: 2019 Archivaria Awards

At the Association of Canadian Archivists 2019 Awards Luncheon in Toronto, Jennifer Douglas, Archivaria General Editor announced the winners of the following prizes:

Christoph Becker was awarded the W. Kaye Lamb Prize for his article, "Metaphors We Work By: Reframing Digital Objects, Significant Properties, and the Design of Digital Preservation Systems," which appears in Archivaria 85 (Spring 2018)

  • 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.
  • Drawing from a rich philosophical literature on the nature and uses of metaphor, Becker challenges archivists to unpack the central metaphor at the heart of current approaches to digital preservation: the digital object. The article expertly develops an argument for the place of algorithms and computational thinking, information systems architecture, systems thinking and systems design, and requirements analysis as key elements in the archivist’s education and practise. Becker argues that the curatorial archival perspective must be linked to specialized knowledge associated with computing to equip archivists to design contemporary archival information systems. The article is a valuable contribution to a contemporary discussion of critical importance.

Antonina Lewis was awarded the Hugh Taylor Prize for her article, "Omelettes in the Stack: Archival Fragility and the Aforeafter," which appears in Archivaria 86 (Fall 2018)

  • 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. 
  • Lewis uses a vast array of linguistic inventions to uncover the ambiguity and limitations of Western “archival industry.” This evocatively written article introduces two new concepts to the archival lexicon - the aforeafter and archival fragility – that force readers to critically reflect on archival praxis and have potential to cause true paradigm shift within the archival profession. Here is a tale of all time and no time in the “aforeafter,” a tale that challenges our deepest held biases as archivists and institutions to confront and lays bare (and ultimately, reconciles) the traumas we perpetuate, both consciously and unconsciously. Drawing on a range of resources, from academic writing to fiction and myth, and employing storytelling alongside theory, Lewis creates space to think about archival concepts and systems in a new way.