A Look Behind the Stacks: Meet the Library with Jamal Hunter

In archives and libraries “the stacks” refers to the many resources held by a repository for students and researchers to use. Librarians, archivists, and others work hard to preserve and make these resources and collections accessible and to create a welcoming environment for students and researchers. As the school year progresses, A Look Behind the Stacks continues highlighting the people and work behind the UB RLB Library and the Special Collections & Archives. Follow our blog to Meet the Library and to learn more about our library work behind the stacks!

We work with wonderful student workers at the UB Special Collections & Archives. This post features Jamal Hunter, who assists Archivist Fatemeh Rezaei with digital projects. Jamal’s work helps make many of our digital materials accessible through our finding aids database!

We hope you enjoy learning about Jamal in his own words:

 Name: Jamal Hunter

Jamal Hunter in the UB Special Collections & Archives

Role in the Library: I am an archives assistant with the UB Special Collections & Archives. In this role I assist with applying metadata and digital objects to online finding aids for archival collections, like the Baltimore Neighborhood Heritage Project and the Greater Baltimore Committee Records.

Educational Background: Right now, I am in my final semester of college and will acquire my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I study a variety of things across multiple fields. I do not really have a particular interest of study, I just read up things that I like. Some of the things I like to study are design, existential philosophy, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, social history, and eastern religions.

Previous Experience: I started working at the Special Collections & Archives in June 2019. I decided to work in the archives because I wanted to learn more about archival science and local history. It is also an opportunity to work in a different Library department under the same umbrella, and that is really interesting.

Favorite Archival Collection: My favorite collection was the previous one I was working on, called the Baltimore Neighborhood Heritage Project. I like this collection because I was working with audio files, so I would listen to them during the project. It was very interesting to hear older people talking about Baltimore in the late 1970s and early 1980s who grow up in the 1930s and 1940s. I learned that older people now and then say the same things, but also I learned very interesting things like the lived experience of people fleeing Nazi-Germany, how it was to grow up as an Italian immigrant in Little Italy, and a whole bunch other things I would have never learned that took place in Baltimore.

Current Project: My current project is adding digital objects into items that are in the general records section of the Greater Baltimore Committee Records (GBC) archival finding aid. I don’t like it as much as my other project, but I like how easy the workflow is compared to my last one.

Favorite Experience in the Special Collections & Archives and the RLB Library: One of my favorite experiences was getting a tour of the Special Collections & Archives when I used to work at the RLB Library. I thought it was so interesting that UB had a resource like the Special Collections. A whole new side of librarianship had revealed itself to me. It was interesting to see a great deal of Baltimore’s history in one place.

What have you learned while working here: I have learned a lot of useful things while working at the Special Collections & Archives. One of the things that I learned that was interesting is how differently departments are run and those departments sometimes must compete for resources. I am also learning how to search the internet and databases more efficiently.

Interested in primary sources, archival research, UB history, or Baltimore history? Learn more about the UB Special Collections & Archives by visiting our website!


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