Waldo Gifford Leland Award: Astrid M. Eckert, "The Struggle for the Files"

Astrid M. Eckert, an associate professor at Emory University, is the 2013 recipient of the Waldo Gifford Leland Award for her book, The Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives after the Second World War, published by Cambridge University Press. The award is given for writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the fields of archival history, theory, and practice.

The Struggle for the Files provides a rich and engaging narrative of the role of archival records in politics, world affairs, and diplomacy. Eckert focuses on the events surrounding the Allies’ capture and repatriation of German records after World War II, as well as the interactions between numerous government agencies spread across multiple nations.

The Award Committee noted that the book is “fascinating detective work, filled with detail, and supported by examples. While a historical topic, The Struggle for the Files contains lessons and scenarios that archivists, historians, politicians, and others can utilize in their work.”

Established in 1959, the Waldo Gifford Leland Award is named for one of North America’s archival pioneers and SAA’s second president.