UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Katie Duvall (Getty Research Institute)

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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’re excited to present Archives and Records Assistant, Katie Duvall!

Name: Katie Duvall
Graduation Year: 2011
MLIS Focus: Archives
Job Title and Site: Archives and Records Assistant, Institutional Archives, The Getty Research Institute

What do you do all day?
Right now, my job encompasses records management and archives.  On the records management side my days can be anything from processing regular records management requests (basically sending and retrieving boxes from Iron Mountain storage) to meeting with departments and discussing their records needs, helping organize annual disposition logistics, and helping revise the records retention schedule.
On the archives side, I perform different levels of processing on institutional collections, from box listing to a complete finding aid. This can also include creating or updating MARC records and helping departments appraise and transfer material to the archives.

Most frequent response when you tell people what you do:
If I say I’m an archivist, I usually get a blank stare. If I mention the Getty then it’s, “Oh, I love the Getty!”

Most interesting item, record, document, etc. you have come across:
I just finished working on the Robert Mapplethorpe archive for the special collections department here, so I’ve come across quite a few interesting (and weird) things.  Some of the stranger items included a rodent foot (perhaps squirrel) that was painted blue and mixed in with jewelry making supplies and a card with human hair taped to it. One of my favorite parts of the collection were the “beefcake” photographs from about the 1940’s-1960’s. They were hilariously awesome.  Leopard printed loincloths, anyone?

Of course, there were also gorgeous photographs and other artworks.  If you’re so inclined, you can read a little more about the collection in general here: http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/treasures-from-the-vault-robert-mapplethorpe-papers-and-photographs/

What new skills have you developed through this experience?
I’m learning more and more everyday about appraisal and working with donors/ donor departments.

Recommendations for students who are interested in your career:
Work on your core. I wish I wasn’t serious, but archive boxes can be heavy! Get as much experience as possible processing collections before you graduate. Embrace technology and learn all you can about born digital materials; it’s a huge issue and there’s no one size fits all solution.

One archival commandment you would establish:
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty (literally, not metaphorically; stay away from shady backroom dealings, people).

Favorite archive to visit:
I could no sooner choose a star in the sky…  Although, I would love an excuse to spend hours combing through the archives, soaking up old Hollywood, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library.

Favorite/Most memorable course from UCLA IS Department:
Preservation of Heritage Materials with Ellen Pearlstein. We worked with an LAUSD collection where we created housings for Roman and Etruscan objects. It was pretty cool.

Course you wish you had taken at UCLA IS Department:
Metadata with Murtha Baca.

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UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring T-Kay Sangwand (University of Texas)

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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’re excited to present Human Rights Archivist and Brazil Studies Librarian, T-Kay Sangwand!

Name: T-Kay Sangwand
Graduation Year: 2008
MLIS Focus: Archives, Latin American Studies (IS/LAS Dual Degree Program)
Job Title and Site: Human Rights Archivist | Brazil Studies Librarian,
Human Rights Documentation Initiative | Benson Latin American Collection,
University of Texas Libraries

What do you do all day?
This changes daily! My time is split between doing archival work for the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) and collection development work as the Brazil Studies Librarian. We receive digital material from our partner organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the US on an ongoing basis so my job is to ensure that the material is safely stored, available for access (if there are no privacy restrictions), and described to the extent possible (creating finding aids, applying metadata). Additionally, this work entails liaising with our partner organizations, on email or in-person.  I also manage an archived web collection of human rights websites and am responsible for maintaining the Human Rights Documentation Initiative web presence. While the HRDI focuses primarily on digital materials, we do have some physical collections so I also work with donors and do some physical processing. Additionally, I have some public service duties like working a shift at the Benson Latin American Collection reference desk and leading instruction sessions related to human rights or Brazil Studies. I supervise one half-time graduate research assistant as well as the occasional volunteer or capstone project for iSchool students. Professional development/involvement – presenting at conferences, peer-reviewing articles – also takes up some time. Also, no one ever told me in grad school how much time is sometimes spent on meetings and various library and university committees!

Most interesting item, record, document, etc. you have come across:
The first collection I worked with when I started here at UT was the Kigali Genocide Memorial testimonies from genocide survivors. In order to familiarize myself with the collections, I read the translated testimonies and was completely floored by the horror, resilience, and hope that their testimonies conveyed. It’s hard to choose one that stood out because all the stories are so powerful, but the testimony of Josephine Murebwayire is one I keep on going back to. Continue reading “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring T-Kay Sangwand (University of Texas)”