January 16, 2022

Interview: Meet Three Members of Harvard’s University Archives (Largest Academic Archives in U.S.)

From the Office of the Executive Vice President, Harvard University:

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

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.