I was first introduced to the archival field while serving an internship through the University of Wyoming to process 19th- and early 20th-century records from the Jicarilla Apache Agency. While completing my degree in American Studies, I accepted an internship at the National Archives National Archives at Denver. After completing the internship, I was hired as an Archives Aide.
I have since worked my way from Aide to Technician to Specialist and finally to Archivist. Even though I did not have a background in archival practice, certain aspects of my personality (love and interest of history, obsessive attention to minute details and my desire to learn), made me a good candidate for working in the archival field.
A "normal" day in my job includes:
- responding to reference requests (e-mails, letters, and phone calls),
- working with researchers
- pulling records
- reviewing and inputting descriptions into the Archival Research Catalog (ARC)
One of the most rewarding things about working at the National Archives has been the opportunity to meet former internees from a World War II Japanese American internment camp who came to our facility to use records related to that period.
It was very humbling to listen to their stories and observe their emotional reaction(s) to seeing documents relating to themselves and family members in our holdings.