Since the start of 2015, several new staff members have joined the Digital Services Section. All of us will be making regular blog posts on History For All the People, so we thought it would be nice for each of us to introduce ourselves, describe our roles in DSS, and preview the projects we’re working on.
Introducing Kevin Klesta: Metadata Archivist in the Digital Services Section
My interest in archival work began shortly after graduating from Cleveland State University with a BA in History. Realizing teaching wasn’t for me, I volunteered at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland and learned the basics of processing collections. It was around this time, I learned a BA in History wouldn’t get me my then dream job at the National Archives and Records Administration (I didn’t have much of an imagination). So, I continued my education at The University of Akron located in what was once the “Rubber Capital of the World.”
While acquiring an MA in History, I started working as a student assistant with The University of Akron’s Archival Services, buried in the depths of an old department store. I became acquainted with the “rubber” barons who put Akron on the map: the Seiberlings of Goodyear, the Firestones of Firestone and the O’Neils of General Tire.
After graduating, I was hired on to manage the World War II collections involving the Martin B-26 Marauder (a medium bomber used solely for WWII) and various grant-funded projects. The most enjoyable aspect of this position was working with World War II veterans and their families. Assisting in the preservation of their history while listening to their stories was both satisfying and gratifying. As wonderful as the job was, it was only part-time and temporary. I looked for a full-time position and found one at the State Archives of North Carolina.
I started here in the beginning of February as the Metadata Archivist. It was a bewildering first few weeks not so much from learning the ropes, but from the ice storm, snow storm, power failure, and below-freezing temperatures that had me thinking I had driven to Raleigh, North Dakota by mistake. My duties as Metadata Archivist include digitizing materials, creating metadata, and increasing public access to government records. I’ve since been involved with several ongoing projects including the digitization of historical Governors’ correspondence and creating access to the North Carolina Supreme Court cases (1967-1981) through our MARS database. I’m also starting work on State Senate audio, helping to preserve and create access to more sessions online.