UMSI alum to be named Fellow of the Society of American Archivists

Michelle Light

School of Information alumna Michelle Light (MSI ’99) will be inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) during a ceremony at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, and SAA in Washington, D.C. The conference will be held August 10-16, 2014.

The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession. Light is one of five new Fellows named in 2014, and joins 179 current SAA Fellows.

Light, the director of special collections at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, has held important positions and has had significant impact on numerous repositories over the course of her 15-year professional career. 

In one of her first positions, as an archivist at the Yale University Library, she developed and implemented a database of archival authority records for Yale University units, which informed her contributions to the international group that created Encoded Archival Context.

She later worked as the head of Special Collections, Archives, and Digital Scholarship at the University of California, Irvine where she implemented a virtual reading room that allows researchers from all over to access born-digital records. Light also led a multi-campus task force in creating “Guidelines for Efficient Archival Processing.” 

At UNLV, Light has established infrastructure to sustain an ambitious collecting program to document the Southern Nevada region, completed a staff reorganization that will allow Special Collections to work more efficiently and effectively, and carried out a strategic planning process that will set direction for her division.

Light has served SAA in a variety of leadership positions, including on the American Archivist Editorial Board and on the Council, where she played a critical role in the group’s efforts to create a new strategic plan for SAA.

In addition to her master’s in information, Light also earned master of arts and candidate of philosophy degrees in history from the University of Michigan.

Posted on June 10, 2014