Meet your Archives Month Chair: Hope Ketcham Geeting

Hope Ketcham Geeting photo

What jobs have you had in the archival realm?

I have worked at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum & Library, the Grand Rapids Public Museum, and the Grand Rapids Public Libraries Special Collections Department. I did a little bit of everything in each of these positions, from processing and metadata to large digitization projects and exhibit work. My current position is in Research Services at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University where I assist researchers in our reading room and also assist in overseeing our reproduction and travel grant workflows.

What is your educational background?

I completed my bachelors in American and European history and am currently enrolled in my MLIS at the University of Alabama. 

What is your favorite part of your job and what do you consider to be the most important part of your job?

The best part of my job is working alongside curious and kind people, whether that is my colleagues or the researchers that come through our reading room. Additionally, as a student myself, I am always eager to work alongside and assist students; I find these interactions particularly meaningful. The most important aspect of my job is providing access to users both within and outside of the Duke community, as we desire to make our collections as widely accessible as possible. Reproductions in particular are an exciting part of providing access because they allow a lot of hands-on interaction with materials, and I never know what I might come across in a given day.

Tell us about something you're particularly proud of from your job or your institution.

I am really proud of the work my Research and Access Services colleagues have done in assisting students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, Access Services (with the partnership of our Digital Production Center) have delivered 90,000 still images, a number that only continues to grow each week. I am also proud of the kindness and care we extend to each other as well as our willingness to help.  

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a similar career?

Value your labor and work for institutions that compensate you fairly. This sets high expectations for future employers and helps you establish healthy expectations of yourself and others. Also, establishing a network of other archivists and library workers who can share their experience with you is invaluable. I spend a lot of time watching and absorbing.

Who has been key to shaping your professional outlook?

My colleagues at Duke as well as previous institutions have extended more kindness and inspiration to me than I can adequately credit and this has been foundational to my professional outlook. In my current position at the Rubenstein Library, I am inspired daily by the mindfulness and creativity that goes into my colleagues’ work as well as their willingness to share their knowledge with others.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time in SNCA leadership?

My hope is that Archives Month continues to unite our profession in a shared goal of celebrating our work, to amplify new voices within our profession, and to educate the wider public about the important work that archives are doing. If you are interested in joining our committee, do not hesitate to reach out!

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