Meet the Staff – Caitlin Burhans

Meet the Staff is a Q&A series on Out of the Stacks that highlights the Archives and Information Services (ARIS) staff of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Photo of ARIS staffer Caitlin Burhans

 In 50 words or less, describe what you do.

As an Archivist I, I preserve, arrange, describe, and provide access to archival state records and manuscript collections. Since I started working at TSLAC, part of my time has been devoted to a project to humidify, flatten, index, and eventually digitize the early Texas Supreme Court case files.

Why did you choose your profession?

Archivists sometimes describe themselves as information professionals. In preserving the records of our state, I see my job as ensuring that the public has access to information about its own government and history. For me, archives are an important part of a community, and I think it’s important to work to make them more visible to all members of the community

 What is your favorite document, photo, or artifact in TSLAC’s collection?

My favorite item in our collection is always whatever I’ve just found out about in the course of my processing. I’ve been working on a finding aid for the Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar papers, and I learned that we have a set of Lamar’s dueling pistols in our artifacts collection that were used at the battle of San Jacinto.

Two antique wooden and metal dueling pistols.

When you’re not busy what do you like to do for fun?

I like to explore the city—try new restaurants, walk new trails…there’s always something interesting going on in Austin. I’m also always midway through some kind of renovation project on my house, but I don’t know if I would call that fun!

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