Alumni Spotlight: Alumna Praises iSchool as the Heart of Nation’s Archival World – Ann Abney, MLS ‘16

Claudia Sanchez -

Ann currently works as the Special Projects Archivist for the South Carolina Political Collections (SCPC) at the University of South Carolina where she is in charge of exhibits and outreach and processing the collection of Congressman John Spratt.

Ann Abney

To Ann Abney, MLS and MA ’16, the University of Maryland College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool) is located at the heart of the nation’s archival world. Ann's fascination with archives grew during her undergraduate years at Carroll University and her study abroad at Aberystwyth University. It was this fascination that landed her an internship with the National Museum of American History's Archives Center. There, with "all the cool old stuff," she became hooked on the industry and gained her most influential mentor, archivist Alison Oswald.

During her dual degree program in History and Library Science (HiLS) at the UMD iSchool, Ann worked as a student and volunteered at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in College Park, MD. “Because UMD had a relationship with NARA, it was easy to get my foot in the door. Being a student worker there set me up for a permanent position,” Ann says. She eventually landed that full-time position with NARA in 2015. 
“The best way the iSchool has impacted my career was by giving me connections; I have friends throughout the U.S. that I can call on if I need ideas or help through our common bond of being Terps alumni.”

Ann currently works as the Special Projects Archivist for the South Carolina Political Collections (SCPC) at the University of South Carolina where she is in charge of exhibits and outreach and processing the collection of Congressman John Spratt. She has worked on a number of extraordinary projects throughout her professional career, including the processing of a collection of records related to the United Nations’ founding, and chilling work with the personal effects of individuals who were involved in the Jonestown Massacre. 

For those considering a career in archives, Ann emphasizes the importance of experience. “Try to bounce around through all areas of the records life cycle and the different job responsibilities you might do; you might find you love appraisal and accessioning, so maybe a Records Manager is a better fit for you than a traditional archivist job.” 

Ann also serves as treasurer of the Palmetto Archives, Libraries, and Museums Council on Preservation (PALMCOP) and is the Vice President-Elect of the South Carolina Archival Association (SCAA). When she’s not at work, she enjoys cozying up with her two cats and perusing the latest entertainment on Netflix with warm tea in hand.
 

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