Women's Collections Section 2022 Ballot

Co-Chair Candidate

Mattie Clear


My name is Mattie Clear and I am the archivist and assistant professor at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA. I received my MA in History and MSLIS in Archives Management from Simmons University in Boston, MA in May 2021. Before grad school, I received my BA in History and Sociology with a certificate from the National Institute of American History and Democracy in Early American History, Material Culture, and Museum Studies from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA. While in Boston, I worked as a Reference Associate in MIT Libraries’ Department of Distinctive Collections and as a Research Associate for the Design for Diversity IMLS grant-funded project at Northeastern University. Prior to my time in Boston, I was the 2017 Elizabeth Brown Pryor Library of Congress Junior Fellow and worked as an Archives Assistant and Student Assistant at the Earl Gregg Swem Library Special Collections Research Center at the College of William & Mary.

Candidate Statement

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice work have always been a part of my experience with archives and as an archivist. Before attending grad school, I curated the commemorative exhibition entitled “Justly Belongs: 100 years of W&M Women” utilizing the collections of women as well as collections that contain the voices of women within the William & Mary Archives. As a part of my work with the Design for Diversity project, I was able to engage in thoughtful conversations about not only collecting but how we surface those collections of historically silenced groups. Additionally, as a part of my MA in History, I wrote a thesis entitled “Hidden in Correspondence: Letters of Enslaved Women as Resistance and the Case for Improved Archival Description.” In this thesis, I discuss how the letters of enslaved women, many of which remain unrecognized in the collections of their enslavers serve as physical evidence of their resistance to enslavement. I will be using my work as I engage with the archives of Washington & Lee in preparation for their 40th anniversary of women alumni and would welcome the opportunity to discuss this work as well as how we as archivists can engage consciously with women’s collections and collections documenting the lives of women. 


Vice Co-Chair Candidates

Ashley Bryan


My name is Ashley Bryan and I am the current Access Services Librarian & Archivist at Wentworth Institute of Technology. I earned my BS in Public History, Museum Studies, and Anthropology from Central Michigan University in 2018. In 2021, I received my MLIS and an MA in History from Simmons University, where I studied archives management and wrote my thesis on women's relation to death and deathcare in early America.

Statement of Interest

As a woman working at a STEM institution, it is extremely important to highlight the voices of women in the sciences and at my university. Women were not invited to the school until the 1970's. Because of this, I've had to come to terms with how underrepresented women are in the institute's history and within the archive. Highlighting the voices of women in the archival collection has been an uphill battle, but an extremely rewarding one. And, working with unprocessed collections with so much potential is one of my favorite parts of being an archivist. I would greatly enjoy the opportunity to be considered for Vice Co-Chair of the SAA Women’s Collections Section to work with and learn from other archivists early in their careers to make collections that much more accessible!


Thera Webb


I am currently the Women@MIT Project Archivist, where I focus on processing and enhancing the description of collections related to the experiences of women faculty, students, and staff at MIT. I have a BA in Gender Studies from the New School (2006), an MFA in Poetry from UNC Greensboro (2009), and am MLIS with a focus on Archives and Cultural Heritage from Simmons University (2018). I have also worked in the Harvard College Observatory’s Astronomical Photographic Plate Collection, Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Historical Collections and Archives, and as the Center for Advanced Visual Studies Project Archivist, where I received a CLIR Recordings at Risk grant to preserve and digitized MIT’s Experimental Music Studio recordings.


Statement of Interest

I’m interested in uncovering the histories of marginalized groups, and the role archivists can play in that via description and outreach. One of the most valuable experiences I have had in my career was acting as the archival consultant for the winning proposal for the Cambridge Nineteenth Amendment Centennial public art project, The Future to be Rewritten. Being able to collaborate with an artist and use my interest in women’s histories as part of a public art project expanded my ideas on how archival collections can be utilized in ways outside of the expected. I believe strongly in collaborative relationships and have professional and personal experience working and organizing with groups of people from a wide range of socioeconomic and racial experiences. As queerspawn, I am also particularly interested in the ways that our goals and work with women’s collections intersect with the goals and work of the Diverse Sexuality and Gender Section. I look forward to working with the membership as vice co-chair to support each other and advanced our collective goals.