Having only worked at the National Archives for a little more than 2 years, I am still relatively new to the agency and continue to educate myself about the National Archives beyond my particular work area as a Conservator.
My area of expertise is paper conservation and I acquired my craft through both educational and professional opportunities. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania and a Masters degree in Art Conservation from Delaware University. I also worked at the National Gallery of Art for 13 years as a Fine Arts Paper Conservator before accepting my position here at the National Archives.
Another project that I found personally rewarding was working to preserve Native American documents that were later used by descendants in litigation. I found this particular task to be the most gratifying because I felt like I had directly contributed to events that impacted the lives of descendants.
I am also a member of the National Archives' Records Emergency Response Team, which is responsible for responding to emergencies such as potential water damage or fires at the National Archives locations in Washington, DC, and College Park, and the Suitland Records Center in Maryland. Members of the team take weekly rotations and are on call 24 hours a day. Thank goodness no such emergencies have occurred on my shift!
As a result of Hurricane Katrina and the devastating damage and loss of documentation that took place, I am also working with a team to create policies and procedures to be used when large-scale emergencies affecting records occur.
I enjoy working at the National Archives so much because my colleagues are a good group of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Every day is full of excitement, challenges, and the opportunity for continuous career development.