Author Archives: Lisa H

[Ask an Archivist] Q: What questions do employers in this profession usually ask?

Ask an Archivist Question:

I am applying for an archivist job this week. I am trying to do research to prepare myself. What questions do employers in this profession usually ask? Do they dwell on the different systems that use such as XML and markup language? I can use any and all advice in this matter!

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Attention SNAP members attending MAC

Any SNAP members attending the Midwest Archives Conference annual meeting in Kansas City this week?

Then plan to join us for a happy hour! (er, SNAPpy hour, if you will).

The SNAP Roundtable would like to invite current students, new professionals, and any friends of SNAP to a happy hour at the Westin Hotel’s Brasserie Bar Lounge this Thursday (4/24) at 5:00pm. We will mingle for a bit and then head to the opening reception together. Hope to see you there!

Questions? Contact Lisa Huntsha.

SAA Candidate Interview: Erik Moore

Erik Moore
University Archivist and Co-Director, University Digital Conservancy, University of Minnesota Archives
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Read his bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

I was in my second semester of my first year in a PhD program when I landed a research assistant position in the Immigration History Research Center located at the University of Minnesota. The position was designed to help establish an internal scanning program to be better able to share archival resources online. As the semester came to a close, there was an opportunity to continue the work in a full-time capacity on a three year grant funded project. It didn’t take me long to decide to accept the position and put my PhD on permanent hiatus. While working full-time in the archives I completed a MLIS in the Continue reading

SAA Candidate Interview: Rachel Vagts

Rachel Vagts
Head, Special Collections and Archives, Berea College
Candidate for Council
Read her bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

My first time using an archives was during a history class when I was an undergrad.  I don’t know that I understood exactly what the archives were or how you ended up working in one, but when I decided to go to library school several years later, one of the options at the University of Wisconsin was the archives track.  I decided to give it a try and found that it was exactly what I was looking for!  That class led to my first job Continue reading

SAA Candidate Interview: Cristela Garcia-Spitz

Cristela Garcia-Spitz
Digital Library Development Program Project Manager, University of California, San Diego
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Read her bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

As an undergraduate, I worked in the library and archives at the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women at Tulane University. It was a work study position, where I got hands on experience processing collections and assisting with research. Through this experience, I also realized the importance of the role and work of Archivists. Being at a women’s college within a larger university, I saw the importance of documenting the Continue reading

SAA Candidate Interview: Eira Tansey

Eira Tansey
Digital Archivist/Records Manager, Archives and Rare Books Library, University of Cincinnati
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Read her bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

During undergrad, I was a student worker at the University of Cincinnati’s Archives and Rare Books library, and became totally fascinated with archival work. After graduating in 2008, I looked for paraprofessional jobs in order to gain experience and decide if library school and this career path was right for me. I was profoundly lucky that even as the economy fell apart right as I graduated, I found a staff position at Tulane University’s Continue reading

SAA Candidate Interview: Jill Severn

Jill Severn
Head of Access and Outreach, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia Libraries
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Read her bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

While in graduate school studying history at the University of Georgia I worked as an archival assistant at the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research Studies helping to maintain the Civil Rights files of Senator Russell and developing small thematic exhibits. There I realized that what I loved most about the study of history was the challenge of sharing it with more than just a scholarly audience. This led me to study Continue reading

SAA Candidate Interview: Scott Cline

Scott Cline
City Archivist and Director, Seattle (WA) Archives and Records Management Program
Lecturer, Information School, University of Washington
Candidate for Vice President/President Elect
Read his bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

My story is nothing remarkable. I earned an undergraduate degree in history at a time when there were even fewer jobs in history related fields than in recent years. I took on a variety of jobs over the next decade: carpenter, small town newspaper reporter, camp counselor, bartender, etc. Then a friend working at Portland State University pointed me toward the new Public History Program. It was an opportunity to continue studying Continue reading

SAA Candidate Interview: Jim Gerencser

Jim Gerencser
Dickinson College, College Archivist and Head, Archives and Special Collections
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Read his bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

When I applied to library school at the University of Pittsburgh, I did not intend to focus on archives. After a conversation with Richard Cox about the profession, and after taking an arrangement and description course he taught, I was hooked. Unable to find a job in the archives field with my MLS (waiting tables continued to pay the bills while in grad school and beyond), I then enrolled in another graduate program to earn an MA in history. The internship I Continue reading

SAA Candidate Interview: Erin O’Meara

Erin O’Meara
Archivist, Gates Archive
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Read her bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

As an undergraduate, I majored in anthropology and took a work study job at the anthropological museum on campus. I worked in the archaeological site files (a document repository for all statewide archaeological projects – both grey literature and archaeological site records) and then took another student job within the archives of the museum. The archives held the papers of anthropology professors. I made a strategic decision to work in the archives over the summer instead of doing field work under the hot Arizona sun. I fell in love with studying and preserving the research and history of Continue reading

SAA Candidate Interview: Dennis Meissner

Dennis Meissner
Head of Collections Management, Minnesota Historical Society
Candidate for Vice President/President Elect
Read his bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

SNAP members will probably find my career entry strange. While I was looking for a summer job, my undergraduate adviser introduced me to the legendary Lucile Kane, who in turn introduced me to the world of manuscript collections and the researchers who depend upon them. I knew I was onto something inherently wonderful, stuck at it through entry level jobs, did graduate work in history on the side, and eventually found Continue reading

SAA Candidate Interview: Pam Hackbart-Dean

Pam Hackbart-Dean
Director, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Candidate for Council
Read her bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

I went to the University of Connecticut to work on my graduate degree in history that included a certificate in public history and archival management.  As a graduate assistant in the archives I got to process collections, provide reference and develop exhibits. I was mentored by Rand Jimerson and Anne Ostendarp who both provided me with good career advice and practical experience.  After I graduated, my first job was as archivist and record manager for the National Recreation and Park Association as a Continue reading

SAA Candidate Interview: Edward “Ted” Ryan

Ted Ryan
Director, Heritage Communications, The Coca-Cola Company
Candidate for Council
Read his bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

I got my start in the field as an unpaid intern at the Southeast Branch of the National Archives when I was a college senior. From that point, I was able to get a job as a reference Archivist at the Atlanta History Center. I was fortunate that a position opened when it did. The Internship (and the recommendation of the National Archives Director) led directly to me being offered the position. Once I had my foot in the door, I continued Continue reading

SAA 2014 Candidate Interview: James Roth

James Roth
Deputy Director, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Adjunct Faculty, Graduate School of Information Library Science, Simmons College
Candidate for Council
Read his bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.


How did you get your start in the archives field?

While I was attending the University of New Hampshire for my Master’s in History, I was awarded the Roland Sawyer Scholarship and worked in the Milne Special Collections and Archives. Because of this experience and upon finishing my Master’s in History, I decided to pursue my Master’s in Library Science with a concentration in Archival Studies. At the University of North Continue reading