J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award: Environmental Data and Governance Initiative

The Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI) is the 2017 recipient of the J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award honors an individual, institution, or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archival activities or programs.

EDGI is an international network of social and natural scientists, lawyers, and other information and environmental professionals who document and advocate for the vital importance of evidence-based environmental policy. In 2017, EDGI responded to changes in the new presidential administration by making the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website the best archived agency page at the Internet Archive. In its first “Guerrilla Archiving” event, more than 150 volunteers from multiple disciplines preserved information and data at risk of being removed from online public access, including information on climate change and water and air pollution. An EDGI Toolkit—featuring workflows, processes, and guidelines for hosting similar data rescue events—has enabled events in Ann Arbor, Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia, resulting in 35,478 pages added to the Internet Archive and 96 datasets being preserved.

“This work engages broad audiences across the world and creates awareness in communities otherwise blind to the work of archives and archivists,” noted the Awards Committee. “EDGI’s tireless effort to create a network of interdisciplinary individuals, departments, and institutions dedicated to collecting and preserving vulnerable scientific data deserves fuller awareness.”