Welcoming Our New Steering Committee Members

Welcoming Our New Steering Committee Members

The Oral History Section wishes to congratulate the newest members of our Steering Committee! In our online section election which ran from July 8th-July 22nd, the following candidates were elected:

Vice Chair/Chair-elect

Amanda Pellerin  

Amanda Pellerin holds a Masters in Historic Preservation from Georgia State University and a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from Valdosta State University. She received SAA's Digital Archives Specialist Certificate in 2014. She worked at the Georgia State University Library's Special Collection and Archives from 2005-2010, including work with the Voices of Labor Oral History Project, the Georgia Women's Movement Oral History Project, and the Johnny Mercer Oral History Project. She has been an archivist with the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum since 2010, and is the main point of contact for the oral history collections at the repository.

My initial introduction to archives was through researching in an oral history collection at the Georgia State University Library Special Collections and Archives. Ever since then I have been hooked! Part of my duties on the GSU archival staff was to conduct oral history interviews, transcribe interviews, duplicate and digitize recordings. I then trained an army of students to continue and amplify those efforts. At the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, I arranged, described and made digital access copies to all of the oral history interviews conducted with President Carter's White House staff. I also developed a standard operating procedure to shepherd the recordings from in house transcription, to the edit stage, to final posting on our website. The dedicated oral history volunteers who transcribe the interviews and archival staff who review and edit the initial transcription now use these digital access copies and the SOP to complete their work. Whenever possible, I attend local workshops on oral history to stay current on developments in conducting, transcribing and providing access to this very important piece of the historical record. Most recently, I went to the Oral History Associations' offering of OHMS: Enhancing Access to Oral History Online. 

After working in archives for over ten years, I believe that oral histories provide under represented communities whose voice is otherwise overlooked or absent among the historical narrative an opportunity to share their side of the story for consideration. As Vice Chair/Chair Elect I would enjoy spreading the good word of how oral histories enhance collections and as a whole offer primary evidence of some of the most joyful and controversial moments in the human experience. In addition to promoting these artifacts, I see potential in this position to connect amateur and professional technicians to resources that will guide best practices in the collection, access, and preservation of oral histories. We are in an exciting time to manage access to both the written and spoken artifacts that make up the components of oral histories.

I have a proven record of invovlement at the regional level working in committees and on the executive board of the Society of Georgia Archivists. I see this service as an opportunity to both advocate for and learn more about the oral history profession.

Steering Committee

Katie McCormick 

Katie McCormick, Associate Dean for Special Collections and Archives at Florida State University, began her career as an oral history archivist at UNC Charlotte. While at UNC Charlotte, in addition to helping coordinate community projects, managing the oral history archive, and pursuing online access to UNC Charlotte’s interviews, Katie served for 5 years as a reviewer and n oral history project advocate on UNCC’s Institutional Review Board. While her day to day work has veered away from oral history collection management at times, her interest in and advocacy for oral history have continued. In 2014, Katie facilitated the transfer of the Reichelt Oral History collection from FSU’s History Department to FSU Libraries. Since then, she and her team have been working together to address consent and rights issues with the aim of providing comprehensive online access to the entire collection.

I am running for a position on the Oral History Steering Committee because I want to re-engage with the broader conversation related to oral history and the work of archivists. During several presentations during SAA 2015, I became concerned that our community to moving backward, not forward, in its understanding of rights and access to oral histories. To me this signals a continuing need for outreach and furthering the Oral History Section’s strong work in advocacy and education. AS a steering committee member, I hope to bring my years of experience and perspective to the work of the section and to reengage with topics and issues – oral history best practices, ethics, preservation, and open access - that I am passionate about.

Virginia Ferris 

Virginia Ferris holds her MSLS with a focus on Archival Management (UNC-Chapel Hill, 2014), MA in Irish and Irish-American Studies (New York University, 2010), and BA in Anthropology (Barnard College, 2006).  She is Outreach and Engagement Program Librarian for NC State University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center, where she was previously a Libraries Fellow (2014-2016). As a Fellow, she led an institutional history documentation initiative using oral history as a critical tool for documenting and engaging researchers with university history. She holds previous experience in oral history, exhibit curation, archival processing, and community engagement at New York University's Glucksman Ireland House, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and the Southern Historical Collection and Southern Oral History Program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

As part of her work at NC State, Ferris oversees the SCRC’s growing oral history program with a special focus on creating a more diverse record of underrepresented narratives of university history, coordinating oral histories and outreach programming with alumni, faculty, and other members of the campus community. Ferris is interested in innovative and diverse models of oral history creation, integration of oral history into outreach programming, and new methods of fostering access and research engagement with oral history materials, particularly in a university setting. 

In addition, the steering committee has made the following appointment:

Newsletter Editor

Melissa Lindberg

Melissa Lindberg works at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. She holds an MLS with concentration in archives management, and an MA in American history, both from the University of Maryland. She has previously worked in special collections at the Huntington Library, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the University of Maryland, and American University. Her academic studies, which focused on the experiences of ordinary people in early America, inform her work at the American Folklife Center, which collects materials related to the traditional creative expressions of ordinary Americans. 

At AFC Lindberg works extensively with the oral history collections, performing both analog and digital processing as well as reference work. She is currently processing the analog portion of the Maine Folklife Center collection, which includes a large body of interviews related to occupational folklife. On the digital side, she regularly moves digital content safely to long-term storage and performs related metadata work. She also helps to prepare files for online presentation, most recently for a collection that documents ethnic art traditions in Chicago in 1977.  In her role as reference liaison at the Folklife Center, she handles reference requests related to the Center’s popular oral history collections, such as those associated with the Civil Rights History Project, the National Visionary Leadership Project, and StoryCorps.