Laura Christiansen Candidate Page

Laura Christiansen

Curator of Manuscripts and Archives, Thomas Balch Library, Town of Leesburg, VA

Education: Masters of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina,  2004; M.A.,  Public History, University of South Carolina, 2004;  B.A.,  History,  Berry College, 2002;  B.A.,  Art History,  Berry College, 2002

Work Experience:  Curator of Manuscripts and Archives, Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, VA  2014 – Present; Director, Clarke County Historical Association, Berryville, VA, 2012 – 2014; Library Associate,  Thomas Balch Library,  Leesburg VA, 2011-2014; Public Relations and Development Officer, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA, 2011-2012; Head Librarian, Jean Outland Chrysler Library, Chrysler Museum of Art 2006-2011; Archivist, South Carolina Historical Society, 2005-2006 Project Archivist; South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina 2004 -2005

Relevant Professional Activities:

Society of American Archivists;  MARAC ; Virginia Library Association; Virginia Association of Museums; Virginia History Day Judge; ARLIS-MD-VA-DC;  ARLIS - NA  - Standards Committee 2007-2008; Charleston Area Libraries and Museums [CALM];  Tidewater Reference Librarians Association; Librarians On Ice (Networking Group  Hampton Roads VA, Founder, Coordinator 2008 -2011); South Carolina Archival Association (2002-2006) - Conference Coordinator, 2006;  South Carolina History Day Judge; Fellow of the Keepers Preservation Education Fund (2004-2005); University of South Carolina Archival Students Guild (founding member)  - Coordinator, Fall 2004

Relevant Publications and Presentations:

Preserving Your Family Archives Seminar, Norfolk Public Programming 2009; Books, Archives and Ephemera, Oh My! Panel South Carolina Federation of Museums, 2007  ; Guest Lecturer, Teach American History Program, Summer 2006, 2010, 2011; Guest Lecturer, Summer Teacher Institute, 2010.; Reading Images: Art Libraries in Norfolk, VA, Virginia Library Association Meeting, 2011.


I became an Archivist to share my passion for the amazing power archives have to communicate untold volumes of information about the past.  My career to date has taken me to some unexpected places: I’ve run an operating 18th century grist mill and written press releases about YA programs while juggling processing, increasing access to and providing reference for archival collections.  Two things I’ve discovered: archives are everywhere and only constant outreach and advocacy will keep them open and growing. When I first attended SAA's Annual Meetings, I had a difficult time finding a section that felt like “home” until I attended a RAO Section meeting. I felt welcomed, inspired, encouraged and energized by what I heard. Recently I resolved to become more actively involved in SAA and in RAO.  I would be honored to serve my colleagues and to contribute to this vital part of SAA.




Send comments on this website to 2023-2024 RAO Past Chair/Webmaster, Jay-Marie Bravent.