2013 Candidates for Description Section Steering Committee

Candidate for Vice Chair/Chair-Elect:

J. Gordon Daines


Biography: J. Gordon Daines III is the University Archivist and Assistant Department Chair, Manuscripts in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections at Brigham Young University. Gordon holds an undergraduate degree in history from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago, and a certificate in archives and records management from Western Washington University. He has worked for the Oregon Historical Society and the Utah State Archives and Records Service. His research interests include the history of Brigham Young University, the development of the archives profession in Utah, finding aid design, archival content management systems, primary source literacy, and standards development. He currently chairs SAA’s Technical Subcommittee on Describing Archives: A Content Standard.


Candidate Statement: With the recent release of the second edition of Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS) the Description Section has an exciting opportunity to promote and educate archivists about the changes to DACS. One of the most exciting things about the second edition of DACS is the proposed companion website. The website is meant to have best practices for implementing DACS as well as additional examples on applying the various rules in DACS. The Description Section can help TS-DACS gather these best practices and additional examples. The section can educate the archival community about descriptive standards and DACS in particular through programming at the annual meeting, the Description Section website, the Description Expo, webinars, and articles in the Description Section newsletter. This is a unique opportunity and I would be honored to help the section take advantage of these opportunities.


Candidates for Steering Committee (1 position):

John Bence

Biography: John Bence is the University Archivist at Emory University. John began at Emory as a Research Library Fellow working in the University Archives in 2011. John graduated from New York University with an MA in Archives & Public History in January 2011. At NYU, John worked as a Graduate Assistant in the NYU Archives. John also worked as a Project Archivist at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. He received his BA in history from Kenyon College.


Candidate Statement: I highly valued the work accomplished by the Description Section and would relish to the chance to work my colleagues on the Steering Committee. I believe in the ability of this Section to inspire archivists to improve local practices and make meaningful contributions to the field. I look forward to interacting with colleagues working in institutions of all types to identify innovative approaches to description and increase opportunities for dialogue to find solutions for shared challenges. As an archivist overseeing a diverse collection, I am deeply invested in helping the profession advance in the area of archival description.


Eira Tansey

Biography: Eira Tansey oversees archival processing for the Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane University, New Orleans, where she has worked for the last five years. Tansey has overseen a major project to migrate the Louisiana Research Collection's legacy finding aids and to improve workflows related to processing and describing archival holdings. She recently received her MLIS from San Jose State University, where she chaired the SAA Student Chapter in 2010. Tansey is currently serving on the SAA Communications Task Force, and local arrangements committees for the CoSA-SAA 2013 annual meeting and the Society of Southwest Archivists 2014 annual meeting.


Candidate Statement: I believe that implementing standardized description methods and exploring new methods is critical to making archives more accessible. Description can take many forms, but ultimately the goal should be to enable discovery and use of materials. Over the last four years I have led major efforts at my repository to standardize archival description. This has been achieved through a major legacy finding aid migration program, and rethinking processing workflows. As a result of our increased description, we have seen significant user growth. I would especially like to see archivists working in description forge greater connections with public service archivists to increase understanding and collaborative efforts.


Audra Eagle Yun

Biography: Audra Eagle Yun is Acting Head of Special Collections and Archives at the University of California, Irvine, where she provides leadership and vision for the department including departmental supervision; setting goals, policies, and procedures; overseeing collection development, archival activities, and technical services; and fostering user-centered reference and instruction within a special collections setting. Audra is currently an appointed member of the 2013 SAA Program Committee and chair of the 2013 SAA Student Program Subcommittee. She is an appointed member of the Diversity Committee for the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of ACRL. She was selected as an ALA Emerging Leader in 2009 and is a member of the 2013 cohort of the Archives Leadership Institute. She has been a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists since 2010. Audra received her Master of Library and Information Science degree with a specialization in archival studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and Cultural Theory as well as a certificate in Information Science & Information Studies from Duke University.

Candidate Statement: Archival description is changing, and the Description Section plays a leading role in exploring and disseminating new and emerging standards. The passionate audience response to my lightning round presentation "Forget About the Backlog: Surfacing Accessions Using Archivists' Toolkit," at the section's meeting last year in San Diego highlighted professional interest in standards for exposing minimally described archival collections and accessions. This presentation resulted in a panel on accessioning practice that will take place at this year's meeting in New Orleans, with the goal of exploring descriptive standards and best practices for surfacing accessions. Efficient processing has been my focus at UC Irvine, where I completed a project to surface 219 previously hidden archival collections by creating brief DACS-compliant EAD records, and also contributed to the University of California Guidelines for Efficient Archival Processing, which emphasizes core techniques for baseline processing work and enhancing user access through archival description. As a member of the Steering Committee, I will help the section liaise with our colleagues in related organizations, round tables, and sections to encourage ongoing exploration of descriptive standards.

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