Monday, January 6, 2020

New Employees Join ASA

New employees Kimberly Sanders, left, and
Abbie Deville, courtesy of the Arkansas State Archives
Arkansas State Archives recently welcomed new employees Kimberly Sanders and Abbie Deville! Two other positions will be filled shortly.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kim and Abbie,” said Julienne Crawford, interim director. “Their talent, skill and experience stand out and will be instrumental in our ongoing effort to preserve historical material and increase access to our collections.”

Kimberly Sanders was hired as an archival assistant for the Microfilm Department on Oct. 21. She had held a contract for work at the Arkansas State Archives for the past six weeks before taking the full-time position. Sanders has a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Central Arkansas and a master’s degree in art history from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. 

She previously served as the assistant curator of exhibitions at the Historic Arkansas Museum and as a confinement site interpreter at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, where she developed exhibits and published a book on their collections related to Japanese internment camps. She presented lectures on “The American Dream Deferred: Japanese American Incarceration in World War II Arkansas” in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Her publications include: “The Art of Living: Japanese American Incarceration Artwork in the Collections of the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies,” 2019, with the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, and “Coalescence in Confinement: Cultural Synthesis and Identity in Michi Tanaka’s Community Life,” 2013.

Abbie Deville started Oct. 28 as a digital archivist. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in public history from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Deville focused her studies on digital archival collection management and worked in collections at Mosaic Templar Cultural Center and the Central Arkansas Library System, Dee Brown Branch. She also worked with archives, museums, and the National Park Service in Louisiana prior to moving to Arkansas. Deville is working on expanding the digital collections and preservation of electronic records at the Arkansas State Archives.

Also, applications for another archivist and assistant archivist are under review and will be filled shortly. The two temporary positions are funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and are full-time positions that end in August 2021. The positions are related to the Arkansas Digital Newspaper Project, which aims to digitize 100,000 pages of Arkansas newspaper pages for the Chronicling America website.

The website is open-source and is a joint effort by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. The project for the Arkansas State Archives was originally funded for a two-year cycle in 2017, which was renewed last year. In May 2019, about 40 Arkansas newspaper titles, or about 100,000 pages were sent to the Library of Congress to go online. More are expected to be sent off this year.

The National Digital Newspaper Program started in 2005 and is a nationwide effort that includes 48 states and two territories. Thanks to the project, about 15 million newspaper pages available online for historical research.