The Association of Research Libraries/SAA Mosaic Program promotes much-needed diversification of the archives and special collections professional workforce by providing financial support, practical work experience, mentoring, career placement assistance, and leadership development to emerging professionals from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. Read on to meet the talented group of students in the 2016–2017 cohort. Janeà Johnson San Jose State University Internship host institution: John Hay Library and Special Collections, Brown University Why did you decide to pursue a career in archives? I decided to pursue a career in archives because there is always something new to learn and something new to teach about old objects. It’s cool to be a steward of the past and the future at the same time. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about archives? I wish people knew that the uses of archives don’t begin and end with academic histories—they can be remixed for use in art, community projects, and exhibitions. Michelle Peralta San Jose State University Internship host institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, San Diego Why did you decide to pursue a career in archives? Archives seemed to combine all the things I love about history—I love studying it, I love talking about it, I love preserving it, I love giving it contemporary significance, I love being able to share it with others. For a long time, I didn’t have the language to say that I wanted to be an archivist, but once I had the words, there really wasn’t another choice but to pursue a career in archives. What is one thing you wish everyone knew about archives? Archives may contain physical evidence of the past, yes, but dealing with the past is only one part of an archives’ significance. In truth, archives deal with all time. They are relevant today in the here and now, and what we preserve in our repositories has bearing on what is remembered in the future. The relationship is more fluid than people tend to think. Ayoola White Simmons College Internship host institution: Boston College Why did you decide to pursue a career in archives? I am interested in the social justice capacity of archives. Archives often hold material that provide lifechanging information. For example, when I volunteered in the archives department of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, there were days where I sifted through statues, masks, and other beautiful works of art. There was also a day where I held chains in my hand that once held someone. I don’t think people would consider history to be boring or irrelevant to their lives if they could hold it in their hands. However, I am biased because history was always my favorite subject! What is one thing you wish everyone knew about archives? One thing I wish others knew about archives is that you do not have to be a student or professor to use them. Many people can benefit from archives, whether their goal is satisfying curiosity or learning pivotal information.
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