Colonel Alexander Fraser was born in Scotland in 1860 and arrived in Canada in 1886. Shortly after his arrival, he became a staff member of the Toronto Mail. In 1903, Fraser was selected as the first Archivist of Ontario and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1935. He was involved in and assumed leadership roles in many local societies. He also edited and published many books and articles, including a two-volume history of Ontario.
The Alexander Fraser Award is given to individuals who have contributed in a significant way to the advancement of the archival community in Ontario. Achievements may range from written and visual work to involvement in organizations or participation in projects. This award is designated to recognize cumulative contributions rather than any single activity. Generally speaking, contributions need to go beyond a specific archives or community.