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AFS Archives & Libraries Section Announces Winner of 2018 Brenda McCallum Prize

Wednesday, April 10, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Evangeline Mee

The winner is the book Visions and Traditions: Knowledge Production and Tradition Archives, edited by Lauri Harvilahti, Audun Kjus, Cliona O'Carroll, Susane Osterland-Potzsch, Fredrik Skott, and Rita Treija, and published by Folklore Fellows' Communcations (Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia and Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 2018). The AFS Archives & Libraries Section Prize Committee is pleased to announce these winners of the 2018 Brenda McCallum Prize. The committee received a number of excellent candidates this year, and the choice was a difficult one. They received six nominations, which required extensive review and discussion, represented a great range and regional representation of archival and/or museum collection projects and several books, and gave a good test to the expanded application guidelines.

The Archives & Libraries Section's Brenda McCallum Prize promotes "works of excellence and innovation that further the cause of preservation, organization, curation, or enhanced public access and use related to Folklife archival collections."

The volume, Visions and Traditions: Knowledge Production and Tradition Archives, compiles 19 essays in 4 subject groupings that introduce the broad subject area, review past collection practices, consider archival and national policies, and discuss future challenges.

The committee congratulates the authors and editors on a work the Committee agreed was forward-looking, cutting edge and tightly focused on central matters of folklore and folklife archiving, history, theory, and practice. Committee members also saw the work as propelling "Folklore Archives" into the modern era of disciplinary shifts by claiming a firm foothold in academic conversations accessible to archivists, folklorists, and folklore archivists. It also offered numerous interesting case study examples for contemplation.

Regarding this cohort of applicants, they were especially pleased to see projects that represented student engagement in making the nomination, developing the particular work(s) nominated, and/or participating in processes of building archival collections based on their ethnographic field project work. Of special interest is a growing presence and refinement of web-based productions of ethnographic documentation already in archives or contributed as contextually-related born digital materials. Competition between these trends and substantial works by veteran folklife archival and museum scholars made their decision quite challenging. They congratulate everyone who submitted nominations and encourage other AFS sections to consider offering additional prize opportunities to honor the burgeoning number of varied archival, library, and museum productions and increasing folklore and folklife professionals who lead the way.


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