The Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board has unanimously selected Biruté Ciplijauskaité, professor emerita of Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as the winner of the 2015 Governor's Archives Award for Archival Advocacy.
Ciplijauskaite, an internationally known scholar of modern Spanish poetry, was given the award Wednesday. She taught in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese starting in 1960 and held the position of lifetime senior fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities from 1974 until her retirement in 1998. For the past 17 years, Ciplijauskaite has volunteered at the UW-Madison Department of Special Collections in Memorial Library, where her volunteer efforts have helped bring international visibility to its archival materials.
In collaboration with the George L. Mosse Program in History at UW-Madison, she translated and annotated such archival materials as correspondence and unpublished memoirs of Eva Noack Mosse and Martha Mosse, survivors of the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Ciplijauskaite has also donated to Special Collections her own extensive correspondence with noted Spanish scholars, novelists and poets covering some 50 years of notes and letters, and has organized and donated the letters of eminent Spanish poet Jorge Guillen, which she translated from Spanish.
As noted by Professor Susan Stanford Friedman, director of UW-Madison's Institute for Research in the Humanities, Ciplijauskaite's "contributions exhibit the best qualities of the Wisconsin Idea, linking the library's archives to the State of Wisconsin, and to the world."
The governor's award honors an individual or organization in Wisconsin or elsewhere for notable contributions to archival programs through organizational leadership, public advocacy, and financial or volunteer support. The nominated individual or organization must be advocating for Wisconsin programs. The activity or contribution being nominated must be for work that is continuing.
The Wisconsin Historical Society and the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board jointly sponsor and provide a panel of judges for the Governor's Archives Awards annually.