Wednesday, March 27, 2019

New Archival Manager Brings Fresh Ideas

From Left: Stacy Hurst, director of the Department 
of Arkansas Heritage; Dr. Fatme Myuhtar-May, 
archival manager at NEARA; and Dr. Wendy Richter, 
state historian and director of the Arkansas State Archives

Northeast Arkansas residents welcomed Dr. Fatme Myuhtar-May as the new archival manager of the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives during a special open house and reception Friday, March 29.

“I welcome the expertise, knowledge and drive Dr. Mayuhtar-May brings to NEARA and the Arkansas State Archives,” said Stacy Hurst, director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. “She will bring fresh ideas and new programs and help NEARA better fulfill its mission as a knowledge repository that preserves Arkansas history while connecting with the community.”

Myuhtar-May was hired to oversee the Arkansas State Archives’ branch this past February. The reception was a chance to let the public meet Dr. Mayuhtar-May, who already is initiating an oral history program for the Archives branch.

Hurst and Dr. Wendy Richter, state historian and director of the State Archives, attended the event. Myuhtar-May had the experience and passion NEARA needs, Dr. Richter said.

“Dr. Myuhtar-May holds several degrees related to heritage and history, but more importantly, she understands the value of Arkansas history and of making that history more accessible to the public,” Dr. Richter said.

Dr. Myuhtar-May earned a master’s degree in history and a doctorate in heritage studies from Arkansas State University. She worked at the university’s archives and special collections as a graduate assistant and attended the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives and Records Administration.

Dr. Fatme Myuhtar-May
Dr. Mayuhtar-May earned another master’s degree in library science from Texas Woman’s University. She also has worked as a production and managing editor of an academic journal, has published historical research and is the author of “Identity, Nationalism, and Cultural Heritage under Siege.”

Plans are underway to reach out and involve local residents in projects they are excited about, Dr. Mayuhtar-May said.  The branch plans a volunteer day June 14 and is working on a NEARA symposium set for Aug. 10. She said she wants to get people excited about their history, heritage and identity.

“An archives is where a community’s memory is preserved, and it is a place where community members should feel comfortable going,” Dr. Myuhtar-May said. “My goal as an archivist and a manager is to welcome people, to invite them to the Archives, to ask them about their interest and to see how I can contribute to serving that interest better.”

Thank you to everyone who came out to meet Dr. Myuhtar-May on Friday, March 29!