James Anthony Schnur, associate librarian for Special Collections at the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library and a member of the USF St. Petersburg faculty since February 2002, received the 2013 Award of Excellence from the Society of Florida Archivists (SFA) on May 9 at the organization’s thirtieth annual meeting, held May 7-10 in Tallahassee. A member of SFA since 1992, Schnur was recognized “for years of dedication to the archival profession in Florida and outstanding contribution to the preservation of Florida’s documentary heritage.”
Schnur received recognition for his work as a librarian at USFSP, his teaching and mentoring as an adjunct member of the faculty in the School of Information at USF Tampa, and his various efforts to promote and preserve local and Florida history. Often, these categories overlapped.
In the Poynter Library, Schnur manages Special Collections and University Archives, an area of the library that includes signature collections in local history, rare books, and the print and digital archives of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Since the fall 2003 semester, Schnur has supervised more than twenty-five fieldwork and independent student experiences for graduate students in the USF School of Information (formerly the School of Library and Information Science) as well as USFSP’s Florida Studies Program. With the Dean and several library faculty colleagues, Schnur has been instrumental in building the USFSP Digital Archive (http://dspace.nelson.usf.edu/xmlui)
Schnur has regularly taught a graduate-level course in Archival Management in the School of Information since the fall 2008 semester. This course, an elective in the program, teaches students practical methods for preserving and managing archival collections in cultural heritage institutions. Schnur’s teaching and mentoring extend beyond the classroom. In addition to supervised fieldworks, four students have co-presented with him at regional conferences in Jackson, MS, and in Las Vegas, NV, since early 2012, and three of the six poster sessions offered at the SFA conferences in 2012 and 2013 were presented by students whose presentations were based upon projects completed in Schnur’s class.
The official historian for Pinellas County’s centennial (1912-2012), Schnur maintains an active involvement in many local and state cultural organizations, including the Pinellas County Historical Society. He is pleased that many of his students have not only gained practical experience in archives, but also have assumed leadership roles in such organizations. One of his former students, Sandra Varry, presently serves as vice president of SFA.
Kudos and congratulations to Jim for serving as such a strong role model and for playing such a pivotal role in preserving Florida’s documentary heritage. The Poynter Library is honored to have Jim as a member of its faculty.