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Archives Month

Celebrate Archives Month by exploring the history behind the Central Piedmont Archives, learning basic archival skills, and contributing to projects as a virtual volunteer.

Get to Know the Archivists

Learn how the staff at the Central Piedmont Archives started their career paths as archivists, what brought them to Central Piedmont, and what’s their favorite thing about working in archives.

Erin Allsop, College Archivist

Why did you choose a career in archives?

I've always loved history, but I felt lost when deciding what career path to pursue. Through some soul searching and even dropping out of college, I re-enrolled and discovered the archives profession while doing a research assignment in the library. I haven't looked back since! I also have a family connection to the world of archives, so it just felt natural for me to pursue a career in this field.

What's your favorite part about working in an archive?

I love processing paper collections - providing order to a set of papers that do not make sense to most people, gaining a better understanding of the person or the organization that created the papers. I also really enjoy curating exhibitions using our archive materials to help tell a story, collaborative exhibitions that bring together resources from other institutions and educational programs are exciting.

What steps did you take to become an archivist?

My undergrad program at Brooklyn College (NY) offered a certificate program in archival studies, where I was fortunate enough to learn about a variety of archival tasks. After ungrad, I enrolled in a Library Science program that offered a focus on archival management. It was through education and a variety of paid and unpaid internships that I built up my experience and career.

What brought you to Central Piedmont?

I have always loved working in higher education. It brings me great joy to help patrons find resources in the library, and working in archives is a natural extension of that service. I was relatively new to Charlotte when the Archivist position became available, so I applied and my hard work finalyl paid off. I was able to build something from the ground up, while educating our students, staff, and community about the importance of preserving our institutional heritage and how our story can be used for collaborative events.

What's your favorite item in the Central Piedmont Archives?

There are so many items to choose from. My favorite item in the archives is a work of art by alumni Keith Morris called "Prepare for Tomorrow, Think Today!" It is a charcoal sketch of a student sitting down on a table looking very hopeful and determined. This is most likely a self portrait, but that information is unconfirmed. The sketch sat in the office of Dr. Richard Hagemeyer - perhaps he viewed this sketch every day as a source of inspiration? I'd like to think so.

Johnamarie Macias, Archives Assistant

Why did you choose a career in archives?

I love history and learning about the past. It was my favorite subject in school and continued being a favorite of mine in college, where I studied archaeology. I also love libraries and worked as a student library assistant during my senior year. After I graduated, I landed a job as an archival technician and learned more about the profession from my colleagues. It got me thinking about all the ways I could contribute to the practice of collecting, preserving, and making materials accessible for research. I felt inspired, so all of those interests and experiences combined motivated me to explore a path in librarianship and archives.

What's your favorite part about working in an archive?

I enjoy several different aspects about working in an archive, but my absolute favorite part is working closely with the material and transforming mysterious and unknown collections into accessible sources of information for researchers. Working in an archive reminds me of archaeology because it involves digging into the past, uncovering hidden items, and making that information available for others to use and interpret in their research.

What steps did you take to become an archivist?

After college, I enrolled myself in the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at Queens College, City University of New York. For two years, I worked toward a Master of Library Science degree and a Certificate in Archives and Preservation of Cultural Materials. During that time, I joined several professional organizations and gained hands-on experience through archival internships. After earning my library science degree, I naturally gravitated toward academic libraries. It took me nearly a decade to break into an archival setting as a full-time employee, but during that time, I stayed up-to-date with professional trends, tools, and literature.

What brought you to Central Piedmont?

When I moved to Charlotte in 2020, I knew right away I wanted to work at Central Piedmont. It was one of the first locations that caught my attention when exploring the Elizabeth area. The look and feel of Central Campus reminded me of my alma maters. I also did my research and learned how Central Piedmont provides excellent learning experiences to students. I found myself wanting to be part of that support system, so when a position in the College Archives opened up, I immediately jumped at the opportunity.

What's your favorite item in the Central Piedmont Archives?

Since I’m a new addition to the College, there are many collections I haven’t had a chance to rifle through and explore yet, but I recently came across an original memorandum signed by Dr. Peter C. Goldmark in the Presidential Papers Collection. Dr. Goldmark developed the long-playing (LP) record and the technology for color television. He also partnered with Dr. Richard Hagemeyer, the first president of Central Piedmont, and ACCESS (Association of Community Colleges for Excellence in Systems and Services) in the 1970s to develop educational television courses for distance learning students. His signature might seem like an insignificant detail to some, but having learned about his life and accomplishments, I couldn’t help but geek out a little bit. I can’t wait to see what other surprises are waiting to be discovered!

LibGuide created by Johnamarie Macias