WArS candidates for 2020

The Womens Archivists Section Steering Committee is proud to nominate the following candidates for co-chair and steering committee member positions for 2020.

Co-chair Charmaine Bonner

My name is Charmaine Bonner and I am the Processing Archivist at Arizona State University. I am also a genealogist and have been conducting family history research for a little over ten years. I was inspired by librarians as an undergraduate student to apply for library school. I quickly realized I could connect my love for history, genealogy and libraries into one career through archives.

 Prior to my current position, I was the 2016-2018 Visiting Archivist for African American Collections at Emory University. In that position, I was able to arrange, describe and accession collections, create a library program and pop up exhibit highlighting the Mari Evans Papers which I processed. I also worked in the reference and reading room security desk. During this time, I was able to volunteer at the Atlanta University Center Archives. At the AUC, I created an exhibit about the Poor People’s Campaign and the last year of Dr. King’s life using the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection. 

In 2015-2016, I was a SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) Digital Gateway Project intern at Duke University. As a project intern, I located materials in repositories and contacted the repositories regarding use of their material. I completed transcription of oral histories in preparation of audio visual segments for the digital gateway project. Identified materials for digitization and making note of conservation and copyright concerns. I researched, located and obtained materials for the visiting SNCC scholars. I assisted in the development of donor agreements and oral history release forms.  I also selected photo content to be used in the audio visual components of the project and promoted the collections within the Franklin Research Center.

 Currently, my responsibilities include ongoing contributions to rehousing, evaluating, and describing new accessions and arranging and describing high priority backlogged materials as determined by the backlog survey. Outside of my primary work duties, I am a member of the Committee for Campus Inclusion and Faculty Women of Color Caucus (FWOCC). I will be the Polytechnic Campus representative for FWOCC for the upcoming school year. 

Steering Committee member Carrie Mastley

Greetings! In September 2019, I was appointed to my first professional position, Manuscripts Librarian for Mississippi State University Libraries’ Special Collections Department at the rank of Assistant Professor. In this role, I am responsible for making the department’s rare and unique manuscript items assessable and discoverable to patrons. This includes processing collections, creating finding aids, assessing materials for preservation needs, conducting research consultations and information sessions, curating exhibits, and other duties as assigned. Prior to this appointment, I served as the Collection Processor (project archivist) for the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana, where I was charged with the cataloging of approximately 10,000 cultural objects related to President Abraham Lincoln. I hold a MA in English from Mississippi State University and a MLIS with a Graduate Certificate in Archives & Special Collections from the University of Southern Mississippi. 

 If elected to WArS’s steering committee, my central goal will be to advocate for archival workers who identify as female with a strong focus on issues unique to our gender. Issues that I feel especially passionate about include the practice of inclusion in hiring practices, collection development, and archival description;  advocacy for the value of archival labor and salary transparency; and parental support, especially lactating mothers (this goes for archival workers as well as researchers/patrons). Ultimately, I believe I would be a good fit for the steering committee because I am truly interested (and invested) in learning more about the experiences of others, especially those who have different cultural, racial, institutional, etc. backgrounds than me in order to serve the archival community at large. If you wish to learn more about me, please visit my electronic portfolio at https://carriemastley.wixsite.com/portfolio.

Steering Committee member Lynn Cowles

Hi everyone! I am the Assistant Archivist/Assistant Professor at Nicholls State University in the bayou town of Thibodaux, Louisiana. My responsibilities include the processing and preservation of a variety of collections, ranging from political papers to a collection of bayou league semi-professional baseball, to plantation records. I am currently writing my first grant, hopefully to fund a major digital preservation project. I also serve on the Faculty Senate and volunteer judge history and social studies competitions for junior high and high school students. 

I graduated with my MLIS with a certificate in Archives & Special Collections from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2019. I was an ALA Spectrum Scholar and an American Indian Graduate Committee fellow. I hold an MA in History from the University of New Orleans and further graduate studies in History from USM. My research specialties include library history, gender & women’s history, race & ethnicities, and early 20th century Southern History. 

I have spent the past year serving as an early-career member on SAA’s Committee on Public Awareness, where I learned a lot about the inner workings of an SAA committee. I see the position on the Steering Committee for the Women Archivists Section as a fantastic opportunity to expand my knowledge in the leadership of such a diverse community. Thank you for this opportunity to serve. 

Steering Committee member Cassandra Berman

I recently joined Georgetown University as the Archivist for the Maryland Province Archives. This collection, which documents the Jesuit presence in North America from the 17th through 20th centuries, has received significant attention in the last few years because it documents Georgetown University’s implication in the slave trade. Working with these materials has opened my eyes to the ways in which archivists must consider current social and political inequities and historical context as they process, describe, and make archival collections available to a variety of researchers and stakeholders. I also just completed my Ph.D. in history from Brandeis University (in May 2020), where I focused on women, gender, and sexuality in early America. In 2012, I received my M.L.S., with archives concentration, and an M.A. in history from the University of Maryland; I also have an M.A. in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Brandeis University.  I have worked in special collections in a variety of professional capacities since graduating from Macalester College in 2006, including positions at the University of Maryland, Brandeis University, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Newberry Library.

As I finish my graduate work, I am eager to become more involved in SAA, and I would be honored to serve on the Women Archivists Section's Steering Committee.  In addition to my interest in amplifying women's voices and experiences in archival collections, I am committed to addressing gender disparities in the archival profession - especially in relation to caregiving responsibilities, equitable pay, leadership, and diversity and inclusion.  I am also interested in the ways in which the section can support its members and foster community during a period of teleworking, social distancing, and both economic and professional uncertainty.  As SAA programming necessarily becomes more virtual - if only for a time - I see the Women Archivists Section as becoming even more important, and I would be honored to contribute to its work.  (And finally, if you'd like to find out more about me, please visit www.cassandranberman.com).