Tuesday, September 20, 2011

UW-Milwaukee SOIS Student Receives Theodore Calvin Pease Award from SAA

Lora J. Davis, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies, is the recipient of the Theodore Calvin Pease Award, presented by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) on August 26, 2011, at ARCHIVES 360°, SAA’s 75th Annual Meeting in Chicago. 

The award recognizes superior writing achievements by students of archival studies. Amy Cooper Cary, director of the Archival Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, nominated Davis’ paper “Providing Virtual Services to All: A Mixed-Method Analysis of the Web Site Accessibility of Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) Member Repositories.” Davis wrote the paper for the "Seminar in Modern Archives Administration" in the spring 2011 term.  The paper explores the ability of the websites of repositories in the PACSCL to meet the needs of archives users with disabilities.

“After an excellent review of the literature from the library and accessibility fields, the student uses both automated accessibility checkers and content analysis to assess the accessibility of these repository websites,” said one Awards Committee member. “From choice of topic, methodology, and presentation the paper demonstrates a high level of scholarship, creativity, and originality.”

Accessibility for disabled users is relevant to all repositories making their holdings available online, and this paper provides a model for repositories to apply to their own websites.  “In the most recent 10 years, over half of the winning essays have addressed topics that discuss the use of technology in archives,” said Cooper Cary. “There have been no submissions, as yet, that have addressed the important subject of serving our users with disabilities. Lora Davis fills this gap and serves the profession by opening a significant area for exploration in the professional literature.”

Established in 1987, the Theodore Calvin Pease Award is named for the first editor of the American Archivist.

Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists is North America’s oldest and largest national archives professional association. SAA’s mission is to serve the educational and informational needs of more than 6,000 individual and institutional members and to provide leadership to ensure the identification, preservation, and use of records of historical value.
--UW Milwaukee SOIS

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