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Wyoming Native and UW Alumna Returns to Fulfill Role as UW Archivist

March 12, 2018
head portrait of a woman
Sara Davis

Sara Davis, a Wyoming native and University of Wyoming alumna, is the new university archivist at the American Heritage Center (AHC).

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to return to a community that I feel dear to my heart -- Wyoming, the Rocky Mountain region and the university -- to help in the preservation of our history,” Davis says.

Davis holds an associate degree in music from Laramie County Community College and two degrees from UW – a bachelor’s degree in humanities and fine arts, and a bachelor’s degree in English, with a minor in psychology. Additionally, she has a master’s degree in library science, with a concentration in archives management, from Simmons College, and a digital archives specialist certificate from the Society of American Archivists.

Davis left Wyoming to attend Simmons College in Boston to pursue a higher education at a nationally renowned American Library Association accredited program. Her intention was to, one day, return to her home state and share her experiences and knowledge to advance public information.

“I look forward to engaging our community in preserving our history and playing an active role in collecting materials that document campus culture, the history of the University of Wyoming, its administration, programs, services and members of its communities,” Davis adds.

While in Boston, Davis gained experience in the archives management field by working with the Appalachian Mountain Club, the University of Massachusetts Boston and the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site, as well as participating in professional organizations such as the New England Archivists and Society of American Archivists. Additionally, Davis served as a consultant for the National Association of Olmsted Parks. There, she was the digital archivist and project manager for the National Park Service at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site.

The university archivist serves as a liaison between the AHC and the departments, faculty, staff and student organizations to assist in records retention schedules, which are critical in terms of the legal value of records as evidence and the reliability of information, as well as collecting materials that help document UW.

Overall, the university archives aim to collect documentation on the seven functions of an academic institution: convey knowledge, advance knowledge, confer credentials, foster socialization, maintain and promote culture, sustain the institution and provide public service.

The AHC is UW’s repository for about 3,500 collections with a broad range of research value in multiple formats, including manuscript collections, rare books and university archives. The AHC is the laboratory for citizens and scholars to engage with primary sources in all formats that support the creation of historical narratives, interrogate the past, build community, and pose and answer questions about human experience. The AHC holds collections of distinction, serving citizens and scholars in Wyoming and others.

The AHC collections are still growing, and all collections are open to the public.

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