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Leslie Fields, College Archives

THE BASICS:

What do you do at Smith?

I'm the Records Services Archivist in the College Archives. My job is to help the Smith community manage their records and information in both
paper and electronic form. I'm here to make sure that those materials with historical, legal, or operational value to the College are preserved and that other records are properly discarded. Also, I'm here to spread the word about the College's new records management policy that went into effect last summer. I've started a new Records Services
blog
to help with all of this.

How many years have you been at the college?

I have been working here since October. But I'm a class of ’95 alumna so I've been here for 4 years before!

What is your busy season?

The College Archives is always busy. In my work I've noticed that it gets a little busier when the students are on vacation because that's when some employees have more time to focus on their own files and records.

NOW THE FUN STUFF:

Who gets the most face time with you?

My husband and almost-3-year-old son.

What are you reading now?

I read Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel almost every night these days. In my own reading, I recently re-read Jane Eyre. New reading
includes Challenger Park and anything by Anne Tyler.

Who are your role models?

Toddlers are actually very inspiring. As for grown-ups, I've always admired Eleanor Roosevelt as a woman who really got things done.

If you suddenly had two hours of free time, what would you do?

I'd take my son on the train in Look Park (he loves that); go home and bake pumpkin muffins with him; and then magically finish the entire sweater that I'm trying to knit before he outgrows it.

What is your favorite wall hanging at home?

I have a lot of family photographs. One of my favorites is a black-and-white picture of my son when he was only 6 months old.

What annoys the heck out of you? 

People with a lack of enthusiasm.

If you could live during any period in time and in any place -- when and where?

I'm happy here and now. I wouldn't mind visiting moments in the past, though; I'd love to sit in on the Constitutional Convention.

Who does the work around you abode?

My husband is a great cook and does almost all of the grocery shopping and cooking; I do the laundry and cleaning.

Is there any time in your life you wish you could do over?

Not yet.

What did you do before you came to Smith?

I was an associate curator in the Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York, NY. I was there for 8 and a half years and it was an extraordinary opportunity to work with wonderful colleagues and an amazing collection. One of my favorite projects was researching the Morgan's manuscript of Lady Susan, the only surviving complete manuscript of a novel by Jane Austen, for an exhibition last spring. I even got to place the bound manuscript in the
exhibition case, which was quite a thrill.

What single piece of advice would you give to graduating Smithies?

Print out the digital photos that are precious to you and take care of
them! I'm concerned as an archivist about the longevity of electronic records.

 
4/3/07   Compiled by Eric Sean Weld
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