Mosaic Scholarship: Jessica Tai

Jessica Tai, who is pursuing a master of library and information science degree with an archival specialization at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is a 2017 recipient of the Mosaic Scholarship given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The $5,000 scholarship is given to a student who demonstrates potential for scholastic and personal achievement and who manifests a commitment both to the archival profession and to advancing diversity concerns within it.

Tai’s commitment to diversity in archives is evident in her unique outreach work, as in her work on the event, “Activating the Archive,” in which participants created crafts around social justice, activist, and human rights issues using reproductions of archival materials. She is an active member of the Los Angeles Archivist Collective Diversity subcommittee and is developing a workshop series that will teach basic photographic preservation at a local library and facilitate a forum for community sharing. Tai’s wide range of experience in the archival field includes managing the image database at the William E. Colby Memorial Library at the Sierra Club, performing holdings maintenance and material rehousing at the San Francisco Maritime Research Center, and photographing collections at Nzilani Stained Glass Conservation. In addition, she is an Archival Processing Scholar at the Center for Primary Research and Training at the UCLA Special Collections Library.

One of her supporters noted: “Tai stands out as a critical and creative thinker who brings her skills as an artist, photographer, and social justice activist to her archival practice and scholarship.”