Anna K. Nelson Prize for Archival Excellence

This prize honors an archivist who has demonstrated both exemplary expertise as well as outstanding and dedicated service over time to the community of scholars of the history of U.S. foreign relations and international history.

This prize is awarded biannually (odd-numbered years) at the SHAFR conference. The Nelson Prize was established in 2020 to honor Anna Kasten Nelson, an outstanding scholar of U.S. foreign relations who also served as a tireless advocate for making governmental records available to the public and to the scholarly community.  As a member of the National Study Commission on Records and Documents of Federal Officials established in the wake of President Nixon’s resignation, she helped write the commission’s report, which prompted passage of the Presidential Records Act.  She also served the American Historical Association’s Research Division and the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, and President Bill Clinton appointed her to the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board.  SHAFR established the prize in 2020 to honor Anna Kasten Nelson, professor of history at George Washington University and tireless advocate for making governmental records available to the public and scholarly communities. 

Procedures: Nominations may come from any member of SHAFR.  Self-nominations are accepted.  A letter of nomination should

(a) provide a brief biography of the nominee, including educational background, professional positions held, and awards and honors received;

(b) list the nominee's major work accomplishments and discuss the nature of their contribution to the preservation of historical records of diplomatic history and international affairs; and

(c) detail the candidate's services to the scholarly community studying U.S. foreign relations and international history, listing specific organizations and offices and discussing particular activities.

Submit nominations to the Chair of SHAFR’s Historical Documentation Committee: Professor Sarah Snyder.  E-mail: [email protected]

Nominations must arrive by February 1, 2025.

Anna K. Nelson Prize Winners:

  • 2023 Wendy Chmielewski
  • 2021 David A. Langbart