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Maya from the Margins Wins Diversity Award from Society of American Archivists

May 18, 2018
College of Arts & Sciences

Archivists from the University Libraries and their campus and community partners have been honored by the Society of American Archivists (SAA) as 2018 award recipients. The awards recognize 20 individuals and organizations for outstanding accomplishments and innovations.

A collaborative international project to help young people of Maya heritage study their history and culture received SAA’s Diversity Award, for advancing diversity in the archival record.

Maya from the Margins connected high school students from Morganton, North Carolina, with peers from Yucatán, Mexico. Over several months in 2017, the students explored their identity and heritage. Students visited the Wilson Special Collections Library and the State Archives of Yucatán.

The project culminated in a traveling exhibition that was on view in both North Carolina and Yucatán, with exchange visits in both locations.

SAA recognized three individuals at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for their role in developing and coordinating Maya from the Margins: Southern Historical Collection archivist Biff Hollingsworth; Patricia McAnanay, Kenan Eminent Professor and chair of the anthropology department; and adjunct professor of anthropology Gabrielle Vail. Both anthropologists are in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The program was funded by a Museums Connect grant, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by the American Alliance of Museums. Along with University Libraries and the anthropology department, partners included the Research Laboratories of Archaeology at UNC-Chapel Hill and the State Archives of Yucatán.

Read a story and watch a video about the Maya from the Margins project on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

Read about other SAA library awards on the University Libraries website.

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