(April 29, 2014) -- UTSA Libraries has appointed two professionals to develop the university's rapidly expanding archives and rare collections. Amy Rushing, head of UTSA Libraries Special Collections, and Julianna Barrera-Gomez, university archivist, assumed their new roles in recent months.
As the head of Special Collections, Rushing oversees the cultivation of the university's collection of rare materials documenting the history of San Antonio and South Texas including communities and groups traditionally underrepresented in the historical record. She will collaborate with researchers both locally and nationally to increase awareness and utilization of the resources available in Special Collections.
Rushing oversees a staff of seven archivists, curators and library assistants, all working with the various materials housed within Special Collections, which include rare books, university archives, manuscript collections and the historic photo collection housed at the Institute of Texan Cultures.
As university archivist, Barrera-Gomez chronicles the history of UTSA by collecting and preserving the university's paper records, digital collections, oral histories and Web archives. Her work documents the institutional memory of the university, ensuring these important materials are accessible to researchers and the university community.
"The work that Amy and Julianna are doing directly supports UTSA's ascent to Tier One," said Krisellen Maloney, UTSA dean of libraries. "They are leading the effort to position UTSA as the first stop for researchers and scholars seeking information on the rich history of our region."
Rushing came to UTSA last fall as a digital archivist, and in March was promoted to head of Special Collections. Before UTSA, she served as head of Digital Access Services at UT Austin, where she worked on a variety of digital preservation and access projects including the Human Rights Documentation Initiative and the University of Texas Digital Repository. Before her position at UT Austin, Rushing was a digital access archivist at the University of Arizona Libraries Special Collections. She received her master's degree in library and information science from the University of Arizona.
Barrera-Gomez joins UTSA Special Collections from the University of Michigan, where she received a master's degree in information science. While obtaining her degree, she worked on a number of digitization and electronic records projects at the Bentley Historical Library and the Smithsonian Institution archives including the Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collection. While completing a fellowship at OCLC Research, she studied how to preserve contextual metadata with research material for easy access and reuse among scholarly researchers.
"I'm honored to be working with such a dedicated, hard-working crew," said Rushing. "If there is one thing I have learned since coming to UTSA, it is that I am more committed than ever to the goal of making our institution into a world-class teaching and research facility that attracts scholars from all around the globe."
Special Collections sustains the university's teaching, research and outreach mission by acquiring, preserving and digitizing primary resources for use by students and scholars at UTSA and from around the world.
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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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