2021 Archival History Article Award Recipients


Since 2018, the Archival History Section has given out each year its Archival History Article Award. 'This prize encourages and rewards an article, book chapter, or other short piece of superior excellence in the field of archival history, irrespective of subject, time period, or national focus' (https://www2.archivists.org/groups/archival-history-section/ahs-archival-history-article-award). Since 2020 the award has been split to honor contributions from SAA members as well as from non-members. At this year's annual meeting, the section announced Anthea Josias (member category) and Derek O'Leary (non-member category) as the 2021 Archival History Article Award recipients.


Josias is recognized for her book chapter “Archives, records, and land restitution in South Africa.” In Archives, Recordkeeping, and Social Justice, edited by David A. Wallace et al., 73-88. New York: Routledge, 2020. In her chapter, Josias acknowledges the central role of records and archives in South Africa’s land restitution process but points at the same time to the limitations of this approach regarding the colonial and apartheid-era contexts and conditions under which these archives were assembled and the resulting silences and gaps in the record.

Derek O’Leary receives the award for his article “Deborah Norris Logan and the Archival Threshold in the Antebellum U.S.” The New Americanist 1, no. 4 (Summer 2020): 29-58. In his case study, O’Leary examines the role of women in the creation of the young American nation’s earliest archival repositories. By focusing on the first woman ever inducted into the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, he can show how women like Logan were able to navigate Antebellum America’s gender divide between the private and public sphere and how they shaped the historical record.

Congratulations, Anthea and Derek!


Sebastian Modrow, outgoing chair