Fellow of SAA: Tom Hyry

Tom Hyry, Florence Fearrington Librarian of Houghton Library and Director of Arts and Special Collections of the Harvard College Library, will be inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) during a ceremony at the Joint Annual Meeting of SAA and the Council of State Archivists in Atlanta, July 31–August 6. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

Hyry, who joined Harvard University in 2014, has distinguished himself as an inspirational leader. His nominators describe him as a “thinking pioneer” and someone who “while holding archival ethics and values dear, takes a fresh look at our realities and creatively finds ways to make improvements.” Hyry previously served as director of Library Special Collections at University of California-Los Angeles and prior to that at Yale University successively as head of Arrangement and Description in Manuscripts and Archives in the university library and then as head of the Manuscript Unit at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Hyry is active professionally, speaking at conferences and publishing widely. In 2015 he was invited to deliver a homecoming address on "Diverging Trends in Archives and Research Libraries" at his alma mater, the University of Michigan School of Information, where he earned a master of information and library studies with a concentration in archives and records management in 1996. He earned a BA in history from Carleton College in 1993. He has served SAA in a variety of capacities: as an elected member of the Council, co-chair of the Program Committee, a member of the Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct, and currently on The American Archivist Editorial Board. In 2008 he was selected to be in the first cohort of the Archives Leadership Institute.

While serving on the SAA Council, Hyry helped establish the Mosaic Scholarship, which provides financial and mentoring support to minority students pursuing graduate education in archival science, and shepherded the revision of the Code of Ethics for Archivists. As another supporter noted, “Both are about people: being inclusive, creating opportunities, and guiding colleagues to be responsible, admirable professionals.”  

Hyry is one of five new Fellows named in 2016. There are currently 185 Fellows of the Society of American Archivists.