Winners: 2010 Movers & Shakers in Archives awards

I am delighted to announce the winners of the third annual Movers and Shakers in Archives awards. Sponsored by the ArchivesNext blog, these awards are intended to recognize people or organizations in the United States who are innovative, creative, and making a difference in the archival world. The envelope, please!

David Carmicheal, Director, The Georgia Archives

The nomination for David highlighted his contributions in the areas of disaster preparedness, electronic records, archival advocacy, and archival education as well as his commitment to providing superior service to patrons of his state’s archives. However, it was his leadership of the Council of State Archivists in the wake of Hurricane Katrina that went above and beyond what is normally expected of that role. As his nominator described: “he took on managing the CoSA sponsored post-hurricane conference to assess needs nationally, helped write a grant proposal to FEMA that brought $2.6 million to CoSA to develop training on records preparedness, and offered to house the staff for the Intergovernmental Preparedness for Essential Records project. In his ‘spare time’ on weekends, he has written two very practical publications relating to disaster preparedness which are available from the Council of State Archivists: Rescuing Family Records: A Disaster Planning Guide and Rescuing Business Records: A Disaster Planning Guide for Small Businesses. He has donated the bulk of the proceeds from the sales of these manuals to CoSA.” David provides all archivists with a role model for effective leadership and service through his extraordinary commitment to his employer, his profession, and his community.

Gordon Daines, Archivist and Assistant Department Chair, Manuscripts in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections at Brigham Young University

Like David Carmichael, Gordon has volunteered his time to professional organizations, but it was his personal initiative and perseverance that singled him out in the mind of his nominator.

He has found varied and innovative ways to bring educational opportunities to archivists. He was instrumental in the development of both Western Roundups (2005 in Las Vegas and 2010 in Seattle)–super-regional conferences for the four western regional archival organizations. He has also recently published (with colleague Cory Nimer) The Interactive Archivist online via SAA’s publishing arm. It is an innovative edited series of case studies informing archivists of ways to improve the archival experience using Web 2.0 technologies.

And he has been one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Journal of Western Archives. This is the best of example of Gordon’s mover and shaker status. I remember him coming to the Northwest Archivists Board to pitch this idea in 2005 or 2006. People questioned whether it could get done. But he diligently rounded up board support from the western regionals, found funding to support hosting it, and pushed to make it open access (via Creative Commons). It is a stunning achievement. Now he didn’t do it alone. Cory Nimer was also a driving force and western archival leaders provided support. But Gordon’s drive really made this project happen.

Gordon’s approach to innovation and entrepreneurship as well as his tenacity and ability to collaborate singled him out in the minds of the judges as someone we wanted to recognize as one of our Movers and Shakers in Archives.

Jennifer O’Neal, Head Archivist, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian

Jennifer’s contributions center on an area that has been the topic of much discussion in the profession–what constitutes responsible care and stewardship of Native American collections. Her nominator writes:

Professionally, she is a founding member of the Society of American Archivists’ Native American Archives Roundtable. She also participated in an international gathering in Flagstaff, Ariz., in April 2006 that drafted the best practices for the culturally responsive care and use of Native American archival materials, which produced the document ‘Protocols for Native American Archival Materials.’ She has also worked with ALA’s Traditional Cultural Expressions group, the Native American Protocols Forum working group, and has been active in the work of SAA’s Cultural Property Working Group.

She is passionate about her work and goals, but is open and secure enough to include others’ beliefs and dreams in the conversation. She is a perfect representative of collaborative, respectful processes “ I have never seen her take another’s views dismissively and her good humor and light heart have made many meetings, dealing with contentious issues and cantankerous people, move towards equitable solutions.

Jennifer’s work in this important area benefits us as archivists, but is also a valuable reminder of the overarching need to better understand and respect the diverse cultures of our collections, our communities, and our colleagues.

Chris Prom, Assistant University Archivist and Associate Professor of Library Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Fulbright Distinguished Scholar and Research Fellow, Centre for Archive and Information Studies, University of Dundee, UK

Chris Prom’s name is probably familiar to everyone because of his extensive work on the EAD and EAC working groups, his role in developing Archon, and his many presentations and publications, including co-editing College and University Archives: Readings in Theory and Practice. That would certainly be enough to justify a nomination, but Chris was nominated this year for something entirely different–the work he has been pursing as Fulbright Distinguished Scholar and Research Fellow in the Centre for Archive and Information Studies at the University of Dundee. His colleagues there wrote:

Chris’ “Practical E-Records” research project aims ‘to evaluate software and conceptual models that archivists and records manager might use to identify preserve, and provide access to electronic records’. To this end he has reviewed countless policies, procedures, research reports, methodologies, best practice, guidance and software tools all with the aim of establishing their efficacy in typical archival/record keeping settings and with typical electronic records. He has disseminated many of his findings during his research via his blog and at professional conference and seminars and is developing a suite of recommendations which can be implemented by Archivists and Records Managers, all of whom now need to cope with electronic records and information but very few of whom have any technical background in the sorts of skills needed to interpret and analyse e-records research and software ‘solutions’.

Chris’ undertaking to develop a research project of practical use to the working Archivist and to disseminate the findings as widely as possible is the key reason for his nomination. Rather than investigate an abstract technical or theoretical subject Chris has chosen to synthesise the work of others and undertake new scholarly investigations in a manner that both contributes to professional intellectual discourse and is of genuine relevance to the practising recordkeeping community. No other e-records research project has been constituted in this manner and the way Chris has developed this project speaks to both his integrity and intellect. As such it seems appropriate that his contribution to the profession is marked this year.

And the judges agreed that Chris’ contributions to the profession, as well as the dedication and diversity of his efforts, made him stand out as one of this year’s Movers and Shakers in Archives.

I hope you join me in congratulating our winners once more and also in thanking our judges, Mary Manning (Texas A&M University) and John LeGloahec (National Archives and Records Administration), both of whom volunteered to serve on their own time and were not acting as representatives of their employers. It’s always a pleasure to review these nominations and my thanks to everyone who submitted a nomination this year.

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3 thoughts on “Winners: 2010 Movers & Shakers in Archives awards”

  1. Way to go, Movers and Shakers. And thanks, Kate, Mary, and John for donating your time to recognize your colleagues. Nice work all.

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