Tim Bernardis, the librarian at Little Big Horn College (LBHC), has been selected to receive the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums’ 2015 International Guardians of Culture and Lifeways “Honored One” Award. The award will be given during a ceremony at the association’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. Barnardis, who was given the Crow name Walks Well With the Morning Star, is LBHC’s founding librarian, working at the college since 1985.
As library director, Bernardis has shepherded the library from a tiny metal building with bricks and boards as shelves to a state-of-the-art, well-equipped facility. Today it features a full-service library and archives that has become the center for preservation and sharing. Barnardis has sought to digitize and further preserve Crow language and other historical materials. He developed the Little Big Horn College Archives: Crow Indian Historical and Cultural Collections, which holds the papers of Crow tribal historians Joseph Medicine Crow and Eloise Whitebear Pease as well as attorneys’ records, tribal records, the papers of scholars and authors of books on the Crow nation, and hundreds of oral histories and recordings.
Bernardis began building the library’s Crow Collection in the 1980s, now consisting of some 3,500 published materials on the Crow people. In the 1990s, he secured grant funding to automate the library and bring Internet access to LBHC for the first time. Bernardis’ Honored One status underscores his dedication to the Crow people, as well as his professional dedication to the archival and library profession.