All this week we’ll be featuring introductions to our newest ERS steering committee members! Today, meet Annalise Berdini, our new vice-chair and chair-elect.
Annalise Berdini is the Digital Archivist for University Archives at Princeton University. She is responsible for leading the ongoing development of the University Archives digital curation program. As part of this role, she accessions and processes born-digital collections, offers digital preservation consultation and education to students and staff, and collaborates with Public Services to improve born-digital access practices. She also manages the web archives program, processes analog collections, and provides reference services. She was previously the Digital Archivist for Special Collections and Archives at UC San Diego, where she instituted a brand new digital curation program and co-authored the UC Guidelines for Born-Digital Archival Description.
What made you decide you wanted to become an archivist?
“Honestly, I sort of fell into it. I had just started looking into library school and started researching my options after about 6 years of post-undergrad job hopping, and the program I was most interested in had an archives concentration. I remembered a really great archivist that I encountered during some research I did during undergrad, and started asking questions of archivists about the field and what they did. Mostly, the response I got was that there weren’t many jobs! But the archivists I spoke to were also so passionate about the work they did, and talked about all the ways they felt it was important — and they were so happy to answer my questions and offer help and advice — to connect me with more people in the field. That may actually be the main reason I chose it. Up to that point, my experience in my other career(s) had been that people were generally reluctant to offer help or support. That was never my experience with archivists. Once I started classes and some initial processing work, I knew it was where I wanted to be. Constantly changing work, lively academic discourse, exciting new opportunities in applying technology and leveraging data — it’s exactly the kind of job I hoped I’d find. I’m doing work I never thought I would do, and I get to work with such incredible people who challenge me to do more and better every day.”
What is one thing you’d like to see the Electronic Records Section accomplish during your time as vice-chair?
“I’m really excited about the ongoing work the section is already doing to centralize and make easily discoverable favorite resources for practitioners. I’d also like to see the membership get involved in partnering with other sections to talk about the ways/offer guidance on how electronic records can make more discoverable resources/voices traditionally left out of the archives.”
What three people, alive or dead, would you invite to dinner?
“Janelle Monae, Neil Gaiman, and Carrie Fisher.”