J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ron Chernow for Hamilton

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ron Chernow are the 2016 recipients of the Society of American Archivists' J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award. Established in 1989, the award honors an individual, institution, or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archival activities or programs.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Hamilton has raised significant public awareness of the importance of archives, and its extraordinary success promotes a sophisticated understanding of archives directly to the American people. With Hamilton biographer Ron Chernow as historical consultant, Hamilton explores how processes of record creation, preservation, and destruction affect our understanding of history. The character of Eliza Hamilton, in particular, deliberately manipulates the written record for posterity, using the words “I’m erasing myself from the narrative” while burning her letters. The extraordinary success of the musical on Broadway and as a number one rap album has provided endless opportunities for educators and archivists across the country to develop educational programs and exhibits. Hamilton demonstrates that history has a place in the contemporary cultural record, and in so doing provides a unique illustration of archives' impact on "the narrative" and their critical value for the historical record.