York archivist recognized for contributions to the profession and community

Image announcing Awards
Anna St.Onge
Anna St.Onge

Anna St.Onge, Director of Digital Scholarship Infrastructure with York University Libraries, has been recognized by the Archives Association of Ontario with the James J. Talman award for her “innovative work in bringing archival theories and methodologies to digital scholarship and for her continuing efforts to put challenging ideas and beliefs into action.”

Established in honour of the second Archivist of Ontario, serving from 1935 to 1939, the James J. Talman Award is given to individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding level of imagination and innovation in contributing to the profession, their institution or the archival community, or who have challenged conventional thinking about archival work.

“The award was unexpected and deeply humbling,” St. Onge said. “I deeply respect my colleagues and mentors who have taught me the importance of investing in the archival profession at the local level and the value of persistence as many of us work towards systemic change within our organizations.”

“The Archives Association of Ontario does amazing work with limited funds to support archivists across the province,” she explained. “To receive this recognition from my local organization and my peers was encouraging. It was a reminder that there’s still much good work to be done.”

According to the award citation, St.Onge “is raising awareness of what archivists have to offer beyond the strict confines of the archives.”

One of her nominators wrote that St.Onge “has repeatedly used her position and voice within the profession to push important questions forward providing achievable ways of weaving values rooted in equity, inclusion, reconciliation and the upholding of human rights into the evolution of our practice.”

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving for this award,” said Dean of Libraries Joy Kirchner. “Anna is truly an impressive leader and a generous colleague. She has consistently forged new ground bringing archival expertise into digital spaces and is well known for shaping new approaches and partnerships with community-led archival development.”

St.Onge is the fourth archivist and fifth recipient with York connections to be honoured with the Talman award since its inception in 1991. Current University Archivist Michael Moir received the award in 1994, while his predecessor Kent Haworth won in 2002. Former University Archivist Barbara Craig was recognized in 2010 and Digital Asset Librarian Nick Ruest was most recently awarded in 2017.

The complete citation for St.Onge’s award can be read here: https://aao-archivists.ca/resources/Documents/Membership/Awards/AAO%20Awards%202020.pdf