Meet the Staff is a Q&A series on Out of the Stacks that highlights the Archives and Information Services staff of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
In 50 words or less, describe what you do.
I assist patrons in the Reference, Genealogy, and Archives Reading Rooms in conjunction with the Reference Librarians and Reference Archivists. This includes helping patrons with searching our catalog or using our microfilm readers, and other tasks like pulling and refiling materials and processing both US and Texas documents.
Why did you choose your profession?
When I was a sophomore in college, I went to a presentation my history professors were hosting concerning professions you could pursue with a BA in history. One speaker was an archivist (who I realized when I started at TSLAC was Jelain Chubb, the current State Archivist). Prior to her talk I didn’t know much about archives and wasn’t sure what I’d do after graduation, but the possibility of handling historic documents and making them accessible for research sounded like the perfect way to use my history degree in a hands on way. I loved the idea of being able to handle historical artifacts and not just read about them second hand. After volunteering in my high school’s archive back in Dallas and working in the St. Edward’s University Munday Library, I was determined to get into this field.
What is your favorite document, photo, or artifact in TSLAC’s collection?
I don’t think I could ever choose just one! At the moment, one of my favorites is this photograph from the Graham (R. Niles) collection. I really enjoy this image because of the humor this woman has in posing with her dog. I enjoy finding these more candid images of people where they are clearly having a good time and not taking themselves too seriously. I also love animals, so I feel this woman is a kindred spirit.
When you’re not busy what do you like to do for fun?