And the 2004 SAA Awards Go To...

The Society of American Archivists celebrated outstanding archival achievements in public service, outreach, and writing, and provided scholarship assistance to students at an awards ceremony held Aug. 6, 2004, during SAA’s 68th Annual Meeting in Boston. Hundreds of conference attendees packed the ballroom of the Boston Park Plaza Hotel to salute the successes of their colleagues. The annual competition recognizes accomplishments of the preceding calendar year.

The Awards Committee, co-chaired by Diane Dimkoff and Daria D’Arienzo, worked with subcommittees in the selection process for each award. SAA heartily congratulates the following award recipients and extends its thanks to all who participated in the competition.

Distinguished Service Award

THE BANCROFT LIBRARY at the University of California, Berkeley, received SAA’s 2004 Distinguished Service Award. Established in 1964, the award recognizes a North American archival institution that has provided outstanding public service and has made an exemplary contribution to the archival profession. CHARLES FAULHABER, director of the library, accepted the award on behalf of the institution.

The Bancroft is well known for its rich and varied collections documenting the history of California, the American West, and beyond. Home to half a million books, 50 million manuscripts, and more than 3 million photos and other pictorial items, the Bancroft has compiled a distinguished record of outreach to its many and varied constituencies through its print and digital publication programs. In an age when many institutions are forsaking traditional publication programs, the Bancroft deserves praise, indeed, for its continuing commitment to the value of print as a means of sharing its resources with the scholarly world. In addition, the Bancroft has also helped usher in the new digital age, with wide-ranging programs that have contributed to the development of EAD and Web-based resource sharing. 

Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award

JOHN (JAC) TREANOR, vice chancellor for Archives and Records, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives and Records Center, Archdiocese of Chicago, received SAA’s 2004 Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award for his significant contribution to the field of religious archives. Established in 1974, the award is sponsored in conjunction with and funded by the Society of Southwest Archivists.

Since his 1986 appointment to oversee and direct the archives and records management program of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Treanor has transformed a small, inaccessible collection into one of the largest diocesan archives in the world. While nurturing the confidence and support of church leaders, he located and rescued records stored in warehouses and cemetery vaults and created a records management program to accurately identify permanent and historical records early in their life cycle to facilitate their transfer to the archives. Through his establishment of an open access policy, previously inaccessible records are available to researcher and administrator alike. In 1996, through meticulous archival planning and management, Treanor secured a state-of-the-art archival repository known as the Joseph Cardinal Bernardin Archives and Records Center. Today the center contains more than 8,000 cubic feet of permanent and historical records and is a model for all Catholic dioceses.

Active promotion of archives has long been another of Treanor’s distinguishing characteristics. He is a founding member of the Association of Catholic Diocesan Archivists, where he has served in a variety of leadership positions, including president. He is a frequent presenter at various conferences and institutes. Through his advocacy, leadership, and example, many Catholic dioceses and religious orders within the United States have implemented professional archival programs in their own institution, and have hired professionally trained archivists based on his recommendations.

Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award

SAA’s 2004 Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award for increasing public awareness about manuscripts and archives was presented to the PENNSYLVANIA HISTORICAL AND MUSEUM COMMISSION in recognition of its publication, Documenting Pennsylvania’s Past: The First Century of the Pennsylvania State Archives. WILLIS L. SHIRK, JR., editor of the publication, accepted the award. The award was established in 1973 and named for two SAA Fellows and former presidents.

Documenting Pennsylvania’s Past: The First Century of the Pennsylvania State Archives celebrates the centennial of the founding of the Pennsylvania State Archives. Well-written and interesting essays reveal a deep understanding of Pennsylvania’s past and the records that document its heritage. Extensive use of attractively reproduced archival documents illuminate this story of Pennsylvania. What could have been a dry institutional study is instead an exciting look at the state of Pennsylvania and its people. Documenting Pennsylvania’s Past is an excellent outreach tool for the Pennsylvania State Archives and a model for other archives to follow.

C.F.W. Coker Award

RLG’S EAD ADVISORY GROUP received SAA’s 2004 C.F.W. Coker Award for its Encoded Archival Description Guidelines. Established in 1983, the award honors the memory of SAA Fellow C.F.W. Coker. The Coker Award recognizes finding aids, finding aid systems, projects that involve innovative development in archival description, or descriptive tools that enable archivists to produce more effective finding aids. Nominees must, in some significant way, set national standards, represent a model for archival description, or otherwise have substantial impact on descriptive practices.

RLG’s EAD Guidelines have found a broad audience since their release in August 2002. They have been adopted by various archival projects, including the Northwest Digital Archive, the Online Archive of California, and the North Carolina EAD Project. 

“We saw it as an essential part of the basic toolkit for archivists dealing with EAD—if you didn’t have something like this, you’d have to invent it,” said Terry Abraham, head of special collections and archives at the University of Idaho library, and chair of the SAA subcommittee that determined this year’s award recipient.

Accepting the award on behalf of RLG’s EAD Advisory Group was program officer MERRILEE PROFFITT, RLG’s representative in this collaborative effort. Chaired by Dennis Meissner of the Minnesota Historical Society, the EAD advisory group is composed of archivists and digital content managers, including Greg Kinney at the University of Michigan, Mary Lacy at the Library of Congress, Naomi Nelson at Emory University, Richard Rinehart at the Berkeley Art Museum/ Pacific Film Archive, David Ruddy at Cornell University, Bill Stockting at the National Archives, Michael Webb at the University of Oxford, and Timothy Young at Yale University. The guidelines are freely available to the archival community at 450.  

Waldo Gifford Leland Award

SAA’s 2004 Waldo Gifford Leland Award for writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the field of archival history, theory, or practice was presented to GREGORY S. HUNTER for Developing and Maintaining Practical Archives: A How-To-Do-It Manual 2nd edition (Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.). Established in 1959, the award is named for one of North America’s archival pioneers and SAA’s second president.

The 456-page large-format book provides a comprehensive, intelligent, and fresh overview of what archives are and what archivists do, presented in a style nicely suited to beginners in the field or students in introduction to archives classes. Hunter’s discussions of such standard areas as accessioning and arrangement are practical, sensible, and true both to practice and theory. He covers newer topics of archival concern, such as managing digital records and developing a perspective on EAD without assumptions that could lead to confusion. And he includes very recently developed insights to tasks such as appraisal, where theory and practice are both in constant development. 

Hunter’s style is straightforward, even pleasantly pithy at times, and he injects humor to lighten topics that otherwise could get pretty tedious. Extra features, such as an abundance of boxed quotations from archivally relevant news stories, illuminate real-life applications. His assured tone and wide knowledge of the field convince readers that they have all the essential background needed to make a more detailed study of any aspect of the archival domain.  

Preservation Publication Award

SAA’s 2004 Preservation Publication Award was presented to ANNE R. KENNEY and NANCY Y. MCGOVERN of Cornell University for their Web-based tutorial, Digital Preservation Management: Implementing Short-term Strategies for Long-term Problems. Established in 1993, the award recognizes the author or editor of an outstanding work published in North America that advances the theory or practice of preservation in archival institutions.

Informative as well as entertaining, the Digital Preservation Management tutorial delivers exactly what the title promises. Based on international standards, it can serve a wide audience not only world-wide but also across the spectrum, from resource allocators to archivists to preservation librarians. To all, it offers a clear expression of what is needed for long-range planning while providing concrete and positive ways of moving forward via short-term strategies.

Fellows' Posner Award

SAA’s 2004 Fellows’ Ernst Posner Award was presented to James O’Toole and George Bolotenko for their respective articles in the two most recent volumes of the American Archivist. The award, established in 1982 by the Fellows of SAA and named for former SAA President Ernst Posner, recognizes an outstanding essay dealing with some facet of archival administration, history, theory, and/or methodology published in SAA’s semi-annual journal.

JAMES O’TOOLE (left), a professor of history at Boston College who specializes in American religion, is the recipient of the Posner Award for his essay, “Democracy—and Documents—in America,” published in volume 65 of the American Archivist. On the occasion of a new translation of Democracy in America, O’Toole’s essay brings to the forefront Tocqueville’s insights on “the subtle but recurrent role of records and documents which [he] identified in the success of American democracy.” As O’Toole points out, “[W]ithout ever speaking of accountability . . . Democracy in America recognized that records might serve that crucial purpose in a free society…[T]he easy accessibility which citizens had to information in all forms helped undergird a society in which privilege and power, potent and grasping though they might be, would always face counterveiling forces.” This “documentary basis for American democracy,” according to O’Toole, makes Tocqueville’s work worthy of examination in “an age in which democratic institutions seem newly challenged…and the nature of records is changing dramatically.”

GEORGE BOLOTENKO (left), an archivist in the Political Archives Section of Library and Archives Canada, is the recipient of the Posner Award for his article, “Frost on the Walls in Winter: Russian and Ukrainian Archives Since the Great Dislocation (1991–1999)” published in volume 66 of the American Archivist. His article addresses the national upheaval caused by the paradigm shift from the Soviet Union to the evolving systems of government in Russia and the Ukraine. Most articles on the collapse of the archival system in the Soviet Union, Bolotenko notes, focus on legislative and structural issues. His intent, though, was to consider “the blood-and bones reality of the effects of this transformation on the everyday life of archivists,” and how these effects “imposed heavy personal burdens and posed extraordinary professional challenges” for Russian and Ukrainian archivists. Bolotenko writes compassionately about their decade of “privation and trials,” to which they have responded with the utmost professionalism and, to use the author’s phrase, “stoic heroism.”

Theodore Calvin Pease Award

SAA’s 2004 Theodore Calvin Pease Award was presented to CATHERINE O’SULLIVAN of New York University for her student paper, “Diaries, Online Diaries, and the Future Loss to Archives; or, Blogs and the Blogging Bloggers Who Blog Them.” Established in 1987, the award is named for the first editor of SAA’s semi-annual journal, American Archivist, and recognizes superior writing achievement by a student enrolled in archival administration classes or engaged in formal archival internship programs. The award includes forthcoming publication of O’Sullivan’s paper in the American Archivist.

O’Sullivan’s award-winning paper was prepared for a spring 2004 class in Archives, Historical Editing, and Historical Society Administration taught by Peter Wosh. In his nomination form, Wosh said, “I think this is one of the best research papers that I have received in the ten years that I have been teaching at NYU.” The well-researched paper examines blogs, a particular form of electronic record that is becoming both more commonplace and more influential in public discourse. O’Sullivan prefaces her discussion of blogs with a historical consideration of their paper-based antecedents—diaries. With this background in place, O’Sullivan then reviews the development of online diaries, or blogs, over the past several years, comparing and contrasting them to traditional diaries and delineating the challenges for archivists if they wish to preserve them. The paper concludes with some practical advice that might make this daunting task more feasible for the archival community.

One member of the Awards Committee commented, “This is a timely topic and represents fresh thinking on a very important issue for the profession. It also presents a topic in a way that I think will thoroughly engage archivists in manuscript repositories with electronic records issues.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes Award

SAA’s 2004 Oliver Wendell Holmes Award was presented to BART BALLAUX of Belgium. Established in 1979, the award is named for an SAA Fellow and former president. The award assists overseas archivists, already in the United States or Canada for training, to travel to and attend SAA’s conference.

Ballaux is enrolled in the Graduate School of Library, Archival and Information Studies at the University of British Columbia. He serves as a graduate research assistant on the InterPARES Project and is interested in research in the archival discipline. Ballaux completed a graduate degree in archival studies from the Free University Brussels and has taken postgraduate training in social-economic history at the N.W. Posthumus Institute in the Netherlands. He holds both a bachelor’s and a master's degree in modern history from Catholic University Leuven, Belgium.

Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award

JOSUÉ HURTADO is the recipient of SAA’s 2004 Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award. The award recognizes minority undergraduate and graduate students of African, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American descent who, through scholastic achievement, manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of SAA. Established in 1993, the award honors the late Dr. Harold T. Pinkett, who served with distinction during his long tenure at the National Archives and Records Administration and was a Fellow of SAA. It is coordinated through the SAA Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable. 

Hurtado earned a B.A. in history from Stanford University in 1997 and a M.S.I. with a specialization in Archives and Records Management from the University of Michigan School of Information in 2004. He received the ALA Spectrum Scholarship in 2002 and the Chris Larew Memorial Scholarship in Library and Information Technology from LITA in 2003. His archival experience includes internships at the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, volunteering at the New York Historical Society, and directed field experience at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. Hurtado has also worked part-time at the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. Currently he works at JSTOR, the online scholarly journal archive.

Colonial Dames Scholarship and Donna Cutts Scholarship Awards

Shugana Campbell, Ann T. Boltin, and Luciana M. Spracher received SAA’s 2004 Colonial Dames Scholarship Award. Established in 1974, the award enables new archivists to attend the Modern Archives Institute of the National Archives and Records Administration. Each scholarship covers $1,200 of the total tuition, travel, and housing expenses associated with attending the institute. To be eligible for this scholarship an individual must have been employed less than two years as an archivist and work in an archives or manuscripts collection in which a fair percentage of the repository’s holdings predate 1825. The award is funded by the Colonial Dames of America, Chapter III, Washington, D.C.

SHUGANA CAMPBELL, recipient of the Colonial Dames of America Scholarship to the summer 2004 Modern Archives Institute, is the reference archivist at the Amistad Research Center, Tulane University, New Orleans. She has also served as a processing archivist for the Center and as a graduate assistant for a McCain Archives and Library (University of Southern Mississippi) IMLS Digitization project. She received her M.L.I.S. in 2003 from the University of Southern Mississippi and her B.A. in history from Tougaloo College in 2001. In her cover letter for the scholarship application, Campbell noted, “I am still eager to learn and receive new and current archival methods to enhance my current institution.”

ANN T. BOLTIN, recipient of the Donna Cutt Scholarship to the summer 2004 Modern Archives Institute, is assistant archivist at the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge Archives. She began her association with the archives as an intern during a field experience and was then hired as assistant archivist. Boltin received her M.L.I.S. from Louisiana State University this summer. She earned her B.A. in history from the same institution in 1998. About attending the MAI, Boltin stated in her cover letter, “I am eager to learn more about the field, acquire practical knowledge, and meet other archivists.” 

LUCIANA M. SPRACHER, recipient of the Colonial Dames of America Scholarship to the winter 2004 Modern Archives Institute, is the principal historical researcher for her company, Bricks & Bones Historical Research. The company focuses on architectural, property, and genealogical research. Spracher also works as a project archivist for a variety of repositories in Savannah, GA. She has published several books and articles, including A History of Thunderbolt, Georgia (Thunderbolt Museum Society, 2003) and Lost Savannah (Arcadia Publishing, 2003). Spracher received her M.A. in public history from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2002 and her B.A. in historic preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design in 1998. In a letter to the Colonial Dames in which she reflects on her MAI attendance, Spracher wrote, “The variety of backgrounds and institutions the participants in the program came from were amazing, and I learned just as much from hearing about their experiences and problems as from the experienced instructors brought in to lead the various sessions.”  

Council Exemplary Service Award

The following citation was read by SAA President Randall Jimerson and presented to JOHN CARLIN at the Boston 2004 Closing Plenary Session:

Whereas John Carlin has served with distinction as Archivist of the United States since 1995; and

Whereas he has enhanced communication with the Society of American Archivists, including preparing a regular column in Archival Outlook; and

Whereas he has fostered a new mission/vision statement that defines the National Archives and Records Administration as an agency that is essential in our democracy for protecting citizens’ rights, holding government officials accountable, and documenting the national experience; and

Whereas he has set priorities and new directions for NARA by developing and institutionalizing a ten-year strategic plan; and

Whereas he has secured record agency budget increases that have protected ongoing operations and funded new strategic initiatives, and has championed increased funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission; and

Whereas he has promoted access to records by reducing the agency’s processing backlogs; has raised the public profile of the National Archives; and has dramatically increased NARA’s online services via a robust Web site that includes a catalog of NARA’s nationwide holdings and online access to electronic records; and

Whereas in partnership with other government entities and the private sector he is developing solutions for long-term preservation of and access to electronic records through the Electronic Records Archive program;

Therefore Be It Resolved That the Council of the Society of American Archivists recognizes John W. Carlin for his exemplary contributions to the archival profession.

In his remarks following receipt of the Council Exemplary Service Award, Carlin acknowledged the important relationship between NARA and SAA and encouraged archivists to advocateeven more strongly for the profession: “We [as archivists] take our roles very seriously and we do a good job, but I don’t think we fully communicate to the people who have the purse strings—who can provide resources—the essential nature of the real work we do.” In an emotional conclusion, Carlin said: “Every day I have [left at NARA] I will continue to work. But when that day comes, I’m not done. I want to continue to work with you, because there’s [so much] more to be done.”