York University Archivist Katrina Cohen-Palacios awarded the 2021 AAO Emerging Leader Award

Image announcing Awards

Archivist Katrina Cohen-Palacios of the Clara Thomas Archives & Special Collections at York University has been awarded the 2021 Emerging Leader Award by the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO). The award was presented to Cohen-Palacios at the AAO’s annual general meeting, which took place virtually on May 14.

Cohen-Palacios joined York University’s Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collection in 2017 as an Adjunct Archivist, becoming the Media Archivist in 2019, and promoted to Archivist in 2020. Her work and contributions as an archivist at York University is described as exemplary not only in its collaborative nature but also for its outreach impact. Cohen-Palacios has made important contributions in the discourse and workflows related to Canadian archives and linked data, an emerging area of archival outreach and collaboration.

She also has played a key role in the Home Made Visible project, a collaboration of the Regent Park Film Festival, Charles Street Videos and the York University Libraries, which preserves and celebrates the important memories captured in home movies created by members of Indigenous, Black and People of Colour communities in Canada. This project was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation in 2020 and was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Community Programming.

Cohen-Palacios has presented at library and archival conferences across Canada and has been involved in various national and local professional organizations since 2013, serving on numerous committees and leadership positions within the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) and the Toronto Area Archivists Group (TAAG), including as Chair of AAO’s Professional Development Committee (PDC) since June 2019 and on the 2021 AAO Conference Program Committee. She began serving as a mentor in the Association of Canadian Archivists’ Mentorship program this year.

Her nominators highlighted the important to the role Cohen-Palacios’ mentorship has had: “It is integral that racialized young professionals and students have other racialized leaders that can champion them through the early stages of their career. Katrina is an ideal example of this vital role model.”

The Emerging Leader Award was created in 2018 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Archives Association of Ontario. The award recognizes early-career archivists (who have been in the profession between two and 10 years), whose work and service demonstrate consistent growth, leadership, and promise to the archives profession in Ontario. The award is intended to recognize cumulative contributions rather than any single activity.