SAA Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award

Purpose and Criteria for Selection:

Established in 1993, this award recognizes and acknowledges minority graduate students, such as those of African, Asian, Latino or Native American descent, who, through scholastic and personal achievement, manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of the Society of American Archivists.

This award supports the Society of American Archivists’ Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable objectives of:

1. Identifying minority students enrolled in postsecondary educational institutions.
2. Encouraging minority students to consider careers in the archival profession.
3. Promoting increased minority participation in SAA by exposing minority students to the experience of
attending national meetings and encouraging them to join and remain members of the organization.

Recipients will be selected based on their submission of a completed application and the strength of their letter of recommendation and personal statement. Personal statements will be evaluated based on:

  • Overall clarity;
  • Understanding of professional goals;
  • Description of benefits of attending the SAA Annual Meeting; and
  • Explanation of commitment to SAA and the profession.


Awarded to minority students, with preference given to full-time students possessing a minimum scholastic grade point average of 3.5 while enrolled in a graduate program focusing on archival management during the academic year preceding the date on which the award is given.

Sponsor and Funding:

Sponsored by the Society of American Archivists’ Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable and funded through the SAA Foundation, the award is named in honor of archival pioneer Harold T. Pinkett, the first African American to be appointed an archivist at the National Archives, where he served for more than 35 years as a specialist in agricultural archives, senior records appraiser, and chief archivist of the Natural Resources Records Branch. A Fellow of SAA, Pinkett served as editor of The American Archivist from 1968 to 1971.


Up to two awards may be given during an awards cycle. Each recipient receives full complimentary registration and related expenses for hotel and travel to attend the SAA Annual Meeting during the year in which the award is received. In addition, each recipient receives a complimentary one-year membership in SAA.

First Awarded:


Selection Committee:

The committee consists of the chair of the Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable, one member of the Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable selected by the chair of the roundtable to serve a one-year term, one SAA member selected by the SAA President-elect to serve a one-year term, and one of the co-chairs of the SAA Awards Committee (ex officio). The Chair of the Archivists and Archives of Color Roundtable shall serve as chair of the subcommittee and shall present the award.

Application Deadline and Requirements:

All applications shall be submitted to SAA by February 28 of each year. Applications must include the following documents:

  • Photocopy of official transcript or grade report with applicant’s current GPA listed.
  • At least one letter of recommendation.
  • Essay of no more than 500 words discussing your experiences with and/or commitment to working with, or documenting and preserving, the histories of communities of color.
  • CV or resume.
  • CLICK HERE to download RTF application form.

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