Archival Innovator Award: Trevor Owens

Trevor Owens, a digital archivist with the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress, is the 2014 recipient of the Archival Innovator Award. Established in 2012, the Archival Innovator Award recognizes archivists, repositories, or organizations that show creativity in approaching professional challenges or the ability to think outside the professional norm or that have an extraordinary impact on a community through archives programs or outreach.  

Owens has led a plethora of creative initiatives that in some way have helped to move the archives profession forward. He has conserved and organized innovative events to bring the preservation community together; for instance, he led the Preservation.exe: Toward a National Strategy for Preserving Software conference at the Library of Congress as well as the Curatecamp: Exhibition “unconference” that brought together archivists, preservationists, and digital collection managers to discuss what access and exhibition mean for archives and archivists in the era of online platforms and delivery.

Owens’ work also has led to a number of practical tools and documents for the archives community, including the Levels of Digital Preservation framework document, which demystifies digital preservation best practices and provides a tiered implementation model accessible to any institution regardless of size, staff, or budget.

One supporter wrote that Owens “displays a remarkable ability to take an idea and steward it into a project, product, or outcome that has tangible benefits. . . . He is capable of engaging with complex, theoretical ideas and distilling them into language that all archivists—students and leaders—can understand.”