The 2015 winner of the Roger McDonough Librarianship Award is Ronald L. Becker. Since 1991, Professor Becker has been Head of Special Collections and University Archives at the Archibald S. Alexander Library, Rutgers University, New Brunswick. A career archivist, he joined Special Collections in 1974 after serving as cataloger and bibliographer for the New Jersey Historical Society. During the past four decades, Becker has had an incredibly productive career and is widely respected and admired in the archives and library communities. To organize and preserve Rutgers’ outstanding manuscript collections, he has obtained more than $4 million in awards from foundations as well as federal and state agencies. He has served on more than a dozen editorial and advisory boards and commissions including the New Jersey State Historical Records Advisory Board and the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission, which he currently chairs. Becker has played a leadership role in many professional associations, including a term as President of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference and as a founding member of the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance. A past editor of the Mid-Atlantic Archivist from 1983 to 1992, he has published numerous scholarly papers, including his award-winning article, “Ethics in Providing Access,” in the journal Provenance. As a model archivist, dedicated to public service, Ronald L. Becker is entirely deserving of the Roger McDonough Librarianship Award.
The award will be presented at Archives and History Day on , at the Monmouth County Library Headquarters in Manalapan. The schedule may be found at
The award is named for the renowned Roger H. McDonough (1910-2002), New Jersey State Librarian at a time when the New Jersey State Archives was a department in the State Library. While State Librarian from 1947 to 1975, the archival collections at the State Library vastly expanded. Among many other accomplishments, McDonough planned and supervised the construction of the current New Jersey State Library building. Prior to his long service as State Librarian, McDonough was a reference librarian at Rutgers and the City Librarian of New Brunswick. After his retirement, he became the chief lobbyist for the New Jersey Library Association and obtained legislative support for funding New Jersey’s libraries, including county libraries.
Beginning in 2002 the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance, along with the New Jersey Historical Commission, New Jersey Caucus of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, and the History & Preservation Section of the New Jersey Library Association, has given this award to a librarian, archivist or manuscript curator for excellence in service to the New Jersey history research community and/or the general public. Previous awardees include Robert Lupp, Elsalyn Palmisano, Charles Cummings, Joseph Felcone, Karl Niederer, Lois Densky Wolff, Joe Klett, David Mitros, Susan Gulick, Bonita Craft Grant, Joseph DaRold, and Janet T. Riemer.