Fellow: Tamar Chute


Tamar Chute, university archivist and head of archives at Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus, will be inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) on August 4 during a virtual ceremony at the SAA Annual Meeting. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

 Chute, who earned a BS from the University of Michigan and an MLS from the University of Maryland, has distinguished herself as a leading expert and strategic thinker on records management in higher education. She significantly raised the profile of OSU’s archives during the university’s sesquicentennial celebrations. A long-time member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance’s University Archivists Group, Chute led the creation of the online exhibit “Beanies of the Big Ten,” which highlighted student traditions in Big Ten universities and strengthened ties among the universities. Partnering with primary founder Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, Chute was also instrumental in the development of Project STAND, the national initiative documenting underrepresented communities’ engagement in social justice activism. In 2019, she and her colleagues received an SAA Council Resolution for their work on Project STAND.

Chute has written extensively on archival management, data curation, archival instruction, and archives terminology. She coauthored two modules in Teaching with Primary Sources, which became the inaugural selection in SAA’s One Book, One Profession initiative in 2016. Within the SAA College and University Archives Section, she served as chair of the Guidelines Review Committee to identify best practices for university archivists and their employers. A member of SAA’s Dictionary Working Group since 2013, Chute and her colleagues launched the Dictionary of Archives Terminology (DAT) in 2020. The online resource, which required hours of research over the course of nearly a decade, now accounts for ten percent of visitors to the SAA website. The SAA Council honored the Dictionary Working Group with an Exemplary Service Award in 2020. 

Chute’s nominators uniformly reference the value of her scholarship to the profession, her commitment to inclusiveness, and her advocacy of archives. One nominator noted: “She exhibits a collaborative spirit, an intrinsic dedication to outreach, and a commitment to promoting the value and accessibility of the archival record that make her the admired leader, expert, and mentor that she is.”   

Chute is one of two new Fellows named in 2021. There are currently 196 Fellows of the Society of American Archivists.