Category: News

Goodbye and Good Luck!

Tricia’s time with the Utah State Archives has affected more than just policy and programs. This week I spent some time with our employees trying to understand the impact she has had on their lives.

When asked what they will miss most about working with Tricia, employees’ responses varied. Many commented on Tricia’s knowledge and her ability to defend the Archives and the laws that govern our state’s records management.  Others noted her positive and passionate personality. Employees noted her kindness, respect, and professionalism. As our microfilm technician Jim Duke said, “No matter if you were a [security] guard or a new employee she counted your opinion and listened.”

The employees also have a number of favorite memories over the years. While many recall her various costumes at the staff Halloween parties over the years, the Cruella DeVille shown here was fondly remembered by more than one employee, Tricia’s ability to recognize the importance of her employees was the most common theme among the memories. Small moments that impacted individuals in great ways were often remarked upon. Jim Kichas remembered her repeated encouragement and constant support just before and after the birth of his daughter. Janell Tuttle recalled how she was allowed to rearrange her schedule during one summer so she could help care for the new puppy she and her husband had just adopted.  Rosemary Cundiff recalled that when Tricia’s brother passed away Tricia still came to work to lead the staff retreat, even though the funeral was that same evening.  In these and many other ways Tricia has supported her staff and helped them to become the wonderful team that we are. As Heidi Stringham stated: “Tricia always had our back.”

Tricia’s unique personality and leadership skills will be remembered long after she has begun her relaxing retirement.

Today we had to say goodbye and Tricia finally allowed us to take her picture with her good-bye gift: A year’s supply of Diet Coke.

We will miss you and wish you all the best!

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.

 

 

The Impact of Patricia Smith-Mansfield

As we spend our last week with Patricia Smith-Mansfield we are reminded of the great work she has done for our institution. Over the years, Tricia has steered the Utah State Archives and Records Service through a number of difficult situations and we want to highlight some of the great initiatives she has spearheaded.

Tricia’s clear direction has pushed the Archives to new levels of professionalism among the staff, in our procedures, in our customer service, in our intellectual control of the collection, and in our planning for future challenges. She has navigated our agency through the budget crunches and staffing stresses of the “Great Recession.” She has also managed a number of major projects including the building process for our current Archives building on Rio Grande St., the overhaul of the new Records Center in Clearfield, and the expansion of our current permanent repository.

Archives Building Ribbon Cutting, October 2004. Patricia Smith-Mansfield (Archives), Keith Stepan (DFCM), Camille Anthony (DAS), Rep. Lorraine T. Pace, Governor Olene S. Walker

Most importantly, Tricia has successfully managed each of the legislative changes the Archives has faced during the last 14 years. During her tenure the legislature has worked to update our Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), created a Public Notice Website (a responsibility then assigned to the Archives), created an Open Records Portal, designated a government records ombudsman, and led the State Records Committee (SRC) during a period when the number of appeals before the SRC grew exponentially. With each situation, Tricia used her extensive knowledge of Utah’s laws related to governmental records, her understanding of governmental functions and the value of records, and her willingness to embrace the necessary concept of Open Government to influence the Archives in a manner that will be felt for years to come.

The State Records Committee , July 2016

 

As our Archives and Patron Services Manager, Jim Kichas, has stated:  “The programs and personnel of the Utah State Archives are all better off because we have been fortunate enough to have Tricia as our leader these past 14 years.”

Patricia Smith-Mansfield is retiring.

It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of our long-time director Patricia Smith-Mansfield.

Tricia has played a vital role in guiding the Utah State Archives for the last 14 years. Her knowledge, leadership, and fun personality will dearly be missed. At the same time, we are excited for her as she embarks on the next phase in her life–maybe she can finally find enough time for her art.

Over the next few days we are going to take some time to honor her and all she has done for the Utah State Archives and Records Service Division.

THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR HARD WORK TRICIA!

The Beginning of History in Utah

In July of 1897 Utahns gathered to celebrate the Pioneer Jubilee. This was not the first time people had celebrated the anniversary of the Mormon Pioneers entering the Great Salt Lake Valley.

 Anniversary events reportedly had been happening for years. Yet, it was the first time that Utahns began to look at the event as a celebration of history rather than an anniversary.

For the first time, the organizers worked to put on an event that would not only celebrate pioneers, but would tell the story of what was finally being recognized as history.  The original pioneers were declining rapidly in numbers and taking their stories with them. Events that had seemed contemporary in the previous decades, were becoming hazy memories to older generations, or just hearsay to newer generations. If the original pioneers were to have an official place in the halls of history, the generation of 1897 was going to provide it. The Jubilee was an opportunity to celebrate pioneer heritage while capturing evidence of the events that had formed society throughout the inter-mountain region.

Organizers intended the Pioneer Jubilee to celebrate, memorialize, and preserve history.  Parades, concerts, and baseball games celebrated the anniversary. Unveiling of the Pioneer Monument memorialized the pioneers. Photographing the surviving pioneers, gathering and displaying artifacts, and creating the Book of the Pioneers captured evidence of the pioneer story.

For the first time Utahns began to look at and document their own history and, today, we still see the effects of that Pioneer Jubilee celebration held 120 years ago. The current State Historical Society and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers organization both were a result of increasing historical awareness that was so evident at the Pioneer Jubilee. Many Utahns are familiar with the annual Days of ‘47 parade that takes over Salt Lake City and many other towns throughout the state on July 24th. That celebration and others can trace their roots to the Pioneer Jubilee. This was just our first steps along the path of understanding our larger history. This step led to exploration into the fields of mining history, Native American history, military history, and so many more.

Come celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Pioneer Jubilee with us. Visit our short digital exhibit which examines the documents of Utah’s Pioneer Jubilee Celebration, the Book of the Pioneers, and the founding of the State Historical Society. Understanding that first celebration can help us understand the evolution of the way we view the pioneers and our state’s founders and even our larger history.

Newly Processed: May 2017

With the new website design, the publication of online series inventories was delayed. We’ll be highlighting all the new ones a month at time over the next week.

All public records at the Utah State Archives are accessible through the Research Center. However, once processed the records are easier to use with proper storage and fuller descriptions, including online series inventories. The following list includes record series that were processed during the month of May 2017:

Newly Processed: April 2017

With the new website design, the publication of online series inventories was delayed. We’ll be highlighting all the new ones a month at a time over the next week.

All public records at the Utah State Archives are accessible through the Research Center. However, once processed the records are easier to use with proper storage and fuller descriptions, including online series inventories. The following list includes record series that were processed during the month of April 2017:

Newly Processed: March 2017

With the new website design, the publication of online series inventories was delayed. We’ll be highlighting all the new ones a month at a time over the next week.

All public records at the Utah State Archives are accessible through the Research Center. However, once processed the records are easier to use with proper storage and fuller descriptions, including online series inventories. The following list includes record series that were processed during the month of March 2017:

Newly Processed: February 2017

With the new website design, the publication of online series inventories was delayed. We’ll be highlighting all the new ones a month at a time over the next week.

All public records at the Utah State Archives are accessible through the Research Center. However, once processed the records are easier to use with proper storage and fuller descriptions, including online series inventories. The following list includes record series that were processed during the month of February 2017:

Public Service Recognition Week: Meet the Reformatting Team

Meet the Reformatting Team

By Brian Carpenter

As part of Utah’s Public Service Recognition Week, we want to honor the men and women of the Utah State Archives and Records Service who work to ensure the management and preservation of and access to our governmental records.

The preservation/reformatting section is responsible for a variety of reformatting processes  used for the long-term preservation and easy access of essential documents or images. Our section microfilms documents for preservation, scans images, and duplicates rolls of microfilm for access. We also oversee the climate controlled vault for the 120,000 master microfilm rolls in our permanent collection.

Reformatting Team (left to right) Front Row: Julie Talbot-Maestas, Melody Yearsley, Back Row: Brian Carpenter, Nathan Gardner, James (Jim) V. Duke

Nathan Gardner, BFA Photography.

Hired October 2001

I digitize microfilm, microfiche, and sleeved microfilm for outside agencies as well as for the Archives. These images are used for worldwide online access and by individual patrons and governmental agencies. They are also used by various archives staff to make information of historic value and interest available to the public.  I assist as supervisor, as needed, and I oversee the maintenance of the equipment within the micrographics/reformatting section.

 Melody Yearsley

Hired May 10, 2000

I started out as a micrographic section filmer.  I prepped and filmed case files for 3rd District Court in Salt Lake City, UT.  However, I filmed only for a short time.  I was moved over from filming to the accessioning area of the micrographic/reformatting section.  The process of accessioning the rolls of microfilm is to put the information from the roll of film into the Archives database.  This process assigns the roll a unique tracking number.  With the unique accession number assigned to the roll of film, an agency or the public has easy access to a roll of film.  I also assist in the micrographics lab by making diazo film copies of the master film.  I also barcode master microfilm, which provides an inventory control of our microfilm collection and allows easier access to the rolls for public use.  Filming, duplication, accessioning, barcoding, and our other responsibilities help preserve the historic documents, and ensure that the records are available for the public to use.

Julie Talbot-Maestas

Hired July 1987

I am an Archival Technician and have worked mostly in the Micrographics Section, with a few years spent at our Records Center.  I have worked in all of the areas of the micrographics section, including microfilming, processing film in the lab, film duplication, and now data entry.

I learned how to digitize microfiche and roll film and I look forward to doing that again in the near future.  Currently I am barcoding our master microfilm rolls to accession them into the Archives permanent collection.

James V. Duke

Hired January 2017

I started at the Archives in January 2016 as a volunteer because I wanted to use my Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree and I knew the archives was a great place with many great people. In January 2017 I was hired as an Archival Technician and I am lucky to work on a few fun and interesting filming jobs.  Mainly I film documents or books for state agencies or from the Archives permanent collection. Filming is a new adventure.  My other duties include making digital masters of TIFF images and transferring those images to Blu-ray discs, which are used in our Research Center.  I also help process images for the website.  I do various jobs and am always look for new ways to help and new things to learn, which is essential to our micrographics team.  I am very fortunate to be paid for what I enjoy doing and working with many great men and women.

I am grateful for the hard work these four individuals do on a daily bases.  They all are good at their individual jobs and are great representatives of the Utah State Archives.  Everyone is very willing to help each other out from time to time, if assistance is needed.  They all work very hard to produce the highest quality product possible and always in a timely manner.  These four make up a great work force.

Join the State Archives in recognizing them along with other employees in blog posts throughout the week, both here and on our Recordskeepers Blog.