Behind the Curtain is a series highlighting IU Archives Staff, partners from various departments of the IU Libraries, and students who make all of our work possible.
Many congratulations to Stephanie Brown, featured in today’s Behind the Curtain, for being selected this year’s recipient of the IU Libraries Robert A. Oppliger Scholarship Award in recognition of her steady and significant contributions as a student employee! We have definitely experienced her dedication first hand and know this is well deserved!
What is your role at IU Archives? Stephanie Brown is the outreach and public services intern, who helps archivist Carrie Schwier design and deliver educational and outreach content featuring items from the IU Archives to the IU community and public.
What is your educational background? Stephanie graduated from IU with a Bachelor’s in History. She then completed a graduate Transition to Teach program with the School of Education and spent 4 years teaching middle and high school before coming back to complete a Master’s in Library Science full time.
What previous experience do you have? Stephanie’s concentration in her Master’s program is Archives and Records Management, and so she has taken several courses outlining archival theory and best practice. These classes also have allowed her to visit the Archives and watch one of their educational sessions prior to working here. Additionally, she has been working as a processing assistant for the Lilly Library since January 2019, and does similar work processing collections for them.
What drew you to work at IU Archives? Most notably, Stephanie’s interactions with the archivists left an impression on her. Many of them visited her classes as guest speakers, and easily displayed their enthusiasm for their positions and for the work they do for IU. Stephanie also has an interest in working in archives in the future. She hopes to merge her teaching experience with archival work and the IU Archives has a great outreach and education program that allowed her to dip her toes into teaching in an archive career.
Favorite item or collection in the IU Archives? Stephanie loves the online photograph collection. She gets lost in those photos, which give her a glimpse of IU and Bloomington in the past.
What project are you currently working on? Recently she has been making online educational activities and resources, including screencast tutorials for Archives Online that can help users navigate the site, use the search options and find and view digital items. This is especially important right now for everyone working and researching remotely.
Favorite experience working with the IU Archives? Before our campus closed down and went online, Stephanie was able to teach an undergraduate class on using primary sources. She and Carrie brought in some really cool artifacts from the collections that spanned all parts of IU science and research history. It was a blast watching the students engage with the items and learn a bit about how IU contributed to major historical scientific research.
What is something you’ve learned by working with the IU Archives? Working for the IU Archives has shown Stephanie just how important an archive/repository can be to its organization or community. IU Archives keeps records related to significant history of the university, helps alumni track down information, helps professors and IU employees understand how their records will be kept, and brings university history to the community. There is so much more to an archive than a place with lots of boxes of papers. She knows this as someone studying archives, but working for the IU Archives has truly allowed her to see this in action and play her part in it.