I’m an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Information. My research focuses on anthropological archives and the digitization of ethnographic records in historical collections. I have been a research associate at the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives since 2014 and currently serves on the Council of the Society of American Archivists.
My research engages anthropological records and collections in various ways. In 2016, I received an Early Career grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for my research, Valuing Our Scans: Understanding the Impacts of Digitized Native American Ethnographic Archives, to study and develop strategies to assess the impact of access to, and use of, digitized ethnographic archives for academic and Native American researchers. The pilot study for this project received funding support from the 2013 University of Maryland -Smithsonian seed grant program.
I also continue to pursue my dissertation research that examines ‘virtual reunification’ as a strategy to provide integrated access to dispersed ethnographic archival images online. Through a Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research grant, I co-organized a 2-day workshop, Revitalizing the Council for the Preservation of Anthropological Records (CoPAR) for the Digital Age in 2016. I am currently leading the effort to re-envision CoPAR to serve the needs of anthropologists and archivists to preserve ethnographic records and field research data as these become increasingly digitized and/or born-digital.
I have been active internationally in developing community-focused archival work. In May and June 2009, I worked in Techiman, Ghana, to establish the archives of its traditional council and studied the impact of placing this archival unit within a proposed community heritage center. From 2005 to 2006, I organized the archives of Culion, a former leprosarium in the Philippines, and curated a museum exhibit for the centennial of the community’s founding as a segregation facility for people with leprosy.
My other area of research examines the practices of agricultural data curation. In pursuing this research, I lead a team of postdoctoral scholars and masters’ fellows to enhance agricultural data curation efforts at the U.S. National Agricultural Library.
I hold a Ph.D. in Information as well as graduate certificates in Science, Technology, and Society (STS) and Museum Studies from the University of Michigan. Prior to my doctoral work, I taught on the faculty of the University of the Philippines’ School of Library and Information Studies, where I served as assistant professor of archives and library science and as museum archivist for the Vargas Museum, an art museum connected to the University.
My publications have appeared in leading archives journals, including the Library Quarterly, Library Trends, American Archivist, Archivaria, Archives and Manuscripts, and Archival Science. My work on ethnographic archives and digitization has been published in Practicing Anthropology in Summer 2015. In 2012, I received the Hugh A. Taylor Prize from the Association of Canadian Archivists for his co-authored article in Archivaria on users and uses of digitized photographic archives.