Dr. Meredith R. Evans Raiford (Ph.D. '06) has been appointed associate university librarian for Special Collections at the J. Murrey Atkins Library at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. She has over 15 years of management experience in both academic and commercial settings and brings extensive expertise in fundraising, developing and processing collections as well as applying archival and library technologies.
Evans Raiford is responsible for leading three units: the Special Collections Department (SPEC), the Digital Programs and Collections unit (DPaC) and the Digital Scholarship Lab (DSL). Her division collects, creates, curates and disseminates digital, unique and rare materials for scholarship. From manuscripts and historic maps, to yearbooks and oral histories, to tools and equipment that support faculty and graduate students in the production of digital scholarship, Evans Raiford is an advocate for preserving historic records in any format.
"I enjoy working closely with community partners and researchers to ensure that the documentation of people, places and ideas remain available in any medium for future generations," said Evans Raiford.
She believes her education at SILS and work with the Documenting the American South project prepared her well for her career. In her previous position as curator of Printed Materials at the Robert W. Woodruff Library in the Atlanta University Center, she participated on a collaborative Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant project to process and digitize the papers and books of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Boston University’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center. Her education also prepared her for the position of director of the Special Collections Research Center at George Washington University, where she built a nationally prominent program by successfully obtaining important collections supported by financial gifts and grants. She notes that some of the collections included the official records of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the National Education Association and the Middle East Institute Rare Book Collection.
In addition to her work as a professional librarian and archivist, Evans Raiford has taught a variety of Library and Information Science programs at schools such as North Carolina Central University, Clark Atlanta University, San Jose University, Wayne State University, etc.
“Being at SILS exposed me to the 21st Century Library and Archive," said Evans Raiford. "And although I’m not ready to give up the printed word, I am grateful to the faculty of SILS for preparing me for the technologies that I’ve embraced in hopes of preventing the loss of material that will shape our knowledge and memory.”