Society of Southwest Archivists

Society of American Archivists C. F. W. Coker Award

  • 04 Feb 2014 8:44 AM
    Message # 1490164

    ***Please excuse cross-postings***


    Hello archivists and finding aid/descriptive system fans and creators!


    As you’re probably aware, the Society of American Archivists’ Award Season has arrived! Each year, the C. F. W. Coker Award is given out to recognize an outstanding and innovative finding aid, finding aid or descriptive system, or finding aid/descriptive project.


    Established in 1984, this award recognizes finding aids, finding aid systems, projects that involve innovative development in archival description, or descriptive tools that enable archivists to produce effective finding aids. To merit serious consideration for the award, nominees must, in some significant way, set national standards, represent a model for archival description, or otherwise have a substantial impact on descriptive practices. The following types of works or activities may be considered:


    1. Finding aids, including, among others, multi-institutional guides, record surveys, repository guides, special subject lists, finding aids to individual collections or records groups, and narrative descriptions of holdings.
    2. Finding aid systems, including, among others, manual or automatic indexing systems, computer databases, or current awareness systems for notifying users of holdings.
    3. Descriptive tools that enable archivists to produce more effective finding aids, including, among others, subject thesauri, authority files, data element dictionaries, manuals establishing descriptive standards, and such reference works as atlases and administrative histories.
    4. Projects that involve innovative developments in archival description, including, among others, cooperative ventures that result in the exchange of finding aid information among repositories, efforts at building national information systems, and survey projects.


    Last year’s submissions were great and we had to make a tough decision. This year, we’d like to have to make a difficult choice again, but we need your help!


    Do you know of an outstanding and innovative finding aid or description system published in 2013?  Have you created a finding aid or designed a descriptive system or tool that you feel breaks new ground in the field of archival descriptive practice? Would you like to see the author(s) or editor(s) recognized for contributing to descriptive practice and the archives profession?  Please consider submitting a nomination prior to the deadline of February 28, 2014.  Self-nominations are welcome!

    The nomination form is available at

    Additional information can be found at, where you can also see a list of previous winners.  

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