The Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists (CIMA) met May 11-14 in Ogden, Utah, for their annual conference. During this meeting, CIMA presented their prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, their Service Award, and the Utah Manuscripts Association (UMA) presented the Everett L. Cooley Award.
The 2016 CIMA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Terry Blonquist Nelson, former Director of Salt Lake County Records Management and Archives. Terry retired in 2014, having served in the position for 18 years.
Terry began her archives career in 1976, working in the microfilm and preservation section of the Utah State Archives. She soon moved to providing public reference services, processing historical records, and managing archives staff. While managing Patron Services, she assisted with the move of the Utah State Archives from the basement of the Capitol building to a new location, and as the Reference and Records Services Manager, she oversaw the consolidation of two record center locations in to one, involving the move of all staff and over 80,000 cubic feet of records. In 1996, Terry left the Utah State Archives to become the director of the Salt Lake County Records Management and Archives. She continued her dedication to archives by managing the County reference, preservation, and outreach programs. Terry greatly improved public access to historical records by overseeing the construction of a new reading room within the County Records Center. She was also the acknowledged guru in records law, serving as the County Records Compliance Officer, the HIPAA Officer, and providing records law training and guidance on a County and State level.
Terry was very active in every one of the archives professional organizations on the local, regional, and national level, including serving as President of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, as past president of the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists, holding multiple positions in the Society of American Archivists, and was an early and dedicated member of the Utah Manuscripts Association. She served on countless committees, assisting these organizations with their day to day business, and produced and authored articles for the NAGARA, CIMA, and ARMA newsletters. She also served the records management profession by holding leadership positions in AIIM International and ARMA International, Utah-Salt Lake chapter.
Terry has been an instructor for the Western Archives Institute when it was held in Salt Lake City in 2001, the Utah Municipal Clerk’s Association Institute, and the Government Civil Practice Conference. In 2013, Terry was the author of Managing Electronic Records, a NAGARA and IIMC Technical Bulletin, and even after she retired she continued to share her extensive knowledge and experience via presenting at the Utah State Archives Electronic Records conference.
The capstone to her archives career came when she was invited to represent the United States as a member of an archives diplomatic delegation in 2010, meeting archivists and discussing current archival issues throughout South Africa.
In 2014 she received the Utah Manuscripts Association Everett L. Cooley Award for career achievements and contributions to archival field. She continues to serve as a consultant regarding archival issues for governments and associations around the West.
Terry’s lifelong dedication to and impact on the archives field is apparent through her career and professional organization involvement, but another important and lasting contribution is not as easily documented. Terry has mentored countless emerging archivists and record managers, encouraging them in their educational and professional pursuits through unending patience and a willingness to give people an opportunity to build a career doing what they love to do.
Thank you, Terry, and Congratulations!