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October 29, 2019
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JP O'Hare

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New York State Archives Announces 2019 Annual Archives Award Winners

In celebration of American Archives Month, the New York State Archives today announced the winners of the 2019 Annual Archives Awards, which recognize the outstanding archives and records management work of individuals and organizations in New York State.

“Every year we recognize individuals and organizations who have done outstanding work in managing records and preserving New York’s history,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “This year’s award winners do exemplary work to ensure that our state’s records are efficiently managed and are preserved appropriately for future research and use.”

“We applaud the organizations and individuals who work every day to manage records to ensure accountability, efficiency and accessibility,” said Interim State Education Commissioner Beth Berlin. “Their dedication to archives and records management has inspired excellent programs and processes that serve as models for the entire state.”

“We’re proud to recognize excellence in the use and care of New York’s records by individuals and organizations across New York,” said State Archivist Thomas Ruller. “Thanks to the work and dedication of this year’s winners, New York’s documentary resources will be well managed, appropriately preserved and effectively used for generations to come.”

A complete list of this year’s award winners follows:

  • Cheryl Steinbach Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Records Management:
    • Virginia Ignatowski, Town of Chili (Monroe County)

      The Town of Chili, under Ignatowski’s leadership, has created an exemplary local government records management program and implemented an electronic document management system that has greatly increased access to vital records.

  • William H. Kelly Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Local Government Archival Program Development:
    • Bradford H. Kendall, Office of the Dutchess County Clerk

      Kendall’s leadership has transformed Dutchess County’s archival records management program through investment in key infrastructure, new technologies and expert staff, resulting in increased accessibility and improved preservation.

  • Annual Archives Award for Excellence in State Agency Records Management Program Development:
    • New York State Department of Financial Services

      Since the creation of the Department of Financial Services (DFS) through the merger of the New York State Banking Department and New York State Insurance Department, DFS has initiated an ambitious project of consolidating records retention schedules to ensure all records are effectively managed throughout their life cycle and are retained as long as needed.

  • Debra E. Bernhardt Annual Archives Award for Excellence in Documenting New York’s History:
    • Queens Memory Project, Queens Library and Queens College, CUNY

      The Queens Memory Project has documented the vitality and diversity of the second largest borough in New York City by recording over 300 Oral Histories, digitizing over 17,000 items, hosting community history events, and creating a smart phone app that allows anyone to submit images and audio recordings from their mobile device directly to the project.

  • William Hoyt Archives Award for Advocacy:
    • Jennifer Liber-Raines

      As chair of the Western New York Genealogical Society and member of the State Historical Records Advisory Board, Liber-Raines has brought energy, enthusiasm and creativity to the challenge of advocating for archives and archival programs across New York.

  • Excellence in Research Using the Holdings of the State Archives:
    • Dr. Robert Chiles, University of Maryland

      Chiles made extensive use of the State Archives holdings to explore and place     into broader context Alfred E. Smith’s time as governor of New York State and his failed 1928 Presidential campaign for his recent book.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Archives and Records Management in New York State:
    • Jo-Ann Raia, Town of Huntington (Suffolk County)

      As Town Clerk for the town of Huntington, Raia has been a champion for archives and records management and led the development of a computerized records management program.

American Archives Month is a collaborative effort by professional organizations and repositories around the nation to highlight the significant role archives, archivists and records managers perform. These organizations and professionals manage, preserve and make accessible to researchers records that contain information that preserve the rights of citizens; document the actions of people, governments and institutions; and provide a direct link to the voices, experiences and opinions of people past and present.

The New York State Archives Partnership Trust is a statewide non-profit whose mission is to keep over 350 years of New York’s rich documentary heritage within the New York State Archives accessible and alive though education, preservation, and outreach programs. The Trust also serves as host of the New York Council for History Education.

The New York State Archives is the largest repository of state government records in the nation, holding over 250 million records of state and colonial governments dating back to the Dutch colonial period in 1630. The New York State Archives is a program of the New York State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Archives is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on legal holidays. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-8955 or visiting the Archives’ website.