Meet the Candidates for the SAA VMS 2020 Election!
Department of Image Collections
National Gallery of Art
Claralyn Burt is a Library Technician in the Department of Image Collections in the Library at the National Gallery of Art. She received a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland and has a BA in Art History from Brigham Young University. Over the past eight years, she has worked in many cultural heritage institutions including the Fenimore Art Museum and the Farmer’s Museum in Cooperstown, NY; the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York, NY; the National Archives and Records Administration in College Park, MD; the Brigham Young University Museum of Art and Museum of Peoples and Cultures in Provo, UT; the Matthew Edel Historic Blacksmith Site in Haverhill, IA; and University of Maryland’s McKeldin Library in College Park, MD. She has worked with, cataloged, and digitized various types of collections, specializing in photography and visual materials. When she is not working at or visiting a museum, Claralyn enjoys running, watching classic films, and traveling.
Although a new member of the Visual Materials Section, I am excited for the opportunity to serve and become better acquainted with its members. I have been heavily involved in the student chapter of SAA at the University of Maryland (Student Archivists at Maryland or SAM). I worked on committees that arranged tours for the student group, as well as organized and ran “Beyond Americana”—an annual symposium that brings archives professionals to campus to speak about their experiences in the field. I look forward to applying these skills and implementing similar types of activities and professional development opportunities for the benefit of the Visual Materials Section. Given the recent work and cultural changes from this pandemic, I am especially eager to consider how we can connect with, learn from, and help each other virtually during this period and to carry on these habits and ideas into the future.
Center for Creative Photography
As the associate archivist for the University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography, I am responsible for the management of and access to 280+ archival collections related to the history of photography, which includes both analog and digital materials. I oversee acquisition, processing, and preservation activities, research and reference services, the research fellowship program, and instruction activities with faculty and students. Special projects I am currently working on include: a grant-funded preservation project to assess and preserve our at-risk film-based materials; implementing digital preservation workflows; and an active participant of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Initiative. I have worked in archives, libraries, and museums since 2010. My educational background includes a Master of Science in Information (MSI); MA in Museum Studies; and a BA in Art History. In May, I passed the comprehensive exam for the Digital Archives Specialist Certificate through SAA.
I am extremely interested in becoming actively involved with the Visual Materials Section again, and believe my professional experience leadership skills will serve well as Chair-elect. As an archivist working and teaching with primarily photographic materials, I feel strongly about visual literacy and archival education. I would encourage VMS to develop and share accessible resources to build visual and archival literacy skills in all learning environments. I would also explore ways in which VMS could support paid training for students interested in working with visual materials. Over the past 4 years, I have been actively involved with both the Society of American Archivists and the Society of Southwest Archivists (SSA). From 2016-2019, I was a member of the SAA Preservation Publication Award Subcommittee and was previously active with VMS in 2016-2018, serving as the Education Chair. With SSA, I am an active Executive Board member (2020-2022), and just completed a two-year term as secretary with the Board. I’m active on the SSA Nominating committee, State Partnerships and Outreach committee, and the newly created Internship Ad-Hoc Committee.
Digital Initiatives Metadata Librarian
University of Miami Libraries
I am the Digital Initiatives Metadata Librarian at the University of Miami Libraries, where I am responsible for describing the libraries’ digitized archives and special collections materials. My background is split between archival processing and cataloging, which combine in my love of metadata and providing access to digital collections. After spending 8 years in Florida, I now live in Austin, TX, where I work remotely while eating lots of tacos.
I am excited to be running for the position of Chair-Elect of the Visual Materials Section. VMS has always inspired me as a place where archivists from different types of institutions and roles come together to share knowledge and develop answers to the questions we face in working with visual materials. As a metadata librarian who works with a range of visual materials in digital form, I know that while our areas of focus may vary, we all share a commitment to preserving and making available the visual aspects of our cultural heritage. As Chair-Elect, I would focus on continuing the Section’s work to share information and finding ways to engage our members during the unusual times in which we find ourselves. Thank you!
Kyle DeCicco-Carey, MS LIS, CA, DAS
Senior Reference Archivist
Property Information Resource Center
1350 Massachusetts Avenue, 585
Cambridge, MA 02138
Kyle is the Senior Reference Archivist at the Property Information Resource Center (PIRC) in the Harvard Planning Office. He provides access to analog and digital visual materials including architectural drawings and photographs as well as other materials such as property records, deeds and historic information on Harvard’s buildings. Kyle was previously on the reference staff at the Harvard University Archives where he provided access and instruction to Harvard’s various historical collections and cataloged photographs for patron digitization requests. He is also the president of the board at the Mattapoisett Museum which is in the process of cataloging their visual holdings as well as expanding programing and exhibits in to the visual and performing arts.
He holds an MLIS with a concentration in Archival Management from Simmons University in Boston and certifications from the Academy of Certified Archivists (CA) and SAA’s Digital Archives Specialist (DAS). He is currently pursuing a certificate in Non-Profit Management at the Harvard Extension School.
I am running for Member at Large because I want to contribute and be involved more in our profession. My career has involved working extensively with visual materials. I also have a professional as well as a personal concern about the future of digital born materials photographs. I feel that I have experience working with and providing access to visual materials that I can contribute to the Visual Materials Section to promote issues relating to visual materials to the greater archivist community.
Nicole Davis (She/Her/Hers)
The Museum of Flight
9404 East Marginal Way S
Seattle, WA 98108
I started my archival career as an intern in 2008 in the photo archives at the Briscoe Center for American History at UT, then was Assistant Photographic Archivist at the Harry Ransom Center before becoming Photo Archivist at the Austin History Center. After living in Texas for more than a decade I wanted to get back home to the Pacific Northwest and took a position as the Supervisory Archivist at the Museum of Flight.
My heart is in photo collections, even though I’m not working with them exclusively any more. My Museum does have an extensive photo collection and other visual materials and we fulfill a lot of photo reproduction requests, so I’d offer the perspective of someone who has to juggle photo collection management with other archival duties. I’ve been a section editor for the View newsletter for a few years so I’d love to try on a new role with the section.
Renée Elizabeth Neely, MLIS
Artist / Independent Scholar
Project Archivist – The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University
I am an archivist and a visual artist. This duality is easily understood by those of us in the Visual Materials Section. I received my MLIS from Simmons College (now University), and hold an AB in English Literature and Cultures from Brown University. I am represented by Studio Hop Gallery, Providence, RI.
Currently, I am Project Archivist for The Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, Brown University. My independent research focuses on how we can re-imagine and illuminate historical narratives that do not have traditionally documented records.
Archival Outlook, VIEWS, Provenance, Journal of the Society of Georgia Archivists, The Independent Scholar, and Callaloo, A Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters.
This moment of global crisis has given us a chance to reflect on how we want to move forward. Before this, I would have been content to remain a silent member of our Section. I am running for the position of Member-at-Large on the Steering Committee, to actively contribute to our Section, and SAA. I believe this is an opportunity to support each other and move forward together.