Election 2021 Candidate Statements

Thank you to all our excellent candidates for standing in the 2021 Design Records Section election. Please take some time to review their candidate statements and get to know them so you can make an informed choice.

You will be voting for:

Junior Co-Chair (two-year term)

Steering Committee member (three-year term)

Web Liaison (two-year term)

Member-at-Large (two-year term)

We are also voting on an edit to our Section Standing Rules, as detailed below. 

Ballots will be managed by SAA staff; keep an eye on your inbox for when the ballot opens! 

Junior Co-Chair Candidates:

The following candidates are running for the Junior Co-chair position:

Allison Olsen, Digital Archivist, Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania

Bio and Candidate Statement:

Allison Olsen serves as the Digital Archivist, building the digital infrastructure and online presence for the Architectural Archives collections. She also works alongside the Archivist and Curator on exhibitions, reference and public services, collections management, and rights and reproductions. 

Before joining the Architectural Archives, Allison worked as a Facilities Archivist at University of Pennsylvania in the Office of the University Architect and as a Visual Resources Librarian at the University of New Hampshire. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a BA in History and an MA in Historic Preservation and worked at the Center for Historic Architecture and Design documenting the Mid-Atlantic built environment and preserving archival collections.  Allison also holds an MSC in Library and Information Management from the University of the West of England. During her stay in the UK, Allison worked in the library and archives of the 11th-century Hereford Cathedral.

Jade Snelling, Acting Collections Archivist, Virginia Tech

Bio and Candidate Statement:

I am Acting Collections Archivist for the International Archive of Women in Architecture at Virginia Tech. I work with architectural and other design-related records, from accessioning to fully processing incoming materials, that document the contributions of women to the built environment. I’ve worked with donors, researchers, fellow archivists, and faculty to acquire new and improve access to our existing collections.

I completed the SAA DAS certification in 2018 and am also a certified archivist. Before moving into my current role in the summer of 2020, I worked on mass digitization projects (exclusively of architectural records), so I have extensive experience in material handling, metadata creation, and in digitization equipment, standards, and workflows. Before starting at Virginia Tech in spring of 2017, I worked as a graduate research assistant at the Alexander Architectural Archives while earning my M.S. from the University of Texas at Austin. As I continue to gain knowledge and experience, I’m looking to serve this professional community - both to share knowledge and learn from others in this section and beyond.

Steering Committee Member Candidates:

The following candidates are running for the section steering committee:

Andi Altenbach, Archivist & Librarian, Studio Gang 

Bio & Candidate Statement: 

Hello! I’m Andi Altenbach, Archivist & Librarian at Studio Gang, a design firm with offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Paris. During my four years here, I worked to build the archival and records management programs to steward the Studio’s diverse collections of architectural models, sketches, digital files, and other design records. This experience has made me aware of both how rich design collections are, but also how challenging, which led me to engage in our large professional community. Since 2017, I have been an active member of the Design Records Section, the Digital Design Records Task Force, and, locally, the Chicago Area Archivists, which has included coordinating programming, presenting at the Section Meeting, and collaborating with DRS members on writing on design records topics. 

As a lone arranger managing design collections, I have benefited greatly from the collective knowledge, insight, and generosity of the Design Record Section community, and I would love the opportunity to give back by serving as a Steering Committee Member. If elected, I would be excited to contribute to developing strategies for utilizing our collective energy as a SAA Section to cultivate relationships with record creators in addressing the complex needs and challenges of design collections.  

Malia Van Heukelem, Art Archivist Librarian, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Bio and Candidate Statement:

Malia oversees the Jean Charlot Collection, a large collection of artist papers, plus the Archive of Hawaii Artists & Architects at the University of Hawaii, Hamilton Library. Previously, she worked in the Library's Preservation Department, and has served as Collections Manager for the state's Art in Public Places Collection and for ‘Iolani Palace.
I transitioned from a career in museum collections management to preservation management in our university research library. At the end of 2017 I got my dream job managing the Jean Charlot Collection and several artist and architect archives. In 2018 I attended the SAA pre-conference workshop on Managing Physical & Digital Architecture, Design, & Construction Records in Washington D.C. which has been critical to my success managing architecture records for the first time in my career. It would be an honor to contribute to this section which has supported my professional development.

Web Liaison Candidates:

Paige Adair, Visual Materials Archivist, The Portman Archives

Bio and Candidate Statement:

Paige Adair is the Visual Materials Archivist at The Portman Archives, and is responsible for processing architectural and artwork collections.  She has been a member of SAA for many years and has had an active membership with the Society of Georgia Archivists since 2012, serving on a range of committees and as Web Manager in 2019. Paige received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and BFA from Georgia State University with focus on Painting and Time Based Media, and began her interest in archives through a work study program with the Penn Museum Archives. She then became the Manager of Reprographics Services in the Kenan Research Center Library of the Atlanta History Center, working on digitization efforts for a range of materials from architectural drawings to glass plate negatives.  In 2012 she attended the Georgia Archives Institute and is currently a Certified Archivist with the Academy of Certified Archivists. 

I am interested in serving as the DSR Web Liaison as I have enjoyed a similar role in the past, working as the Website Assistant for Society of Georgia Archivists in 2018 and Website Manager in 2019. I would love to become more active with the Design Records Section of SAA as I have worked with architectural collections at the Portman Archives as Visual Materials Archivist since 2013. In addition to serving at SGA, I also have experience working on the back end of the Portman Archives website and working on my personal artist webpage so this opportunity seems like a great fit.  Thank you for considering me as a candidate!

Evgenia Diakonenko, Digital Archives Intern, Longfellow House–Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site; Part-time archives employee, Special Collections and Archives, Northeastern University

Bio and Candidate Statement:

Graduated with MLIS in 2020, I hold BA and MA in Art and Architecture History. I am currently involved in two projects. First is the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ) Archive at Northeastern University where I analyze and identify records by genre and apply metadata. I am also a full-time digital records intern at Longfellow House where I am involved in creating digital assets of correspondence, photographs, architectural plans and grounds collections of the Longfellow building and gardens. My seven months project will involve analyzing existing design records and creating enhanced catalog records and digital exhibits that cover the rich architectural history of the Longfellow House. I have a strong visual literacy and background in handling development and design records at the National Parks Service and am interested in being involved in the design records section of the SAA.

Member-at-Large Candidates:

Helice Koffler, Project Rare Book Cataloger, Cary Graphic Arts Collection, Rochester Institute of Technology

Bio and Candidate Statement:

I am currently working as Project Rare Book Cataloger for the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where I am cataloging a collection of rare American type specimen catalogs. Prior to when the pandemic hit, I was the Processing Archivist for the Shubert Archive and editor of its annual publication, The Passing Show. Other past employment includes stints with: the University of Washington, New York Public Library, King County Archives, and Fales Library, New York University. I have a double major in Art History and English, as well as an M.A. in English from Hunter College, City University of New York and earned my M.L.I.S. at the Palmer School of Library & Information Science, Long Island University. I am a Certified Archivist and have had significant experience as a freelance archival consultant. I also have been active with numerous professional and scholarly organizations. Within SAA, I am winding down a term as Member-at-Large for the Description Section and most recently served as Co-Chair of the SAA Performing Arts Section (I also was editor of their newsletter, Performance!, for several years).

While I never have worked exclusively with design records, I have encountered many diverse, fascinating, and often at-risk collections during the course of my career and I have frequently turned to the Section’s resources pages when trying to meet the challenges of caring and advocating for these special materials. I also have been a member of the Design Records Section for a few years and have appreciated the variety of great programs, tours, webinars, and other events that the Section has provided, both at the SAA Annual Meeting and throughout the year. I would be delighted to become more involved as a Member-at-Large and work with the rest of Section leadership to meet its goal of being inclusive of representing all types of design records (and repositories).

Katie Twomey, Archives Technician, The Portman Archives

Bio and Candidate Statement:

Katie Twomey is the Archives Technician at The Portman Archives -- the personal archives for architect/developer/artist John C. Portman, Jr. located in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her bachelor’s in landscape architecture from the University of Georgia and is currently finishing her thesis to graduate with a Masters in Historic Preservation. Katie attended the Georgia Archives Institute in 2018 and served as the Society of Georgia Archivists’ outreach coordinator in 2020. At Portman Archives, Katie works to scan and process all of the architectural drawings associated with Mr. Portman’s architecture career from the 1950s to 2017. She is interested in finding ways to streamline architectural record data entry while still maintaining enough information to perform informational searches for researchers, architects and building owners.
I am interested in serving as the Member-at-Large for the Design Records Section. I have served in an outreach capacity for my local state organization, but would like to branch out and get to know those in the archival design record community on a national level. I am currently the archivist who works to process the architectural drawings at my organization and have been in this role since 2017. Thanks so much for considering me as a candidate!

Standing Rules Revisions

The leaders of the Design Records Section are proposing updates to the Standing Rules that will be added as a section member referendum on the annual ballot this summer. Major changes to the rules include adding provisions in the case of a vacancy or receiving no nominees for leadership roles, changing a role of Student Liaison to Member-at-Large, and adding other policies that were implied but never fully documented in order to increase clarity and transparency to our membership.