The mission of Harvard University Archives – the largest academic archives in the U.S. – is to “support the University’s mission of education and research by striving to preserve and provide access to Harvard’s historical records; to gather an accurate, authentic, and complete record of the life of the University…”
University Archivist Megan Sniffin-Marinoff along with Sarah Demb, Senior Records Manager/Archivist and Virginia Hunt, Associate University Archivist for Collection Development and Records Management Services discuss how their teams handle this broad responsibility.
Here’s one exchange from the interview.
What don’t people know about what your team does?
Sarah: Two things. First, I think people have an idea about archives or records that it’s a quiet, maybe dusty place filled with paper, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! I work with people to understand what they do and what kind of records come out of that work, what kind of decisions or history are part of that work, so we have an understanding of what we need to archive. Second, we also collect and provide guidance on managing electronic records – email and many other kinds of digital records.
Megan: People across the University use these records all the time – not just for historical research, but to understand legal policy, how decisions were made. We’re constantly working with administrators, scholars, faculty and visitors to answer questions.
Ginny: I want to piggyback on what Sarah said. We are very people-oriented and our role is helping people understand their own roles in the history and work of this institution.
Read the Complete Article/Interview