The Society of Ohio Archivists Merit Award is awarded to individuals or organizations that have by excellence in deeds, actions, or initiatives improved the state of archives in Ohio over the past year.
This year the Awards Committee chose two recipients for the 2020 award.The winners were Cate Putirskis and the Licking County Records and Archives Department. In this post we feature Cate.
Cate Putirskis is honored for her exemplary contributions to archival practices and the profession. She has developed and shared innovative approaches to technical services for archival collections as manager of Archival Description and Access at The Ohio State University Libraries. Cate employs agile methodology and project tracking software to manage a busy team of permanent, contractual, and student employees. This novel approach to archival processing has led to significant gains.
Cate focuses on teaching and supporting her team in their commitment to following archival theory and best practices, leaving a legacy of robust and standards-based description. In a short amount of time, her efforts have created a substantial increase in the number of collections that are publicly findable online through EAD finding aids. Her team’s work has also enriched access to legacy collections through reprocessing, enhancing description, and applying creative approaches to housing and managing modern collections that include creative expression and artifacts. This work benefits researchers worldwide who are drawn to Ohio for access to these collections.
Cate also exemplifies leadership in the profession, generously sharing her time and expertise. She has served on the SOA Council and committees, as well as numerous others at her own institution and nationally. As a manager and in her professional service, she shines a light on issues of pay inequity and diversity in the archival profession. Cate is a consummate professional who is passionate about archival ethics and practices, and is a model for other archivists.