Today we present Tiffanie Mazanek from the Digital Services Section.
Tell us a little about your job.
I work on a multitude of different things, but the things I work on most often are indexing our Secretary of State Land Grants, adding materials to our Digital Collections, and designing promotional materials for the State Archives.
What project(s) have you completed recently, are currently working on, or have coming up?
We just finished and published our newly designed and updated State Archives newsletter, The Charter.
The DCR Educational Committee is releasing a new search tool that will enable students and teachers to search all DCR’s digital resources. The DCR Educational Resources Portal is available on the NCDCR website and will be officially launched this late summer.
I am currently working on the Rosenwald Papers to be included in our Digital Collections as part of the Early African American Education Collection.
How long have you worked at the State Archives?
I have just reached the five year mark.
Are you involved in any committees or DCR-wide programs?
State Archives Civil War 150 Committee and the DCR Education Committee.
Describe your educational or career background prior to working here.
My first career had nothing to do with history. I worked for 13 years at Victoria’s Secret as a store manager, leaving shortly after the birth of my daughter. After about three years out of the work force I took a job at the State Archives as a part time temporary employee working on the North Carolina Newspaper Digitization Project. At the end of that project I was able to acquire a full time position. I believe my love of history, my degree in Graphic Design, and my understanding of branding and public service brings a fresh perspective to the State Archives.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
The State Archives of North Carolina has such a treasure trove of information and I enjoy getting that information out to the public, especially to our educators. I believe it is so important that our children know about the past, one can learn so much from history. I find working with our digital collections immensely satisfying, being able to get the great primary resources the State Archives has online and easily accessible to the general public via the web.
I also enjoy designing and developing promotional materials for the State Archives, being able to utilize my graphic design background to help promote an agency such as the State Archives is rewarding and fun.
What skills or traits do you think are needed to be successful at your job?
Attention to detail is a must and being able to multitask.
What’s the most interesting or unusual thing you’ve come across in a collection?
One of my job duties is to index pertinent information from the Secretary Land Grants, in this indexing I come across some fun names, just this week I came across the name Rice Coffey some other notable names include Ice Snow, and an all-time favorite Bold Robin Hood.
Do you have a favorite collection or set of records?
I really enjoy working with the Private Collections. By the end of working on a private collection I almost feel like I know the people. A good example of this is with the Burgwyn Papers. I had the opportunity to scan, transcribe and index William Burgwyn’s diaries and many of his personal letters. The letters and diaries were primarily from the time he served in the Civil War. I found it interesting to see how he matured as the years went by. His first diary was started in 1861 and he was only 18 years old and last diary ends in 1865 at the age of 22, in this four year time frame he had lost his older brother, was seriously wounded, and captured by Union Forces, not to mention partook in numerous battles and saw many of his friends and colleagues die. Burgwyn’s papers are available in the digital Civil War Collection as well as many other letters, some of which brought tears to my eyes.