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Governor's Archives Awards for 2008

The Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board and the Wisconsin Historical Society have announced the winners of the Governor's Archives Awards for 2008. This year an award was not given in the category of archival innovation. These annual awards recognize outstanding work in historical records preservation and access in Wisconsin. In addition, the 2008 winners each receive a $500.00 gift certificate from DEMCO, Inc.

Awards will be presented in October during 2008 Archives Month.

Marshfield Public Library Wins Award for Archival Achievement

The Marshfield Public Library has won the 2008 Governor's Award for Archival Achievement.

Jerry Apps presentation at the Marshfield Public Library.
Marshfield Public Library has not only nurtured the growth of its local history and genealogy collection and increased public awareness and access through a number of initiatives, but also participated in the creation of new historical resources through collaborative projects within the community.

The Library's Online Genealogy Index, a work in progress for the last 20 years, contains over 234,000 records of people who live or once lived in the Marshfield area and includes the Library's holdings of historical and current Marshfield newspapers.

In 2006, through a collaborative effort, the Marshfield Public Library published Seeking Community: Stories from the Marshfield Stories Project, featuring first person narratives of the Marshfield community. The Library's dedication and diligence to historical records has created one of the finest collections of local resource materials available in Central Wisconsin.

A five-member panel of archival professionals selected Marshfield Public Library for the award from a field of four nominees. The panel cited the Library’s efforts to raise awareness and increase use of historical resources as well as their collaborative efforts with many community organizations.

Kay Demrow and the late Judith Simonsen Win Award for Archival Advocacy

Kay Demrow and the late Judith Simonsen have won the 2008 Governor's Award for Archival Advocacy. Ms. Demrow, a volunteer, is the archivist, treasurer and newsletter editor for the Luther Valley Historical Society and has done outstanding work to help preserve and educate the public about the history of Southwestern Rock County. She has indexed the Society's holdings of over 4000 items and continues to transcribe many of the diaries, church and town records in the collection. In addition, she organizes speaker engagements and is often a speaker herself.

Judith Simonsen

Ms. Simonsen, retired from the Milwaukee Historical Society, brought her archival expertise as a volunteer to the Wauwatosa Historical Society in 1998 until her death in 2007. Upon arriving she immediately began to organize and train volunteers, arrange over 150 cubic feet of donated material, all while establishing the research library of the archives. To make the research library and its holdings accessible to the public, she implemented cataloging standards, required the creation of finding aids to help patrons locate materials, and created an environment conducive to historical research. Ms. Simonsen continued to engage the community with her informative articles in the Historic Wauwatosa newsletter. In addition, she played an instrumental role on several committees, including the Archive and Library Committee and the Oral History Committee, ensuring a continued voice for historical records.

A five-member panel of archival professionals selected Demrow and Simonsen as winners of the award from a field of three nominees. The panel cited their tireless efforts to increase access and promote awareness to valuable collections allowing for a rich and enduring relationship with archival materials. Their accomplishments clearly make them exceptional advocates of historical records.

The Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board

The Wisconsin Historical Society and the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board jointly sponsor the Governor's Archives Awards annually. The Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board consists of 10 members appointed by the governor. It assists Wisconsin institutions in applying for federal grants for archival work and in improving the appreciation and care of historical records in Wisconsin.


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