Valerie Gillispie, SILS Alumna, is Duke University Archivist

February 1, 2012

The School of Information and Library Science (SILS) is proud to announce that one of its alumni, Valerie Gillispie (MSLS ’05), has been named University Archivist at Duke University. Gillispie returns to North Carolina after having worked for the last five years as assistant university archivist in the Special Collections and Archives department at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Though originally from North Dakota, Gillispie’s connection to the Research Triangle runs deep. She earned a Master’s degree in public history from North Carolina State University before completing her MSLS at SILS. She is also already familiar with Duke’s archives, having worked there as an intern during graduate school.

"It has been a pleasure to return to the Triangle, where I have so many great memories of my time at SILS and NCSU in the Cooperative Archival Program," said Gillispie. "My experience as an intern at Duke really taught me what it means to work in a university archives—the richness of the collections, the way that people care so deeply about their alma mater and how to connect these folks with campus history. I was lucky during my time as a graduate student to get the opportunity to work in the Southern Historical Collection and the Special Collections Research Center at State, as well. One of the best things about SILS is that it is near so many wonderful archives and special collections libraries! The experiences I received were invaluable in preparing me to be an archivist. 

"I also love being back in North Carolina because so many friends from SILS are still in area—it truly feels like coming home." 

Gillispie is the third University Archivist at Duke, and not the first with a SILS connection. Her predecessor, Timothy Pyatt, is a former director of the Southern Historical Collection who taught archival administration at SILS from 1998 to 2007. 

In addition to overseeing Duke’s institutional memory, the University Archivist also participates widely in the life of the university. In her new role, Gillispie will interact with students and alumni, as well as sitting on university committees and advising various departments and offices on best practices for records management.

Explore Duke's University Archives here.


Photo credit: Duke University Office of News and Communications