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How to participate in the SAA Awards Competition

How to Nominate a Fellow

Awards Acknowledge Outstanding Achievements—2008 SAA Award Recipients


The Society of American Archivists celebrated outstanding achievement in public service, outreach, and publishing, and also awarded scholarships to students at the August 29 ceremony at SAA’s 72nd Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The annual competition recognizes accomplishments of the preceding calendar year. The Awards Committee worked with sub-committees in the selection process for each award. SAA congratulates the following award recipients and extends its thanks to all who participated in the competition.


Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award
C.F.W. Coker Award
Waldo Gifford Leland Award
Preservation Publication Award
Fellows’ Ernst Posner Award
Theodore Calvin Pease Award
Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award
Colonial Dames and Donna Cutts Scholarship Awards
J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award
Donald Peterson Student Scholarship
Spotlight Award
Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award
Distinguished Service Award

Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the CBC Digital Archives (Les archives de Radio-Canada) is the 2008 recipient of SAA’s Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award. The award recognizes individuals or institutions that have increased public awareness of archival documents.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is being recognized for its outstanding efforts to promote the use of its radio and television collections. In making its selection, the award committee noted, “The CBC Digital Archives makes a vast collection of audio and video, in French and English, accessible to a community of users stretching far beyond Canada.”

The CBC Digital Archives has created a website ( to provide access to nearly 12,000 radio and news clips, which contain the voices and images of journalists, performers, citizens, politicians, and artists.

The Hamer-Kegan Award was established in 1973 and is named for two SAA Fellows and former presidents.


C.F.W. Coker Award

2008 C.F.W. Coker Award winnersThe ARCHIVISTS’ TOOLKIT (AT), an open-source archival data management system developed through a collaboration of three university libraries, is the 2008 recipient of SAA’s C.F.W. Coker Award. The award recognizes finding aids, finding aid systems, innovative development in archival description, or descriptive tools that enable archivists to produce more effective finding aids.

Bradley Westbrook, the AT’s project manager at the University of California-San Diego, will accept the award on behalf of the project team. The team includes members from the University of California-San Diego Libraries, the New York University Libraries, and the Five Colleges, Inc., Libraries. Five Colleges is a consortium of Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, the University of Massachusetts, and Hampshire College. The Toolkit is the first open-source archival data management system to provide broad, integrated support for the management of archives and can be used by a wide range of archival repositories. It is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Toolkit is an archival management system with description at its core and it is designed to make it easier for archivists to adopt and utilize descriptive standards, according to Chris Burns, curator of manuscripts for the University of Vermont and chair of the selection committee.

“The Archivists’ Toolkit has already made a tremendous impact on archival practice and the promotion and adoption of descriptive standards,” says Burns. “It has been rapidly adopted by archivists. Its creation serves as a truly wonderful model of a collaborative design, testing, and implementation process.”

Established in 1984, the award honors the memory of SAA Fellow C.F.W. Coker.


Waldo Gifford Leland Award

Deidre Simmons 2008 Waldo Gifford Leland Award winnerDeidre Simmons is the winner of the 2008 Waldo Gifford Leland Award for her book Keepers of the Record: The History of the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives. The award is given for writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the fields of archival history, theory, or practice.

Simmons, an archives consultant in Victoria, British Columbia, provides a look at the records of the Hudson’s Bay Company and their stewardship from the company’s first year in 1670 to the present. The Hudson's Bay Company Archives are stored in the Archives of Manitoba, and they trace the history of the fur trade, North American exploration, the growth of a retail empire, and the evolution of Canada as a country. The book was published in January by McGill-Queen's University Press. “Simmons has broken new ground in treating a body of archives as something worthy of study itself. Although so many secondary sources may— and do—rely heavily on primary sources to support a broader thesis, this book is a study of the archives itself, its shift from Britain to Canada, and just who has cared for the collection through the decades,” noted the selection committee.

Keepers of the Record displays detailed and deep research—and a superior readability. It bridges the gaps among archivists, historians, and the general public—all the while bringing to life the figures and stories intimately connected with the creation and care of the records.”

Established in 1959, the Waldo Gifford Leland Award is named for one of North America’s archival pioneers and SAA’s second president.


Preservation Publication Award

2008 Preservation Publication Award winnerThe Digital Dilemma, produced by the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is the 2008 winner of SAA’s Preservation Publication Award. The award, which was established in 1993, recognizes an outstanding published work related to archives preservation.

The Digital Dilemma is “a ground-breaking publication that is the product of more than nine months of investigative research into the daunting and largely uncharted arena of preserving digital motion picture materials,” said the award committee.

The report outlines critical issues that movie studios are facing as they undergo a transition from film-based to digital storage technology. “Though the movie studios are especially spotlighted, both the scope and implications of this publication extend well beyond that industry,” noted Steve Dalton, preservation manager at Boston College and chair of the selection committee.

“The studios’ experiences are, in fact, intentionally framed within the broader context of preservation strategies already employed by institutions well-known to [the archives] profession, such as the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress,” Dalton added.

The 2008 selection committee also gave an Honorable Mention to Rescuing Family Records: A Disaster Planning Guide, which was produced by David Carmicheal of the Georgia State Archives and distributed by the Council of State Archivists. The committee said, “This timely work puts the expertise of the archives profession at the service of the general public and meets a vitally important need in the process.”


Fellows’ Ernst Posner Award

Magia Ghetu Krause, a PhD candidate, and Elizabeth Yakel 2008  Fellows’ Ernst Posner Award winner Elizabeth Yakel, associate professor, both of the University of Michigan’s School of Information, are joint recipients of SAA’s 2008 Fellows’ Ernst Posner Award for their essay, “Interaction in Virtual Archives: The Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections Next Generation Finding Aid,” in the American Archivist, volume 70.

The award recognizes an outstanding essay that explores some facet of archival administration, history, theory, or methodology and that was published in SAA’s semi-annual journal during the preceding year. “As many professionals [in the field] are in institutions that do not have funds to support training, this article can be a starting point to expose them to Internet concepts and the possibilities for their application to archival finding aids,” noted the selection committee.

“The outstanding benefit of this article is that the reader not only is introduced to new technologies and concepts, but is also offered the option to review, use, and interact with the actual Polar Bear website. [It] explains the development and design of an actual electronic-record, web-based finding aid project, and incorporates “next generation” electronic technology to introduce a new way of designing an archival finding aid,” the committee said.

Established in 1982, the award is named for Ernst Posner, an SAA Fellow and former president.

Click here to subscribe to American Archivist.


Theodore Calvin Pease Award

Mary Samouelian 2008 Theodore Calvin Pease Award winnerMary Samouelian, a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, is the winner of the 2008 Theodore Calvin Pease Award for her research paper “Embracing Web 2.0: Archives and the Newest Generation of Web Applications.”

The award recognizes superior writing achievement by a student enrolled in archival administration classes or engaged in a formal archival internship program. Samouelian’s paper, which she wrote while enrolled in a master’s class at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science, explores the use of Web 2.0 technology in archives. It will be published in the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of the American Archivist.

“There has been a lot of buzz about Web 2.0, but relatively little research on the nature of these interactive web technologies or how archivists might employ them,” said Mary Jo Pugh, editor of the American Archivist and chair of the award’s selection committee. “Her paper fills a void in the archival literature and provides an informative look at current practices, making many observations useful to the profession as more and more archivists begin to use such features to enhance access to, and interest in, repository holdings.”

Pugh said Samouelian’s research presents relevant examples of implementation already underway at a variety of institutions and shows how many archivists are able to implement these tools. “Her paper has the capacity to drive adoption of these technologies and user services in many archives,” she added.

Established in 1987, the award is named for the first editor of the American Archivist.

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Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award

Monique Lloyd and Tiffany-Kay Sangwand are the joint recipients of SAA’s 2008 Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award. The award recognizes minority graduate students who manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of SAA, and do so through scholastic achievement.

Monique Lloyd 2008 Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award winnerLloyd is a graduate student in the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University in Portland, Oregon. She serves on a committee for the American Indian Library Association. Her article “Diversity in Library Science: The Underrepresented Native American” was published in the February 2007 issue of the Library Student Journal.



Tiffany-Kay Sangwand 2008 Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award winnerSangwand is a second-year student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she is enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science program and the Latin American Studies program. She has worked on projects for UCLA’s Department of Special Collections, Ethnomusicology Archive, and Center for the Study of Women. Sangwand is a member of SAA’s student chapter at UCLA.

The minority student award honors the late Dr. Harold T. Pinkett, who served with distinction during his long tenure at the National Archives and Records Administration and who was a Fellow of SAA.


Colonial Dames Scholarship and Donna Cutts Scholarship Awards

Amy Moorman of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is the recipient of SAA’s 2008 Colonial Dames Scholarship, which gives new archivists the opportunity to attend the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. She attended the winter institute, which is held in January.

Moorman is an assistant archivist for the archdiocese in St. Louis, Missouri, where she provides reference services to archives users and arranges and describes collections. The archives contains materials that predate 1826, when the Roman Catholic Church officially created the diocese of St. Louis. Moorman earned a master’s degree in history from the University of New Hampshire and a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Franklin Pierce College, also in New Hampshire.

The scholarship covers $1,200 of the total tuition, travel, and housing expenses associated with attending the Institute, which also has a summer session in June. To be eligible for this scholarship, individuals must be employed for less than two years as an archivist and work in an archives or manuscript collection in which a fair percentage of the repository’s holdings predate 1825.

The Colonial Dames of America (CDA), founded in 1890, is an international society of women whose direct ancestors held positions of leadership in the Thirteen Colonies. The award is funded by CDA’s Chapter III in Washington, D.C.


J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award

2008 J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award winners

The Data-Intensive Cyber Environments (DICE) at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of California, San Diego, is the winner of SAA’s 2008 J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award.

The award honors an individual, institution, or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archives.  The DICE Group was selected for its long-time support of and involvement in the archives profession’s work to address the challenges of managing, preserving, and providing access to electronic records.  

The group has supported efforts to develop and implement international standards related to electronic records, been partners in digital preservation efforts funded by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, provided technical expertise to NHPRC grant projects, contributed to the archival literature, and provided invaluable support in the many and varied archival research efforts in developing electronic records archives. In February 2008, the DICE Group released version 1.0 of the Integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODs), a new open-source approach to managing, sharing, and preserving electronic records.

In making its selection the award committee noted, “Members of the DICE Group have a genuine interest in and understanding of the archives profession, its principles and practices, its unique challenges, and have become strong advocates in its favor.”

Established in 1989, the award is named for the noted American historian J. Franklin Jameson, who was a long-time advocate for the establishment of a national archives in the United States.


Donald Peterson Student Scholarship

Katherine Blank 2008 Donald Peterson Student ScholarshipKatherine Blank, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), is the winner of SAA’s 2008 Donald Peterson Student Scholarship. The scholarship is given to a graduate student or recent graduate for exceptional leadership and the desire to become actively involved in the archives profession.

Blank is an archival studies project assistant for the School of Information Studies at UWM. She will graduate in December with a master’s degree in library and information science and a second master’s in history.

Blank was an intern at Marquette University’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives where she developed an arrangement for a complex collection of more than 75,000 photographic images. She is active in SAA’s student chapter at UWM, having previously served as vice president and president.

“Her leadership within the student chapter has been valuable to professional archivists from throughout southeastern Wisconsin,” one of her nominators wrote. “She has helped organize several enriching programs and workshops, attended not only by graduate students, but working professionals and support staff.” Blank will participate in a student paper session at ARCHIVES 2008 in San Francisco. "The paper will explore issues of archival access—digital and physical—and social memory affecting Native American tribes,” explains Blank.

This student scholarship was established in 2005 to honor Donald Peterson (1908–1999), a New York lawyer and philatelist.


Spotlight Award

Abdul Latif 2008 Spotlight Award winnerThe staff of Afghan Film will receive SAA’s Spotlight Award for risking their lives to save films that chronicle Afghanistan’s culture and history. The Spotlight Award, which was established in 2005, recognizes individuals who work for the good of the profession and archival collections, work that does not typically receive public recognition.

When the Taliban seized power of Afghanistan in 1996, 11 of the 120 employees working at Afghan Film stepped up to save film reels documenting their country’s culture and history. “Scholars and historians around the world will appreciate your great act of courage,” the SAA award committee said when announcing its selection.

Abdul Latif, a former diplomat and fil director is head of Afghan Film, which kept the country’s major film and TV archive. Earlier this year he told ABC News, “When the Taliban came, they decided to turn our institute into a war museum and decreed they would burn all the reels. The employees who remained hid the Afghan movies in a lab on the second floor of the building.”

The eleven employees were able to hide 6,000 film reels, showing the Taliban only the foreign films on the first floor. “They knew,” Latif said, “that if the Taliban discovered the lab all of them would have been killed.” The award committee took note of their “extraordinary personal and moral courage, resolve, and their great personal risk in protecting and saving the documentary evidence of Afghan culture and heritage from destruction by the Taliban.”

See “Heroes of Saving the Afghan Film Archives,” a tribute to Latif and his colleagues on YouTube.



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

Mark Thiel 2008 Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award winnerMark Thiel, an archivist at Marquette University, is the 2008 recipient of SAA’s Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award. Thiel’s work on the five-volume Guide to Catholic-Related Records About Native Americans in electronic format garnered the award. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of religious archives.

Thiel collected the information for more than 25 years from over 1,000 repositories in 43 states and 15 foreign countries. “This reference work has been noted for its thoroughness, its detail, and the precision of its records,” noted the award committee when announcing its selection. A colleague describes Thiel’s work as “probably the most important manuscript guide produced on American Catholic materials in a generation.” Thiel’s project is of interest to scholars of American Indian history and culture and Native Americans looking for their own data and records.

Created in 1974, the award honors Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., who served at the Catholic Archives of Texas from 1960 until her death in 1974. It is sponsored by SAA in conjunction with and funded by the Society of Southwest Archivists. Nominees for this award must demonstrate involvement and work in the Religious Archives Section of the Society of American Archivists, contributions to archival literature relating to religious archives, leadership in religious archives organizations, and/or leadership in a specific religious archive.


Distinguished Service Award

2008 Distinguished Service Award winnerThe Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut is the winner of SAA’s 2008 Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes an archival institution, education program, nonprofit organization, or governmental organization that has given outstanding service to its public and has made an exemplary contribution to the archives profession.

Recently retired director Thomas Wilsted will accept the award on behalf of the Dodd Center, which the selection committee noted “has become a center of campus intellectual life by linking collection development and preservation to public programming and the academic curriculum in a vital and exciting way.”

The center was established in 1995 and is named for the late Connecticut Senator Thomas J. Dodd. It houses the university’s archives and focuses on building research collections that document the U.S. Congress, human rights, and public policy. The Center contains Senator Dodd’s papers, including his service as chief trial counsel at the Nuremberg Trials, and holds the Alternative Press Collection and the papers of naturalist Edwin Way Teale and children’s author Tomie dePaola. It is known for its collection of Connecticut business history and the creation and development of Connecticut History Online.

One of its recent accomplishments involved the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa. The Dodd Center provided assistance and training to preserve the records kept by the ANC while it was in exile for 30 years.

“The selection committee was particularly impressed with the breadth and depth of the Center’s development over the past fifteen years and its outstanding service to multiple constituencies,” said Ohio State Archivist Jelain Chubb, chair of the selection committee.