussian State Archives who emigrated to the United States in 1939 and joined the faculty of the American University. Posner was an SAA Fellow and President as well as author of American State Archives and Archives in the Ancient World.


A certificate and a cash prize of $500.

First Awarded:


Selection Committee:

The Fellows' Ernst Posner Award Subcommittee of the SAA Awards Committee is composed of three Fellows of the Society of American Archivists and one of the co-chairs of the Awards Committee (ex officio). The SAA President-elect shall appoint one member of the subcommittee each year for a term of three years after soliciting nominations from the Fellows Steering Committee. The senior member of the subcommittee in years of service shall serve as its chair and present the award.

Submission Deadline:

All articles appearing in a specific volume of The American Archivist are reviewed by the subcommittee, which selects the award recipient.  No nomination or application is made.

Fellows' Ernst Posner Award Recipients: 

2023:  Alston Brake Cobourn, Jen Corrine Brown, Edward Warga, and Lisa Louis, “Toward Metaliteracy and Transliteracy in the History Classroom: A Case Study Among Underserved Students,"  American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2022, Vol. 85.2)

2022:  Eliot Wilczek, “Archival Engagements with Wicked Problems,"  American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2021, Vol. 84.2)

2021:  Katherine Fisher, “Copyright and Preservation of Born-digital Materials: Persistent Challenges and Selected Strategies,” American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2020, Vol. 83.2)

2020:  Keith Pendergrass, Walker Sampson, Tessa Walsh, and Laura Alagna, "Toward Environmentally Sustainable Digital Preservation," American Archivist (Spring/Summer 2019, Vol. 82.1)

2019:  Jeremy Evans and Melissa Hernández Durán, “Rights Review for Sound Recordings: Strategies Using Risk and Fair Use Assessments,”  American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2018, Vol. 81.2)

2018:   Katherine S. Madison, “'Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story': The Use and Representation of Records in Hamilton: An American Musical," American Archivist (Spring/Summer 2017, Vol. 80.1)

2017:   Michelle Caswell, Marika Cifor, and Mario H. Ramirez, “To Suddenly Discover Yourself Existing: Uncovering the Impact of Community Archives,” American Archivist (Spring/Summer 2016, Vol 79.1)

2016:  Wendy Duff and Jessica Haskell, “New Uses for Old Records: A Rhizomatic Approach to Archival Access,” American Archivist (Spring/Summer 2015, Vol. 78, No. 1) 

2015:  Kit Hughes, “Appraisal as Cartography: Cultural Studies in the Archives,” American Archivist (Spring/Summer 2014, Vol. 77, No. 1)  

2014:  Not Awarded  

2013:  Scott Cline, “’Dust Clouds of Camels Shall Cover You’: Covenant and the Archival Endeavor,” American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2012, Vol. 75, No. 2)  

2012:  Douglas Cox, “National Archives and International Conflicts: The Society of American Archivists and War,” American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2011, Vol. 74, No. 2)  

2011:  Paul Conway, “Modes of Seeing: Digitized Photographic Archives and the Experienced User,” American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2010, Vol. 73, No. 2)  

2010:  Scott Cline, “’To the Limit of our Integrity’: Reflections on Archival Being,” American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2009, Vol. 72, No. 2)  

2009:  Geoffrey Yeo, “Concepts of Record (2): Prototypes and Boundary Objects,” American Archivist (Spring/Summer 2008, Vol. 71, No. 1) 

2008:  Magia Ghetu Krause and Elizabeth Yakel, “Interaction in Virtual Archives: The Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections Next Generation Finding Aid,” American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2007, Vol. 70, No. 2) 

2007:  A*CENSUS Working Group, “Archival Census and Education Needs Survey in the United States,” American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2006, Vol. 69, No. 2) 

2006:  Timothy L. Ericson, “Building our Own ‘Iron Curtain’: The Emergence of Secrecy in American Government,” American Archivist (Spring/Summer 2005, Vol. 68, No. 1)

2005:  Elena Danielson, “Privacy Rights and the Rights of Political Victims: Implications of the German Experience,” American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2004, Vol. 67, No. 2) 

2004:  George Bolotenko, “Frost on the Walls in Winter: Russian and Ukrainian Archives since the Great Dislocation (1991-1999),” American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2003, Vol. 66, No. 2)

2003: James M. O’Toole, “Democracy—and Documents—in America,” American Archivist (Spring/Summer 2002, Vol. 65, No. 1) 

2002:  William G. Rosenberg, “Politics in the (Russian) Archives: The ‘Objectivity Question,’ Trust and the Limitations of Law,” American Archivist (Spring/Summer 2001, Vol. 64, No. 1) 

2001:  Terry Cook, “’The Imperative of Challenging Absolutes’ in Graduate Archival Education Programs: Issues for Educators and the Profession,” American Archivist (Fall/Winter 2000, Vol. 63, No. 2) 

2000:  Philip C. Bantin, “The Indiana University Electronic Records Project Revisited,” American Archivist (Spring 1999, Vol. 62, No. 1) 

1999: Peter J. Wosh, "Going Postal," American Archivist (Spring 1998, Vol. 61, No. 1) 

1998:  Roy Turnbaugh, “Information Technology, Records, and State Archives,” American Archivist (Spring 1997, Vol. 60, No. 2)  

1997: Tyler O. Walters, "Contemporary Archival Appraisal Methods and Preservation Decision-Making," American Archivist (Summer 1996, Vol. 59, no. 3)

1996:  “Special Issue on Case Studies of the Committee on Automated Records and Techniques,” American Archivist (Spring 1995, Vol. 58, No. 2) 

1995:  Helen R. Tibbo, “The Epic Struggle: Subject Retrieval from Large Bibliographic Databases," American Archivist ( Spring 1994, Vol. 57, No. 2)

1994:  James M. O’Toole, “The Symbolic Significance of Archives,” American Archivist (Spring 1993, Vol. 56, No. 2)  

1993:  Avra S. Michelson and Jeff Rothenberg, “Scholarly Communication and Information Technology: Exploring the Impact of Changes in the Research Process on Archives,” American Archivist (Spring 1992, Vol. 55, No. 2) 

1992:  Frederick J. Stielow, “Archival Theory Redux and Redeemed: Definition and Context Toward a General Theory,” American Archivist (Winter 1991, Vol. 54, No. 1) 

1991:  James M. O’Toole, “Curriculum Development in Archival Education: A Proposal,”  American Archivist (Summer 1990, Vol. 53, No. 3) 

1990:  Working Group on Standards for Archival Description, “Archival Description Standards: Establishing a Process for Their Development and Implementation,” American Archivist (Fall 1989, Vol. 52, No. 4) 

1989:  Not Awarded 

1988:  Avra Michelson, “Description and Reference in the Age of Automation,” American Archivist (Spring 1987, Vol. 50, No. 2) 

1987:  Trudy Huskamp Peterson, “The National Archives and the Archival Theorist Revisited, 1954-1984,” American Archivist (Spring 1986, Vol. 49, No. 2) 

1986:  Joanne Yates, “Internal Communication Systems in American Business Structures: A Framework to Aid Appraisal,” American Archivist (Spring 1985, Vol. 48, No. 2) 

1985:  F. Gerald Ham, “Archival Choices: Managing the Historical Record in an Age of Abundance,” American Archivist (Winter 1984, Vol. 47, No. 1) 

1984:  Frank G. Burke, “Archival Cooperation,” American Archivist (Summer 1983, Vol. 46, No. 3) 

1983:  Mary Jo Pugh, “The Illusion of Omniscience: Subject Access and the Reference Archivist,” American Archivist (Winter 1982, Vol. 45, No. 1)