Archival Innovator Award

Purpose and Criteria for Selection:

Created in 2011, this award recognizes an individual archivist, a group of archivists, a repository, or an organization that demonstrates, through a combination of as many as possible of the criteria below, the greatest overall current impact on the profession or their communities.   

  • Creativity or innovation in approaching professional challenges.
  • Demonstrated ability to think outside of professional or institutional norms.
  • Ability to translate creativity, innovation, and new thinking into working solutions.
  • Development of an archives program or outreach activity that has an extraordinary impact on a community.
  • Commitment to the advancement of professional knowledge through traditional or emerging information-sharing media.  


Presented to an archivist, group of archivists, repository, or organization for work undertaken within the past three years. The work need not be completed, but it must be sufficiently advanced to demonstrate results.

Sponsor and Funding:

Society of American Archivists Foundation.


A certificate and complimentary registration for one individual to the SAA Annual Meeting occurring in the year in which the award is presented. 

First Awarded:


Selection Committee

The Archival Innovators Award Subcommittee of the Awards Committee is composed of three members of the Society of American Archivists and one of the co-chairs of the SAA Awards Committee (ex officio). One member of the subcommittee shall be appointed each year by the SAA President-elect to serve a three-year term. The senior member of the subcommittee in years of service shall serve as its chair and shall present the award during the Awards Ceremony at the SAA Annual Meeting.

Submission Deadline and Nomination Form:

All nominations shall be submitted to SAA by February 28 of each year.  CLICK HERE to download the nomination form.



Archival Innovator Award Recipients

2012:   Not awarded

2013:   Augmented Processing Table Research Team, The University of Texas at Austin School of Information, 
          Dr. Ciaran B. Trace and Dr. Luis Francisco-Revilla

2014:   Trevor Owens, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress

2015:   State Archives of Florida's Florida Memory Team

2016:   Dr. Foy Scalf, head of the Research Archives and Integrated Database Project Team at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago

2017:   No applicants