Meet Kathy Hinton, Baylor graduate (BA 2012), originally from Staunton, Illinois, and Administrative Coordinator, in our latest staff post giving you a peek into the day-to-day work of The Texas Collection:
“Good morning, The Texas Collection.” It is usually my voice that you hear when you call The Texas Collection. For the last 26 years, answering the phone has been just one of the tasks that I handle on a daily basis. My work in the administrative office at The Texas Collection (TC) brings me into contact with researchers, donors, and colleagues across the campus.
As administrative coordinator, I assist the director with his schedule and other office matters. Working with the budget is a big part of my job. I not only handle the budget for the TC, but also for Baylor at Independence and the Heart of Texas Regional History Fair. There are also several endowment and research fellowship funds that fall under the TC. There are usually two or three research fellowships that are awarded each year, and I arrange for campus guest housing and payments to these scholars.
A typical day for me includes such things as ordering supplies, preparing work orders, handling student budget and payroll for the department, approving invoices, preparing vouchers for payments to vendors, and meeting with visitors in our offices. I also spend some of my time proofing and editing items for reports and publications. Recently, I have assisted the director in locating and purchasing maps for our ever-growing collection.
One of my favorite jobs is meeting with donors of new collections. I find it very interesting to meet with a donor who has brought in a new collection to be deposited in our library. Many include family papers, diaries, journals, and photographs, and the stories behind the collections are sometimes as fascinating as the materials themselves. It is also wonderful to be able to reassure someone that their family’s items will be well preserved and cared for by our staff.
Once an item or collection has been left in our care, I prepare a gift conveyance form and preliminary worksheets on the collection. These things make up what we refer to as our control file. Once we receive the signed gift form, our archivists can then begin the job of processing the new collection and releasing it for use by our researchers.
Over the years, I have also enjoyed using the TC’s vast resources in my own studies. Early in my career at Baylor, Kent Keeth (director of the TC from 1973 to 2003) and Ellen Kuniyuki Brown (a former TC archivist) encouraged me to return to school to work on my degree. In doing so, I developed a true passion for history, and found myself turning to the TC time and time again to work on assignments and special projects for classes. I earned my BA in History and Professional Writing this past year, after 19 years of study. (Editor’s note: See the piece the Baylor Alumni Association wrote on Kathy’s accomplishment last year.)
The Texas Collection has something for almost everyone. Whether you are a scholar, student, genealogist, or just interested in the history of Texas, we have plenty to offer, from books and periodicals, to manuscripts, maps, photographs, and great exhibits. Pay us a visit—we would love to meet you.
The Texas Collection turns 90 this year! But even though we’ve been at Baylor for so long, we realize people aren’t quite sure what goes on in a special collections library and archives. So over the course of 2013, we are featuring staff posts about our work at The Texas Collection. See other posts in the series here.