About Me

I’m Excited to Curate and Tell Stories

Pursuing archival work became my life goal after working at the Maryland State Archives (MSA). My interest in archival work dates back to my participation in National History Day (2007, 2010, 2011). At MSA, I worked as a library researcher, writing 91 biographies of Revolutionary War Marylanders and 11 blogposts on Revolutionary War history, from May to November 2016. Sadly, I could not continue the project because grant money lapsed. To this day, the Finding the Maryland 400 project of the MSA continues, moving closer to its completion and I am glad to be a part of that effort. In fall 2019, I built upon these skills as a processing assistant for the National Archives and Records Administration. In fall 2018 and spring 2019, I was a student researcher with the Digital Curation and Innovation Center in College Park, working with the MSA, for the Legacy of Slavery Project, analyzing census records (1850-1870) to show social trends and contribute to further understanding of Maryland’s history with creation of visualizations. I would like to, in the years to come, not only tell stories, but present material graphically in an interactive manner, since records allow people to recognize their collective past, where they come from, where their family fits into national or local history, especially when it comes to genealogy. Currently, I work as a metadata librarian/indexer for the National Security Archive.

I am deeply interested in learning about my collective past as a genealogist, which has blossomed into four semi-active family history blogs, Milling ’round Ireland, Packed with Packards!, Decoding my Transylvanian Roots, and Digging for Italian Roots. I also run a personal WordPress blog called “History Hermann” where I focus on archives, libraries, genealogy, animation, and other topics. For those who are interested, I recommend you subscribe to my Substack newsletter. Additionally, I created two resources to save information during the COVID-19 crisis: a weebly website titled “Shaking the U.S. to the core: consequences of the COVID-19 public health crisis” and a Webrecorder collection titled “COVID-19 Digital Archive.”

I further feel that archival institutions are important not only as a place to store records about a community, group, or institution, but they allow people to learn about the past. Records can let people tell their stories and interpret these records with different perspectives. Archives, at their best, allow people to interact with the past in new and exciting ways, some which were not previously possible before the advent of the internet. Even though I am new to the field of archives, I believe that archives not institutions that are static and set in stone, as description of records can change over time while the institutions are living organisms, with the records held within them used to address systemic injustices, preserving stories of historical wrongs.

Credentials

I have several years of experience in library and research environments. I am an author, researcher, writer, and up-and-coming archivist. I also recognize the importance of history, since if you know the past, you can better understand the present and place the present into context.

I received my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with a minor in History, from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in May 2016. I earned my Master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS), with a concentration in Archives and Digital Curation, from University of Maryland – College Park, in December 2019. I am currently a member of the Society of American Archivists and was previously a member of the Maryland Historical Society. I have a unique set of skills in research, social media, the Microsoft Office Suite, writing, blogging, HTML, database work, and digital curation.

Additionally, I have been involved in National History Day since 2007 when I created an exhibit on George Washington’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman, a luminary Marylander, and looked at Tench’s original diaries at the Library of Congress. In later years, I formed a history club at my high school, and built websites about the Space Race and the War on Drugs. For the History Day contest, each year, students in middle school and high school choose a historical topic, defending their research on their topic, and have to fit their presentation (an exhibit, website, documentary, performance, or paper) to a specific theme. In the past few years, I have judged the local, state, and national levels of National History Day, sharing my knowledge with students who were once in my shoes.

Academic Coursework

I list the full names of the professors here in hopes that those viewing this website may know some or all of these professors, allowing for more professional connections.

Graduate school classes and professors include:

  • Documentation, Collection, and Appraisal of Records (Prof. Ricardo Punzalan)

  • Implementing Digital Curation (Prof. Jesse Johnston)

  • Introduction to Archives and Digital Curation (Prof. Adam Kriesberg)

  • Achieving Organizational Excellence (Prof. Stephanie Tuszynski)

  • Creating Information Infrastructures (Prof. Joseph Koivisto)

  • Serving Information Needs (Prof. Beth St. Jean)

  • Diverse Populations, Inclusion, and Information (Prof. Renee Hill)

  • Analyzing Social Networks and Social Media (Prof. Jennifer Goldbeck)

  • Designing Principal Inquiry (Prof. Ursula Gorham)

  • Policy and Ethics in Digital Curation (Prof. Trevor Owens)

  • Special Collections (Prof. Ashleigh Coren)

Undergraduate classes and professors include:

  • African Civilization, 1800-1900 (Prof. Garrey Dennie)

  • African Politics (Prof. Danielle Kushner)

  • American Politics (Prof. Susan Grogan)

  • Challenges for Democracy (Prof. Maija Harkonen)

  • Colonial American Survey (Prof. Ken Cohen)

  • Comparative Politics (Prof. Antonio Ugues)

  • Mass Culture and the Culture of the Modern (Prof. Tom Barrett)

  • Mexican Politics (Prof. Antonio Ugues)

  • Nationalism (Prof. Sahar Shafqat)

  • The Civil Rights Movement (Prof. Charles J. Holden)

  • Global Race, Disease, and Medicine (Prof. Garrey Dennie)

Activities and Honors

At UMD, I was a member of iDiversity and Student Archivists of Maryland (SAM) while founding various study groups, some online and others in-person. In St. Mary’s, I engaged in various extracurricular activities, serving as a manager of St. Mary’s Maryland Community Farm (now called Kate Chandler Campus Farm), and a three-year-member of the St. Mary’s Vegetarian Cooperative. I also served on the executive council of various social action clubs, some of which were focused on student action and environmentalism. In high school, I was active in student life, participating in William & Mary Model Congress, Model UN, and Recycling Club.

I have also earned a host of honors over the years, including:

  • Dean’s List for academic achievement (2015, 2016)

  • Delegate Stephen Lafferty scholarship (2012-2013)

  • AP Scholar with Honors (2012)

  • Eagle Scout (2012)

  • Law and Public Policy Ambassador (2012)

  • President’s Volunteer Service Award for Community Service (2012)

  • National History Day Awards: in 2011, I received Maryland Senator Mike Miller’s Award for Excellence in Government History and a citation from former Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz; in 2010, I received Second Place for my National History Day website at state level, and First Place for my National History Day website at district level