Meet the Staff: Steven Kantner

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

Photo of Steven Kantner at a light table between two film reels.

In 50 words or less, describe what you do.

I oversee digitization projects for various formats in TSLAC’s holdings including photographs, documents, sound and video recordings, and motion picture film. I also prepare metadata for digitized items and manage our local file storage. In addition, I package metadata and files together for ingest into the Texas Digital Archive.

Why did you choose your profession?

The digital preservation of archival materials, especially audiovisual formats, combines my interest in media history, and history in general, with my technical skills from my previous experiences as a recording engineer and audiovisual media educator.

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

It’s hard to choose just one. We had an interesting find recently while digitizing the original laws of Texas. We knew we were approaching the Civil War era, and upon opening the next volume in line to be digitized, the first document in the volume was the Ordinance of Secession from 1861. That pivotal moment in Texas and American history, done behind the back of Sam Houston, is documented on that one sheet of paper and was very interesting to read and handle.

Page one of the 1861 Ordiance of Secession from the Texas 8th Legislature, 1st Called Session.

An Ordinance to Dissolve the Union between the State of Texas and the Other States United Under the Compact Styled “The Constitution of the United States of America” Identifier: 08_leg_extra_ord_001

I suppose some favorites include old films we have digitized from collections such as the Texas Highway Department films and Governor Allan Shivers films. These aren’t available just yet online, but should be soon. Keep your eyes peeled.

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

Smoking brisket or ribs; Movies; Travel; Long distance cycling.