Friday, December 23, 2016

Annual Christmas Letter to the Patrons

Whew! I survived 2016.  I’m sure this is a sentiment that many of us share.  It has been a year full of challenges as our country faced a crossroads, as we each aged another year, and as we perhaps faced good life altering decisions.  Yet here we stand at the close of the year and celebrate our accomplishments and potentials.

For me, there came a day in 2016 when I woke up and realized that I was fully immersed in the professional world.  I negotiated and dictated legal matters.  I became a representative of DSU in matters involving external agencies.  My colleagues became my friends.  I formulated ideas that I wanted to contribute in order to move my community forward in a positive, productive manner.  I developed a voice and hoped that it was heard.  Somewhere along the lines, I passed a point where I stopped having to operate independently and found myself part of a team - A big shout out to the alumni who advocate and support me 100%!

Looking back at the year, so much has been achieved! 
  • Today I sit in a physically different office then I did twelve months ago thanks to the Office of Planning and Construction.   
  • I have a beautiful exhibit installed in a new archives gallery thanks to the Delaware Public Archives. 
  • My collections have increased in size following the #GOTPAPER initiative of the Office of Enterprise Risk Management.  
  •  There are four wayside signs permanently installed on campus through an IMLS grant and the camaraderie of the archival fellow, intern, and student volunteer.   
  • Last, but not at all least, I started an oral history program because of a partnership with the DSU Legacy Committee, a group of loyal alumni who seek to preserve university history. 

My challenges yielded my successes.  I will cherish the moment I received a call from the staff of Vice President Biden’s office because they needed research help.  I will always remember the feeling I had when I stumbled into an abandoned records room in the most unlikely of places.  I will savor the advice I received and feeling of being welcome in the home of a 90 year old alumna who graciously allowed me to conduct an oral history. 

There are many aspects of the future that are obscure and difficult to guess.  There have been significant changes for the staff at the William C. Jason Library and departmental restructuring is still ahead as we move into 2017. By the same token, those who are in the highest offices of this university are setting goals to advance the archives into further prominence within the community.  Whatever comes next in 2017, I will serve to the best of my ability. Continue to join me here, in this blog, as the archives progresses through 2017. 

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and health and happiness in the new year, 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Archives Video Feature by DSU students

Thanks to Jabari Jefferson, Justine Marshall, and Tayzah Peeples for making this awesome promotional video for the archives!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Now Open!

On November 29, 2016 the Delaware State University Archives hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome the campus community and other archives supporters into the beautiful, new archives suite. 

The delays, the hassle, and the negotiations surrounding the construction period were well worth the struggle!  At the end of it all I feel that I have secured a positive future for the Delaware State University Archives.  No longer will it be hid in a converted second floor conference room, but in a dedicated space that can be seen the moment library patrons walk in the front door.

I am thrilled by all of the students who have come into the new space.  In the two days since the ceremony, I have watched again and again as the students call the elevator outside the archives door before their curiosity gets the best of them, and they are suddenly drawn into the gallery. I hear excited exclamations through the wall as I work in the storage space on the opposite side, and it makes me smile.  I am so glad that I have been able to build all of it for them. I hope that I have provided the students with another dimension to their education, and that they may come to understand those who have preceded them and who now support their scholarships, their athletics, and advocate for the diversity of opportunities afforded to them.

It is also for the alumni of whom I speak that I have striven to make the history of DSU more accessible. They deserve to know that the State College for Colored Students and the Delaware State College that they remember has not been forgotten.  There is still someone who appreciates their history and contributions not only to the university but to our nation. I hope that they too will enjoy the gallery and the trip a walk down memory lane it inspires.

In case you missed all the fun, take a look at our pictures here!

Written by Joy Scherry