Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award: South Asian American Digital Archive

The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) is the 2016 recipient of the Society of American Archivists' Philip M. Hamer–Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award. Established in 1973, the award recognizes individuals or institutions that have increased public awareness of archives documents.

SAADA’s mission to give voice to South Asian Americans by documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent their diverse experiences has resulted in a community-based archive that is a great resource for research as well as an educational tool for teaching the public about the importance of archives. Compiled from family collections, community organizations, and established archives, SAADA provides digital access to a variety of primary source materials and includes K-12 lesson plans and related resources that draw upon the archive.

In addition, SAADA’s outreach efforts, such as the popular First Days Project and forthcoming publication Our Stories, provide unique platforms for users to share their immigrant experiences and have inspired other organizations and archives to develop similar projects.

“By building community trust and encouraging dialogue, SAADA serves as a model for archivists and others dedicated to documenting ethnic and underrepresented communities that more traditional archives often ignore,” the Awards Committee wrote.