Officer and Steering Committee Candidates for 2013-2014


Archival History Round Table

Election of Officers

August 14, 2013


The election of new officers for the Archival History Roundtable  will be held during the Roundtable's Annual Business Meeting, August 14, 2013, in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The officer positions are Chair, Vice-Chair, and Steering Committee (3 positions).

Each candidate was invited to submit a brief background statement of experience and interest in the Archival History Roundtable.



Period of Service:  2013 - 2014

1. Melissa Gottwald

I have held the position of Archivist for the Aviation Safety and Security Archives at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University since 2008. Past positions include Collections Archivist at Iowa State University, Project Archivist for the Clyde Tombaugh papers at New Mexico State University, and Project Archivist at Oberlin College.

I have been a member of the Archival History Roundtable since 2006 and have been on the steering committee this past year. As a steering committee member, I worked on drafting the new bylaws for the roundtable and organized a panel presentation for the roundtable’s annual meeting. Other activities within SAA and with other archives organizations have included Chair of the Records Management Roundtable’s Working Group on Section/Roundtable Records Retention Compliance (2008-2009), member of the Society of Southwest Archivists’ Professional Development Committee (2009-present), and Iowa state chair for the Midwest Archives Conference’s President’s Award (2006-2008).

I am delighted to have the opportunity to run for the position of Chair of the Archival History Roundtable. Now that the roundtable has established bylaws and a leadership structure, this coming year will be a time to grow our activities. I look forward to finding ways to expand the activities of the roundtable beyond the annual meeting and to promote wider discussion of the history of our profession. The roundtable has a large membership roll but has not been very active. I will seek input from members to explore what they would like to get out of the roundtable and what ideas they may have that we can put into motion.

2.  No other candidate for Chair


Candidates for Position of Vice Chair, Archival History Roundtable

Period of Service: 2013 - 2015

1. Cory Nimer

Professional Experience:  Manuscripts Cataloger/Metadata Specialist, Brigham Young University (2006‒present)

Education:  Masters of Library and Information Science, San José State University (2005). MA in History, Sonoma State University (2001). BA in History and Anthropology, Brigham Young University (1999).

Professional Activities:  Society of American Archivists: Member since 2006; Standards Committee (2010‒2013); SAA Representative to the Committee on Cataloging: Description and Access (2012-2014); Archivists' Toolkit Roundtable steering committee (2009-2011); Technical Subcommittee for Descriptive Standards (2008-2009). Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists: Member since 2006; Council member (2010-2013); CIMA/SSA Joint Conference Program Committee (2011-2012); Western Round-up Program Committee (2008-2010).

Publications/Presentations: "'To Keep the Church Record and History': The Evolution of the Church Historian's Office." (Presentation, Mormon History Association, Layton, Utah); "The Development and Professionalization of the Utah State Archives, 1897-1968." Journal of Western Archives 3 (1) (with J. Gordon Daines III). Available at; "The Utah State Historical Society and the Professionalization of Utah Archives" (Presentation, Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists/Society of Southwest Archivists Joint Conference, Mesa, Arizona)

Statement of Interest: Although working in archives necessarily means immersing oneself in history to one degree or another, during the course of my work I have become increasingly interested in the history of the institutions that manage our documentary heritage. This has led me to explore the development of my own institution, the establishment of the archival profession in my state, and to begin to explore how local developments have impacted the profession. Through this study I have been able to better understand these institutions, and the role archivists play in preserving historical evidence.

I believe that the Archival History Roundtable can play an important role in raising interest and awareness of our profession's past. This means developing quality programs for annual roundtable meetings, and sharing information and encouraging discussion about historical publications with the roundtable membership. I would also like to explore ways of promoting archival history topics in the Society. While our conferences and publications often focus on the future of the profession, I hope that the roundtable can play a role in reminding archivists of our professional origins.


2. Liza Booker  - Candidacy withdrawn

Congratulations on your new job, Liza!



Period of Service: 2013-2014

1. Alison Clemens

Alison Clemens is an archivist at Yale University, where she processes literary and historical manuscripts at the Beinecke Library. Prior to her current position, Alison was Houston and Texas Archives Fellow at the University of Houston, Archives Intern at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, and Curatorial Intern at The Morgan Library & Museum. She is a graduate of the University of Texas (UT) iSchool, where she specialized in Archives & Special Collections.

Alison has been interested in archival history since her time at UT, where she wrote a paper on the history of the university's Center for American History and its early archivist, Winnie Allen. Alison is particularly interested in how prior practice and individual early practitioners have shaped collections and access strategies. She is also committed to the idea that archival history is an important part of archival education.

The Archival History Roundtable serves the crucial purpose of ensuring that the profession remains cognizant of its history and potential methods and benefits of studying it. Alison hopes to assist the roundtable with developing successful strategies for incorporating archival history into online presences, conferences, and programming, such as the well-received 75th anniversary trading cards. Her experience with other archives organizations — such as the leadership board of SAA-UT, the board of the Archivists of the Houston Area, and the SAA Committee on Education — provides her with a strong background in leadership, and she looks forward to contributing to developing and implementing AHRT's goals.


2. Keith Gorman


Keith Gorman is the Head of Special Collections and University Archives at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Trained as a historian, Gorman received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Simmons College for ten years.  After co-teaching an archives course on Archives, History, and Collective Memory, Keith decided to pursue a new career that brought together his love of research, his deep interest in how individuals access information, and his passion for democratizing the writing of history.  He received a MLS (archives concentration) from Simmons College and has held positions at the Smithsonian Institute Archives and the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.  During his time at the Museum and at the University, Keith was able to promote community use of collections and engaged educators in crafting lesson plans using primary sources.  His current research interests fall into two areas: leadership roles of archivists in community outreach and the documentation of local history and the development of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s archive and its evolving collecting vision and priorities. 

AHRT Candidacy:

With my diverse professional background in archives, museums, and historical research, I believe that I would be an innovative contributor to the Archival History Roundtable (AHRT) Steering Committee.  If elected to the position, one of my goals would be to broaden efforts for dialog between practicing archivists and the academic community.  With an ongoing scholarly focus on archives as centers of state power and/or shapers of memory, there is an opportunity for archivists to contribute to the “discussion” by defining archival theoretical constructs and contextualizing practices for the non-archivist.  By joining the academic debate through programming and social media, I believe that archivists can cultivate cross-disciplinary collaboration as well as draw attention to their own rich research tradition.


3. Eric C. Stoykovich

I am currently employed as an Archival Digitization Specialist with Fold3 (a subsidiary of at the National Archives in Washington, DC. I employ archival techniques to digitize records contained within NARA Record Group 15 (Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs: War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Records). Drawing on my experience with digitization, I will be chairing a panel on “Collaboration in Digitization Workflows: How Archivists and Camera Technicians Can Work Together” at the annual conference of the Society of American Archivists in New Orleans in August 2013. I completed a MLS with an Archives concentration this past May at the University of Maryland, where I studied under Bruce Ambacher and Michael Kurtz.

I believe that an understanding of history has improved my understanding of the content and context of the thousands of records that I digitize on a daily basis. My Ph.D. in American history, which I obtained at the University of Virginia in 2009, provides me a basis for making connections between records, the events in history that these records describe, and the manifold ways that members of the public may utilize records. Those who write about the history of archives and archiving do a major service to the profession.

As a Member of the Steering Committee, I would encourage (1) greater support and publication of academic papers that deal with the history of archives and (2) greater visibility for archival history through encouragement of the teaching of the history of archives within library science programs. More students in library science programs should be introduced to the deeper history of their practical endeavors.