Alison Anderson, MSLIS, CA
Senior Processing Archivist
Harvard Planning Office, Property Information Resource Center
VMS Member-at-Large, 2018-2021
Hi, I am the incoming Visual Materials Section member-at-large. I am the Senior Processing Archivist at the Harvard University Property Information Resource Center (PIRC), which is the repository for Harvard’s buildings and land records. I work primarily with architectural drawings, but I also process maps, photographs, and property records. I enjoy the challenges that architectural drawings pose, including their size, condition, and various formats. What I love most is that even though our collections only directly relate to Harvard’s properties, they are actually extremely diverse. Instead of an archive that collects the works of a few architects or an architectural firm that retains only their own work, I get to view the works of hundreds of architects across centuries, each possessing a unique style. Also, after I process a drawing, I can walk out onto the campus and see the finished product! It is fascinating to see the growth of a university that has existed for almost 400 years.
Harrison D. Horblit Photograph Librarian
Houghton Library, Harvard University
VMS Member-at-Large, 2019-2022
Hi everyone! I’m excited to be more involved in VMS and SAA and serve the Section as a member-at-large. I’m fortunate to work exclusively with photographs, and love that I can really dive into the complexities these materials require. We often don’t have a lot of accompanying information to identify the photographs in our collection, and I truly enjoy the occasional foray into a little detective research work. Sometimes this can be quite fruitful, but even when it isn’t, I always learn something new about the history of photography. The information I do find is critical to my work and to providing access; I primarily work on digital projects and putting a photo online without a lot of metadata can make it difficult for users to find. As an added benefit, that data also gives me the chance to experiment with new ways of presenting the material to our users.