As I enter my third week as the new College Archivist and Special Collections Librarian, I’d like to take a moment and introduce myself as well as reflect on my journey at Williams College thus far. Prior to arriving at Williams, I was the Special Collections Librarian and Archivist at Elon University where I had worked since 2005. In my position at Elon, I was responsible for building the collections, services, and outreach from the ground up. I was a “lone-arranger” for several years, but when I left Elon I was supervising three full-time staff and the Archives and Special Collections was on the map for the entire Elon community.
My first day at Williams was October 6 and I am 100% sure that I have landed in a good place. Everyone I’ve met so far has been welcoming, friendly, supportive, and most importantly loves working at Williams College. I have experienced the nurturing and intellectual spirit of the College in almost every situation–something many newbies at other institutions probably don’t experience so early on.
I had the opportunity to be part of a Williams Alumni event on October 10 in which the Mike Reily Room was dedicated in the new Weston Field House. This event brought together members of the Williams Class of 1964, friends and family of Mike Reily, as well as others from the Williams community. The College Archives has a scrapbook (created by Reily’s mother) all about Mike Reily’s high school days at Woodberry Forest and his college days at Williams. I was responsible for bringing the scrapbook to the event so attendees could view the amazing item first-hand. The reaction was simply stunning–everyone was impressed not only with how carefully the scrapbook was originally put together, but also how well it has been preserved by the College Archives. During the events that evening, it became clear to me very quickly what a special place Williams College is. The dedication to faculty, students, staff, research, alumni, and the community is remarkable.
In the coming weeks, months, and years I have no doubt I will continue to meet amazing people, experience and actively participate in the nurturing and intellectual climate, and grow in leaps and bounds both professionally and personally. I can’t think of a better place to do this than Williams College!
Visit the College Archives online, and feel free to make an appointment and we can discuss your research needs, support for library instruction, and any project you may be working on.