Meet the 2022 Special Collections Summer Fellow for Firestone Library

Name: Kate Mitchell

Education Background: I recently graduated from Rutgers University with my Master’s in Information Science with a concentration in archives and preservation. I also did my undergraduate degree at Rutgers, where I studied history and American studies. 

Previous Experience: After graduating college, I interned at the Zimmerli Art Museum, where I cataloged and processed the newly acquisitioned Jersey City Museum collection. This experience is what ultimately inspired me to go to library school and enter this field. Then, while in graduate school, I was a Library of Congress Junior Fellow, where I had the chance to create two online exhibitions for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB). In addition to learning a lot about public broadcasting and about the PBS NewsHour, working on these projects reified my interest in curation and public services. 

Most recently, during my last two semesters as a graduate student, I worked at the Institute of Jazz Studies at the Rutgers-Newark Library, where I created descriptive metadata and authority records for audio files, completed online reference requests, digitized materials for research access and for long-term preservation, and performed a number of other tasks necessary to the day-to-day functioning of an archive.

Why I like Archives/Professional Interests: While I was initially drawn to the field because of my love of history and of the bizarre objects that inevitably end up in special collections, my continued interest in archives stems from its power as an institution to influence our understanding of the past, present, and future. I hope that by entering this field I can help effect positive social change by pushing for a more inclusive perspective of history. 

Other interests: I love knitting and experimenting with other fiber arts techniques. I learned how to knit when I was in elementary school and picked it up again in college, where I made a lot of lumpy hats. Then, because of COVID-19 and the 2020 lockdown, I had a lot more time to practice and finally graduated to knitting sweaters.

Looking forward to working on the following project(s) while at Princeton: I’m most excited to start working on the redescription projects with the Inclusive Description Working Group! I’m also looking forward to working with patrons and getting more experience providing in-person reference services.