Thursday, December 13, 2018

Meet the Staff - Ellen Robison

Meet Ellen Robison. She is an Archival Assistant with Archival Technical Services.

How long have you worked here?

A: I was originally hired in the Public Services department in January 2016 and transferred to my current role in October 2017.

What are some of the things you do as an archival assistant?

A: There are 3 main parts to my job. I process collections by cleaning, researching, and organizing the materials to make them accessible to the public. I also serve on the rotation of designated staff who fulfill the requests of the public to view original materials kept in locked storage. Additionally, when the state legislature is in session each year, I am one of the recorders we send to record the House and Senate committee meetings and floor sessions.

What is your favorite part of your job?

A: I love how much I learn. Whether I’m researching the history of a family or event for a collection or recording a legislative meeting, there is always something new and interesting to learn about Tennessee, her past, and her people.

Do you have a favorite collection?

A: Picking a single favorite collection is difficult but I would have to say the World War II Veteran Survey collection ( This record group is comprised of over 6,000 surveys of men and women from all walks of life who served during the Second World War. Many veterans, or their family members, submitted supplemental materials such as photographs or personal accounts along with their questionnaires. It is a treasure trove of individual legacies and provides a unique perspective on the war.

What makes libraries and archives relevant to modern society?

A: Preserving our society’s past is a vital part of society’s development. One of the best ways to improve our future is by studying our past, uncovering our failures as well as our successes, and applying that knowledge as we move forward. By understanding the foundations of our society, we can work to improve it for future generations. Libraries and archives ensure that future generations will be able to do the same.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

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