Governance Board 2021 Elections - Candidate Statements

Very Large Level Representative

Natalie Adams
Systems Archivist, Cambridge University Library

Thank you for the opportunity of standing for election as the membership representative for Very Large Institutions on the ArchivesSpace Governance Board.

From March 2019 I have worked as Systems Archivist at Cambridge University Library and played a lead role in the Archive Management System project (2018-April 2021) to deliver ArchivesSpace as a new archive management system for Cambridge University Library and as a discovery layer for external users. I carried out project management and metadata analysis for successful data migration of complex legacy datasets (800,000 records). I have built a community of partners in the Cambridge instance of ArchivesSpace which currently has 33 repositories across the University and city of Cambridge. Our installation of ArchivesSpace is unusual both because of its scale and because it includes repositories that are part of the University of Cambridge (faculties, departments, museums and colleges) as well as organisations that are external to the University.

I have delivered training to 85 users of the system and am their first point of contact for queries about ArchivesSpace. I will shortly be taking up a new position of Metadata Specialist at Cambridge University Library and working as part of the Library’s Digital Preservation Programme. My new role will retain ongoing involvement with the Cambridge installation of ArchivesSpace but will widen to include integrations and workflows with other systems in use across the Library.

I am professionally engaged and outward-facing and would bring a wider UK perspective to the governance board: I am a Fellow of the UK Archives and Records Association; a tutor on the University of Dundee’s postgraduate training course for archivists and a Peer Reviewer on the UK Archive Accreditation scheme run by The National Archives. I am also a member of the ArchivesHub Advisory Group and have been working with the ArchivesHub and other data aggregators in the UK on harvesting data from ArchivesSpace.

I have very much enjoyed learning about ArchivesSpace through my work and through attending online events and training opportunities and would be very keen for closer involvement with the ArchivesSpace governance and community as an opportunity to give something back. As a relatively new member of the ArchivesSpace community I have recent experience of getting to grips with ArchivesSpace and implementing it at scale and hope that this perspective would be useful. I have taken opportunities to meet with other prospective UK users of ArchivesSpace to share my knowledge and point them towards support from ArchivesSpace (including promoting funding opportunities to the Black Cultural Archives) and would be very keen to support and promote diversity, equality and inclusion.


Sean Quimby
Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and Director of the Kislak Center, University of Pennsylvania

It is an honor to run for re-election as the membership representative for Very Large institutions on the ArchivesSpace Governance Board. My first term spanned appointments at Columbia, where I served as Director of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and the University of Pennsylvania, where I am now Associate University Librarian for Special Collections and Director of the Kislak Center. During my time on the board both universities adopted ArchivesSpace at the campus level, bringing together often very different repositories and approaches to accessioning, collection description, and metadata maintenance. I have been fortunate in both instances to work with very talented archivists on the logistics of implementation while I work to facilitate their efforts at the administrative level. This is precisely the role of a governance board member:  not to fix bugs or set development priorities, but to ensure that the ArchivesSpace has clear strategic priorities, is in good financial health, and that the entire AS community is heard.

To that end, my proudest achievement in the past few years has been to work with community members and AS staff on the Diversity Partnership program. This initiative grew out of the community response to last summer’s George Floyd and Breonna Taylor murders, and aims to make the ArchivesSpace community more diverse and inclusive. As a board member, I helped to give shape to the program and shepherd the proposal through to board approval. In the process, I learned a lot about the wide ranging concerns of archivists at institutions of all sizes. Beginning in July, I will move into the role of Chair of the Governance Board, and in doing so will seek to build upon the Diversity Partnership program in order to advance AS’ diversity goals. I acknowledge that this work takes time and pledge therefore to do what I can to ensure that initiatives like the partnership are designed with long-term sustainability in mind.

Small Level Representative

Julia Novakovic
Archivist, Brian Sutton-Smith Library & Archives of Play, The Strong National Museum of Play

I’ve been the Archivist at The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York since 2013. As the museum’s first professional archivist, I started the archival program from the ground up. I established procedures and created policies, forms, and documentation. In my time at The Strong, I’ve processed nearly 2,500 linear feet and more than 6 TB of archival collections. I handle accessions, processing, reference, digital preservation, collection development, outreach, tours, displays, intern supervision, and much more. I implemented ArchivesSpace as our internal information management system for the archives in 2015, and we were able to launch our public-facing Archives Catalog the following year. I am the museum’s true power-user of the ArchivesSpace application, touching some aspect of ArchivesSpace on a daily basis in order to share information about our holdings on the study of play, artifacts of play, and video and electronic game history. Our archival collections are a major draw to researchers, journalists, scholars, documentarians, and collectors worldwide, and I am working toward integrating ArchivesSpace with our DAMS (Preservica) in order to facilitate online access to some of our digital materials. In addition to my hands-on ArchivesSpace experience at the museum, I’ve previously been a member of the AS Nominating Committee (2017) and the AS User Advisory Council (2018-2020), serving on the Reporting, Testing, and Usability sub-teams.

I truly understand the needs and capabilities of a Small-level member institution. I would be honored to represent my cohort on the Governance Board, while seeking to build upon the terrific work done by previous boards and advisory councils. I’m interested in ensuring that ArchivesSpace reaches its full potential as our field’s premier information management system, while keeping in mind the possible challenges facing smaller institutions who cannot devote the same amount of staff time (or have the same technical skills) as a large institution.


Kat Stefko
Associate Librarian for Discovery, Digitization, and Special Collections and Director of the George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College

I am delighted to stand for re-election for the ArchivesSpace Governance Board. For the past three years, I have been honored to represent small—and all—institutions on the Governance Board.  During that time, and especially over the past year when our lives, and for perhaps most of us, our priorities, have been drastically changed by COVID and the laying bare of our society’s racial injustices, the work of the Board has grown more important, more urgent, and in truth, more interesting.  The ArchivesSpace Governance Board has supported a number of new initiatives in response to this unprecedented historical moment, and I would value the opportunity to continue to foster these important efforts, as well as to continue to support the overall development of the ArchivesSpace application and community for the next three years.

Throughout my twenty-five year career as an archivist, I have been committed to the interrelated goals of increasing access to and, thereby, use of archival collections. While the shape of my work has varied greatly through appointments at Duke and Harvard universities, Bates and Bowdoin colleges, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a common thread running throughout my career has been an abiding commitment to making archives as open and accessible as possible.  This work has taken many forms, from surveying backlogs and processing hidden collections to designing and supporting instructional programming grounded in active learning principles and aimed at fostering visual and archival literacy, to reviewing and revising collection development policies with the goal of diversifying holdings, to directing and managing numerous digitization projects, including one that delivered metadata in three languages, English, Haitian Creole and French.  Questions of how we describe our archival holdings are deeply interesting to me, and I am keenly aware of both the advantages and shortcomings of describing our materials according to prevailing library standards.  In my current role, I oversee Bowdoin’s Special Collections and Archives, but also the library’s technical services department that handles the acquisition and cataloging of general library collections.  In this dual role, I have been guiding the library’s efforts to bring critical cataloging principles to our work, with the goal of describing and presenting all of our resources in ways that are inclusive, respectful, and ethical.

As a Board member, I have served for the past two years as the liaison to the User Advisory Council (UAC) and for the past year, also as the liaison to the Technical Advisory Council (TAC).  Attending both UAC and TAC meetings, along with their leaderships’ regular coordinating council meetings, has allowed me to gain direct insight into the important work of these groups, as well as the ways ArchivesSpace as an organization can best support them.  Working on behalf of the coordinating council, I recently presented to the Board a proposal for a three-year pilot leadership training program for TAC and UAC members. Just approved, this program is aimed at fostering project management, team building, and decision making skills for all TAC and UAC members, who are charged with conducting their important work via remote teams.  I would welcome the opportunity to continue my work with the Governance Board, as well as with UAC and TAC, to support this training program and other new initiatives, such as the Diversity Partnership, which will strengthen our community.  ArchivesSpace, the application, has brought us together, and ArchivesSpace, the community, will move us forward. I am grateful to be a part of that community, honored for the opportunity to serve it, and excited by the prospect of continuing to contribute to its well-being.