JUNEAU – The Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board (ASHRAB) has chosen to award archivists Teressa Williams and Sara Piasecki Certificates of Archival Excellence for their multiyear outreach work to document individuals in historic photographs. The ASHRAB also recognizes Jim Simard with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his exemplary abilities in building relationships of trust with the public and donors, as well as showcasing the importance of archives.
Beginning in 2013, Teressa Williams and Sara Piasecki of the Atwood Resource Center, Anchorage Museum, began an outreach effort to identify individuals in historic photographs. Their efforts centered on operating a booth at the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) annual meeting, allowing attendees of the conference to help identify unknown people in historical photos. In 2013, 700 images were taken to AFN, resulting in 426 partial or complete identifications. The project has continued since that time, and their outreach and methods are examples of archival excellence.
Jim Simard of the Alaska State Library, Historical Collections, initially began his career in the theater and film industry, later working in libraries and archives after completing his Masters in Library and Information Science in 2001. He began working as a Librarian I for the Alaska State Library, Historical Collections as a project director for Alaska’s Digital Archives. Eventually he became the Head of Historical Collections in 2008 and will retire from State service in December 2017. He is known for his leadership in the archival community, supporting Alaska’s Digital Archives, helping the State Library’s holdings grow through exemplary donor interactions, and for his enthusiasm in helping researchers.
The ASHRAB, a 9-member Governor-appointed board, is coordinated by the State Archivist. The ASHRAB believes that the collection and preservation of historical records and information is fundamental to understanding our past and guiding our future. This is the ASHRAB’s 8th year recognizing excellence from among multiple worthy nominations.
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