The National Genealogical Society has presented Tim Blevins, Manager of Special Collections at Colorado’s Pikes Peak District Library with the 2011 National Genealogical Society Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship for his significant work to support family history research. The award, which carries a $1,000 prize from award sponsor ProQuest, was presented May 13 during the Society’s annual conference in Charleston, South Carolina.
"This award is so valuable in showing the critical role librarians play connecting researchers with family history records and Tim is a most worthy recipient," said Chris Cowan, ProQuest Vice-President of Publishing. "His ability to identify important resources for his community is matched with his effectiveness in ensuring their accessibility. All of us at ProQuest are very proud to sponsor Tim’s award."
Mr. Blevins' achievements have significantly enhanced the ability of Colorado Springs-area residents to research their family histories. For example, he coordinated a preservation effort involving the Archdiocese of Durango, Mexico, the Universidad Juarez del Estado de Durango, the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricos de UJED, the Archivo Histórico del Estado de Durango, and the Rio Grande Historical Collections at New Mexico State University to acquire, preserve, and then open the genealogical and historical records of Mexican archives in Durango, Mexico. Closer to home, he negotiated with a local city-owned cemetery to obtain and microfilm the original ledgers of its death and interment registers from 1874 through the 1950s. He also spearheaded fast-track efforts to post online the area's recently digitized death registers.
In the library, Mr. Blevins expanded the genealogy collection by more than 1,500 titles and continues to add to its resources by indexing vital records and news items from local newspapers. Further, Mr. Blevins is the producer of the innovative Regional History Series of annual symposiums and is editor-in-chief of printed, audio, and electronic publications capturing and preserving the history of the Pikes Peak region.
Ann Arbor-based ProQuest — which supports genealogical research with web-based research databases such as HeritageQuest® Online and Ancestry® Library Edition — has sponsored the Filby Award since 2006. The annual award is presented to a librarian who has made a significant contribution in the field of family history. It honors the memory of P. William Filby (1911 – 2002), whose bibliographic and historical research enabled thousands of libraries to serve family historians in new ways. Mr. Filby was director of the Maryland Historical Society and is best known for his work to index lists documenting immigration to the United States and Canada.
ProQuest’s sponsorship of the Filby Award is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to libraries and librarians that serve patrons researching family and local history. Learn more at www.proquest.com.
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