SAADA Honored by Society of American Archivists

JUNE 1, 2016

CHICAGO — The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) is the 2016 recipient of the Philip M. Hamer–Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award will be presented at a ceremony during the Annual Meeting of SAA and the Council of State Archivists in Atlanta, July 31 – August 6.

The award recognizes individuals or institutions that have increased public awareness of archival documents. SAADA’s mission to give voice to South Asian Americans by documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent their diverse experiences has resulted in a community-based archive that is a great resource for research as well as an educational tool for teaching the public about the importance of archives. Compiled from family collections, community organizations, and established archives, SAADA provides digital access to a variety of primary source materials and includes K-12 lesson plans and related resources that draw upon the archive.

In addition, SAADA’s outreach efforts, such as the popular First Days Project and forthcoming publication Our Stories, provide unique platforms for users to share their immigrant experiences and have inspired other organizations and archives to develop similar projects.

"By building community trust and encouraging dialogue, SAADA serves as a model for archivists and others dedicated to documenting ethnic and underrepresented communities that more traditional archives often ignore," the Awards Committee wrote.

The Hamer-Kegan Award was established in 1973 and is named for two SAA Fellows and former presidents. Past recipients include the Legacy Center at Drexel University College of Medicine, the Emma Goldman Papers Project, Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project, the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, and March On Milwaukee Civil Rights History Project team (University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Libraries).

Founded in 1936, the Society of American Archivists is North America’s oldest and largest national archival professional association. SAA’s mission is to serve the educational and informational needs of more than 6,200 individual and institutional members and to provide leadership to ensure the identification, preservation, and use of records of historical value. For more information, visit