Fellow: Michele Pacifico

Michele Pacifico, archival facilities consultant, will be inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) during a ceremony at the SAA Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, July 23–29. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

Pacifico has been a leader in working with archives in all areas of planning, programming, and the design of new or renovated archival facilities. After the successful completion in 1994 of the National Archives and Records Administration’s Archives II facility in College Park, Maryland, in which she served as assistant project director, Pacifico went on to coordinate the master renovation plan for the historic National Archives Building on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and coordinated the design concept for an expansion of the Archives II building. Archives II, the world’s largest archives facility, brought a number of breakthroughs to the archival community, including the design and testing of mobile shelving and fire protection systems, as well as setting standards for building environments and materials. She has since worked with the California, Colorado, and Utah State Archives, the DC Office of Public Records and Archives, Library and Archives Canada, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Boston City Archives, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of South Carolina, among others.

Within SAA, she has held various leadership positions, chairing or co-chairing the Technical Subcommittee on Archival Facility Guidelines, the Status of Women Committee, and the Archival History Roundtable, in addition to being a member of the Awards Committee and the Working Group on Accessibility in Archives. She co-edited with Thomas Wilsted the SAA standard Archival and Special Collections Facilities: Guidelines for Archivists, Librarians, Architects and Engineers (SAA, 2009), which won the SAA Preservation Publication Award in 2010. She presented papers at numerous conferences on collections environments, sustainable archives, accessibility in archives, and safeguarding archival records.

As one supporter stated, “One of the most significant contributions an archivist can make to our profession is to gain the respect of those outside it and to nurture their understanding of, and enthusiasm for, our work. Pacifico has done that repeatedly and in significant venues.”

Pacifico is one of six new Fellows named in 2017. There are currently 189 Fellows of the Society of American Archivists.