Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Professional Development Call: Ms. Andrea Jackson

Professional Development Call: October 18, 2012
Atlanta University Center - Atlanta, GA

We started the call with each fellow discussing our academic backgrounds, current projects and career trajectory. Andrea Jackson who is the director of the archives at the Atlanta University Center told us more about her background. Ms. Jackson attended Spelman University and earned her B.A. in History with a minor in Sociology. She discovered an interest in archives after participating in a National Museum Fellowship. She went on to earn her M.A. in U.S. history with a certificate in Archival Management and Historical Editing from NYU.

Atlanta University Center
The Atlanta University Center is a collaborative institution shared by Morehouse, Spelman, Clark-Atlanta, and Morris Brown Universities. One of the highlights of the special collection at Morehouse is the Martin Luther King Jr., papers which are valued at 32 million dollars. Another impressive collection at the AUC is the Maynard Jackson mayoral papers. Mr. Jackson was the first African American mayor of Atlanta and he served for three terms. AUC hired a consultant to use materials from the collection to create a traveling exhibit on Maynard Jackson’s career. The Atlanta University Center sponsored the TuPac conference in Atlanta, earlier this year.

Karen Jefferson
Ms. Jackson worked as a project archivist at Fisk University before joining the staff of the Atlanta University Center as a curator. One of Ms. Jackson’s mentors is Karen Jefferson who was recently appointed to the NHPRC by President Obama, after 20 years in the field of archives. When Mrs. Jefferson resigned from her position at the AUC, Ms. Jackson stepped in as the head of archives. One drawback of being in an administrator position is that she is not able to process collections anymore. The majority of Ms. Jackson’s time is spent managing other people and working with donors.

Professional Development
Ms. Jackson’s presentation about the HBCU alliance was her first time as a presenter at the Society of American Archivists annual meeting. She is currently serving as the archivist for the Georgia State Archivist group, her term ends in November of this year. Ms. Jackson has also been the editor of the Archives and Archivists of Color Roundtable newsletter. Ms. Jackson encouraged the fellows to join SAA regional groups and take leadership roles in those organizations. In many cases archivists are alone in our institutions, professional organizations can be a great place to build camaraderie and grow our skill sets.

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