Today we continue our series on staff introductions with Derek Webb, the University Archivist. Derek comes to us from Lubbock, Texas via South Bend, Indiana. He has a bachelor's in history from Texas Tech University and a master's in library science from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He lives in Columbus with his wife, Dr. Amber Handy, an assistant professor of history at The W, and their two cats. He has been employed full-time at the archives since January 2013.
Derek oversees the day-to-day functions of the archives and supervises the rest of the staff. He is also in charge of appraising and accessioning incoming collections, drafting archival policy, and teaching the Archives Management course for the Public History concentration every fall. In addition, he currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Society of Mississippi Archivists.
Martha Jo Mims is a W alumna, class of 1964, and is also a professor emerita in Home Economics. She is active in numerous organizations around campus and the city of Columbus, and came to us last year interested in volunteering to help preserve the precious records in the archives.
After chatting, we decided that Martha Jo is very well-suited to identify our large collection of unidentified photographs. Since then she has been working through our photos one by one researching the people, places and events in the images and creating metadata so that researchers can find what they're looking for. Her project has allowed us to contribute images to numerous student projects, exhibits, and even research projects of local businesses and family history.
This week we'll be highlighting the people who are staffing the archives this semester. There are four of us in all, each one working in a slightly different capacity to identify, preserve, and make available MUW's documentary history.
Today we're turning the spotlight to Geunia Smith. Geunia is a senior majoring in Psychology. She plans to graduate in May, and afterwards to get a master's degree in pediatric nursing. She is from Edwards, Mississippi.
Geunia is at the archives on a federal work study. She is moving our records into the new storage space, cleaning records folder by folder and examining them for signs of pests or other damage. Every week more of our holdings are accessible to researchers thanks to her efforts.
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