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And the 2000 SAA Awards Go To...


The Society of American Archivists recognized and celebrated outstanding archival achievements for calendar year 1999 at an awards ceremony on August 31, 2000, during its 64th annual meeting at the Adam's Mark in Denver. Recipients of SAA-sponsored awards were selected by subcommittees of the Awards Committee, which was co-chaired by Nancy Boothe and Roland Baumann. SAA heartily congratulates all of the award winners.

Preservation Publication Award
Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer-Kegan Award
Waldo Gifford Leland Award
Fellows' Posner Award
Oliver Wendell Holmes Award
Theodore Calvin Pease Award
Colonial Dames Scholarship Award

See also SAA Names Seven New Fellows (Aug 2000)

Back to SAA Recognitions home page

Preservation Publication Award

The SAA Preservation Publication Award went to Architectural Photoreproductions: A Manual for Identification and Care, by Eléonore Kissel and Erin Vigneau and the co-published by the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Library.

This monograph allows nonspecialists to identify architectural drawing reproduction methods without access to chemical analysis, based on visual examination and a helpful flow chart. Identification of drawing media is often difficult but important for holdings management, proper cataloging, dating, and to make sure the drawings survive with appropriate maintenance and housing techniques.

Both authors are experienced professional conservators that have, with the support and advice of the Mertz Library, brought together a large body of information on architectural drawings that is critically important for the archivist and the conservator.

This 128-page manual covers commonly used architectural reproduction processes from 1860-1990. The forward by Lois Olcott Price puts the creation and need for architectural photoreproductions into an historical context. This is followed by a flowchart developed by Kissel and Vigneau to help the user identify individual print types using visual clues. Once tentatively identified, the flow chart directs the user to specific sections where each process is described. In addition, the appendices are rich in supplementary information.

The authors along with the Mertz Library have developed an innovative methodology that is easy to understand. This monograph is a major contribution to archival and preservation literature where there has been little published in this subject area. Judith Reed, conservator/librarian at the Mertz Library, received the award on behalf of the winners.

Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer-Kegan Award

Honoring two SAA Fellows and former SAA presidents, the Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer-Kegan Award recognizes an archivist, editor, group of individuals, or institution that has increased public awareness of a specific body of documents through compilation, transcription, exhibition, or public presentation of archives or manuscript materials for educational, instructional, or other public purpose. The award was established in 1973.

JEFFREY D. MARSHALL is the winner of the 2000 Hamer-Kegan Award for his publication, A War of the People: Vermont Civil War Letters, published by University Press of New England, which documents the lives and attitudes of rank-and-file Vermont soldiers. It portrays the concerns--large and small--of the men who fought that war and the time that served simultaneously as a backdrop to and chief participant in their affairs. A War of the People stands as an example of today's best historiography--one that presents history in the context of real human lives. This book is also extraordinary because, throughout its pages, it alludes to a secondary cast of characters--the archival material Marshall labored over for four years. His exhaustive treatment of a vast amount of primary records, including over 9,000 letters, photographs, and artifacts, cannot but impress upon the reader the eloquence found in archival evidence. A noted archivist, Marshall provides extensive information about the record groups and repositories he consulted.

In the true spirit of the Hamer-Kegan Award, A War of the People engagingly draws attention to information available in archival materials and presents a public forum to celebrate history.

Waldo Gifford Leland Award

The Waldo Gifford Leland Award recognizes "writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the field of archival history, theory, or practice." Established in 1959, the Leland Award is named for one of America's archival pioneers and SAA's second president. The 2000 Leland Award goes to Charles Dollar for his fine monograph, Authentic Electronic Records: Strategies for Long-Term Access, published by Cohasset Associates, Inc. The work offers a clear and comprehensive look at the complex issues involved in providing continued access to archival electronic records.

Authentic Electronic Records succeeds on three important counts. First, its enlightened delineation of the concepts involved includes a first-rate "Technology Primer for Archivists and Records Managers." Second, it offers real solutions in the form of access strategies, best practices, and recommended guidelines that can be employed in a variety of institutional settings. And finally, it sets a research agenda for the future that will help strengthen our ability to manage the preservation of these records over time. Authentic Electronic Records is a timely work. Charles Dollar has moved this urgent conversation into the twenty-first century.

Certificate of Commendation

Members of the Leland Award subcommittee this year have taken the unusual step of awarding a special certificate of commendation to Patricia Kennedy Grimsted of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute for her extraordinary achievement in bringing to publication the monumental two-volume work, Archives of Russia: A Directory and Bibliographic Guide to Holdings in Moscow and St. Petersburg. As editor of this English language edition, published by M.E. Sharpe, Grimsted has produced a comprehensive guide to the holdings of hundreds of repositories, public and private, in Russia's two great cities.

With its exhaustive entries providing repository histories, narrative descriptions of holdings, indications of working conditions for researchers, and listings and descriptions of all available finding aids, the guide will serve scholars of Russia and her history for years to come. As one member of the Leland Award subcommittee noted: "It is almost superhuman to have collected this information about an archival system as large and as complex as Russia's." And so for her superhuman achievement, we honor Patricia Grimsted with an SAA certificate of commendation.

Fellows' Posner Award

In 1982, the Fellows of the Society of American Archivists established the Fellows' Posner Award to recognize outstanding work dealing with some facet of archival administration, history, theory and/or methodology published in the latest volume of the American Archivist. The award is named for SAA Fellow and former president Ernst Posner. In evaluating volume 61 of the journal, this year's awards subcommittee has selected Peter J. Wosh's review essay, "Going Postal," as the award winner.

The witty and wise essay places the contemporary information revolution in the historical context of the political wrangling, the public debate, the consumer controversy and the corporate rivalry displayed in the growth of mail service in the United States. He draws a variety of provocative parallels between the postal service and the Internet. The postal delivery of mail order catalogs in the post-Civil War era created a "a virtual marketplace without walls." The nineteenth century Comstock Laws to eliminate obscene materials from the mails are not unlike the current Congressional efforts to curb pornographic Web sites. Perhaps the most attention-grabbing analogy is the comparison of the antebellum white woman and "the lush roundness and ornate letters of [her] Spencerian script" with the contemporary listserv lurkers and chatroom addicts. Both the postal service and the Internet have provoked debates over equal access to information, the relationship between private enterprise and public policy, the free flow of information, and the creation of "virtual communities." As he examines the information policy issues for the nineteenth century communication systems with the similarities to those of the twenty-first century, for Peter, the past is indeed prologue.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Award

The 2000 Oliver Wendell Holmes Award is presented to Professor ZHOU XIAOMU from Renmin University in Beijing, China. The award, established in 1979, enables foreign archivists already in the United States or Canada to attend the SAA annual meeting. Prof. Zhou is an associate professor in the School of Information at Renmin University, where she teaches and conducts research on information management systems and computer application technology. She has written extensively in these areas and has translated several essential English language works on electronic records into Chinese. She has also designed and developed information management systems for several corporations in China's burgeoning enterprise sector and for government agencies and organizations.

Xiaomu currently is a visiting scholar at the University of Michigan, headquartered at the Bentley Historical Library, when she isn't auditing classes at Michigan's School of Information. Her purpose in coming to the U.S. was primarily to develop an electronic records management curriculum, which she will teach at Renmin University beginning in 2001. Xiaomu's knowledge of and skills in management information systems and computer applications have allowed her to contribute to the work of the Bentley Library and she has shared her expertise with staff and students alike. While learning much about archival principles and techniques in America, she has also become a tremendous resource on international practices on electronic records. An acute observer of educational methods in America, she plans to incorporate the best of what she has observed into her own teaching of graduate students at Renmin University. In honoring Prof. Zhou with the Holmes Award, we also honor SAA Fellow and former SAA president Oliver Wendell Holmes, an activist in international archival affairs and a promoter of SAA's international outreach efforts.

Theodore Calvin Pease Award

The 2000 Theodore Calvin Pease Award winner, entitled "Analysis of Remote Reference Correspondence at a Large Academic Manuscripts Collection," was written by KRISTIN E. MARTIN as a master's paper for Professor Helen Tibbo at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The paper analyzes letter, telephone, fax, and e-mail correspondence sent to the Southern Historical Collection at Chapel Hill for the years 1995 and 1999. The study shows how changing technologies are affecting not only the quantity of the remote reference inquiries received by archival repositories, but also their nature. The Pease Award Committee was impressed with the research design and data gathering system used in the paper. It addresses an issue of high relevance for the archival community, and its research design can serve as a helpful model for future user studies. The study evidences the careful scholarship, clear presentation, and thoughtful analysis that make it a worthy recipient of the Pease Award.

Established in 1987, the Theodore Calvin Pease Award is named for the first editor of the American Archivist and is given to the best student paper as judged by the current editor of the American Archivist and two individuals with expertise in archival research and literature. Kristen's paper will be published in the winter/spring 2001 issue of the American Archivist.

Colonial Dames Scholarship Award

The Colonial Dames Scholarship award enables two young professionals each year to attend the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives. The applicants must have been employed less than two years in the profession and be an employee of an archival institution or agency with a fair percentage of its holdings from the colonial period, predating 1825. Established in 1974, the award is funded by the Colonial Dames of America (Chapter III, Washington, D.C.).

The awardee chosen for the institute's spring cycle was CHRISTINE MORELAND-BRUHNKE. Christine has a bachelor of arts in anthropology and works at the Rio Grande Historical Collections where she is writing and revising collection finding aids for the Online Archive of New Mexico. Christine was unable to be with us today but wanted to thank us for the opportunity to attend the institute.

G. MARIE ROGERS is the Kentucky Guide Program Coordinator at the Kentucky State Archives. She received her undergraduate degree from Berea College and an M.L.S. from the University of Kentucky. Marie had the good fortune of attending the institute's winter cycle during one of the few snow storms that blanketed the Washington Metropolitan area. She told the SAA awards subcommittee that she enjoyed the institute despite the snow!

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