Today let’s meet our website coordinator, James!
Name: James Northway
SNAP participation: Website Coordinator
Position: Archives Volunteer
Institution: Senator John Heinz History Center
Years at position: <1
Education: BA University of Pittsburgh, MLIS University of Pittsburgh
I graduated this past August from the University of Pittsburgh’s MLIS program where I specialized in Archives, Preservation, and Records Management. While I’m still searching for that first “real” archives job, I currently serve as a volunteer at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA. The bulk of my time there is spent processing collections of photographs and papers using the More Product, Less Process framework. (Mark Greene is omnipresent!) My interests include advocacy, archival ethics (particularly issues relating to privacy and access) and representations of archives in popular culture.
At a recent conference I spoke to Kate Theimer (of ArchivesNext blog and SNAP liaison fame) and we both felt that SAA has work to do with regard to embracing recent graduates and new archives professionals. If this is not addressed, the archives profession could potentially be facing a huge talent drain if recent graduates of archival studies programs become disenchanted and pursue careers in other fields. Attrition, in a lot of cases, is impacted by economic conditions and the competitiveness of the current job market. Still, it is my opinion that SAA has not adequately provided/promoted opportunities for new and student archivists to get involved in the organization. SNAP officers are working to change this. New archivists and students who will shape the future of SAA, and we want SNAP to be a vehicle for you to make your voice heard. Please bring your ideas to myself, Rebecca Goldman, Lisa Huntsha or any of the SNAP officers who you will be meeting later on through this blog. My email inbox is always open and I’m happy to discuss anything from possible changes to the SNAP website, my adventures in seeking a permanent archives position, or your thoughts on the latest episode of “The Walking Dead”.