Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award: Diane Wells

Diane Wells, CA, archivist and records manager of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia in Seattle, is the 2015 recipient of the Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award. The award honors an archivist who has made a significant contribution to the field of religious archives. 

Wells has held her position at the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia in Seattle since 1994. Early in her tenure, Wells produced a policies and procedures manual that has become a foundational resource for Episcopal diocesan records management programs. She also has creatively used her organization’s archives to promote major commemorative events, such as the 150th anniversary of the Episcopal Church’s presence in the Northwest. During the yearlong celebration, Wells wrote articles, provided background material and photographs, and produced a history video, “One in the Spirit: 150 Years of the Episcopal Church in Western Washington.” Wells maintains the blog Archives in Action and was one of the first religious archivists to embrace blogging as a way to maintain its profile.

Wells has chaired SAA’s Archivists of Religious Collections Section and represented it within conference programs, speaking on such topics as documenting faith communities, utilizing volunteers, and administering clergy misconduct records. She has served on the board of the National Episcopal Historians and Archivists and is also a founding member of The Episcopal Archivists, an advisory group to The Archives of the Episcopal Church.

Created in 1974, the award is funded by the Society of Southwest Archivists and honors Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., a Dominican nun who was the first professionally trained archivist at the Catholic Archives of Texas in Austin.