Spectrum Scholars Honored by the Society of American Archivists

Congratulations to Victor Betts (2015 Scholar) and Carol Ng-He (2019 Scholar) who were recently honored with 2020 awards from the Society of American Archivists.

Carol Ng-He, who is pursuing a master of library and information science degree at San Jose State University, is a 2020 recipient of the Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes minority graduate students of African, Asian, Latino, or Native American descent who, through scholastic achievement, manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of SAA.

Ng-He serves as exhibits coordinator at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library in Arlington Heights, Illinois. As an immigrant from Hong Kong and a veteran art museum educator, she is passionate about using exhibitions to uplift ethnically underrepresented voices and present them to the public, to diversify archival collecting, and to increase accessibility to and awareness of collections. In 2019, Ng-He founded the Curating and Exhibitions Interest Group under Chicago Area Archivists for scholars, (art) historians, archivists and librarians in order to build community across varying disciplines of practice. Recently, she organized and led two ARLIS/NA webinars on career development and advancement focused on the experiences of librarians of color. Because of the impact of her work, she was asked to serve as the chair of the ARLIS/NA Professional Development Committee for 2020/21. In addition, she has presented on topics related to immigration, identity, and otherness. As one recommender noted, “Not only is Carol an ambitious student, she is also collegial, appreciative, and receptive to different perspectives and ideas.”

Established in 1993, the award honors the late Dr. Harold T. Pinkett, who served with distinction during his long tenure at the National Archives and Records Administration and who was a Fellow of SAA. Recipients receive complimentary registration, accommodations, and travel to attend the SAA conference and a complimentary one-year membership in SAA.

Victor Betts, NCSU library fellow in the Special Collections Research Center at North Carolina State University, is a 2020 recipient of the Brenda S. Banks Travel Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award, which recognizes and acknowledges individuals of color, such as those of African, Asian, Latinx, Native American, Alaska Native, or Pacific Islander descent, and who have demonstrated professional archival experience.

Photo of Victor BettsCurrently, Victor is conducting instruction related to archival literacy and research, as well as working to identify opportunities for outreach. His special interests are in helping under-represented first-generation students learn about the importance of archives, and learning about the problems and approaches in documenting and preserving the histories of communities of color. Betts advocates for visibility and inclusion of marginalized voices and communities, and is eager to collaborate with other archivists to find solutions to these problems. In promoting the preservation of collections that document people of color, he has conducted targeted outreach to these specific communities in hopes of raising awareness about archives and the benefits of archival academic research. In his statement, Betts wrote: “I believe that creative writing, such as speculative fiction and historical fiction, can be used to address these missing, silenced histories and memories.”

Created in 2017, the award honors the SAA Fellow and Past President Brenda S. Banks, who co-founded the SAA Archivists and Archives of Color Section. Previous recipients include Tracy Drake (Chicago Public Schools Library’s Vivian G. Harsh Research Center) and Saida Largaespada (University of California, Los Angeles Digital Library).