Friday, June 9, 2023

Clarke Historical Library student Andrea Howard is now a Visiting Processing Archivist

by Marian Matyn

Portrait of Andrea Howard
Andrea Howard interned for Archivist Marian Matyn in the Clarke Historical Library during Spring term 2014. During her internship, she spent most of her time on the Aladdin Housing Company collection, sorting through the personal records of Aladdin founder William Sovereign and his son, Will Sovereign, Jr. Andrea said, "I loved finding unexpected things, like photographs of pilot Jeanette Lempke, William Sovereign’s wife, and her trailblazing flights in the 1920s. I knew pretty quickly that I’d also found a new career path."

Fast forward about 9 years, Andrea has earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After a brief stint as a Local History Librarian in Ohio, she is currently a Visiting Processing Archivist at Grand Valley State University. Andrea stated, "Drawing directly from my processing experience at the Clarke, I am currently working to process a large collection of zoning and urban planning materials. I’m excited to contribute to the field in the next couple of years by becoming involved in professional archival organizations and giving conference presentations. "

"Sometimes I wonder where I would be if I had not been flipping through a course catalog my senior year, looking for a history course and noticing the archives internship option for the first time," Andrea reflected. "My internship at the Clarke taught me fundamental archival principles and skills and kindled my love for archives, but it did so much more than that. I developed a lasting friendship with Marian Matyn; I regularly turn to her for advice and encouragement and highly value her opinions and insights. That internship was also the only hands-on, official archival internship I had before entering the job market. I know that the experience I gained at the Clarke was instrumental to my job search success. If you are on the fence about interning in the archives, I say go for it! You never know what you might find."

We are excited to see how Andrea's career has taken shape and wish her much success in the future!