A Look Behind the Stacks: Meet the Library with Michelle Hickson

In archives and libraries “the stacks” refers to the many resources held by a repository for students and researchers to use. Librarians, archivists, tutors, 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!

This week (April 19-25) is National Library Week and to celebrate, we’re excited to introduce Michelle Hickson, a student assistant with the UB Special Collections & Archives! 

We hope you enjoy learning about Michelle in her own words:

Name: My name is Michelle Lynn Hickson and I am an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing, Class of 2020.

Michelle Hickson at the Special Collections & Archives

Role: My role here is as a student worker in the Special Collections & Archives at the University of Baltimore.  I work inputting various data into the archives collections database.  

Educational Background: I am studying Creative Writing as an English major having transferred to the University of Baltimore from Coppin State University in 2016.  I will be graduating in May 2020, with a Bachelors of Art degree in English. Afterwards, I will be entering the University of Baltimore’s MFA program for Creative Writing.

Previous Experience: For almost 30 years, I worked on computers as a legal wordprocessor, software trainer, and Help Desk technician in some of the top law firms in Baltimore, Washington, DC., and Northern Virginia.  I was led here when I answered an ad to work on computers in the Special Collections & Archives of the Library. I could not resist the chance to once again work with informational software!

Favorite Collection in the Special Collections & Archives: Inputting the titles of the reels of WMAR was the most fascinating.  The Collections/Archive Department is alive with the history of Baltimore City.  As I was inputting the titles into the database, I noticed a lot of footage that went back into the history of Baltimore news coverage during the assassination of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.  Some of the reels go back even further. I would love to one day sit down and go through each and every reel and watch the events of yesteryear and see how Baltimore has grown.

Current Project: I am currently working on inputting information into the database involving the WMAR reels.

Favorite Experience at the Special Collections & Archives: All of the information that I work with fascinates me because it is a history of the town that I was born and grew up in.  Perhaps that is another reason why I was drawn to answer this particular ad for a student worker. I love reading about events that occurred in the past in Baltimore City and the Archives has its fair share.  As I mentioned earlier, the WMAR reels are the items that stand out for me because that is where a person can exactly see the history of Baltimore unfold before them.

What have you learned while working here: The University of Baltimore is situated right in the heart of Baltimore City.  They has taken a concentration in the history of Baltimore City. The Special Collections & Archives holds news footages, paintings and pictures, and exhibits that host the history of Baltimore City up to the present.  With their information, a person can gain information on:

  • How Baltimore has grown and progressed
  • News footages that has kept Baltimore abreast of what was happening in the world
  • Those who have helped build Baltimore
  • Those who have helped make a difference in the movement for human rights. 

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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