Rachael Acheson began work as the Assistant University Archivist in SCUA on January 8, 2018. Her work will center around documentation of student life at ISU, including the collection of current and historical records from student organizations and archiving University and student-run websites and social media pages with Archive-It. She will also assist with more general processing, outreach, and instruction.
In August 2016, Rachael earned her dual master’s degree in English (MA) and Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of South Carolina, where she concentrated on Archives and Special Collections, which allowed her to indulge both her fascination with rare books and textual studies along with discursive interests in transatlantic literature. While in her graduate program, Rachael taught freshman English courses and interned with the oral history and rare books departments. Rachael also had the opportunity to complete a number of amazing internships with the university libraries and local archives, including one that involved preparations to host a travelling exhibit from the Folger Shakespeare Library, which featured a First Folio.
Immediately before coming to ISU, Rachael worked in Cedar Falls, IA, where she completed a 10-month temporary assignment as the Special Collections and University Archives Librarian at University of Northern Iowa.
Here are a few fun facts about Rachael:
- She is currently very much out-of-practice, but she plays the harp and began college as a Harp Performance major. Mary Foss, the principal harpist of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and also Adjunct Professor at ISU, Drake University, and Central College, was the first of her many excellent harp teachers. As a result, Rachael had the opportunity to attend an ISU masterclass with Catrin Finch, formerly the Royal Harpist to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, when Rachael had been playing for only five months. After serving as the principle harpist for her college orchestra for four years, Rachael also performed briefly with the Central Iowa Symphony.
- She has a pewter-gray cat named Sterling, who enjoys standing on her head in the early hours of the morning and watching tv.
- She is a huge nerd about children’s and Young Adult (YA) literature, collects illustrated editions of Frances Hodgson Burnett novels, and has met Maggie Stiefvater twice.
- She spent a large portion of her childhood in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and so has some history of her own with Ames and likes to think she is in the process of getting better acquainted with the state as a whole.
She is excited to be back in the area. We’re excited too!