The Society of California Archivists held its annual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 28, as part of the Society’s online Annual General Meeting for 2021. Five awards and two scholarships were announced.
Catherine Powell was presented with a Career Achievement Award in recognition of her exceptional record of community engagement and outreach as Director of the Labor Archives and Research Center at San Francisco State University. She leads an institution dedicated to preserving and making available the history of labor movements in the Bay Area, and she has forged strong bonds in the labor community, supporting the causes of working people. There are many examples of her innovative outreach to broader communities as well. She co-edited The San Francisco Labor Landmarks Guide Book, with walking tours that highlight labor history, and she has broadened awareness of labor history and archival resources through innovative collaborations with artists by means of exhibitions, photography commissions, and even hosting an aerial dance troupe. A colleague wrote: “Through her openness to innovative uses of the collections under her care, Catherine has changed the conversation about what it means to reach new audiences and bring them into dialogue about how we communicate our lives as workers.”
Gabriele Carey was presented with a Career Achievement Award, recognizing the remarkably broad and diverse reach of her career in California archives. She is currently an archives consultant and educator, and she previously worked for twenty-five years with History Associates, where she was Vice President and Senior Archivist and Historian. In the 1980s, she was the founding archivist at the Orange County Archives. Work for various clients of History Associates gave her a formative role in establishing or strengthening a great array of archival programs around the state and beyond. She carried out significant work with the Los Angeles County Archives, Southern California Edison, The National Parks Service, and the Tournament of Roses Association in Pasadena, among many others. She has been a mentor to many new archivists, and she teaches as an adjunct professor at the Claremont Graduate University.
Ellen Jarosz and her tireless work on behalf of the Society of California Archivists were recognized with a Sustained Service Award. For more than fifteen years Ellen has been involved in managing the annual Western Archives Institute, co-sponsored by SCA and the State Archives. She has served on Site Selection, Local Arrangements, and Program Committees, as well as SCA’s Nominating Committee in 2010-2012, and also on a Strategic Planning Task Force in 2012-2013. She served on the SCA Board, and was President in 2015-2016. Recently, she has been actively engaged in planning for WAI’s future and the 2021 transition to online education necessitated by COVID. Numerous colleagues have praised her as a pragmatic, steady and thoughtful leader, who is also warm and inclusive.
Terry Boom of Bancroft Library received a Special Award for 21 years as founding manager of SCA’s listserv, West_Arch. Terry was SCA’s Membership Director from 1999 to 2001. In this capacity, early in 2000, Terry established the first Society listserv, So_Ca, hosted at U.C. Berkeley. Within a few months, So_Ca’s scope was broadened to include other archivists in Western states, and it became West_Arch. In spite of a career as a library cataloger, which has taken him away somewhat from archives, Terry has remained engaged with SCA and has continued to host and manage the listserv, seeing it through its 20th anniversary.
L.A. as Subject was recognized with an Archives Appreciation Award, highlighting the organization’s exceptional online programming produced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and also twenty-five years of community building among archives and their public, broadly defined. L.A. as Subject is a research alliance dedicated to preserving and improving access to the archival material of Los Angeles history. Membership in the organization is open to archivists, historians, other cultural heritage professionals, private collectors, and any member of the public interested in the history of the greater L.A. area. They have held the annual Archives Bazaar for fifteen years, and they also host Archives Forums every other month. They highlight the work of smaller community archives through their “Avery Clayton Spirit Award”, and have also formed an “Archives At Risk Committee.” For the full story of how they brought the Archives Bazaar, “Talk Shop” sessions, and other engaging activities online during 2020, see the recent newsletter posted to their website.
Two James V. Mink Scholarship recipients, for 2020 and 2021, were introduced at the Awards Ceremony.
Jiarui Sun, the 2020 recipient, is pursuing a PhD in Archival Studies at UCLA. He came to California with a strong background from his Chinese education, with both undergraduate and masters degrees focused on archival studies and technology. At UCLA he is pursuing an interest in American approaches to archives, and has a particular interest in community archiving.
Grace Muñoz is the 2021 Mink Scholar. She is an MLIS student in Media Archival Studies at UCLA with interests in audiovisual preservation, community-based archives, and communities marginalized in the archival record. Recently, she has worked as an Archival Description Audit Scholar at the UCLA Center for Primary Research and Training, working toward guidelines for descriptive practices that remove outdated or oppressive language from descriptions.
We welcome both these outstanding graduate students to SCA and to California archives, and we look forward to hearing about their future accomplishments.