The Conference of Inter‐Mountain Archivists (CIMA) announces the recipients of the 2017 CIMA Awards. Richard E. Turley Jr., managing director of the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the designated recipient of the 2017 CIMA Life-Time Achievement Award. Sarah Singh, curator of Special Collections at Weber State University, is the designated recipient of the 2017 CIMA Service Award.
2017 CIMA Life-Time Achievement Award
Richard E. Turley Jr. is recognized for his decades of service and leadership in the archival and library profession. He was named as the new managing director of the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 26, 2016.
Prior to his current appointment he served for eight years as assistant Church historian and recorder. He also served for eight years as managing director of the Family and Church History Department, overseeing the Church Archives and Records Center, the Church History Library and the Museum of Church History and Art, which collectively contain the world’s largest collection of resources for the study of Latter-day Saint history and one of the richest collections on the settlement of the western United States.
He also oversaw the Church’s worldwide family history operations, which include hundreds of documentary microfilming and digital-imaging projects in dozens of countries; the Family History Library, the largest genealogical library in the world; the Granite Mountain Records Vault, a secure preservation facility for copies of millions of records from around the world; over 4,000 branch family history centers on six continents; and teams that generated highly acclaimed software and data products.
In addition, he supervised the Church Historical Department from 1986 to 2000 and the Family History Department from 1996 to 2000. The two departments were merged in 2000.
Under his guidance in 1999, the Family History Department launched the popular FamilySearch.org Web site, an online resource that provides free access to some of the world’s largest genealogical databases. Under his direction, the department also issued compact disc products containing useful historical data, including the records of the Freedman’s Bank (a treasure trove of information for African-American genealogy); the Mormon Immigration Index; Vital Records Indexes from several European countries and Australia; the 1880 United States Census; the 1881 Canadian Census; and the 1881 British Census, which was awarded the Besterman/McColvin Award from the Library Association of Great Britain. During his tenure, the department furnished data to the National Park Service and the Ellis Island Foundation for populating the Ellis Island database.
Under his editorship in 2002, the Family and Church History Department published Selected Collections From the Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 2002), a collection of 74 DVDs containing nearly 500,000 color images of many of the Church’s most important early documents, including the Joseph Smith Collection and Brigham Young’s letter books. Critics have hailed Selected Collections as “the most important event in modern Mormon publishing,” “an achievement of such significance that no praise, no matter how effusive, seems sufficiently laudatory.”
Turley received a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University, where he was a Spencer W. Kimball Scholar. He later graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, where he served as executive editor of the law review and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He also received the Hugh B. Brown Barrister’s Award, presented each year to the graduating student who demonstrates the highest standards of classroom performance.
He served as a member of the editorial board for The Joseph Smith Papers and general editor of The Journals of George Q. Cannon series. His book Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992) is an oft-cited history of the famous Hofmann forgery-murder case of the 1980s. Along with Ronald W. Walker and Glen M. Leonard, he wrote Massacre at Mountain Meadows, published in 2008 by Oxford University Press.
Turley also served as president of the Genealogical Society of Utah and as a member of the committee for Fort Douglas Heritage Commons, a “Save America’s Treasures” official project that served as the athlete village for the 2002 Winter Olympics and currently houses University of Utah students. He has also been a vice president of the Small Museum Administrators Committee, American Association of Museums; a member of the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board, National Historical Publications and Records Commission; and a member of the Copyright Task Force, Society of American Archivists.
In 2004, Turley received the Historic Preservation Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution. And as a long-time member of CIMA, he has spoken at various CIMA conferences through the years.
Last year, CIMA presented Life-Time Achievement Awards to dual recipients. They were Jeffrey Kintop, Division Administrator for Nevada State Library, Archives and Public Records; and Terry B. Nelson, Director of Salt Lake County Records and Management and Archives (retired).
2017 CIMA Service Award
Sarah Singh is recognized for her devoted service and leadership within the CIMA organization, and in the archival and library profession. Currently, she serves as curator of Special Collections at Weber State University’s Stewart Library in Ogden, Utah. She began her long association with Weber State University as an archives assistant, where she worked her way up through the ranks…to associate curator and eventually curator. Previously, she was an archives assistant at Merrill Library, at Utah State University. As a professional and a teacher, she has demonstrated her expertise with her courses in public history and library science. As an author, Sarah Singh’s works includes numerous books about the town of Ogden; including Legendary Locals of Ogden, and Lost Ogden. Her most recent book is entitled World War II in Northern Utah, from Arcadia Publishing.
Singh received a bachelor’s degree in History from Weber State University, where she concentrated in Western American History and in Women’s History. She later graduated from Utah State University, with a master’s degree in History; and from San Jose State University, with a master’s in Library Science.
Singh has served on CIMA Council (2010-2012), as CIMA vice-president (2011-2012), as CIMA president (2012-2013), and as CIMA past-president (2013-2014). Additionally, she was an instrumental leader during the 2006 CIMA Conference at Weber State University, as well as the 2013 CIMA/SRMA Joint-Conference in Salt Lake City, and the 2016 Conference in Ogden, Utah. Additionally, she has been a regular presenter at CIMA Conferences over the years. She has repeatedly shared her expertise with colleagues and researchers world-wide. And, her career has proven to be inspirational to her peers.
Last year, the CIMA Service Award was presented to Julia Stringfellow, University Archivist, Library Faculty Chair, and Professor at the University Archives and Special Collections at Brooks Library, Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington.
The CIMA Awards are professional recognitions celebrating the archival community and it’s institutions within the Intermountain West region. These prestigious awards are given for excellence in careers of service and leadership within the archival profession. Nominees must have demonstrated advanced scholarship and support activities, on both regional and national levels. CIMA Awards are presented with the highest honor and gratitude by the peers and colleagues of the recipients, with professional representatives from Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, and New Mexico.
This year’s award recipients will be honored during a luncheon, at the 2017 Joint-Annual Meeting of CIMA and Northwest Archivists in Boise, Idaho (May 17-19, 2017). The luncheon is scheduled for Friday, May 19th at 12:00PM; at the Hampton Inn, 495 S. Capitol Blvd., Boise, Idaho 83702.