Archivist Jennifer O'Neal receives national diversity award

UO archivist Jennifer O’Neal will receive the Diversity Award from the Society of American Archivists at the group’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

The award recognizes a person or group whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of diversity in the archives profession. O’Neal, the Corrigan Solari University Historian and Archivist at the UO, will receive the award at a presentation ceremony at the conference, which began Aug. 10.

 “I always knew I wanted my work and research to focus on issues concerning underrepresented communities... I wanted to make sure they were advocated for in the profession and in the historical record,” O’Neal said.

Since arriving in Oregon, O’Neal has served as a lead instructor for the Oregon Tribal Archives Institute, a collaborative initiative between the UO and Oregon State University that offers Oregon’s tribal archivists professional development through a week-long training course. In addition, O’Neal co-teaches a UO Clark Honors College colloquium course on race and ethnicity in the American West.

O’Neal had a long involvement with archivist’s association before receiving the award. She served as a chair of the group’s Native American Archives Roundtable and as a co-chair of the Cultural Heritage Working Group.

The diversity award isn’t the only recognition O’Neal has received from the organization. She was part of the Native American Archives Protocols’ Forum Working Group, which won an exemplary service award. The SAA, founded in 1936, is North America’s oldest and largest professional archival association, with more than 5,000 members.

Prior to arriving at the UO in 2012, O’Neal worked at the Smithsonian Institution as head archivist at the National Museum of the American Indian. She also held positions at the U.S. Department of State, Princeton University, University of Arizona and Utah State University. 

She has a bachelor’s and a master’s in history from Utah State, where she focused on the history of the American West. Later she earned a master’s in library and information science from the University of Arizona.

―By Nathan Stevens, Public Affairs Communications intern