2018 Nominees for ARCS Steering Committee

Candidate for Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect (one vacancy)

Taffey Hall

Taffey Hall has served as director of the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives (SBHLA) in Nashville, Tennessee since August 2016. Hall was the SBHLA archivist from May 2003-July 2016. The SBHLA is a worldwide center for the study of Baptist history, and one of the major denominational collections in the nation. It serves, by assignment of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), as the central depository and archives of SBC records. Hall has been a member of SAA, and the Archivists of Religious Collections Section, since 2003. She has served on the key contact subcommittee of the SAA membership committee, and as ARCS member-at-large from 2009-2011. Hall is currently the executive secretary-treasurer of the Association of Librarians and Archivists at Baptist Institutions (ALABI). She has served as president of ALABI and the Society of Tennessee Archivists. She holds an Ed.D. (administration and supervision) from Tennessee State University, M.A. (history) from Middle Tennessee State University, and B.A. (history) from Tennessee Wesleyan College. Hall is a certified archivist.

I would feel delighted and grateful to serve as vice chair/chair-elect of the Archivists of Religious Collections Section.  I would work my hardest to help our members as best I can.”

Candidate for Secretary (one vacancy)

Michelle Sayers

Michelle Sayers received her B.A. in history with a minor in creative writing from Hollins University in 2007, and her M.A. in history from the University of Utah in 2010 with a concentration in African American studies. Over the course of her undergraduate and graduate career she did multiple internships for libraries and museums, gaining valuable archival, outreach, and cataloging experience. For the past 6.5 years she has worked as an archivist at the LDS Church History Library (CHL) in Salt Lake City, Utah, cataloging new manuscript and photograph collections, coordinating donor digitization requests, coordinating the work of several volunteers and interns, and most recently as the team lead for the processing team. She became a certified archivist in 2016. Her work at the CHL has given her valuable experience working with religious collections, and she is very fascinated by the work other archives of religious collections are pursuing.

I would be honored to work with the section to promote the interests of religious archives and participate more fully in the archival community. I have worked in archives for several years, and I am looking for opportunities to broaden my horizons within the profession. I would love to be more involved in the larger archival community, and I believe starting in the religious archival community is ideal. I am fascinated by religion and its broad context within our human experience; associating with archivists who care for the history of religions in the ARCS has been a really great experience for me, and I’d like to be more involved and have a better view of the kinds of repositories and archives our section encompasses. Religious archives are unique in that they tell the story not only of history but of spirituality, which is such an integral part of the historic record. I know I could add valuable insights to the section, and learn and collaborate with others who work with these types of collections.”

Candidates for Steering Committee Member-at-Large (one vacancy)

Kayla Harris

While Kayla Harris is an archivist / librarian for the Marian Library, a library devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the University of Dayton. Her responsibilities include the arrangement and description of materials, providing reference, and outreach to increase the visibility of the Marian Library's special collections. She received her MLIS from the University of South Carolina, and is a certified archivist. She has interned at the Smithsonian Institution, worked as a metadata librarian at the University of Alabama, and was the records manager and archivist for a local government archive center.

Although I've been active in archives for several years, I am still fairly new to working with a religious collection. There are different challenges for religious archives, but they serve an important purpose documenting communities. I would appreciate the opportunity to work more closely with colleagues in this specific branch of the archival field.

Susan J. Illis

Susan Illis’ background includes over 25 years of archival experience in various institutions. Since 2007, she has been staff archivist for the Society of Mary, United States Province, where the collections of the Boston and Atlanta provinces were recently combined. In preparation for her archival career, she earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Pittsburgh and completed coursework in archival theory at Duquesne University. Over the years, she has participated in conferences and seminars. Her employment history includes the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania (now Senator John Heinz History Center), Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University, and the Atlanta History Center. She also performs consultant and contract work.

Despite my many years as an archivist, I have not been involved in professional organizations for the past several years. Although I bring a wealth of professional experience, I also offer a fresh perspective and renewed enthusiasm for getting involved.”