Harold Averill recently received the J. J. Talman Award from the Archives Association of Ontario. The AAO’s most prestigious award is given to individuals “who have demonstrated an outstanding level of imagination and innovation in contributions to the profession, their institutions, or the archival community, or who have pioneered in any aspect of archival work.”
Harold, an archivist at the University of Toronto Archives since 1978 and the Assistant University Archivist since 1985, was honored for his pioneering contributions to the archival community, most notably, for his extraordinary volunteer work at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. For over thirty years, Harold has acquired, arranged, described, and made available the CLGA’s collections, helping it to become the second largest LGBT archives in the world. Between 1984 and 1992, Harold was the CLGA President and performed the functions as its chief professional archivist. He also served on the Board of Directors (1992-1997 and 2003-2004), on the National Portrait Committee (1998-2006) and on the CLGA Operations Committee (1992 – present). Harold has also been involved in several of the archives’ physical moves including its most recent relocation to its permanent home at 34 Isabella Street. In addition to his volunteer work at the CLGA, Harold was on the Executive of the Ontario Association of Archivists and, since 1979, has been active in the Toronto Area Archivists Association.
Brian Beaven, the chair of the AAO Awards Committee states, “Harold’s passion for archives is unquestionable, and he brings endless enthusiasm, interest, and a great sense of humour to every role that he takes on… The dedication that Harold has shown to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the archival community during the past 32 years is truly astounding. Without Harold’s perseverance and commitment to preserving LGBT history in Canada, much of the documentary heritage of the Community would have been lost to the ages. Harold Averill is a pioneer in the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgendered […] community in Canada and a truly extraordinary volunteer.”