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Professor Heather MacNeil Receives Award from Archives Association of Ontario

Submitted on Thursday, December 01, 2016


The Archives Association of Ontario (AAO) has chosen iSchool Professor Heather MacNeil as the 2015 recipient of its James J. Talman Award.

According to the AAO awards committee, the honour is given to “an individual who has demonstrated an outstanding level of imagination and innovation in contribution to the profession, his/her institution, or the archival community, or pioneered in any aspect of archival work.”

Professor MacNeil is enormously pleased and proud to be a recipient of this award. “Apart from the honour itself, what makes this award especially meaningful to me is that it was presented by one of my former iSchool students, Emily Monks-Leeson,” she says.

She was presented with a framed certificate at a luncheon on May 29, during the 2015 AAO Conference. The program for the ceremony described Professor MacNeil as “one of the most influential academics, teachers, and thinkers in the world of archives.”

On hearing of the award the Dean of the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, Professor Seamus Ross, stated:  “Prof. Heather MacNeil has consistently demonstrated research originality, excellence, and leadership, and the James J Talman Award offers a wonderful acknowledgement of her scholarly prowess and the significance of her contributions to the archival field.”

Professor MacNeil teaches courses on archival concepts and issues, the history of record keeping, and archival representation. She recently completed work on a SSHRC-funded research project, examining archival description as a rhetorical genre in traditional and web-based environments.

The honour that Professor MacNeil received is named for James J. Talman, who was the second provincial archivist of Ontario, and subsequently the Chief Librarian for the University of Western Ontario. Talman was “appreciated for his gentle and intellectual manner and admired for his prolific publications,” according to the award description on the AAO website.

Like Talman, Professor MacNeil is also a prolific author, and this recent recognition from the AAO will surely be followed by many more contributions to archival theory and practice.

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