Dr. Phyllis R. Blakeley Award for Archival Excellence

Who was Dr. Phyllis R. Blakeley?

In 1982 Dr. Phyllis R. Blakeley, CM, D.Litt., LL.D. (1922-1986) became the first female Provincial Archivist in Nova Scotia. Her forty-year career, primarily as an archivist, but also as an historian, author, editor, educator and community worker, touched two generations of Nova Scotians and exemplified the highest standards of excellence in archival endeavour and integrity. The acquisition, preservation and dissemination of regional history through the creation of local archives was an area of particular concern to her, as was the development of high standards for archival processing work.

What is the Dr. Phyllis R. Blakeley Award?

The Dr. Phyllis R. Blakeley Award was established by the Council of Nova Scotia Archives in 1988 as a memorial to Dr. Blakeley’s many contributions to the world of archives, and as recognition for current work accomplished within that tradition. The award is presented annually to a CNSA member institution or organization displaying outstanding accomplishments in the archival field.

The award is intended to recognize exemplary projects which have focused in some way upon archival holdings; or have promoted the concept and value of archives; or have displayed excellence relating to a specific archival function (accessioning; appraisal; arrangement and description; and public service) and which have lasting archival value.

What is the Prize?

The winner will receive $200, the Dr. Phyllis R. Blakeley Award plaque, suitably engraved, to be retained for one year for display purposes; plus a Certificate of Recognition.

Who can be nominated for the award?

An institution, or an organization which is a current member in good standing of the Council of Nova Scotia Archives.

What sorts of activities would qualify for an award?

Nominated projects must be completed by March 31st of the last fiscal year before the AGM, i.e., completed by March 31st of 2020 to be eligible for the awards presented at the 2020 AGM. Eligible projects might include:

  • a completed Arrangement and Description project
  • an exhibition
  • an audio-visual presentation
  • the creation of a publication utilizing or focusing on archival material
  • an outreach or special initiatives project.

What sorts of activities would not qualify for an award?

  • Projects which have not been completed within the specified time frame.
  • Projects which are not deemed to have lasting archival value.
  • Projects created by institutions or organizations who are not members in good standing of the CNSA.
  • Events such as book launches, receptions, etc.

How are nominations submitted?

  • Nominations may be tendered by the governing body of the institution or organization concerned; the institution or organization itself; by an outside body; or by an individual.
  • Project reports and any necessary accompanying documentation must be submitted together with the nomination form by the annual deadline – watch for an announcement in News & Events or contact our Archives Advisor.

The Process

To nominate a CNSA member institution for this award, please fill out the online Dr. Phyllis R. Blakeley Award Nomination Form.

  • The judges will be selected by the Awards Committee Chair and will be announced before the Award deadline.
  • The decision of the judges is final.
  • The judges, in reaching their decision, will take into account such variables as the size of an institution, staffing/membership levels and project budget.
  • The award will be based upon the quality of the nominated project, rather than the size of the supporting resources.
  • The committee reserves the right to make no award if, in the members’ opinion, the nominations received are not of a sufficiently high standard.
  • Applications and supporting documentation become the property of the CNSA, with the exception of published books and audio-visual presentations, which will be returned to the nominees after judging.
  • The award winner will be announced during the annual general meeting of the Council of Nova Scotia Archives or at the CNSA Annual Conference.