Waldo Gifford Leland Award: Trevor Owens

Trevor Owens, head of digital content management at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, is the 2019 recipient of the Waldo Gifford Leland Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) for his book, The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2018. The award is given for writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the fields of archival history, theory, and practice.

Digital preservation remains a key topic that archivists and stakeholders must address. The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation discusses digital preservation in a straightforward and understandable way, combining theory and practice without getting bogged down in abstract discussion or turning into a how-to manual. Owens provides a broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities of managing digital objects and examines how digital preservation is affected by current trends, particularly neoliberalism, power and privilege, and sustainable labor. Thoughtful and well-written, the book provides valuable insights for practicing archivists, administrators, senior staff, and students.

“Ultimately, the book makes a major contribution to advancing both theory and practice of archival work,” noted one supporter. “Building on half a century or work in electronic records management and digital preservation, the book helps articulate the ways archivists and librarians have established practices to ensure that our digital scientific, social and cultural record will be available to scholars and researchers into the future.