Given annually by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS, a division of the American Library Association), the Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award recognizes outstanding professional preservation specialists who have been active in the field of preservation and/or conservation for library and/or archival materials.

Winners are selected by merit of their accomplishments as they relate to preservation leadership in such activities as leadership in professional associations at local state, regional or national level; contributions to the development, application or utilization of new or improved methods, techniques and routines; significant contribution to professional literature; or training and mentoring in the field of preservation. The award is presented in memory of Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris, two early teachers and mentors for many in the field of preservation. The award consists of a citation and a $1,500 grant, donated by Preservation Technologies.

Recipients of the Award:

2016
Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa
Associate director and head of the Preservation and Conservation Division at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas Cunningham-Kruppa attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and her MLIS. She then headed to Columbia University’s School of Library Service, where she studied under Paul Banks, and earned an Endorsement of Specialization in Administration of Preservation Programs in Libraries and Archives. Cunningham-Kruppa returned to UT-Austin’s General Libraries as preservation officer and 10 years later as digital programs librarian.

In 2000, Cunningham-Kruppa started her tenure at the School of Information’s Preservation and Conservation Studies as lecturer and then assistant director. Two years later she became the director of the newly-formed Kilgarlin Center for the Preservation of the Cultural Record. During this time Cunningham-Kruppa mentored, educated and motivated scores of preservation and conservation students. Her genuine passion for the field and her practical experience have made her an influential teacher and advisor. She continued this charge in 2010 by coordinating Mellon Foundation grants to support library and archives specialty education in conservation programs at University of Delaware – Winterthur and Simmons. As Michele Cloonan writes in a letter of support, “[i]t would not be overstating things to make the claim that Ellen has been the most important person in our field in sustaining conservation training for library and archives.”

Cunningham-Kruppa was awarded a Ph.D. in American Studies from UT-Austin in 2015. Her dissertation, “Disciplining Conservation: Paul N. Banks and the Moorings of Library and Archives

Conservation Education,” examines Paul Banks’ career and the beginnings of the profession through library and archives conservation education, a fitting topic to complement her long-time dedication to that same cause. Cunningham-Kruppa has had a “profound national impact on the preservation community through her advocacy and leadership in preservation education, her widespread influence as a mentor and instructor and her significant professional scholarship,” Holly Robertson writes in her nomination letter. In fall 2015, Cunningham-Kruppa was appointed the associate director and head of the Preservation and Conservation Division at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas.

2015
Jeanne Drewes
Chief of the Binding and Collections Care Division of the Library of Congress Drewes received her BA in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her MLS from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She was a Mellon Intern for Preservation Administration at Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan from 1992 to 1993 and has remained in preservation ever since. She has been chief of Binding and Collections Care at the Library of Congress since 2006, where she has developed new and innovative processes to manage longstanding collections management issues and has developed the Family Treasures website.

Drewes is a charismatic and highly respected figure within the preservation and conservation community. As Tom Clareson describes in his nomination letter, “Jeanne Drewes is a torchbearer and trailblazer in the field of preservation—instantly recognizable, always personable, and tireless in her work.” A leader in so many areas within the field, she is also, as the nominating letter states, “an author, editor, teacher, speaker, and an energetic promoter of preservation across the library field, and is also a strong presence in the conservation field.”

Drewes is known for her outreach beyond the preservation community and for pushing us all to move beyond the comfort of our own area of expertise and reach out to other librarians and to the world at large. She has been enormously influential through these efforts, providing teaching and disaster training to Cuba, working with IFLA on the Preservation and Conservation Standing Committee and writing numerous articles about preservation for a variety of publications.

And, of course, she is responsible for conceiving of and spearheading Preservation Week, which all would agree is unsurpassed as an outreach initiative on the part of preservation. Preservation Week has been an enormous success, primarily due to her efforts and indefatigable enthusiasm. In addition to creating a means by which to plan events, Drewes and her team had the foresight to include webinars, toolkits and social media tools as a way to get the word out and as a means of making Preservation Week a viable initiative for decades to come. It is impossible to overstate the vast reach that such an initiative will have in the future.

2014
James Reilly
Director of the Image Permanence Institute (IPI) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
Reilly joined the RIT Department of Photographic Technology in the late 1970s. In 1984 he became the director of the newly formed RIT Photographic Preservation Laboratory, which became the Image Permanence Institute. Through nearly 30 years under his direction IPI has expanded its mission; today its work has an impact on almost all heritage collections, both nationally and internationally. Out of early studies on storage for film and photographic material, Reilly initiated the concepts of the “Preservation Index” and the “Time-Weighted Preservation Index,” a calculated number from combined temperature and relative humidity measurements that gives conservators, collection managers and administrators a simple language with which to compare storage environments. This research led to his team’s development of the widely popular PEM data loggers and Climate Notebook software, specifically addressing the needs of collection managers.

“This computer tool revolutionized how preservation professionals utilized temperature and relative humidity data, which used to languish on strips of paper from the hygrothermograph.” observed Tara Kennedy, preservation services librarian at the Yale University Library. “For the first time, we could analyze temperature and relative humidity data from data loggers into meaningful reports; finally, we were able to use environmental data to start to make real improvements in our collection storage spaces.”

Most recently, Jim Reilly has led IPI through a series of investigations on sustainable environments for cultural collections, which have demonstrated that responsible care of collections can also be green. Through laboratory experiments and practical assessments on site at libraries he has moved a whole generation of preservation professionals away from rote demands for “70˚ F and 50% RH” to a more nuanced understanding of what collections can tolerate and what conditions are necessary, at significant savings on fuel costs.

Especially notable throughout his career has been his commitment to sharing technical information in a way that is accessible to people who manage collections. His 1986 book “Care and Identification of 19th-Century Photographic Prints” is a classic and has inspired the format of numerous subsequent guides by others exploring the technology and preservation of specific media. “The IPI Storage Guide for Acetate Film” (1993) set a new standard for preservation guides: firmly based on scientific research but short, direct and practical in its advice. In 1997 he was awarded a Technical Achievement Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his leadership in the development of the “AD Strip” – a simple tool that helps those holding collections of motion pictures identify and prioritize deteriorating cellulose acetate based film before its deterioration causes irreparable damage. For decades Reilly has been a high-demand teacher, speaker and author. Now in the digital world his projects and reports are shared widely on the Internet and his seminars have become Webinars viewed by thousands.

2013
Randy Silverman
Preservation Librarian at the University of Utah.
Mr. Silverman has a long history of developing and implementing preservation programs as well as sharing knowledge with fellow colleagues, students, and staff from small and large institutions in the United States and abroad and advocating for the preservation of, and access to, historic cultural collections of all kinds. A Banks/Harris award nominator summed up Mr. Silverman’s qualifications: “The field of preservation is quickly changing, and it is a great moment to honor the work of Randy Silverman, who personifies a professional willing to make waves and offer change in a positive way. Randy’s career serves as a reminder that raising awareness and building community are critical parts of the field of preservation, and although many of the issues have changed, the need for strong talented advocates remains.”

2012
Julie Allen Page
Co-coordinator of the California Preservation Program and the Western States & Territories Preservation Assistance Service
Ms. Page teaches preservation methods to old and new audiences alike, and her her impact is “felt across the country through her teaching and response activities,” according to a Banks/Harris press release in 2012. It continues: “Her ability to perform the tasks she sets for herself can be seen in the sheer breadth of her activities, the trust she has developed in all the fields with which she is associated and in the admirable end results of her work as evidenced by the near 100-percent completion rate for disaster response plans resulting from her workshops. Her tireless efforts, constant willingness to help in any way she can and thorough expertise in her field has delivered unto Page the nickname ‘Ms. Disaster.’”

2011
Roberta Pilette
Ms. Pilette is currently the Director of the Preservation Department and Chief Preservation Officer for the Yale University Library. Her influence on the preservation field as an active leader, educator, and mentor has spanned over twenty-five years. Ms. Pilette continues to be involved in some of the most important discussions in the field today. She has influenced the development of our current preservation practices as well as shaped a generation of library and archives preservation administrators and conservators. Read more about Ms. Pilette here.

2010
Michéle V. Cloonan
Dean and professor of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College

2009
Barclay Ogden
Head of the Preservation Department at the University of California, Berkeley Library System, leader in disaster planning

2008
Janet Gertz
Director for Preservation, Columbia University Libraries, former chair of ALCTS’ Preservation and Reformatting Section (PARS)

2007
Walter Henry
conservator at the Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources, creator of Conservation OnLine and the Conservation DistList

2006
Gary Frost
Conservator at the University of Iowa Libraries, leader in the field of library preservation for over 35 years

2005
Paul Conway
Professor in the University of Michigan School of Information and has worked with Yale University and Duke University after beginning his career at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. His work focuses on digital preservation and electronic media

2004
Jan Merrill-Oldham
Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian at Harvard University, overseeing the Weissman Preservation Center and the Preservation and Imaging Department

2003
John F. Dean
Head of the Department of Preservation and Conservation at [[Cornell University}]] since its beginning in 1985

2002
Ellen McCrady
Editor and publisher of the Abbey Newsletter for preservation professionals from 1975 to 2004 and the Alkaline Paper Advocate from 1988 to 1008. She also conducted research regarding papermaking and acid testing

2001
Sarah Buchanan
Associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Science