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Published July 14, 2022
Sara Davis, a former University of Wyoming archivist, is the recipient of the prestigious Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader Award from the Society of American Archivists (SAA).
Davis was employed by the UW American Heritage Center (AHC) from 2018-2021 before moving to her current position as the Wyoming State Archivist. The SAA is North America’s oldest and largest national professional association for archival professionals.
The annual award celebrates early-career archivists who have already demonstrated leadership through contributions to the profession; provided collaborative service to local, regional or national archival and cultural associations; and completed successful outreach efforts on behalf of the awardee’s institution and the profession.
While at the AHC, Davis led a collaborative effort to document Wyoming’s reactions and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic through outreach to collection donors and creation of a website at www.sites.google.com/wyo.gov/covidinwy/home that provided access to the donated materials.
Her outreach to the campus community led to the transfer of records of UW faculty members and departments that may not otherwise have been preserved. She also taught UW students about the archival profession, leading at times to their own career profession.
“This award is particularly meaningful, as it is named in honor of Mark Greene, longtime director of the center from 2003 to 2015,” says Paul Flesher, the current AHC director. “It is gratifying to see one of the AHC’s own receive this significant award. Sara is certainly deserving.”
As an archivist, Davis says she strives to increase discoverability and access to information; make people aware of what an archive is and how it affects their lives; and collaborate with communities to ensure a comprehensive and inclusive record of the past.
“I always am looking for ways to keep up to date with best practices in the archival profession; learn new and emerging technologies; communicate clearly with all partners; and remain open to ideas,” she says. “I am extremely grateful to receive this award and humbled to find myself in the company of past recipients.”
Created in 2011 and renamed in 2017, the award honors Greene, a former SAA Fellow and past president of the association, for his longstanding commitment to mentoring young leaders.
The AHC is UW’s repository of manuscript collections, rare books and the university’s archives. Citizens and scholars can engage with primary sources in all formats to support the creation of historical narratives, interrogate the past, build community, and pose and answer questions about human experiences. The AHC holds collections of distinction, serving citizens and scholars in Wyoming and around the world.