Meet the Staff Feature: Katie Ray

For the Record’s “Meet the Staff” feature is an opportunity for our archivists to connect directly with the community which we serve.

Name: Katie Ray

Title: Records Management Archivist 

Specialties: Electronic Records, Records Disposition Authority (RDA) revision

How did you end up working at the Alabama Department of Archives and History?

I got hooked on archives as an undergraduate when I had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris and intern at a small literary archive. I subsequently interned at the Library of Congress and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, my alma mater. I returned to Alabama to pursue my master’s in Library and Information Studies with a certification in Archival Studies and accepted this position soon after completing the program.

What is your role?

As a Records Management Archivist, I help to develop and revise state agency RDAs which regulate record preservation and destruction. I am also the Project Archivist for the Department’s ongoing grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to preserve born-digital materials on our new electronic records portal, Preservica (https://adah.access.preservica.com/). I collect and process State Publications from the past twenty years so that our Collections Archivists can make them publicly accessible.

What is the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) Grant?

In 2017, the Alabama Department of Archives and History received grant funding from the NHPRC to increase its institutional capacity to receive, preserve, and provide access to electronic records. The grant began with a partnership with the Office of the Governor, encompassing documents such as emails, photographs, and calendars, and has since extended to the collection of electronic records such as newsletters, bulletins, and annual reports from all state agencies.

What’s your superpower?

As a previous English major, research and writing is my forte. “Easy reading requires hard writing.” I make heavy revisions so that my message is clear and concise.

What are your hobbies when you are not at work? 

I enjoy cooking, knitting, yoga, hiking, playing League of Legends, and seeking out the best cup of coffee in every city I visit. I play the clarinet and am trying to pick it back up after a long hiatus. 

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