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Brenda McCallum Prize

Since 1994, the AFS Archives and Libraries Section has awarded a prize of up to $250 honoring the late folklife archivist Brenda McCallum. Through this prize, the AFS Archives and Libraries Section seeks to promote works that further the cause of the preservation, organization, and dissemination of folklife collections.

The prize is given for an exceptional work dealing with folklife archives or the collection, organization, and management of ethnographic materials. It is awarded to an individual or an institution for noteworthy products or documented activities that provide education, techniques, or services to those who collect, organize, and preserve folklife materials, either on the individual or institutional level. The efforts may or may not be directly associated with archival work, since products that facilitate the organization of ethnographic materials collected in the field ultimately assist the cause of folklife archivists as well. Examples of eligible products include a book, an article, the development of a software package, or a lecture series.

In order to receive the McCallum Prize, the work should have been created during the two years prior to the submission deadline.

The next McCallum Prize will be awarded in 2018. The current McCallum Prize review committee consists of Janet Gilmore (chair), Moira Marsh, and David Azzolina.

Please submit nominations for the Prize by e-mail to the chair of the committee, Janet Gilmore, at, including a brief explanation of why the work has been nominated.  Nominations are accepted continuously during the year, though the deadline for submitting materials each year is September 15. Presentation of the awards is given during the Archives and Libraries Section meeting at the Annual meeting of the American Folklore Society in October of that year.

Past McCallum Prize recipients include:

          2016: No prize awarded.

2014: The Oregon Folklife Network for their collaborative work with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs  (CTWS) to preserve, digitize, and make accessible a collection of sound recordings in the CTWS Culture & Heritage Language Department.

2012: Dr. Mark Allan Jackson for Jailhouse Bound, a project using John Lomax's overlooked recordings to create an audio recording compilation with supporting photographs and history.
2010: Brent Burgin for the University of South Carolina SC Lancaster Native American Studies Archive, which includes the digital gallery of Catawba Nation images and the Georgia Harris online exhibit.

2009: No McCallum Award: since 2009, the Archives & Libraries Section Awards the Grimshaw Prize in odd years and the McCallum prize in even years.
2008: No prize awarded
2007: Janet C. Gilmore and her archiving team for their report The Survey of Public Folklore Collections in the Upper Midwest, 2005-2006

Laurie Sommers, and Deborah Davis, Michael Holt, Stacey Wright, and John Taylor of the Valdosta State University Archives and Special Collections, for the website for the South Georgia Folklife Collection housed at the Odum Library at Valdosta State University

2006: No prize awarded

2005: The Florida Folklife Digitization and Education Project of the Florida State Archives for their online web presentation of folklife collections in the archive.

2004: No prize awarded

2003: The Veterans History Project team, led by Peggy Bulger and Ellen McCulloch-Lovell of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and Timothy Lloyd at The American Folklore Society, for their collaborative effort to collect, preserve and make available audio- and video-taped oral histories, along with documentary materials, of America's war veterans and those who served in support of them. In awarding this prize, we would like to acknowledge the expert team of archivists and processing staff at the VHP that are managing this huge collection, the oral history trainers, and all the volunteers and veterans who are gathering and sharing stories for this important national project.

The James Madison Carpenter Collection Online Catalogue project team, led by Dr. Julia Bishop of the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen and Jennifer A. Cutting at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress for their effort to make the James Madison Carpenter Collection available. In awarding this prize, we would like to acknowledge Bishop's colleagues David Atkinson, Elaine Bradtke, Eddie Cass, Thomas A. McKean, and Robert Young Walser, as well as Cutting's colleagues Marcia K. Segal and Michael Taft.

2002: Michael Owen Jones and the many students and contributors at UCLA who edited, expanded, and created the Online Archive of American Folk Medicine, for research into beliefs and practices relating to folk medicine and alternative health care, begun by Wayland D. Hand in the 1940s. (2001)

2001: Steve Weiss and the Manuscripts Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for their online multi-format collection of materials from the Goldband Recording Corporation Records at the Southern Folklife Collection. (2000)

1999: James Corsaro and Karen Taussig-Lux, for their manual Folklore in Archives: A Guide to Describing Folklore and Folklife Materials. (1998)

1997: Margaret R. Dittemore and Fred J. Hay, for the volume they edited, Documenting Cultural Diversity in the Resurgent South: Collectors, Collecting, and Collections.

1996: Stephanie A. Hall for her publication: "Ethnographic Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture: A Contributor's Guide."

1995: The New York Folklore Society, for its publication Working with Folk Materials in New York State: A Manual for Folklorists and Archivists (1994).

1994: Jeff Place of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage of the Smithsonian Institution, for preservation work done on the Woody Guthrie acetates which led to the publication of the Guthrie album Long Ways to Travel: The Unreleased Folkways Masters, 1944-49. Jeff described the process of preservation in the liner notes.

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