As a history major in undergrad, I knew I wanted a job that allowed me to touch history every day. I wasn’t sure what that job may be, so my advisor encouraged me to seek an internship with the Oregon Historical Society (OHS). I interned at OHS for the summer and found myself in the archives working with history all day long. I was overjoyed to realize this was a job and immediately committed myself to grad school to become an archivist.
The reason I love history is because it provides a chronicle of humanity’s stories. As an archivist, my job is to preserve, protect, and present historical artifacts so that we may engage with history. When we know the story behind historical artifacts, places, people, and events we gain a greater understanding of their meaning and an increased appreciation of their value.
By working in an archives, I get to interact with artifacts that offer an inside view of people, places, and events from our past. Working with collections can offer an intimate perspective of those who have come before us. When I work with a historical collection I can see the day to day thoughts people have, feelings they experience, and decisions they make.
I have an MSLIS with a concentration in archives management, and more than 10 years of experience in history organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Oregon Wine History Archive. Much of my work has been to develop new history-based programs from scratch and help to revitalize dormant archives. My specialty is teaching history organizations how to manage and present their artifacts. My job is to empower them to meet their mission and help them share the stories at the heart of their collections.
Whether it’s creating a budget for staff, acquiring supplies and technology, or producing a display, the truth is we could all use more resources. Because most museums are nonprofits and have limited funding, I realized early on in my career that grant writing skills were instrumental to getting the job done. To conquer this challenge, I invested in mastering the grant writing process so I could ensure all history organizations I work with have access to the funding they need to get the job done.
Here are some of the places I’ve worked and the projects I’ve done:
- Revived programs at the Smithsonian Institution
- Built and launched the Oregon Wine History Archive program at Linfield College
- Implemented collection management software for Pacific Northwest Railroad Archive
- Assisted Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church in grant acquisition for restoration of their historic church building and to highlight their civil rights history
- Conducted collection assessments for Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation and Astoria Public Library
I’m actively involved in professional organizations. Here are some of my current and past roles:
- Member of the Society of American Archives’ Committee on Public Awareness
- Webmaster for Northwest Archivists
- Alumna of NHPRC’s Archives Leadership Institute
Selection of Past Service:
- Mentor to Oregon nonprofits via the Oregon Heritage’s MentorCorps program (2013-2015)
- Steering Committee for Northwest Digital Archives (2012-2014)
- Grant reviewer for National Historical Publications and Records Commission (2013-2014)
- Local Arrangements Committee for Northwest Archivists (2018) and Society of American Archivists (2010 & 2017)
- Peer reviewer for Archival Practice (2013-2015)
MS in Library and Information Science, Simmons College
BA in History, minor in Anthropology, Pacific University
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