November 9th, 2011 | University

Archivist named inaugural recipient of Bouchet award

Judith Schiff has worked as Yale's chief research archivist for the past 40 years.
Judith Schiff has worked as Yale's chief research archivist for the past 40 years. Photo by Yale Office of Public Affairs.

Chief research archivist at Yale University Library Judith Schiff has been named the first recipient of the Edward Bouchet Legacy Award, which recognizes contributors to the development of the Edward Alexander Bouchet Graduate Honor Society, the Office of Public Affairs announced Tuesday.

Schiff, who has been Yale’s chief research archivist for the last 40 years, started off as an editorial assistant at the Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics but transitioned to a position cataloguing historical papers of New Haven families in Sterling Memorial Library six months later.

One significant project Schiff was involved with was the archive of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, one of the largest and most valuable collections in the Sterling Memorial Library archives. She has also worked on the Tercentennial celebration and the World Special Olympics in New Haven and has written the “Old Yale” column in the Yale Alumni Magazine since 1987.

The award is named after Edward Alexander Bouchet 1874 GRD 1876, the first African-American graduate of Yale College and the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from an American university. He studied physics at Yale and was also the first African American to be elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

“Our knowledge of Bouchet’s life and academic achievements is due in large part to Schiff’s research and her dedication to preserving his legacy,” said professor of epidemiology and public health Curtis Patton.