Today we welcome Katie Rojas, our new Archival Processing and Discovery Supervisor. Katie joins the Special Collections Technical Services team and is responsible for the workflows associated with archival accessioning and processing.
In her own words:
I hold a BA in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin and earned my MLIS with a concentration in Archives from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Previously, I was the Manuscripts Archivist at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Archivist for the City of San Antonio Municipal Archives. I’ve lived my entire life in Texas until now, so my move to Virginia is an exciting new adventure! I love animals, hiking, running, gardening, cross-stitching, art, music, Halloween, and reading.
What was your first ever job with books or libraries?
I was a student library assistant at my high school library. I helped with circulation and reshelving and did a lot of shelf reading, which I actually enjoyed. This was one of the many early clues that I was destined for a career in libraries, though I didn’t figure that out until a few years later.
What was the first thing you collected as a child? What do you collect now? (oh, c’mon, admit it).
My answer is the same for both questions: Books! I’ve pared down several times over the years but I know I’ll always continue to acquire them, no matter how hard I try to stop myself.
Hopefully you’ve been roaming Grounds and Charlottesville a bit since your arrival. What’s your favorite new discovery other than Special Collections?
I love the gardens. I haven’t explored all of them yet, but I especially like that many of them produce edible fruit! I’m also fond of the ginkgo trees on Grounds.
Tell us what excites you about your job?
I’m excited about working with the team in Special Collections Technical Services to do reparative descriptive work. I consider myself an activist-archivist and feel strongly about the need for better representation in archives. I also really enjoy creating policies and workflows that make our work more efficient and more supportive of our patrons’ research needs.
Tell us something about Special Collections or UVA that is different from what you expected.
I’m getting used to saying “on Grounds” instead of “on campus.” I also wasn’t expecting the presence of secret societies. It’s intriguing to see their symbols painted on steps and other places!
If you could be locked in any library or museum for a weekend, with the freedom to roam, enjoy, and study to your heart’s content, which one would you choose?
Museo Frida Kahlo: Frida’s famous blue house in Coyoacán, which was turned into a museum by her husband, Diego Rivera, at Frida’s request. It not only contains Frida’s furniture and garden but also exhibits artwork and her fabulous clothing. I have been a Frida fan since I was a teenager. I even named one of my cats Frida!