As a little girl, Rhonda loved to hear stories about the past. She spent hours listening to her mother’s stories of childhood and family events. Certain stories were repeated again and again and became part of family folklore and legend. As an adult, Rhonda researched her family genealogy and began writing a novel based on her great-grandmother’s life. Later, leaving the business world behind, she attended graduate school to continue her love of history and became an archivist. As an archivist she earns her living doing what she loves. She recently worked at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell MA processing the papers of a large textile manufacturer that went out of business after being run by five generations of the same family from 1865-2003.
“I love to bring order to chaos,” Rhonda says of her work as an archivist.
“Before working as an archivist, I was a self-employed bookkeeper. I brought order out of chaos for many, many businesses before switching careers. Now I work on the back end, not just organizing materials, but preserving them for future generations. I also need to think like a historian so I can determine what to keep and what to throw out.”
Rhonda has masters degrees in both History and Library Science. She has worked at a number of institutions including the Rhode Island Historical Society, Rhode Island School of Design, Brown University, the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College, and the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA.
When she was going through grad school she couldn’t help but think that individuals and families would benefit from the knowledge of properly archiving their personal items. Her new mission is to teach people how to use best practices in storing their photographs, documents and artifacts. She hopes to inspire people to preserve their documents, create a family legacy and tell their stories and the stories of those who have gone before them.