Fellow: John H. Slate

John H. Slate, city archivist of Dallas, Texas, 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.

Slate earned his master’s degree in library and information science with a concentration in archival enterprise at the University of Texas at Austin. He began his professional experience in the Public Services Unit at the university’s Center for American History. He later became the curator of collections and rare books librarian at the Hertzberg Circus Collection and Museum at the San Antonio Public Library, and then archivist at the Texas African-American Photography Archive, Documentary Arts, Inc. Since assuming the position of city archivist in March 2000, his indefatigable energy and successful advocacy efforts have propelled the Dallas Municipal Archives to be among the best models of municipal archives nationally.

“Slate has been one of the most ardent advocates for and visible faces of local government records in SAA and NAGARA for nearly two decades,” wrote one nominator. “His commitment and passion is unparalleled. He has been involved in virtually every effort to address the nearly intractable problem of local records preservation in the United States.”

Slate’s scholarly contributions and service to the field have consistently reflected his enthusiasm for local government records. In SAA, he has served as chair of the Government Records Section, Local Government Records Roundtable, and Visual Materials Section. In addition, he is a member of Metroplex Archivists, Academy of Certified Archivists, and the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board as well as being a past president of the Society of Southwest Archivists and alum of the Archives Leadership Institute. Of special significance is his 2016 book, Managing Local Government Archives, co-authored with SAA Fellow Kaye Lanning Minchew, in which they share insights and a common sense approach to addressing issues prevalent among local governments.

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