About

What is an archivist?

From the Society of American Archivists:

Archives are the non-current records of individuals, groups, institutions, and governments that contain information of enduring value. Formats represented in the modern archival repository include photographs, films, video and sound recordings, computer tapes, and video and optical disks, as well as the more traditional unpublished letters, diaries, and other manuscripts. Archival records are the products of everyday activity. Researchers use them both for their administrative value and for purposes other than those for which they were created. For example, Native Americans may use archival records to establish legal claims to land and privileges guaranteed by federal and state governments; medical researchers utilize records to study patterns of diseases; authors use archives to acquire a feel for the people and times about which they are writing; historians and genealogists rely on archival sources to analyze past events to reconstruct family histories; and businesses use the records to improve their public relations and to promote new products. In short, archives benefit nearly everyone, even those who have never directly used them.

 

Archivists make the archives usable. They determine which items have enduring value, organize them, and describe them so researchers can find and use what they need. Archivists provide the proper storage and care for archives so they will last as long as possible.

I am an archivist writing about history, photography, and archives.

I have worked as an archivist at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Keweenaw National Historical Park, a private family/business archives, and the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University, which is where I am currently the archivist in charge of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees collection.

I plan to write a book one day and I’m using this blog as a place to explore different topics and try out ideas. My main interests are photography and history, and all the ways they overlap. A lot of my topics will focus on Detroit since I’m from that area. Thanks for reading!

Find me on LinkedIn.

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