Former WSU Archivist Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists (CIMA) awarded former Weber State University Archivist and Curator of Special Collections John Sillito with the 2014 CIMA Life-Time Achievement Award at its annual meeting in Carson City, Nevada, in May. Sillito served as university archivist from 1977 until his retirement in April 2010. He is currently a WSU adjunct history professor.
WSU adjunct professor John Sillito

In the announcement, CIMA said that the honor is  “bestowed annually to individuals who have demonstrated considerable service and leadership in the inter-mountain west region, and who have made significant contributions to the CIMA organization and/or the archival profession. The CIMA Life-Time Achievement Award recognizes the work of an entire career.”

“This award is very meaningful to me because, one, it marks a lifetime of achievement in my profession, and two, it was given to me by my peers,” Sillito said. “I don't think there is anything more satisfying than receiving the commendation of your colleagues.”

Sillito has been an active member of CIMA since the organization’s early days. He served as the second chairman of CIMA from 1980-83. He also hosted numerous CIMA events at WSU.

Sillito is a native of Salt Lake City. He received degrees in history and political science from the University of Utah. Before his work as WSU archivist, he worked at the LDS Church archives.
“Archivists are the official record keepers of an institution,” Sillito said. “In that sense they protect the ‘institutional memory.’ People come and go, but hopefully the records that are kept in the archives provide a way of knowing     what happened in the past — and why it happened.”

Sillito has published various books on Utah history, including A World We Thought We Knew: Readings in Utah History, which he co-authored with John S. McCormick in 1995. They also co-authored A History of Utah Radicalism: Startling, Socialistic, and Decidedly Revolutionary, which received the 2012 Best Utah History Book Award. Sillito’s writings have appeared in such journals as the Utah Historical Quarterly, Sunstone and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.

“The history department is lucky to have an archivist and historian of John's caliber on our faculty,” said Susan Matt, WSU’s history department chair. “He offers his wealth of knowledge and experience to our students, training them to be careful researchers, writers and curators. Students who take his classes really benefit from his mentorship."

For more information on CIMA, visit For more information on WSU’s Department of History, visit

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Marcus Jensen, Office of Marketing & Communications
801-626-7295 •  
Susan Matt, chair, history department
801-626-7325 •
John Sillito, adjunct history professor
801-626-7325 • jsillito@weber.ed