May 25, 2022

Angie Kemp: History Handler

Digital Resources Librarian Angie Kemp

Digital Resources Librarian Angie Kemp

Angie Kemp ’11 can trace the history of the University of Mary Washington through her own family tree. Her great-grandmother graduated in 1925, when the school was known as the Fredericksburg State Teachers College. Nearly six decades later, her grandmother decided to pursue a bachelor of liberal studies degree after raising her children.

“There has actually been at least one Mary Washington student in my family in every generation,” said Kemp, who joined UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives team as a digital resources librarian in 2017.

Kemp, who majored in history, built a strong foundation in research, writing and information literacy, and developed a passion for preservation through an internship with the Papers of James Monroe. After earning her diploma, she completed a master’s degree in library and information science online through the University of Alabama while working at the University of Richmond. “I loved the idea of providing free access to historic materials and resources.”

During American Archives Month in October – and throughout the year – Kemp’s current job gives her the chance to straddle Mary Washington’s past, present and future, all at once. She has digitally preserved old artifacts – such as the 1668 Bible on which George Washington swore an oath to the Freemasons – as well as modern ones like social media posts, videos, web pages and PDFs. As manager of the Digital Archiving Lab, she teaches students and faculty how to maintain their own electronic records.

“These collections could be used tomorrow or 200 years from now,” Kemp said. “My goal is to make sure they are accessible for researchers for generations to come.”

Q: What can you tell us about the Call to Contribute: Documenting COVID-19 project?
A: It’s an effort to record the impact of the pandemic on the UMW community. We have virtual performances and lectures, individual stories, and official campus messages and guidelines. Our project information page and submission form are available for anyone who wants to contribute.

Q: What’s an interesting Mary Washington artifact that you have handled?
A: We digitized a 1940s scrapbook that had photos of the Mary Washington Cavalry, a group of riders who could provide aid and assist with communications when there was an emergency in the Fredericksburg area. It sent me on a research mission to learn more about campus life during World War II.

Q: Your team recently archived the LGBTQ+ Alumni Oral History Collection. Are there others?
A: We have collections for Friends of the Rappahannock and Mary Washington Health Care. Our next addition, which will include stories by World War II veterans, will be available soon.

Q: What’s most rewarding about your job?
A: Helping people with their projects, which range from assisting with research to guiding them as they build their own collections. It’s amazing to see the finished products.

Q: Most challenging?
A: Keeping up with the growth of digital content.

Q: What’s your favorite thing in your office?
A: We keep the temperature cool for the materials, so my sister crocheted a cozy shawl that keeps me warm. 

Q: What’s your motto?
A: Be kind. It’s simple but makes a big difference.

LGBTQ Oral History Project Highlights Alumni Pride

Recruited to play field hockey at the University of Mary Washington, Chrissy Bowdren ’11, then a freshman, left practice to get her picture taken for her EagleOne card. Sweating in her uniform, she saw a familiar face in line. She teased her new teammate, Nicole, for being freshly showered and made up, but it was […]

UMW Libraries’ Special Collections & University Archives Interviewed on WVTF

UMW librarians Angie Kemp, Carolyn Parsons and Sarah Appleby are assembling a COVID archive for future students and historians.

UMW librarians Angie Kemp, Carolyn Parsons and Sarah Appleby are assembling a COVID archive for future students and historians.

UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives team was recently interviewed by WVTF Radio IQ, an NPR affiliate, about their new initiative, Call to Contribute. The librarians are compiling an archive of COVID-19-related content.

When the school year ends, many teachers and staff take a break, but at the University of Mary Washington, three librarians are busier than ever – creating an archive that will tell the story of COVID-19 on campus. 

As head of UMW’s Special Collections and University Archive, Carolyn Parsons understands how present day documents become history. Read more.

UMW Libraries’ Collection Captures COVID-19 History

Reference Librarian Peter Catlin planned to get married in Virginia Beach in May. But the state’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order canceling public gatherings put a kink in his wedding plans. Instead, after many attempts, the couple got special permission from Fredericksburg’s clerk of circuit court, who married them on the sidewalk outside the city courthouse. The […]

UMW Libraries’ Collection Captures COVID-19 History

UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives team is collecting and digitizing a variety of COVID-19 related materials, from diaries to photos to social media posts. Anna Billingsley, associate vice president for University Relations, submitted a screenshot of her personal blog, “Coronavirus Captivity,” chronicling her experiences working remotely and living during the pandemic.

UMW Libraries’ Special Collections and University Archives team is collecting and digitizing a variety of COVID-19 related materials, from diaries to photos to social media posts. Anna Billingsley, associate vice president for University Relations, submitted a screenshot of her personal blog, “Coronavirus Captivity,” chronicling her experiences working remotely and living during the pandemic.

Reference Librarian Peter Catlin was set to get married in Virginia Beach in May. But the state’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order canceling public gatherings put a kink in his wedding plans. Instead, after many attempts, the couple got special permission from Fredericksburg’s clerk of circuit court, who married them on the sidewalk outside the city courthouse.

The nuptials marked the beginning of a life together and, when Catlin typed up his story, something else – a special UMW Libraries initiative named Call to Contribute. “It was a very cool start to the project,” said Records Coordinator Sarah Appleby ’06.

The University’s archiving team likes to dig deep in the past, but its mission is also to gather current experiences so future historians can better understand today. To do that, they are asking the UMW community to help create a record of what lives look like in these days of quarantine, remote learning, hand-sewn masks and Zoom meetings.

“We see history happening, and we have to do something to make sure that doesn’t just go away,” Appleby said of the effort.

The team – Carolyn Parsons ’83, head of Special Collections and University Archives; Angie Kemp ’11, digital resources librarian; and Appleby – will collect and digitize a variety of COVID-19 related materials, from diaries and blogs to artwork and photography. They encourage anyone affiliated with Mary Washington to contribute. Read more.

Kemp Presents on Digital Archiving Lab at Digital Scholarship Conference

UMW community members collaborate on a variety of digital preservation projects in Simpson Library’s Digital Archiving Lab.

Angie Kemp, Digital Resources Librarian at Simpson Library, presented on UMW’s Digital Archiving Lab at the Bucknell University Digital Scholarship Conference in early October. The presentation provided an overview of the lab as a space for the digitization of unique materials and as a collaboration space for faculty, staff, students and community members. The presentation also discussed how a digitization lab can be a space for preserving community history, learning marketable skills and building confidence with technology tools.

Kemp Co-publishes Article on Maintaining and Preserving UMW Blogs

Angie Kemp, Digital Resources Librarian

Angie Kemp, Digital Resources Librarian

Angie Kemp, Digital Resources Librarian, recently had her co-authored article published in The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. The article, written in collaboration with former DTLT colleagues Lee Skallerup-Bessette and Kris Shaffer, discusses the challenges of maintaining and preserving a large WordPress multisite installation and offers a potential path forward. “What Do You Do with 11,000 Blogs? Preserving, Archiving, and Maintaining UMW Blogs—A Case Study” can be accessed online here: https://jitp.commons.gc.cuny.edu/what-do-you-do-with-11000-blogs-preserving-archiving-and-maintaining-umw-blogs-a-case-study/

UMW Saves George Washington Bible for the Ages

In November 1752, 20-year-old George Washington placed his hand on a leather-bound King James Bible at the Lodge of Fredericksburg and joined the Masons. For more than two and a half centuries, generations of the oldest fraternal organization in the world would take steps to guard that gilt-edged book, one of only two Washington is […]

Angie White Presents Twice at SAA

Digital Resources Librarian Angie White presented at the Society of American Archivist’s annual conference in August. She presented at the Users Group meeting for Preservica, the digital preservation software used by UMW Libraries, and also at a midweek automation and transparency in digital preservation session. In the latter session, White discussed the implementation experience of UMW’s Special Collections and University Archives Digital Collections, including the migration process, user interface customization, and future goals.

UMW Libraries Launch Assignment Bank

The UMW Libraries are excited to announce the launch of a new website for instructors: the UMW Assignment Bank. The site is available now at http://umwassignmentbank.net.

The UMW Assignment Bank is an online repository of course assignments. Its purpose is to help instructors share innovative assignment designs with each other. In the Assignment Bank you’ll find examples of assignments that your colleagues are using in their courses. You can use these assignments to inspire your own designs. Some assignments are available under Creative Commons licenses, so you can reuse them in your own courses.

All UMW instructors are welcome to contribute their assignments. Contributing to the Assignment Bank doesn’t just help your colleagues — it’s an opportunity for you to be recognized for your own innovative work. To upload an assignment that you’ve designed, go to the Assignment Bank and click Contribute an Item.

The UMW Libraries would like to thank Liane Houghtalin, Kristen Marsh, Leslie Martin, Marie McAllister, Woody Richardson, Mara Scanlon, and David Stahlman, for being the first contributors to the Assignment Bank.

The site was built by UMW librarians Peter Catlin, Katherine Perdue, and Angie White. For a detailed account of the site’s origins, see this blog post on the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies blog.