My interest in archives began with my Student Assistant position at The College of William & Mary’s Earl Gregg Swem Library Special Collections. As the sole student employee working in digitization, I worked under the mentorship of the archive’s Public Outreach Archivist to create workflows and bring scans to our patrons in a timely manner and in the highest possible quality. That experience inspired me to further pursue a career in archives.
After graduating from The College of William & Mary with a Bachelor of Arts in May 2018, I worked as a Digitization Supervisor for the school digitizing the Robert F. Gates Papers and as a server at The Veil Brewing Company in Richmond, Virginia.
My courses at The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information beginning in Fall 2019 allowed me to combine the teamwork experience at The Veil with my prior experience in digitization at Special Collections. Courses like Survey of Digitization, Introduction to Archival Enterprise II, and Materials in Libraries, Archives, and Museums taught me the practical and theoretical aspects of the archival field. Inspired by my undergraduate major in Film & Media Studies, my writing in these courses leaned towards the study of the history of the audio-visual archiving field.
However, I was particularly inspired by Sarah Cunningham’s Audio Preservation & Reformatting courses to further pursue audio preservation as a career field. My professional experience project at the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory involved working in digitizing, indexing, and transcribing 71 oral histories and conference recordings to ensure that they are accessible to future researchers.
Along with my studies, I worked as a Graduate Research Assistant at The University of Texas at Austin’s Architecture & Planning Library. At the library, I helped curate materials for the school’s digital asset management system, cataloguing, and creating descriptive metadata for the library’s audio-visual collections. My experience at the Architecture & Planning Library allowed me to gain experience in handling controlled vocabularies, proficiently writing the MODS and MARC21 metadata languages for a digital asset management system, and performing the day-to-day tasks in a library like integrated pest management, patron interaction, and reshelving materials.