Rachael McGlensey joins us as our current Project Archivist Intern for ACOR’s Photo Archive Project. She arrived in Jordan in mid-January and will be working with the ACOR Library and Archives through July 2019, thanks to support from a grant from the US Department of Education (Title VI, 2016 to present).
Rachael earned B.A.s in History and Anthropology from Penn State University, and she first became interested in archival work when she enrolled in an Archival Management class there. Rachael applied her passion for archival work to her hobby of performing with the Penn State marching band by becoming their volunteer photo archivist.
After Rachael completed her undergraduate studies in 2016, she undertook her M.A. in Museum and Artifact Studies at Durham University in England. While at Durham, Rachael enrolled in a Professional Exhibition Design course where her group focused on the theme ‘Women in Archaeology.’ Through the course, Rachael was exposed to numerous female archaeologists and their contributions to Middle Eastern archaeology. Rachael also took a short work placement at Tyne and Wear Archives in Newcastle, where she says her work provided an ideal introduction to the work environment she currently experiences at ACOR.
Rachael’s main task as Project Archivist is organizing and digitizing the Paul and Nancy Lapp Collection online together with Digitization Intern Eslam Dawodieh, and coordinating metadata and image uploads with Assistant Librarian Samya Kafafi. The collection consists of approximately 2,500 35mm slide photos of sites throughout Jordan. Roughly one third of the 1960s slide photos are of excavations at Bab edh-Dhra and other Dead Sea Plains sites. Rachael is continuing the work of a series of project archivists including Corrie Commisso, Jessica Holland, and Steve Meyer, along with the core project team. This work is leading to the digitization and upload of thousands of historical photographs from the ACOR Archives to the STARCHIVE platform where they are accessible to the public. Additionally, Rachael is assisting the team in reformatting the photographic collection guide and finding aids, which will soon be uploaded to WorldCat.org in order to increase global access to ACOR’s resources.
Rachael hopes to pursue a career in collections management in the future. She views her work at ACOR as an important step in getting her there.