Patricia Smith-Mansfield Transformed the Utah State Archives

Alan Barnett, our Reference Room Manager, has stated, “From the beginning Tricia pushed the staff to establish better intellectual control of the collection, [we inventoried] everything as it moved to the new Archives building, emphasized the key objective of open public access to records, and worked for a more efficient, streamlined process for scheduling records.”  

Tricia understood that the State Archives is more than just the keeper of governmental records. We are the custodians of the records, we preserve them so we can provide access to them. Yet, if we don’t understand what we have (intellectual control) then we can’t provide access or ensure preservation. The initial inventories were the foundation of the barcoding system we use today. With increased intellectual control came the need for better records management and public access. Tricia worked with our records analyst team to ensure an update of the General Retention Schedules and provide records management education, as well as create easier record series scheduling processes for state and local agencies. Tricia also championed our Digital Archives, which now has over 1 million historic public records available online for public access 24/7.  

With these changes Tricia also continuously encouraged professional development and outreach programs. Our employees have remained informed on the best practices in our field and networked with a variety of groups, such as the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists (CIMA), the Utah Manuscript Association (UMA), and ARMA International (the records management professional association). Tricia’s understanding of outreach has ensured that the Utah State Archives has a number of programs to support our sister agencies. Our Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB) has provided grant funds to a number of smaller cultural heritage institutions. Our regional repository and local government programs work to provide broader access and long-term preservation to our historical government records.  Finally, Tricia introduced our volunteer program and has been instrumental in initiating our Friends of the State Archives program.

There are many other initiatives that Tricia supported over the years, if only we could discuss each one. Thanks to Tricia’s intelligence and forward thinking, the Utah State Archives has moved into a position of being a respected national leader in the archival profession.

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Tricia leading the 2016 Staff Retreat.

 

 

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