AUSTIN, TX – The Texas Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2023 Archival Awards. The Archival Award of Excellence (Institutional) has been awarded to the William J. Hill Texas Artisans and Artists Archive. The Archival Award of Excellence (Individual) recipient is Robert Weaver (Texas Tech University). This year’s David B. Gracy II Award for Distinguished Archival Service has been awarded to Monte L. Monroe.
The Archival Award of Excellence recognizes significant achievements in preserving and improving access to historical records in Texas. The William J. Hill Texas Artisans and Artists Archive (https://texasartisans.mfah.org/), created by the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, is an extensive and thorough online resource focused on the decorative arts in Texas. The Hill Archive brings together a cross-section of relevant materials from libraries, museums, archives and other collections across the state and offers digital versions for researchers and others to learn about this important dimension of Texas history. The database brings to the surface many “hidden” items and makes them available to the public in a convenient, searchable interface. By working with institutional partners, the Hill Archive offers a collaborative model for developing tools that benefit repositories and enhance access to the records.
Robert Weaver, who currently serves as the manuscript archivist for the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University, has provided support and guidance in a variety of areas key to moving the profession forward. As a writer, editor, peer reviewer and educator he has promoted archival work and demonstrated the role of archives in Texas history. He is a Certified Archivist and participates in mentoring programs for the next generation of professionals. This award highlights Weaver’s leadership with the overhaul of the Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO) (https://txarchives.org/) project during particularly challenging events in recent years. He took on this volunteer work in addition to his regular duties and served as vice-chair, chair and immediate past chair of the TARO steering committee through the pandemic, power grid failure and other difficulties. According to Head of Special Collections at Rice’s Fondren Library, Amanda Focke, Weaver’s “passion for helping archivists across the state to get their finding aids online has resulted in countless Texas primary sources being discoverable by researchers and the general public.”
THRAB has chosen Monte L. Monroe, Ph.D. for the 2023 David B. Gracy II Award for Distinguished Archival Service. The award recognizes an individual or organization that has provided outstanding leadership, service and/or contributions to the archival profession in Texas. Monroe epitomizes distinguished archival service through his career as an advocate for archives: as Southwest Collection (https://swco.ttu.edu/) archivist at Texas Tech University; through his leadership roles and service on the Texas State Historical Association’s (TSHA) Archives Committee, Western Historical Association board and THRAB; and notably as the first archivist appointed Texas State Historian. The Texas State Historian is a gubernatorial appointment, and Monroe is currently serving his third term. He has spent more than two decades growing the archival resources at the Southwest Collection in the same position previously held by the award’s namesake, Dr. Gracy. Monroe’s promotion of teaching Texas history and archival practice demonstrates how each discipline relies on the other, as well as the foundational relevance of primary sources to the historical record. Justice Ken Wise stated, “Dr. Monroe is a champion for history and a dedicated servant-leader on archival issues.”
The awards will be presented at the next THRAB meeting on October 13 at Texas Tech University.
THRAB serves as an advisory body for historical records planning and supports efforts to preserve and provide access to archival collections throughout the state. Funding for THRAB is provided by the National Historical Publications Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making arm of the National Archives and Records Administration. The state archivist is appointed by the governor to preside over the nine-member board. Read more about THRAB and its activities at www.tsl.texas.gov/thrab.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information needed to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit www.tsl.texas.gov.