Friday, July 18, 2008

New Russell Staff Member!

Name: Jan Levinson

Job Title: Assistant Outreach Archivist

Joined Russell Staff: July 2008

Job Description:
I coordinate the development of thematic exhibits and public programs that explore the mission and collections of the library.

Other work experience:
Curatorial Assistant, Historic Columbia Foundation, Columbia, SC

Research Assistant, Teaching American History in South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Intern, Office of Architectural History and Historic Preservation, Smithsonian Institution
Curatorial Assistant, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA

B.A. in History, Clemson University, 2005

M.A. in Public History, University of South Carolina, 2008

Professional Memberships:
American Association of Museums
South Eastern Museums Conference
South Eastern Registrars Association

Most Enjoyable Aspect of Your Job:
The opportunity to think creatively. I think that public institutions have the opportunity and the obligation to act as agents of change in their surrounding communities. I'm excited to play a role in developing exhibit spaces and public programs that flesh out historical themes, connect those themes to current issues, and foster thoughtful discussions and activities.

Alternate Career Path if not in Museums or Archives:
I'd love to run a cool (and affordable!) vintage shop and call it "The Museum” or to explore work in the field of Historic Preservation.

Favorite Pastimes:
Listening to NPR's "This American Life", reading the newest installments of the Frugal Traveler on, checking out new bands at local shows.

Comments on the profession today:
Museums and Libraries are at a turning point and are constantly working to extend their levels of access and outreach while working with increasingly limited resources. These challenges make for an exciting time in the field when all institutions are pushed to think outside of the box. We're in for a time of change and lots of new and inventive strategies for reaching out to visitors and making them comfortable in museum and archive spaces.