George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Award

The George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg Award will not be presented in 2021. Please visit the Core Awards & Scholarships page for information on the Core awards that will be presented for 2020-2021.


This award honors the memory of George Cunha and Susan Swartzburg, early leaders in cooperative preservation programming and strong advocates for collaboration in the field of preservation.

The award, sponsored by Hollinger Metal Edge, acknowledges and supports cooperative preservation projects and/or rewards individuals or groups that foster collaboration for preservation goals. Recipients of the award demonstrate vision, endorse cooperation, and advocate for the preservation of published and primary source resources that capture the richness of our cultural patrimony. The award recognizes the leadership and initiative required to build collaborative networks designed to achieve specific preservation goals. Since collaboration, cooperation, advocacy and outreach are key strategies that epitomize preservation, the award promotes cooperative efforts and supports equitable preservation among all libraries, archives and historical institutions.


The award jury will consider:

  • a project emphasizing collaboration or partnership
  • collaboration extending the preservation vision beyond the circle of preservation specialists and foster action to raise awareness and set priorities, projects, and programs into motion
  • nomination of an individual or group for cumulative achievement as a mentor or advocate of collaborative preservation

Any person or group is eligible for this award; membership in the ALA organization is not required.


Nominations submitted to the Chair of the Jury shall include:

  • name of the person or group being nominated; address, phone number and email address of nominee and nominating party
  • formal statement of nomination, with rationale for the nomination
  • resume, vita, or extensive narrative career outline upon which the award jury can base its determination
  • letters of support and endorsement
    Letters of endorsement from others should provide additional evidence of the worthiness of the nominee. The number of letters of endorsement received for a nominee shall not be a determining factor in the selection process; rather, the evidence of the person’s accomplishments that fulfill the intent of the award shall be the factor considered.

Self-nominations will not be accepted.

Nominations for persons not selected for the award in one year may be resubmitted in subsequent years.


The award consists of:

  • a citation;
  • a listing on the ALCTS Awards website; and
  • $1,250.00 given in support of the activity described by the winning submission or to the person being recognized for their contributions to collaborative preservation.

The award will be presented annually when qualified applications or nominations are submitted. No more than one award will be conferred per year, however, the recipient can be any group or individual that fulfills the criteria for selection.


The award jury will assess the submissions in closed session at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The recipient will be notified no later than March 1 and an announcement will be made via press release from ALCTS.

The award winner is announced during the PARS Preservation Administrator’s Interest Group (PAIG) meeting at ALA Annual Conference. The award is formally presented at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony during the ALA Annual Conference.

Award Recipients

Recipients of the Cunha-Swartzburg Preservation Award
Year Recipient(s)
2020 No award given
2019 Eastern Academic Scholars Trust (EAST) Project Team
2018 Sandy Nyberg
2017 The MetaArchive Cooperative
2016 Lori Foley 
2015 Laura Word
2014 Thomas F. R. Clareson
2013 Martha B. Anderson
2012 Gregor Trinkaus-Randall
2011 California Preservation Program
2010 Robert Harriman and Jeffrey Field
2009 Ann Russell
2008 Becky Ryder