By Tamar Zeffren, GSAS ’09
Over 80 archivists, from students to emeriti, thronged the halls of the New York Junior League on Thursday evening, October 10, to celebrate the 2013 Archivists Round Table Awards Ceremony. This event, which has customarily served as the capstone of A.R.T’s New York Archives Week, was imbued with a special resonance this year, as Archives Week celebrated its 25th anniversary. Fittingly for a profession devoted to showcasing the enduring relevance of the past for the present and the future, the Awards Ceremony showcased the original planning members of the first New York Archives Week in 1989, an esteemed cast which included the evening’s host, Barbara Haws, Archivist and Historian at the New York Philharmonic.
The first recipient of the evening was none other than Dr. Peter Wosh, who accepted the “Award for Archival Achievement” in his capacity as Director of the Archives and Public History Program at New York University. Kathleen Roe, Director of Operations at the New York State Archive, highlighted Dr. Wosh’s enduring commitment to the profession, both as a highly esteemed colleague with extensive service in professional organizations such as A.R.T. and the Society of American Archivists and as a dedicated professor and mentor to generations of NYU students. Both Dr. Wosh and Ms. Roe emphasized the centrality of colleagues and of acknowledging those who have served as colleagues and mentors throughout any professional trajectory. Having had the invaluable benefit, along with numerous other archivists, of Dr. Wosh’s wisdom, guidance, and patience, it was a true pleasure to mark the well-deserved nature of his award.
The ceremony continued on by acknowledging a diverse range of repositories and professional resources. The New York Archives Conference received the “Award for Outstanding Support of Archives” for its ongoing dedication to providing affordable professional development for archives and information management professionals throughout New York State. Rhizome for ArtBase, an online enterprise dedicated to providing free and permanent access to new media art and to enabling researchers to analyze, observe, and interact with the art objects in their intended format(s), environments, and media, received the “Award for Innovative Use of Archives.”
The final award of the evening, which recognizes “Educational Use of Archives,” went to the Brooklyn Historical Society for its Students and Faculty in the Archives (SAFA) program. SAFA, now in the second year of a three-year, US Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education grant, partners with three neighboring educational institutions in Brooklyn—Long Island University, New York City College of Technology, and St. Francis College—to invite students and faculty from a range of disciplines into the archives to allow them to hone their archival research, critical thinking, and information management skills.