Press Releases

University archivist wins top international prize – University of Reading

Release Date : 19 October 2006

A senior University of Reading archivist is off to New York after being named top of the class in his profession. Dr David Sutton, Director of Research Projects in the University of Reading Library, is to be given the prestigious Archivist of the Year Award by New York's Scone Foundation for archivists. The award is presented annually by the Scone Foundation to recognise an archivist or archival researcher who has made a considerable contribution to the profession and who has provided important support to scholars conducting research in history and biography. Stanley Cohen, President of the Foundation, said that he established the award when he realised that there were no programmes to recognise outstanding archivists. Dr Sutton is the fourth recipient of the award. He said: "I am very honoured to receive this award, which will sit alongside the Benson Medal and the British Academy award as a recognition of the value of the work done by our team based in University of Reading Library. I came to Reading in 1982, expecting to stay for two or three years before moving on to other research areas. Twenty-four years later I am still enjoying my work enormously, and this is enhanced of course by all the recent outside recognition." Dr Sutton – also in his 12th year as leader of Reading Borough Council when not busy in the archives - is responsible for two projects based in Reading University Library: the Location Register of English Literary Manuscripts and Letters and Writers Artists & Their Copyright Holders (WATCH). He was awarded the Royal Society of Literature's Benson Medal for work on these projects in 2002, and in 2004 they received the joint status of British Academy Research Project. The award is to be presented by Lord Skidelsky, professor of political economy at Warwick University, at a special ceremony at the Century Association - one of the most famous historic buildings in New York City - on 6 November. Lord Skidelsky said: "David Sutton's main contribution to archival scholarship, for which he amply deserves the prize, is to have compiled in four majestic volumes, published by the British Library, the location register of practically all 18th,19th, and 20th century British literary manuscripts and letters. This is an immensely valuable research tool." Stanley Cohen, president of the Scone Foundation, said: "A good archivist can save you six months to a year in your work; a bad archivist makes you crazy. A first-rate archivist responds to questions that we writers forget to ask." Ends Notes to Editors: About the University of Reading The University of Reading is one of the foremost research-led universities in the UK. Founded in the nineteenth century and gaining a Royal Charter in 1926, we offer a wide range of programmes from the pure and applied sciences to languages, social sciences and fine art. New research and the latest thinking continually feed into undergraduate teaching, with our academic staff working at the forefront of their fields of expertise. Further information For further information contact Lucy Ferguson, Senior Press Officer, on 0118 378 7388, or email


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