NEA taking the past into the future


First awarded in 1983, the New England Archivists Richard W. Hale, Jr. Professional Development Award of up to $1,000 is given annually to promote the professional development of archivists in the region. This award honors Dr. Richard W. Hale, Jr., who was Archivist of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1961 to 1976 and a founding member of NEA.

Completed applications are due by February 15th. Applications are reviewed and the recipient chosen by the Hale Award Committee. Applicants are informed of the Committee’s decision no later than March 1st. Upon completion of the proposed activity, the recipient will submit a report on the project to the NEA Newsletter and/or will present at the next annual NEA Spring Meeting.

How to Apply

Applicant Eligibility
This award is open to individual and lifetime NEA members in good standing; the membership status of applicants will be verified by the Membership Secretary. Applications submitted by collaborating individuals are welcome. Institutional members are not eligible to apply. Individual members may not apply with the goal of furthering an institution or corporation.

Recipients cannot receive the award in more than one consecutive award cycle; therefore, the recipient from the previous award cycle is not eligible.

Elected board members are not eligible for the award during their terms in office and for one year after they leave the board.

Members of the Hale Award Committee are not eligible for the award during the application cycle in which they serve.

Application Submission
The application period begins in December, and completed applications are due by February 15th. Each applicant is permitted to submit only one application for the Richard W. Hale, Jr. Professional Development Award per award cycle; however, applicants may apply for other awards or scholarships in the same award cycle.

Applicants may propose participating in or instructing an educational program or workshop, preparing a paper for publication or presentation, attending a professional meeting (at any time during the calendar year in which the award is made), or any other activity promoting professional development. The award cannot be used to purchase supplies or equipment.
Upon completion of the proposed activity, the recipient will submit a report on the project to the NEA Newsletter and/or will present at the annual NEA Spring Meeting.

Submit complete applications to with “Richard W. Hale, Jr. Professional Development Award Application” in the subject line.

Complete nominations will consist of:

  • A cover sheet including
    • Applicant's name and contact information
    • Applicant’s title and institutional affiliation (if applicable)
    • Date of application
    • Applicant’s signature
  • A brief essay (500 words or less) describing the activity the award would support and the expected benefits of the activity
  • A timeline for the completion of the project
  • Applicant’s current resume
  • A projected budget with total award amount specified

Incomplete nominations will not be considered.

Application Review and Recipient Selection
One recipient can be chosen to receive this award each award cycle. The recipient of this award will be chosen on the merit of their application.

Applicants found not to be in good standing will be asked to renew their membership in order for their application to be considered. If membership is not renewed by a deadline set by the Hale Award Committee, the application will not be considered.

A simple majority vote of the Hale Award Committee will determine the recipient. Votes are submitted by Committee members privately to the Committee Chair, who compiles them and provides the Committee with the results. In the case of a tie, the President will cast the deciding vote.

If the Committee does not select a recipient from the applicants, or in the absence of applications, the award will not be made.

Applications for the Hale Professional Development Award will be considered independently from any other applications submitted by the same applicant to other NEA awards during the same award cycle.

Fund Distribution
The NEA Treasurer will present a check for the total amount of the award to the recipient at the Award Ceremony at the Spring Meeting (or will mail the check to the recipient if the recipient is unable to attend the Spring Meeting). In the case of a joint application, collaborators should select one individual to serve as the award check recipient. It is the responsibility of the collaborators to divide funds among themselves according to their needs.

Funds can only be used toward expenses specified in the application.

Previous Recipients

  • 2019 - no award made
  • 2018 - Stephen Curley (to attend Society of American Archivists annual meeting)
  • 2017 - no award made
  • 2016 - Nicole Topich (to attend the 2016 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums)
  • 2015 - Lily Troia and John Campopiano (to support research into the trend among artists across media of garnering inspiration from archives and incorporating archival materials into their works)
  • 2014 - Eugenia Kim (to attend the joint International Association of Libraries, Museums, Archives and Documentation Centers of the Performing Arts Theater Library Association 2014 meeting)
  • 2013 - Graham Stinnett (to attend the Digital Humanities Conference on Digital Testimonies of War and Trauma in the Netherlands)
  • 2012 - Heidi Benedict
  • 2011 - Rachel Donaldson Muse (to attend the NAGARA/COSA meeting)
  • 2010 - Maria Bernier (to attend "Rare Books for Archivists" workshop sponsored by SAA)
  • 2009 - James DaMico (to attend the Summer Educational Institute (SEI) for Visual Resources and Image Management)
  • 2008 - Paige Roberts (to attend "Introduction to the History, Collection, Description, and Use of Maps," a Rare Books School course at the University of Virginia)
  • 2007 - Susanne Belovari
  • 2006 - Nancy Noble (to attend the Association of Canadian Archivists meeting)
  • 2005 - Selene Colburn
  • 2004 - Tracy Messer
  • 2003 - Daniel McCormack
  • 2002 - Melissa Watterworth
  • 2001 - no award made
  • 2000 - no award made
  • 1999 - Lois Hamill (to attend SAA annual meeting)
  • 1998 - Kara Drake (to help develop archival programs in the country of Georgia)
  • 1997 - no award made
  • 1996 - no award made
  • 1995 - Kim Brookes (to attend SAA annual meeting)
  • 1994 - Jean Nielsen Berry (to create history of the Historical Records Program of Massachusetts)
  • 1993 - Patricia A. Burdick (to create guide to archival materials at Bangor Public Library)
  • 1992 - Aimee Felker and Anna Koch (to investigate students' perceptions of archival education)
  • 1991 - Lizette Pelletier (to attended SAA annual meeting)
  • 1990 - no award made
  • 1989 - Gayl Michael (to create history of Nantucket real estate)
  • 1988 - Tawny Ryan Nelb (to research CAD materials in archives)
  • 1987 - Joan Krizack (to conduct appraisal of health care industry records)
  • 1986 - Linda Rohr (to conduct a survey of zoo archives)
  • 1985 - Philip Alexander and Elizabeth Sandager (to investigate archives in developing countries)
  • 1984 - Sharon Bishop Laist (to attend SAA pre-conference workshop)
  • 1983 - Prudence Backman (to attend SAA annual meeting)


Hale Award Committee
Applications are reviewed and recipients are chosen by the Hale Award Committee, which is appointed by the Executive Board annually prior to the start of the application period. The Committee is made up of:

  • the four (4) Representatives-at-Large on the NEA Executive Board (one serves as Chair)
  • two (2) NEA members in good standing (selected by the Committee Chair)
  •  and one (1) member of the Newsletter Committee (selected by the Hale Award Committee Chair)

In selecting the members of the Committee, the Chair should strive to create a committee that is diverse and inclusive, reflecting a range of tenure in the profession and NEA, geographical representation, gender, and professional practice.

Committee Files
Hale Award Committee files, including applications, are stored on NEA’s content management system and managed in accordance with the NEA Record Schedule.


  • By November 1st, Communications Committee begins advertising the award.
  • By November 10th and at the request of Representatives-at-Large, Communications Committee solicits volunteers from NEA membership to serve on the Hale Award Committee.
  • By November 20th, Committee Chair submits final Committee selection to Membership Secretary to verify member standing.
  • Upon verification of membership standing by Membership Secretary, Committee Chair submits final Committee selection to Board for approval.
  • By December 1st, Board approves Committee membership.
  • By December 1st, Communications Committee begins advertising that the application period for the award is open.
  • By February 15th, all completed applications must be submitted to Committee Chair.
  • Within fourteen days of the submission deadline, Committee Chair announces recipient to Board and alerts applicants of decision. Committee Chair seeks permission from winner to acknowledge their receipt of the award publicly in print and at the Awards Ceremony at the Spring Meeting. Committee Chair provides award amount and recipient details to Treasurer.
  • At discretion of Board, Communications Committee handles announcements and press releases.
  • At the Award Ceremony at the Spring Meeting, Committee Chair acknowledges recipient and Treasurer presents check for total amount of the award to recipient. If recipient is unable to attend Spring Meeting, Treasurer mails check.
  • When next annual Spring Meeting call for proposals is announced, Representatives-at-Large follow up with recipient about required submission of a report to the NEA Newsletter and/or presentation at the annual NEA Spring Meeting.

Updated 8/6/2015

Questions? Feedback? Contact the Representatives-at-Large at


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