Brenda S. Banks Travel Award: Victor Betts

Victor Betts, NCSU library fellow in the Special Collections Research Center at North Carolina State University, is a 2020 recipient of the Brenda S. Banks Travel Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award, which recognizes and acknowledges individuals of color, such as those of African, Asian, Latinx, Native American, Alaska Native, or Pacific Islander descent, and who have demonstrated professional archival experience.

Currently, Victor is conducting instruction related to archival literacy and research, as well as working to identify opportunities for outreach. His special interests are in helping under-represented first-generation students learn about the importance of archives, and learning about the problems and approaches in documenting and preserving the histories of communities of color. Betts advocates for visibility and inclusion of marginalized voices and communities, and is eager to collaborate with other archivists to find solutions to these problems. In promoting the preservation of collections that document people of color, he has conducted targeted outreach to these specific communities in hopes of raising awareness about archives and the benefits of archival academic research.

In his statement, Betts wrote: “I believe that creative writing, such as speculative fiction and historical fiction, can be used to address these missing, silenced histories and memories.”