Theodore Calvin Pease Award: Rachel Walton

Rachel Walton, digital archivist and record management coordinator at Rollins College and master’s student in the Archival Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), is the 2016 recipient of the Society of American Archivists' Theodore Calvin Pease Award. The award recognizes superior writing achievements by students of archival studies and entries are judged on innovation, scholarship, pertinence, and clarity of writing.

Walton’s paper, “Looking for Answers: A Usability Study of Online Finding Aid Navigation,” presents a usability study on the finding aid interface created by Princeton University Library and analyzed ten use cases to determine how users interact with a particular online finding aid system. She concludes with ten pragmatic guidelines for archival professions designing online archival finding aids with a high degree of usability. 

Walton's paper was nominated by Dr. Helen R. Tibbo, Alumni Distinguished Professor at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC. In her nomination, Tibbo wrote, “The methodology is sound and the writing is clear. [Walton] did an excellent job researching the literature around finding aids and extended what we know about how online finding aids might be better designed and presented.”     

The paper will be published in The American Archivist Volume 80, Number 1 (Spring/Summer 2017). Established in 1987, the award is named for the first editor of The American Archivist