Palestinian, Israeli Archivists – Archivists of the Year

The Scone Foundation’s seventh annual Archivist of the Year Award will be awarded jointly to Dr. Yehoshua Freundlich, the Israeli State Archivist, and Mr. Khader Salameh of the Al-Aqsa Library and Muslim Museum. Both will attend the ceremony on January 25 at the CUNY Graduate Center.

This annual award recognizes an archivist who has made a contribution to his or her profession or who has provided support to scholars conducting research in history and biography.

As part of the program, which is open to the public, Professor Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies, Columbia University and Dr. David N. Myers, Director, UCLA Center for Jewish Studies will discuss “Archives and History”. Dr. Merav Mack of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute will introduce the award winners and Dr. Chase F. Robinson, Provost of the CUNY Graduate Center and an outstanding scholar of early Islamic history, will moderate the post-discussion.

As conflicting narratives of past events have developed&#8221, commented Stanley Cohen, the President of the Scone Foundation, &#8220open archives may very well be instruments to reduce divergence, expand mutual understanding and fruitful cooperation.&#8221

Dr. Freundlich has served for many years as the general editor of the series, “Documents on the Foreign Policy of Israel’- he has also edited studies on the Jewish Agency and lectured on the relations between the U.N. and Israel. He joined the Israel State Archives in 1974 and was appointed State Archivist in 2006. He was born in Israel and educated at the Hebrew University with a major in the Modern History of Israel. He also earned a PhD studying diplomatic history of the Zionist Organization 1945-1948.

Mr. Salameh has served as director of the Islamic Museum and director of the al-Aqsa Mosque library for over two decades. He has published several catalogs on Arabic manuscripts, not only at the al-Aqsa library, but at private foundations as well. Mr. Salameh has played an important role in the preservation or archives and has delivered many lectures on the importance of digitization of archives. One of his ongoing concerns is the preservation of Palestinian newspapers from 1900 to the present day. Among his publications is a monograph: “A General Survey of Christians in Jerusalem through the Shari’ah Court Registers.” He was previously employed in the Hebrew University Library and worked as a librarian in Saudi Arabia and as a teacher in Libya. A PhD candidate in Ottoman History, he holds a Masters degree from Hebrew University.

Both honorees are active participants in the Endangered Archives Programme, which has been digitizing endangered archives and is sponsored by the British Library. This program has carried out a survey of the archives and libraries of Jerusalem, under the direction of Mr. Graham Shaw and Dr. Merav Mack. Dr. Mack, a research fellow at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, with a PhD in medieval history from Cambridge University, will moderate the discussion and introduce the award winners.

Previous recipients of The Scone Foundation’s Archivist of the Year Award have included John Taylor (National Archives), Sheryl Vogt (Richard B. Russell Archives), Jackie Kavanagh (BBC), Dr. David Sutton (Reading University), Dr. Saad Eskander (Iraqi National Library and Archives), and Dr. Conrad Crane, (U.S. Army Military History Institute). Speakers at previous award ceremonies have included Robert Caro, Lord Briggs (ASA Briggs) and Robert Skidelski.

The Archivist of the Year award was established to honor an otherwise unrecognized profession and to offer something more than an acknowledgment in the front or back of a book.

The Scone Foundations is a non-profit that provides grants for artist programs, historical societies, and art schools as well as the annual Calder Prize which provides to a sculptor residency at the Calder home and studio in France. The foundation has also awarded a series of gifts to small Off-Broadway theatrical productions on historical themes at experimental venues like La Momma.

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