Archivists provide a service for scholars, for decision-makers, and for members of communities by acquiring, preserving, describing/summarizing/analyzing, and marketing our primary source materials—documents, photographs, audiovisual materials, websites, email, social media. This enables individuals and organizations to have deep experiences with these first-hand accounts of past people, places, events, and subjects in order to answer research questions; to acquire insight into the present and the future; to develop critical thinking skills; and to enable the transparency required for a democracy to flourish. In Ruth’s more than twenty-year professional career, she has been fortunate to have participated in the full continuum of archival theory and practice from donor relations to outreach activities in service to a variety of constituencies. At the University of Kentucky, Ruth focuses on University-related documents, working with students, faculty, administration, alumni, and allied university organizations to remember, share, and deepen our understanding of the University’s history, actions, and impact. Ruth is drawn to archives as culturally-specific materials and places. She also believes that archival work should be grounded in the concrete world of specific projects that have outcomes, where the variable availability of time, financial, and personnel resources requires frequent decisions that balance the possible with the ideal. Outside of work, Ruth is a classical musician, a dog-owner, and an international traveler.
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