SAA Remembers Edward L. Weldon

The Society of American Archivists mourns the passing on December 16, 2022, of Edward L. Weldon, 86, a Fellow of SAA who served as the 37th president in 1981–1982. 

Weldon attended Oberlin College, earning his BA in economics. He went on to earn MA and PhD degrees in history from Emory University and studied archives administration at American University and the Georgia Archives Institute. He taught history at Converse College, Emory University, and Georgia State University.

Weldon was a pioneering leader in government archives for the states of Georgia and New York as well as the National Archives more broadly. He was the first southeastern regional archivist for the National Archives at its federal records center in East Point, Georgia. From Georgia, Weldon moved to Washington, DC, to become head of the appraisal division at the National Archives. After this, he was appointed first archivist of the State of New York, where he oversaw the archives' move to a new facility. Returning to Washington as Deputy Archivist of the United States, Weldon also acted as a delegate for the US State Department to Paris for a UNESCO conference on archives.

After completing his work in Washington, Weldon became head of the Georgia Department of Archives and History. There, he established the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board and became the founding president of the Society of Georgia Archivists (SGA) and a member of its first class of fellows. 

Weldon was passionate about professional engagement and the value of SAA membership. He led by example, serving as editor of American Archivist from 1972–1975, a Council member from 1975–1979, and president from 1981–1982. His presidential address, "Archives and the Challenges of Change," was given in Boston's historic Faneuil Hall and called for archivists to consider and plan for the impacts of the information revolution of the 1980s on the archival profession. He became an SAA Fellow in 1974. 

Among his other accomplishments, Weldon received a Governor’s Award in the Humanities from the Georgia Humanities Council, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board, and, with his wife Lilla Jane Powers Weldon, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries. The Society of Georgia Archivists' Edward Weldon Scholarship, created in his honor in 2000, covers registration for an SGA member to attend SAA's annual meeting. 

Weldon is survived by his wife, Jane; sons Richard Lawrence Weldon and his wife, Angelia; and Edward Samuel Weldon and his wife, Arianne; grandsons Daniel Parsons and his wife, Rachel; Samuel Lawrence Weldon and his wife, Ariana; and Dellar Edward Weldon; a great-granddaughter, Emily Parsons; a niece, Patricia Hall; and a grandniece, Viera Jane.

The Society of American Archivists invites you to share your remembrances of Edward Weldon below.