2019 Election: Candidate Statements

Thank you to all of our excellent candidates for standing in the 2019 Museum Archives 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:

  • One Chair-Elect/Chair (two-year term)
  • One Newsletter Editor (two-year term) 

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


Chair-elect / Chair

2019-20 / 2020-21

Ryan Evans

Archivist for Collections Processing at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Ryan Evans is Archivist for Collections Processing at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, where his responsibilities include collaborating on workflows and solutions for born-digital processing and description, as well as providing access in the manuscripts reading room. Previously he held positions in archives and special collections at the Center for Curatorial Studies and Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), The Museum of Modern Art, and the Kress Foundation. He received his M.S. in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute, as well as his M.A. in Modern Art, Critical and Curatorial Studies from Columbia University. In 2018 he completed a Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) certificate from SAA. Ryan joined the SAA Museum Archives Standards and Best Practices Working Group in the Spring of 2012 and has contributed regularly to the symposium at the annual meeting. In running for chair, Ryan hopes to bring his engagement and commitment of service to the Museum Archives Section to the next level.  

Sharad Shah

Collections Management Librarian with the Smithsonian Libraries

Since 2014, I have been employed with the Smithsonian Libraries—working in branches such as the Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex (SLRA), Museum Support Center (MSC), National Air & Space Museum (NASM), National Museum of American History (NMAH), and the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). Prior to joining the Smithsonian, I worked at the Library of Congress for four years—primarily in the U.S. Copyright Office and Rare Books and Special Collections Division. Before coming to Washington, D.C., I worked in archives, museums, and libraries in Southeastern North Carolina. In most of my positions, I worked directly with archival material and special collections. Education-wise, I received an MA in History (concentration in Public History) in 2008 from UNC-Wilmington and an MSLIS (concentration in Cultural Heritage Information Management) from Catholic University in 2013. Additionally, I have been an ACA-certified archivist since 2014.

While in pursuit of my master’s degree in history, I saw the connections between libraries, archives, and museums not merely as repositories of knowledge and information, but as institutions engaged in proactively sharing that information with the public and specialized researchers for the benefit of improving society. Over the years, I have seen how these institutions have benefited by working together in collaborative efforts and how best practices (e.g. digitization, cataloging methods, preservation practices, collections storage, etc.) in one field could be applied to improve the operating policies in another field. Likewise, I have seen where units sharing resources (software, hardware, budget, staffing) have worked to achieve compromises which best addressed the needs of all involved parties.

Because of the broad overlap within LAMs, I have been a member of organizations such as the Society of American Archivists (SAA), American Library Association (ALA), American Historical Association (AHA), American Alliance of Museums (AAM), National Council on Public History (NCPH), and regional groups such as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), North Carolina Association of Historians (NCAH), and the District of Columbia Library Association (DCLA). Additionally, I am involved in several internal groups within the Smithsonian such as the Smithsonian Institution Archives and Special Collections Council (SIASC), Audio-visual Archives Interest Group (AVAIL), and I am the chair of the Smithsonian Libraries’ Archival Material Working Group (AMWG).

Ultimately, what I bring to the position of Chair-Elect/Chair is the combination of broad experience, education, passion, professionalism, and a desire to promote added awareness and perspective.

Newsletter Editor


Michelle D. Novak

President, [MND]

Michelle D. Novak is president of [MND] (www.mnd.nyc), a Brand–Design firm serving non-profit education, finserv, technology, and healthcare. She is a Master of Information student (formerly, MLIS) at Rutgers University, holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as numerous certificates from professional institutes. Novak is a Trustee of the Genealogical Society of Bergen County, NJ (GSBC) and the Genealogical Society of New Jersey. She also serves as Project Administrator for the New Jersey Early Land Records Project, which supports a project with the New Jersey State Archives to index more than 80,000 land records; Editor of the GSBC’s national award-winning newsletter, The Archivist; and is involved with numerous transcription, indexing, publicity, and digitization projects.

Novak has always had a deep interest in museums and archives—as a visitor as well as researcher—and is tailoring her MI degree to best serve these areas. Ideally, a future career may be a confluence of her professional design experience with her MI degree. She has attended conferences and workshops from the DPHSNY, MAAM 2019 Building Museums, Henry Stewart DAM 2019 New York, and hopes to join SAA in Austin this year. By taking on the position of Editor for the SAA Museum Archives Section Newsletter, she hopes to immerse herself in the museums sector, learning as much as she can while contributing to the dialogue.

Cate Peebles

Museum Archivist, Yale Center for British Art

Cate Peebles is a Museum Archivist at the Yale Center for British Art, where she is currently focusing on processing the Paul Mellon Archive and related collections. In 2017-18, Cate was a National Digital Stewardship Resident for Art Information at the YCBA where she created workflows and policy that will preserve born-digital art collection records. Previously, she processed archival collections at the Senator John Heinz History Center, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and the University of Pittsburgh Special Collections; she holds an MLIS with a concentration in Archives Management from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016. Prior to becoming an archivist, Cate received an MFA in poetry and worked for a decade in New York as a copywriter and editorial assistant.

As a new professional, I am excited to participate in and provide service to the museum archives community. Along with serving as the Museum Archives Section Newsletter Editor, I am a member of the Museum Archives Section Working Group and have participated in both this and last years’ projects. During my brief tenure as the Section’s Newsletter Editor, I have produced one issue (and am at work on a second), and I am eager to improve upon it and continue growing in this role. I enjoy getting to know my colleagues, near and far, and learning about all the interesting work going on in museums across the United States; creating connections and sharing our stories is an important part of fostering a wide, inclusive community of archivists, and our newsletter helps accomplish this. I would be so pleased to continue contributing my energy and interest in museum archives to the group as its Newsletter Editor.

Katrina Wood

Archivist and Cultural Heritage Master Program Specialist, City of Durham

Katrina Wood began her career in journalism, moving into editing and freelance writing as she pursued advanced degrees in Professional Writing and Library and Information Studies. One of her primary research interests continues to be outreach; that interest lends itself to event planning and support, social media content, blog posts, and virtual collections project management. At present, Katrina works as an archivist and Cultural Heritage Master Program Specialist with the City of Durham.

I would like to submit my interest in the Newsletter Editor role with the Museum Archives Section of the Society of American Archivists. I maintain a confident, knowledgeable, and capable candidate profile; I believe in my abilities because I have a successful track record of carrying out similar roles. I assert my titles of Librarian and Archivist, but also Independent Contract Writer. I wrote for publications as an undergraduate and graduate student. I mastered interview techniques, became adept at effective correspondence, and I’m able to turn to the more creative side of publication design. I can be counted on to thoroughly proofread and submit content free of errors. I’ve edited a newsletter for the Florida State ALA Student Chapter, and whether a publication comes in e-mail digest form or a full-fledged academic journal, I do not balk at curating content, requesting columns or contributions, and sending out reminders when needed. Thank you for your consideration.