Council Exemplary Service Award: The Teaching with Primary Sources Committee of the Reference, Access & Outreach Section

The SAA Reference, Access and Outreach Section’s Teaching with Primary Sources Committee is a 2017 recipient of the Society of American Archivists' Council Exemplary Service Award. The award recognizes a special contribution to the archives profession—and especially to SAA—and is given at the discretion of the SAA Council.

RAO’s Teaching with Primary Sources Committee has served as a model for robust member engagement since its establishment in 2010, and has worked tirelessly to advocate for the use of primary sources in teaching and learning as a core component of archival work. In its first two years, the TPS Working Group developed a bibliography about teaching with primary sources and created a report of findings and analysis from a survey of archivists regarding practices for teaching with primary sources. In 2013 the group was made a standing committee of the RAO Section and four teams were established within TPS to focus on specific projects. These included advocating for standards for teaching with primary sources, developing a resource bank, surveying graduate education, and hosting an Unconference as part of SAA’s Annual Meeting. The third annual TPS Unconference was held in Portland on July 25, 2017, and brought together archivists, librarians, museum professionals, educators, and others to discuss innovative techniques for engaging students of all levels in the use of primary sources.

The TPS Committee successfully connects archivists from a variety of institutions to work toward the common goal of supporting the archivist as educator. The enthusiastic and engaged members and leaders of RAO’s Teaching with Primary Sources Committee have made and continue to make an astounding contribution to SAA and the archives profession.