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.
Title and role: I’m the new University Records Manager. I work with units to help determine how long records should be maintained and to transfer records to the University Archives when appropriate. I also help with creating and updating unit-specific records retention schedules and assist with the development of unit-specific records management plans.
Records Management is an important part of the records life cycle, which includes creation or receipt, use, and disposition. The disposition may be destruction or transfer to the archives. Having a records retention schedule in place identifies records that should be transferred to the University Archives at or before the creation. This means that units can have a plan in place to regularly transfer records instead of keeping them in a basement for 40 years (although we’ll work with those records too!) By aiding units in practicing good records management, we are ensuring that those records that tell our history are preserved. Effective records management also improves accountability and compliance and can save time, money, and effort by not storing and retrieving records that do not need to be retained.
Educational background: I have a BA in History with a Public History specialization from Ball State University and an MLS with an Archives and Records Management specialization from Indiana University.
Previous work experience: I began working at the Ball State Archives as an undergraduate student and knew that’s what I wanted to do. As a student at IU, I worked for the IU Archives and other repositories on campus. After I graduated, I worked with government records management before becoming the Local Government Records Archivist at the Ohio History Connection. My experience is in guiding records creators in determining proper retention periods for their records and transferring records of enduring value for continued preservation.
Favorite experience (so far): I’ve enjoyed meeting with records creators to learn more about their work and the records they create. One of my favorite parts of records management is getting to talk to people about things I’m not familiar with, but that they are so passionate about. Often people are overwhelmed by the volume of records and I like being able to lighten that load by helping them create a plan.
Favorite item or collection: I haven’t developed a favorite quite yet. Not really a hidden gem at 612 cubic feet, but I did discover that the Indiana University President’s Office records, 1937-1962 (Herman B Wells) is a wealth of information. I recently had a reference question from a patron wanting to know more about their grandfather who attended IU for training during WWII. It was suggested that I look at this collection because a lot went through the president’s office at that time. I was surprised to find a letter written to Wells from the grandfather’s father asking President Wells to keep an eye out for his son while he was on campus. I was happy to be able to find something for the researcher and will keep this large collection in mind for future reference questions during Wells’ long tenure.
Current project: There are a lot of records coming in from various departments that are keeping me busy! I’ve recently accessioned records from the Interim Vice Provost and Marching Hundred. I’m also re-boxing several boxes of English Department records from the IU Warehouse for transfer and boxed some records from the Media School.
On top of that, I’ve been working on updating the records management webpage and making sure all our contacts are up to date. I would love to start doing more outreach to areas of IU that are underrepresented in the Archives. If you have records that may need transferred or want to set up a schedule for regular transfers, please reach out! Information on transferring university records can be found on our website under Archival Services.
What she’s learned about IU by working with the Archives:
IU does so many things! There are so many different departments and centers with people passionate about their subject matter specialties.