2017 Archivaria Awards


At the Association of Canadian Archivists 2017 Awards Luncheon in Ottawa, Jennifer Douglas, Archivaria General Editor announced the winners of the following prizes:

J.J. Ghaddar was awarded the W. Kaye Lamb Prize for her article, “The Spectre in the Archive: Truth, Reconciliation, and Indigenous Archival Memory,” which appears in Archivaria 82 (Fall 2016)

  • Named for Dr. William Kaye Lamb, Dominion Archivist of Canada from 1948-1969 and founding National Librarian of Canada, this prize is awarded annually to honour the author of the Archivaria article that, by its exceptional combination of research, reflection, and writing, most advances archival thinking in Canada. It is the senior award of the journal for the best article overall. The winner of the Lamb Prize is selected by General Editor, with the assistance of the members of the Archivaria Editorial Board.
  • J.J. Ghaddar’s article grapples with one of the most urgent issues currently facing the Canadian archival community: how to answer the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation commission without falling into complacency or self-congratulation. Ghaddar’s thoughtful analysis of two recent court cases involving the records gathered by the TRC exposes the politics of memory and oblivion in all their complexity. Passionate and persuasive, the article starts an important conversation about the many ways national settler archival repositories represent and uphold Canada’s colonialist endeavours. The concept of “haunting” provides a metaphor that allows us to see that placating the ghosts must not be the goal; to decolonize archives and begin to respond meaningfully to the demands of reconciliation, settler archivists need to accept a prolonged, uncomfortable co-existence with the “spectre” as we rethink the power structures of archives from the ground up.


Naomi Norquay was awarded the Hugh Taylor Prize for her article, “An Accidental Archive of the Old Durham Road: Reclaiming a Black Pioneer Settlement,” which appears in Archivaria 81 (Spring 2016)

  • The Hugh A. Taylor Prize was established in 2006 to honour the doyen of Canadian archival thinkers whose wide range of scholarly publications sparked the Canadian archival imagination. The prize is awarded annually to the author of the Archivaria article that presents new ideas or refreshing syntheses in the most imaginative way, especially by exploring the implications of concepts or trends from other disciplines for archival thinking and activity, and by extending the boundaries of archival theory in new directions. The winner of the Taylor prize is chosen by the General Editor and a professor of Archival Studies (selected by the General Editor), who decide the winner by consensus. This year the professor of archival studies who helped decide the winner of the award was Fiorella Foscarini from the University of Toronto. 
  • Written by an “accidental archivist,” this article is a fascinating, personal investigation of a disappeared community and its remaining textual, oral and material traces. Through her evocative prose, Norquay challenges the limitations of the official archive by turning to “the land as archival document,” both in a literal and a metaphorical sense. Norquay musters a range of scholarship including curriculum/education theory, archaeology, autobiographical studies, Black Canadian studies and Ann Cvetkovich’s idea of the “archive of feelings” and ties it neatly and specifically to elements of her case study. The reader is easily persuaded to look more closely at the recordness of seemingly unassuming material traces, arriving at an emotive (not merely rational) recognition of the limitations of traditional concepts of records and archives. This quietly beautiful article clearly demonstrates how enriching moving beyond the boundaries of a single discipline can be.