Meet the DRT Library Staff: Caitlin Donnelly
This is the fifth entry in a series of posts that share information about each member of the DRT Library’s team. Caitlin Donnelly has been the archivist at the Library since July 2008.
Within the first three hours on my first day at the DRT Library, I met musician and Alamo enthusiast Phil Collins. What a way to get started in a new position! Things have only gotten more interesting during my two years at the Library. As a native of St. Louis, Missouri, I knew very little about Texas prior to my employment with the DRT. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the fascinating history of this state.
I am responsible for all duties associated with managing the DRT Library’s archival collections, including preservation, arrangement, description, and access. Additionally, I collaborate with Leslie Stapleton, DRT Library director, to acquire new archival materials. I also provide general library reference services by working with patrons in person and answering research questions via telephone and email.
My primary professional interest is in facilitating the use of historical resources, including archival materials, in ways patrons find meaningful. As a result, many of the projects I have undertaken at DRT Library have been in the areas of access and outreach, including developing and maintaining the blog; creating temporary exhibits for special events; redeveloping and expanding the archives page on the DRT Library website; organizing Open Houses; assessing options for improving access tools and implementing current professional descriptive standards; and spearheading the DRT Library’s participation in Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO).
I have a bachelor’s degree in Humanities – American Civilization and a minor in information technology studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2004). I also have a Master of Arts degree in public history from North Carolina State University (2006) and a Master of Science in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2008). I have been a certified archivist since September 2009.
My previous professional experience includes six summers working for the National Park Service at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis and Natchez National Historical Park in Mississippi. As an undergraduate student, I spent three academic years at the university’s Government Documents Library inventorying more than 9,200 volumes of the U.S. Serial Set. As a graduate student, I processed several collections at the NCSU Special Collections Research Center and contributed to two digitization projects at UNC’s Documenting the American South. Prior to starting at the DRT Library, I worked at the St. Louis branch of the Missouri State Archives during the final five months of a two-year National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant project to process more than 11,000 circuit court case files from 1866-1868.
Besides archives, my interests include cultural heritage institutions more broadly; American history and ways in which people and events are remembered; travel, especially to national parks; and St. Louis Cardinals baseball. I also enjoy Irish and contra dancing.