2023 Independent Archivists Section Elections

Slate of candidates for 2023 IA steering committee

Incoming Vice-Chair, class of 2026

Deb Eschweiler (She/Her)

Job Title:  Editor | Media Asset Manager | Audiovisual Archivist (self-employed)

Bio: With a video editing career spanning over 3 decades, Deb Eschweiler has been shepherding analog and digital media, organizing project elements, and safeguarding client’s media legacies since before she could put a name to the process. Her undergraduate studies included a minor in history and a double major in art history and video media production (then called     telecommunications” by St. Thomas University, also in St. Paul). She completed her formal media asset management and audiovisual archiving studies in 2019, earning an MLIS from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Since 2015, she has been a member of SAA as well as a member of TCART (Twin Cities Archives Round Table). During graduate school, she served on three student government/student chapters’ leadership boards in five different positions. She graduated with Beta Phi Mu and Phi Kappa Phi honors in 2019. Her deeper dives into media archives during her formal education as well as ongoing consulting on and execution of client projects has given her insight into how many institutions and organizations intend to protect their audiovisual media.

Candidate Statement: Joining the Independent Archivists section and moving into a leadership position will allow me to use my leadership skills honed during graduate school to help others achieve their goals. Helping others to stay informed and helping answer questions has always been a benchmark during my career, both as a video editor and as a media asset manager/audiovisual archivist. Supporting people of all experience levels and backgrounds as they navigate their careers at any level would be an excellent way to share my skills, experience, and expertise. 

Member at large, class of 2026

Josiah Peralta (He/They)

Job Title:  Archivist, Activision Publishing, Inc.

Bio:Since 2021, Josiah Peralta has stewarded the intellectual property of the video game company, Activision. He graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with an MSLIS in 2021, where he focused on digital preservation, audiovisual collections, and community archives. His undergraduate studies spanned music education, creative writing, communication theory, and social action theory. Josiah began his archivist career in 2016 in both traditional and digital archives with groups such as ALA's Rainbow Round Table, the ONE Archives at USC, West Hollywood City Archives, and CSU Monterey Bay Archives and Special Collections. He's a life-long learner who's committed to sharing his experience for the greater good.

Candidate Statement: My interest in joining the Steering Committee is simple: I want to develop this community and myself, where I can return the support I received. I've had an interest in contributing to SAA in some capacity, but wasn't sure where to do that until I found IA. There's a constant need for development across our various experiences, repositories, and services. I know the power of community intimately and what it's like not having it. I'm hoping to foster the exchange of ideas, experiences, expertise, and insight from peers of all backgrounds for IA. Supporting one another in this community is a boon to us all and I would be honored to serve on the committee to do so.

Member at large, class of 2026

Martha Diaz (She/Her) 

Job Title:  CEO, Hip-Hop Education Center | Independent Archivist and Curator 

Bio: Martha Diaz (MD) is an award-winning community organizer, media producer, archivist, curator, educator, and founder of the Hip Hop Education Center. MD has traversed the Hip Hop entertainment industry, the public arts and education sector, and the academy over the past 30 years. Her passion is advancing social justice and transforming communities through media, technology, and social entrepreneurship, while also lecturing internationally and facilitating workshops on archiving and curating Hip Hop and using it as a medium for education, cultural exchange, and the advancement of human rights. Through her exhibitions, and publications of research reports, books, and curricula, she has chronicled Hip Hop history to preserve its cultural value and memory. MD founded the highly acclaimed Hip Hop Odyssey (H2O) International Film Festival, the first festival of its kind. MD was invited to curate the first Hip Hop movie series presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and served as a guest curator at the Museum of the Moving Image and The Schomburg Center. 

A graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study and Tisch School of the Arts Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Program, MD has worked on archival projects with Parkwood Entertainment (Beyoncé Knowles-Carter), Tupac Shakur Estate, Ralph McDaniels’ Video Music Box Collection, and The Paley Center for Media, to name a few. Among her numerous fellowships, MD has served as a Senior Fellow at the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation – National Museum of American History, A’Lelia Bundles Community Scholar at Columbia University, Nasir Jones Fellow at Harvard University, USC Senior MacArthur Civic Media Fellow, and was the inaugural Fellow at the Center for Creative and Entertainment Arts at Virginia State University. MD was a Visiting Scholar at Virginia Union University, and a professor of Hip Hop at Virginia State University. She also serves as an advisor for the Universal Hip Hop Museum. 

Candidate Statement: Participating in the Independent Archivist Steering Committee would allow me the chance to learn and contribute to the archiving field. I've been working with community-based organizations and private collectors for the past 8 years. There is a dire need for more independent archivists and I’d like to help build a career pathway that begins in high school.  I'm working with Arts2Work on the first pre-apprenticeship program for digital archiving and curation for youth 16-24. In my role, I will share my research, case studies, and help bring together as many independent archivists to be part of the committee to develop a methodological framework and best practices.

Member at large, class of 2026

Liz Bedford (She/Her)

Job Title:  Master of Science in Information Sciences student at UT-Knoxville   

Bio: Liz Bedford is on track to receive her Master of Science in Information Science (MSIS) from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in December 2023. Her Master of Arts (MA) in Fashion from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) propelled her into a career in the New York City clothing industry for almost a decade. After a fruitful career of designing clothing, she moved to Washington, DC where her sewing knowledge and love for garment design transitioned into a teaching career. She taught as an adjunct at Marymount University, in Alexandria, VA, and at The Art Institute, in Arlington, VA. Upon her most recent move to Nashville, TN, the next extension of these skill sets was to embrace her passion for history, treasure hunting in the form of research, and storyteller in her. Completing the MSIS degree will allow new possibilities tying all these worlds together. Liz has completed practicums in Collections at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, in the audio/visual department at The Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt University, and at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum in their Archives. 

Candidate Statement: History, research, and storytelling are my passion. My interest lies in untold human stories. The ones that are not housed in museums, collections, or universities. They are the un-curated humanities stories. I believe they provide real insight into our connected human experience and are the most important stories to tell. My interest in being on the committee is rooted in a mission of camaraderie, support, brainstorming, mentorship, and community connection. My hope is to support awareness of the multitude of archives paths one can take to achieve their goals.



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