UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Kelly A. Kolar (Middle Tennessee State University)

SAA @ UCLA presents “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor.” The Fields of Endeavor series introduces UCLA Library and Information Studies program graduates and current interns who are out in the field taking knowledge learned in the program and putting it to use! We are excited to feature Kelly A. Kolar.

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Name: Kelly A. Kolar

Graduation Year: 2004

MLIS Focus: Archival Studies

Job Site: Department of History, Middle Tennessee State University

Title: Assistant Professor, Archival Management and History

 

What do you do all day?

After finishing my MLIS I worked at The Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War in Culver City, CA.  After a few years I returned to UCLA to pursue a PhD in Russian History with a research focus on Soviet archives.  Currently I work as a professor in the Public History program at MTSU, which trains students to work at historic and cultural institutions, including museums, historic sites, and archives.  As a professor may days vary widely, so what I do all week is:

I teach graduate seminars on archives and collections management to MA and PhD students pursuing degrees in Public History and undergraduate History courses, meet with students about their thesis or dissertation work, and work on my own research.

 

Most interesting item, record, document, etc. you have come across:

The most interesting item ever?  Off the top of my head, that is difficult to choose.  I’m sure the clear answer will come to me in a month or so.  Much of the collection at The Wende Museum documents everyday life in the Communist Bloc and my favorite items were usually those related to East German rock, LPs and magazine covers that highlighted the glory of officially approved “socialist” rock.

 

First personal item that you put on your desk:.

A six inch figure of “Misha,” the mascot of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

 

Most frequent response when you tell people what you do:

People are usually very excited to hear that I teach in a public history program, more excited than if I tell them I teach history.  Several studies have indicated that Americans trust museums as sources of information above books, professors, and the media, so perhaps this reaction is a reflection of that sentiment.

 

Recommendation(s) for students who’d like your job:

Pursue a MA or PhD in History.  If you are interested in researching and teaching about archives, but also have a passion for history, then a public history program may be the place for you.

 

One piece of advice for recent grads on the job hunt: 

Use the relationships you have developed through your internships and professional association networking to seek advice about the hiring process, resume, cover letter, etc.  Your professors are excellent educational resources, but most are fairly removed from the hiring practices in the field.  If you can talk to someone who actually does hiring, he/she may give you insight into the process that will help you prepare.

My advice for students who still have coursework: Take advantage of UCLA courses outside of the Information Studies department.  When I started the MLIS program I noticed that many of the jobs I was interested in stated a preference for applicants with two Western European languages, which I did not have.  I enrolled in German courses while I completed my MLIS.  My first job after finishing the degree at The Wende Museum and Archive of the Cold War was only possible because I could read German.  Use undergraduate classes to diversify your skills, or build an area of specialty, be it additional languages, computer science, design, etc.    

 

Favorite archive to visit:

For my own research I have mostly visited archives in the former Soviet Union, especially in Moscow.  My favorite archive to work in is the Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History (the former Communist Party archive), which is just a couple of blocks from the Kremlin in Moscow. The reading room is on the top floor with lovely views of pre-revolutionary buildings and rooftops.  I have also rarely been given microfilm there!

 

Favorite/Most memorable course from UCLA IS Program:

My most memorable course was taking part in the UCLA – St. Petersburg State Academy of Culture Student Exchange.  I spent Winter quarter of my second year in St. Petersburg conducting research for my thesis on the founding of independent library associations in the Soviet Union in the perestroika/glasnost era.  Because library education is at the undergraduate level in Russia, I was able to guest lecture to some of the classes.

 

Job or internship site while in UCLA IS Program:

University of Southern California, Specialized Libraries & Archival Collection

I did two quarters of an internship at USC working on the Felix Guggenheim Papers, a collection of a Los Angeles based German-American literary, who had extensive ties to the German literary émigré community during the World War II era and on.

 

Course you wish you had taken/was offered at UCLA IS Program:

I wish I had taken subject cataloging!  I have many times been grateful that I took descriptive cataloging and wish I had taken both cataloging courses offered.  While I was in the MLIS program I did not anticipate doing much cataloging in my career, but it has actually popped up in nearly every job I’ve held.

 

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UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Bo Doub (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)

SAA @ UCLA presents “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor.” The Fields of Endeavor series introduces UCLA Library and Information Studies program graduates and current interns who are out in the field taking knowledge learned in the program and putting it to use! We are excited to feature activist archivist extraordinaire Bo Doub from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics.

Name:  Bo Doub
Graduation Year:  2012
MLIS Focus:  Informatics
Job Title and Site:  Co-Project Archivist at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG)

What do you do all day?
Doub_CSPGSorting
I was hired under a federal grant to (i) process and describe, on a basic folder-level, CSPG’s entire collection of over 80,000 social movement posters and (ii) catalogue on the item-level CSPG’s complete collection of Vietnam War Era posters. Since I am only two months into this job, and also because the archive is moving to Culver City this summer, the work so far has been in the “processing” phase. Processing, in this case, involves a lot of sorting of recent acquisitions and backlog to be put-away — sorting posters by geographical region, topic, and/or artist mainly. This sorting gives each poster a permanent location (in a folder in a big flat drawer in the archive) so that the drawers can be moved to the new building and the folders can later be described. Once the folder-level description is finalized, we will be able to generate an EAD collection finding aid for both in-house use and public use online and in the archive. I have also been cataloguing a lot of posters using MIMSY XG, the visual collections management software.

Most frequent response when you tell people what you do:
I try to tell people what I do in more accessible terms than just: “I’m an archivist.” Most often I probably say something like: “I sort and describe cool political art all day!” or I just tell them about the archive itself and the more recognizable institutional partners it has (where CSPG exhibits and loans its collections). People respond with blank stares and comments like, “I never even thought that would exist!” Though most everyone thinks the work sounds “really cool!” (however implausible).

Most interesting item, record, document, etc. you have come across:
I love the Cuban posters from artists and collectives like René Mederos and OSPAAAL (The Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America). A lot of these works came out of the 1960s and 70s advocating for the people of Vietnam against US imperialism and war. Continue reading “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Bo Doub (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)”

UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Danielle Bass (NBCUniversal Archives and Collections)

SAA @ UCLA presents “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor.” The Fields of Endeavor series introduces UCLA Library and Information Studies program graduates and current interns who are out in the field taking knowledge learned in the program and putting it to use! We are excited to feature NBCUniversal Archives and Collections intern Danielle Bass.

Name: Danielle Bass
Graduation Year: 2013
MLIS Focus: Archives
Job Title and Site: Archival intern, NBCUniversal Archives and Collections*

*Note: Danielle is discussing her internship placement for winter quarter, 2013.

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What do you do all day?
My primary task at the archive is to complete a multi-year audit of the physical collection. This involves going down the storage aisles and opening every box to see what is inside and make sure that the contents match their locations in the collections management database. I get to handle props and costumes from movies and TV shows. I also have to put on my detective hat and engage in special research projects to identify what movie or TV show an object is from. In essence, this means that I get paid to watch DVDs! I’ve also had the opportunity to appraise assets from 30 Rock, set up exhibits, and do original cataloging for wardrobe from  Law and Order: Los Angeles.

Most frequent response when you tell people what you do:
When I say that I’m an archivist, I most often receive a blank stare but when I mention that I work at NBCUniversal, people get very interested. “What do you do?” “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen?” “Meet anyone famous?” Continue reading “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Danielle Bass (NBCUniversal Archives and Collections)”

Peterson Automotive Museum Tour 4/26/13

SAA@UCLA is hosting a tour of the Peterson Automotive Museum. The visit will include a talk hosted by museum professionals about their archives and collection policies and a tour of the vault (which has a lot of amazing old cars, motorcycles, etc.).

More information about the Peterson here.peterson

Who: SAA@UCLA, IS students and faculty
What: Tour of Peterson Museum and vault, FREE of charge.
When: Friday, April 26 @ 11 am
Where: The Peterson Automotive Museum – 6060 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles 90036
(at Fairfax, across for LACMA)

Since there will be spacial limitations, we are limiting the tour to the first 15 folks who  email saying they can commit to the tour.

Send RSVPs to uclasaa@ucla.edu with the subject line “Peterson Tour RSVP.” Please note if you can provide a vehicle for carpooling, if you need a ride, or if you can meet us on site.

SAA @ UCLA Tote Bags for Sale!

SAA @ UCLA is very excited to present our Archival DO’s and DON’Ts Tote Bags, designed by talented illustrator, future archivist, and friend, Grace Danico!

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What: High quality, 17×18 tote bags, made in the USA by American Apparel, and printed locally at Family Industries.
Why: To support future SAA@UCLA activities, such as educational workshops, tours of local archival repositories, trips to conferences, and professional networking events.
Where: Totes will be available for purchase in person at UCLA, either in IS Commons or in front of the Young Research Library (see below for the schedule) and online using this link.
When: Please come by to purchase totes in person, or just to say hello during the dates and times listed below!

Tote Sale Schedule:
04/02/2013, Tuesday 12:30-1:30|Outside YRL & 2:30-3:30|Outside YRL
04/03/2013, Wednesday 1:30-2:30|IS Commons
04/04/2013, Thursday 12:30-1:30|IS Commons

How Much:
$10 for in person sale 
$12 plus $3 shipping for domestic online sales
*International sales, please contact us directly at uclasaa@ucla.edu

SAA @ UCLA wants to send a great big THANK YOU to Grace Danico for generously designing these super awesome totes!

About Grace:
Grace Danico is a fellow MLIS and archival studies student at the Pratt Institute in New York, freelance illustrator, and contributing editor for the design blog Grain Edit. She is currently an Image Cataloging intern with the American Museum of Natural History and has previously interned with the Sesame Workshop’s Publishing Department and the Archive of Contemporary Music. See more of Grace’s work on her website at http://gracedanico.com/ and follow her on twitter at https://twitter.com/gogograce.

Please email us if you have any questions or concerns about purchasing or ordering totes at: uclasaa@ucla.edu. Thank you for your support!

Las Vegas Trip 2/15/13 Recap & Photos

A group of 13 UCLA MLIS students, faculty, and friends traveled to Las Vegas on the weekend of February 15 for a weekend of archives, museums, tours, and a little debauchery. Friday afternoon started with a tour of University of Las Vegas Nevada Special Collections. Su Kim Chung, the Manuscripts Librarian, greeted and presented us with some collection highlights, including historic maps of Las Vegas, books on gaming, showgirl costume sketches, photographs of the Rat Pack, and much more. The highlight for us aspiring archivists was going behind-the-scenes and checking out the awesome UNLV Library Preservation/Conservation Unit.

Su Kim invited our group to a reception for a “Vegas Style” exhibit at the Nevada State Museum. We couldn’t say no to hors d’oeuvre and drinks! The museum is located on the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, making for a lovely reception site.

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Continue reading “Las Vegas Trip 2/15/13 Recap & Photos”

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Tour 2/07/13 Recap & Photos

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is located about 45 minutes north of UCLA. This past Thursday, a group of UCLA MLIS students and IS professionals visited the Library and also had the opportunity to see the “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” exhibit currently on display. Michael Duggan, Supervisory Archivist at the Reagan Library, led our group through a tour of the archives. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed behind-the-scenes, but here are a few from the museum exhibits:

2013-02-07 11.22.22  Continue reading “Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Tour 2/07/13 Recap & Photos”