Awards Committee

I. Purpose

The Awards Committee has five major purposes:

  • To publicize awards offered by the Society of American Archivists to ensure outstanding entries.
  • To actively seek and solicit nominations for awards offered by the Society of American Archivists.
  • To evaluate the nominees for each award and to select winners in each category.
  • To plan and carry out the awards ceremony held during the Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting.
  • To review suggestions for new awards, develop criteria and guidelines, and make recommendations to the SAA Council.

II. Committee Selection, Size, and Length of Terms

The Awards Committee is composed of two committee co-chairs and the chairs of each of the awards subcommittees.

Annually the vice president/president-elect appoints one Awards Committee co-chair, who serves for one year as junior co-chair and one year as senior co-chair. 

The selection, size, and length of term of each subcommittee is determined by the Council upon adoption of a new award and may be modified by the Council.  Generally subcommittees comprise three members, each of whom serves for three years and as subcommittee chair in her/his third year.  To ensure that appropriate expertise is represented on certain awards subcommittees, however, the Council has determined the following exceptions:

  • Coker Award:  The Description Section chair serves for one year as a fourth member.
  • Diversity Award: The Diversity Committee chair serves as a fourth member.
  • Forman Scholarship: One member of the General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church (co-sponsor of the award) serves as the fourth member.
  • Ham Scholarship: All three subcommittee members must be SAA Fellows.
  • Jameson Award:  The Reference, Access, and Outreach Section chair serves for one year as a fourth member.
  • Lane Award:  The vice president of the Society of Southwest Archivists (co-sponsor of the award) serves for one year as a fourth member.
  • Mosaic Scholarship: The subcommittee consists of six SAA members, two of whom are appointed by the Vice President each year to serve three-year terms. One appointee shall be a previous Mosaic Scholarship recipient, and the chair is appointed annually by the Vice President from among the third-year subcommittee members. The Vice President’s appointments are made in consultation with the chairs of SAA’s Diversity Committee, the Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable, and the Archival Educators Roundtable.
  • Pease Award:  The subcommittee consists of three members:  The American Archivist editor (chair), the Committee on Education vice chair, and one new appointee each year.
  • Pinkett Award: The subcommittee consists of three members:  the Archives and Archivists of Color Roundtable (AACRT) senior co-chair, one member of the AACRT (typically the junior co-chair) selected by the Roundtable senior co-chair, and one new appointee each year.
  • Posner Award:  All three subcommittee members must be SAA Fellows. 
  • Preservation Award:  The Preservation Section chair serves for one year as a fourth member.

III. Reporting Procedures

Awards are announced during the SAA Annual Meeting, and on the SAA website and in the newsletter following the Annual Meeting. The co-chairs represent the Committee when meeting with other SAA committees and with the SAA Council and staff.

IV. Duties and Responsibilities

The Awards Committee publicizes SAA awards through announcements in the SAA newsletter and in other publications as appropriate. It also may publicize the awards during SAA Annual Meetings or conduct other activities to make archivists more aware of SAA awards. The Committee also solicits nominations for SAA awards by contacting individuals, archives organizations, and other groups that may be aware of worthy nominees.

The Committee establishes a deadline for awards nominations to be sent to the committee chair. The Awards co-chairs distribute nominations to the appropriate subcommittee. Each subcommittee evaluates nominations it receives on the basis of written criteria and selects award winner(s) as appropriate. Policy questions regarding criteria or eligibility for an award may be directed to the Awards co-chairs, the SAA Executive Director, or the Council for clarification.

The Awards co-chairs, in conjunction with the Awards Committee and the SAA Executive Director, plan an appropriate awards ceremony for the SAA Annual Meeting. Typically the ceremony is led by the Awards Committee senior co-chair, with each subcommittee chair presenting the award for which he/she is responsible. In addition to presenting the award, the subcommittee chair prepares an awards citation that may be read at the ceremony.

From time to time, the Committee reviews awards criteria and procedures and recommends any revisions that may be appropriate. The Committee may recommend new awards for the Council's consideration. The Committee also evaluates awards and changes to guidelines proposed by members of the Society and makes recommendations to the Council concerning the proposals. Should new awards be approved, the Awards Committee is responsible for drafting appropriate award criteria and procedures.

V. Meetings

The Committee meets at the Society's Annual Meeting.


Approved by the SAA Council: June 1988
Revised: January 1993,
January 2007, August 2011


See also

Description of Awards
Nomination Form