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Past Governor's Archives Award Winners | Wisconsin Historical Society

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Past Governor's Archives Awards Winners

Past Governor's Archives Award Winners | Wisconsin Historical Society

Since 2001, the Governor’s Archives Awards have honored individuals, organizations, and partnerships that have made significant contributions to the preservation of, and access to, Wisconsin’s historical records. The three award categories—archival achievement, archival advocacy, and archival innovation—recognize a variety of accomplishments and endeavors.

2019

Archival Achievement Award: Northwest Mutual Corporate Archives, Milwaukee

The Northwest Mutual Corporate Archives were awarded the Archival Achievement Award for utilizing corporate archives and company history across a variety of business endeavors. Learn more about Northwest Mutual here.

Archival Advocacy Award: LGBTQ Archives Committee, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison

The LGBTQ Archives Committee, in collaboration with the UW-Madison Archives, was recognized for acquiring 94 archival collections relating to the history of the LGBTQ community in Dane County, as well as conducting interviews with more than 80 professors, students, and activists concerning LGBTQ history in south-central Wisconsin through UW-Madison’s Oral History Program. Learn more about the LGBTQ archival collections here

Archival Innovation Award: Manitowoc County Historical Society, Manitowoc

Manitowoc County Historical Society was awarded the Archival Innovation Award for developing and launching a major online photo collection, highlighting the work of local photographer Daryl Cornick. This photo collection can be found here, and the Manitowoc County Historical Society website can be found here

2018

Archival Achievement Award: Gundersen Health System Archives, La Crosse

The Gundersen Health System Archives was awarded for rescuing, preserving, arranging, digitizing, and making accessible the records of the Gundersen Clinic, Lutheran Hospital, and the School of Nursing. In recent years, the Gundersen Health System established an archive, created the Gundersen Family Letters Database, and supported several historical displays. The Gundersen Health System Archives has also developed several programs, including an oral history program that has conducted interviews with emeritus physicians. Learn more about the Gundersen Health System archive office here.  

Archival Innovation Award: University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center, Green Bay

The UW-Green Bay Archives and Area Research Center (ARC) was recognized for expanding the audience that they serve and broadening the use and study of archival collection across the undergraduate curriculum. They moved beyond established partnerships to reach new audiences in disciplines including the social sciences, public policy, nutrition, education, and human development. Learn more about the UW-Green Bay ARC here.

 2017

Archival Advocacy Award: Greg Kocken, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire

Greg Kocken was recognized for his work as a Special Collections Librarian, University Archivist, Area Research Center leader, and beyond. Kocken strives to educate all age groups on archival resources and the importance of archives using instruction, collection development, digital initiatives, public programing, and more. More information on the Eau Claire Special Collections and Archives can be found here

2016

Archival Achievement Award: Jim Dan Hill Library, University of Wisconsin-Superior, Superior

The Jim Dan Hill Library at UW-Superior received an award for preserving and providing access to the records of the historic Fraser Shipyards. Additionally, the library’s Special Collections and archives sought to build a research collection by identifying, collecting, preserving, and providing access to materials relating to Northwestern Wisconsin, as well as the communities surrounding Lake Superior and the upper Great Lakes. As an integral part of the teaching and research functions at the university, Special Collections supports research for students, faculty, and the broader community. Visit the Jim Dan Hill Library website here.

Archival Advocacy Award: Mary Jane Herber, Brown County Library, Local History and Genealogy Department, Green Bay

Mary Jane Herber of the Brown County Public Library was awarded the Archival Advocacy Award for her career of service and leadership. Herber began working at the library during the summer of 1971 while completing her bachelor’s degree. Since 1974, Herber has directed the library’s local history and genealogy department. Additionally, she has served on a variety of historical committees and boards and is the president of the De Pere Historic Preservation Commission. To learn more about the Brown County Public Library’s Local History and Genealogy Department, visit here.

Archival Innovation Award: Oscar Grady Public Library, Saukville

The Oscar Grady Public Library was awarded the Archival Innovation Award for the creation of their Digital Medial Conversion Lab. The lab provides the equipment and training needed to view and digitally preserve photographs, slides, and film. It is a high-functioning digital space and work room equipped with the necessary digital mechanics to process aging photographic formats such as 35-mm photographic negatives, transparency slides, aging photographs, Super-8 mm Film, hand-held camcorder home videos (VHS-C), and it can up-convert home VHS & DVD formats to HD digital USB files. Learn more about the lab here.

 2015

Archival Advocacy Award: Professor Birute Ciplijauskaite, Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison

Birute Ciplijauskite, Professor Emerita of Spanish, was awarded the Archival Advocacy Award for her efforts as an advocate for the Special Collections of the Memorial Library at UW-Madison. She has continually advocated for theses archives as a donor to the Special Collections; a curatorial volunteer who organized and annotated a number of archives; and as a translator and transcriber of collections using her knowledge of Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, and Lithuanian. Learn more about the Special Collections here

Archival Innovation Award: Jewish Museum Milwaukee, Milwaukee

The Jewish Museum Milwaukee was awarded the Archival Innovation Award for the creation of a physical and virtual exhibit that highlighted one of the many losses caused by the Holocaust. The exhibit featured the story of Hedwig and Paul Strnad. The Strnads attempted to immigrate to Milwaukee; however, their efforts were unsuccessful, and they did not survive the Holocaust. The exhibit featured the dress designs of Hedwig Strnad, which were never sewn during her lifetime; the Milwaukee Repertory Theater Costume Shop created the dresses. The exhibit is available online here

2014

Archival Achievement Award: Swiss Center of North America, New Glarus

The Swiss Center of North America received the Archival Achievement Award for developing and sustaining a unique archival program. They established a significant research center about Swiss-American heritage that includes genealogy source materials, personal papers, photographs, ephemera, audio recordings, and other documentary sources. Visit the Swiss Center’s website here.

Archival Advocacy Award: Student Chapter of the Society of American Archivists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison

The UW-Madison Student Chapter of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) was awarded the Archival Advocacy Award for their experimentation with advocacy. The SAA Student Chapter established itself as the primary promoter of Archives Month in Wisconsin and opened avenues for archival advocacy with their energy, professionalism, and commitment to communicating the importance of archival resources to a broad audience. Visit the SAA Student Chapter website here

Archival Innovation Award: Milwaukee Public Television, Milwaukee

Milwaukee Public Television (MPTV) was awarded the Archival Innovation Award for their documentary, “Wisconsin Remembers John F. Kennedy.” MPTV producer Dan Jones identified and utilized archival film footage at the UW-Milwaukee Area Research Center to allow viewers to join the 1960 Kennedy campaign at Mitchell Airport, on Wisconsin Avenue, and at a major speech at the Milwaukee Arena. Learn more about “Wisconsin Remembers John F. Kennedy" here and learn more about MPTV here

2013

Archival Achievement Award: Harold L. Miller, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison

Harold L. Miller, a retired Wisconsin Historical Society reference archivist, was awarded the Archival Achievement Award for his 40 years of service to the archival community.

Archival Achievement Award: American Girl, Middleton

American Girl was awarded the Archival Achievement Award for their outstanding corporate archives program. Learn more about American Girl here

2012

Archival Achievement Award: Monroe County Local History Room, Sparta

The Monroe County Local History Room (MCLHR) was awarded the Archival Achievement Award for their dedication to improving the accessibility of their historical records. The MCLHR operates and maintains a research library, archive, and a collection of museum artifacts. They committed to improving access to their research collections and created a user-friendly online resource featuring 16 indexes and more than 500,000 searchable entries. To learn more about MCLHR and search their directories, visit here

Archival Achievement Award: Lakes States Railway Historical Association, Baraboo

The Lakes States Railway Historical Association was awarded the Archival Achievement Award for their commitment to the preservation of, and access to, historical records. The Association collects and preserves bibliographic materials, archival records, and artifacts relating to railroad history, and they have created modern finding aids to aid in this mission.  The Association’s website can be found here.

 2011

Archival Achievement Award: University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee Libraries, Milwaukee

UW-Milwaukee Libraries were awarded the Archival Achievement Award for their development of the March on Milwaukee Civil Rights History Project. This project digitized and centralized records relating to Milwaukee’s civil rights history from various archival collections located at the UW-Milwaukee Libraries. These records include documents, photographs, videos, and oral history interviews and are available online here

Archival Advocacy Award: Penny Deshur, Jewish Museum Milwaukee, Milwaukee

Penny Deshur of the Jewish Museum Milwaukee was awarded the Archival Advocacy Award for her extensive body of work as a teacher, genealogist, community leader, and philanthropist. Deshur has held various roles including the co-chair of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation Women’s Division genealogy group, the president of the Wisconsin Jewish Genealogical Society, and the vice president of the Jewish Museum’s Education and Development Committee Chair. Additionally, Deshur devotes considerable time and effort to making Jewish burial records available online for researchers and genealogists here

Archival Innovation Award: The University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Geography and University of Wisconsin Digital Collections, Madison

The UW-Madison Digital Collections Center (UWDCC) and Department of Geography were awarded the Archival Innovation Award for their collaborative work on the Changing Landscapes of Wisconsin Project. This project was designed to preserve and expand access to a rare collection of historic aerial photographs of Wisconsin’s landscapes from 1937-1941. The photography collection and the WHAIFinder can be accessed online here

2010

Archival Achievement Award: La Crosse Public Library Archives Department, La Crosse

The La Crosse Public Library Archives Department was awarded the Archival Achievement Award for their work preserving and promoting local history. In addition to collecting, processing, and making available archival materials, the library has also supported students participating in National History Day, provided images and information for a book and program about the La Crosse area, received a grant to digitize La Crosse area maps, and created the Footsteps of La Crosse website.

Archival Advocacy Award: Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Forest and Wildlife Ecology Lab, the Department of Natural Resources Science Services, and the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine were awarded the Archival Advocacy Award for their collaborative efforts in working with historical records and publishing a pre-settlement vegetation map and supplement. The partnership utilized surveys and notes from 1832-1866 to create a vegetation map of Wisconsin from this time period and an eight-page companion detailing the surveys, surveyor’s notebooks, the work involved in creating the map, and the vegetation changes that have occurred in Wisconsin since this time. A poster with additional information can be found here

Archival Innovation Award: Susan Braden, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville

Susan Braden, the reference librarian at the Hedberg Public Library, was awarded the Archival Innovation Award for her work with oral histories. Braden led the efforts to transcribe and digitize oral histories from the 1937 General Motors (GM) sit-down strike in Janesville. These oral histories detail the work, union membership, and family and social lives of the twelve men who either participated in the GM sit-down strike or worked in other Janesville industries. These interviews and their accompanying transcripts are available online here

2009

Archival Achievement Award: Milwaukee Public Library and the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society, Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Public Library and the Wisconsin Marine Historical Society were awarded the Archival Achievement Award for making their collections more accessible through indexing and digitization. With funding support from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, the Milwaukee Public Library and Marine Historical Society preserved, expanded, and increased access to their collections by creating an online database available online here.

These grants also allowed the library and the society to partner with the Port of Milwaukee to digitize historic photographs, including numerous photos of Milwaukee's port and rivers. The Milwaukee Waterways database includes detailed indexing and data for more than 1,000 photos and is located online here

Archival Advocacy Award: International Harvester Collectors, Wisconsin Chapter 4, Stoughton

The International Harvester Collectors, Wisconsin Chapter 4 Inc. was awarded the Archival Advocacy Award for their support of the McCormick-International Harvester Collection at the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS). In addition to promoting the collection by writing articles, organizing speakers, and sponsoring fundraising events, this chapter has raised nearly $150,000 to support the digitization of documents in the McCormick collection. These documents are available to the public online here.

Archival Innovation Award: Clark County Historical Internet Library

The Clark County Historical Internet Library was awarded the Archival Innovation Award for exploring new ways of working with historical records and bringing those records to a variety of audiences. The Internet Library has digitized an array of Clark County historical records and made them available to the public online here. The website’s homepage contains an electronic “bookshelf” that connects users to cemetery listings, school records, veteran’s records, and other materials.

2008

Archival Achievement Award: Marshfield Public Library, Marshfield

The Marshfield Public Library was awarded the Archival Achievement Award for their work growing their local history and genealogy collection, increasing public awareness and access, and creating new resources through collaborative projects within its community. These resources include their Online Genealogy Index and Seeking Community: Stories from the Marshfield Stories Project. Additional information about the library can be found here

Archival Advocacy Award: Kay Demrow, Luther Valley Historical Society, Janesville

Kay Demrow was awarded the Archival Advocacy Award for her service as a volunteer of the Luther Valley Historical Society. Demrow—a volunteer archivist, treasurer, and newsletter editor for the Luther Valley Historical Society (LVHS)⁠—has continuously worked to preserve and educate the public about the history of Southwestern Rock County. Her work has included indexing the LVHS holdings of over 4,000 items, transcribing many LVHS documents and records, and organizing speakers for LVHS events.

Archival Advocacy Award: Judith Simonsen, Wauwatosa Historical Society, Wauwatosa

Judith Simonsen was awarded the Archival Advocacy Award for her service as a volunteer of the Wauwatosa Historical Society. Simonsen retired from the Milwaukee Historical Society and brought her archival experience to Wauwatosa Historical Society, where she volunteered from 1998 until her death in 2007. As a volunteer, she trained volunteers, organized over 150 cubic feet of donated materials, and established the research library and archives. To make the library and archives accessible to the public, she implemented cataloging standards, required the creation of finding aids, and fostered an environment that promoted historical research. Learn more about the Judith A. Simonsen Research Library here, and learn more about the Wauwatosa Historical Society here

2007

Archival Achievement Award: Cudahy Family Library Local History Collection, Cudahy

The Cudahy Family Library Local History Collection was awarded the Archival Achievement Award for expanding their local history collection from two filing cabinets to an impressive local history collection. Their collections of maps, directories, local newspapers, city and business records, and other documents are used to research local history, family history, and genealogy. Learn more about the collection here

Archival Advocacy Award: Rose M. Clark, Lifetime member of the Juneau County Historical Society, Mauston

Rose M. Clark, a retired grade school teacher and lifetime member of the Juneau County Historical Society, was awarded the Archival Advocacy Award for her work preserving and educating the public about the history of Juneau County. Her efforts included organizing volunteers for preservation efforts, acquiring preservation funding, reorganizing the Juneau County Historical Society’s archival collections, and providing information and instruction to youth and local citizens on interviewing WWII veterans.

Archival Innovation Award: Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee

The Milwaukee County Zoo was awarded the Archival Innovation Award for developing an archives as a resource for researchers inside and outside of the zoo community. Additionally, it has created a zoo history photo and film archives; provided website support for the Bartlett Society, an international organization devoted to the study of zoo history; sponsored a conference on zoo history at the Association of Zoos and Aquarium Meeting; and accepted the zoo ephemera files of the Smithsonian Institutions’ National Zoological Park Library, a unique collection not available anywhere else. Learn more about the Milwaukee County Zoo, as well as view their photo and video gallery, here.

2006

Archival Achievement Award: The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Archives and Area Research Center, Oshkosh

The UW-Oshkosh Area Research Center was awarded the Archival Achievement Awarded for the rapid and sustained improvements made to the Area Research Center. These improvements increased the size of their facility, which has allowed them to preserve the collections in their care and add more collections from the counties they serve. This has ultimately increased public access and engagement and allowed them to be increasing involved with the communities they serve.  Visit the UW-Oshkosh ARC website here.  

Archival Innovation Award: La Follette High School Archives & History Museum, Madison

The La Follette High School Archives and History Museum was awarded the Archival Innovation Award for utilizing new approaches to raise awareness of historical records and reach new audiences. This student-initiated resource can be used by teachers, students, and outside researchers to study the history of the high school and its culture. Learn more about the archives and museum here.

 2005

Archival Achievement Award: Marquette University’s Raynor Library, Milwaukee

Learn more about Raynor Library here.

Archival Achievement Award: Kewaunee County Historical Research Center, Kewaunee

Visit the Kewaunee County Historical Research Center website here

Archival Advocacy Award: Debra Anderson, UW-Green Bay, Green Bay

Archival Innovation Award: Milwaukee Jewish Historical Society, Milwaukee

Go here to learn more about the Milwaukee Jewish Historical Society.

2004

Archival Achievement Award: Jim Dan Hill Library, UW-Superior, Superior

Visit the Jim Dan Hill Library website here to learn more.

Archival Advocacy Award: Tim Ericson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee

Archival Advocacy Award: Ralph DuPae, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse

Archival Innovation Award: Roger Noll, Beaver Dam

2003

Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum, Madison

The Wisconsin Veteran’s Museum was awarded the Governor’s Archives Award for preserving and providing access to historical records on Wisconsin’s veterans. These efforts have accelerated in recent years, as they have tripled their collection size, hired their first professional archivist, and increased accessibility by cataloging collections and making them available online. They have also begun emphasizing programs such as the Wisconsin Veterans Oral History Project and the Letters to Soldiers Project. To view and search their collections, visit here

2002

Burnett County Historical Society, Danbury

The Burnett County Historical Society (BCHS) was awarded the Governor’s Archives Award for their work establishing an active history research library and increasing public access and usability of their archival collection. To learn more about BCHS, visit their website here.

2001

Monroe County Local History Room, Sparta

Monroe County Local History Room was awarded the Governor’s Archives Award for preserving and providing access to the Monroe County Circuit Court and County Court Civil Case files from 1855-1937. Visit their website here to learn more.

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Have Questions?

For more information please contact WHRAB Program Assistant, Brianna Krumwiede, by email below:

brianna.krumwiede@wisconsinhistory.org