I used to assume bloggers were mostly people obsessed with something or other, like science fiction, or were people on the extremes of the political spectrum who needed a forum for their crazy manifestos. So, either I am now one of those people, or I have realized, through my sometime unwilling exposure to web 2.0 at school, that blogs are in fact a great way to get something unique and possibly helpful out there. So, even though I have written a manifesto or two, I think I fall into the later category.
And you are? I am an archivist. After several false career starts, lets just say that I have an extensive collection of name tags and hairnets (that will not be my last Wayne’s World reference), I decided I should stop making excuses and finish the bachelors degree I had started some years earlier. I did just that, taking advantage of a great program offered through Northwestern University. While I was at NU, one of my professors encouraged me to look outside the realm of academic history and explore other career paths. I interned, then worked, at a Chicago museum and fell in love with the archives there. I knew that I wanted to work in that field.
I came to the University of Michigan’s School of Information (SI) for two reasons 1) to earn a Masters of Information with a specialization in Archives and Records Management and 2) get tickets to Michigan football (I am a lifelong Wolverine fan). Neither experience turned out how I had expected. The trials of the football program are somewhat out of the scope of this blog (I will say that it is great that Brady Hoke has the team on the right track again). However, my experience at school is in-scope and is really what led me to establish to this blog.
When I began my graduate program I intended to get an education that would lead me to work with historical manuscripts. However, from the onset of my experience at SI, I was fascinated by the challenges of preserving and providing access to digital records. While there I took classes dealing with all formats, and worked and interned at several repositories that allowed me to further explore these digital challenges.
Look Out World I graduated from SI in May of 2009. My first job was a term position in the Digital Preservation unit of ICPSR, a digital archive of social science research on UM’s campus. While there I worked on several projects, but mostly focused on helping to deliver the Digital Preservation Management workshop. Since September of 2010, I have been the Digital Project Archivist at the Benson Ford Research Center, which is part of The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. Here I get to work on a lot of great projects like making more description and content available online, helping to establish a digital preservation program, and assist in the implementation of a new collection management system.
I hope to write about my development as a professional archivist and touch upon the following topics:
- Issues that affect the profession as a whole, like education, training, and diversity
- Advice and helpful hints for students and new archivists
- The challenges of merging technological solutions into the archival profession
- Whatever else pops into my head
Thanks for reading! ~ Lance firstname.lastname@example.org