Assistant Professor Alex Poole’s Research on Diversity in Archival Studies Featured in American Archivist

Alex Poole, an assistant professor of information science at Drexel’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), recently published, “Pinkett’s Charges: Recruiting, Retaining, and Mentoring Archivists of Color in the Twenty-First Century,” in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of American Archivist.

Poole’s article draws upon the experiences, reflections and recommendations of recipients of the Society of American Archivists (SAA)’s Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award to identify opportunities to create a more diverse and inclusive environment for minority students in the archival profession (see abstract below).

Poole was recently elected vice-chair/chair-elect of the Archival History Section of the SAA, to the Steering Committee of the Archival Educators Section, and to the SAA Graduate Archival Education Subcommittee. In addition to archives and records, his research interests include digital curation, digital humanities, and  diversity and inclusivity. His paper titled “’A Greatly Unexplored Area’: Digital Curation and Innovation in the Digital Humanities,” was recently published in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST). His work has also been published in Digital Humanities Quarterly, Journal of Documentation and Archival Science and is forthcoming in Information and Culture: A Journal of History.


This article focuses on ethnic and racial diversity in the archival profession. It draws upon the experiences, reflections, and recommendations of twenty-one Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award recipients to suggest ways in which the archival profession, especially the Society of American Archivists, can improve its recruitment, retention, and mentoring of archivists of color. The study’s participants discussed their undergraduate experiences, information and library science (ILS) education, entering the archives field, mentoring relationships, working with ethnically and racially diverse materials and people, the Society of American Archivists, and lessons learned and advice to young archivists. They stressed the importance of networking, professional development, professional organizations, and openness to experimentation. Last, the article suggests five areas for future research.

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