Brenda Gunn to Join Library as Head of Archives and Special Collections

The University of Virginia Library is pleased to announce that Brenda Gunn, currently the Janey Slaughter Briscoe Archivist for the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin, will join the Library as Associate University Librarian for Archives and Special Collections.

Brenda Gunn

 “UVA is very lucky to have found Brenda Gunn for this position,” said Dean of Libraries and University Librarian John Unsworth. “Archives and Special Collections are extremely important to the Library and to the University, and heavily used by students across UVA and by scholars around the world. Brenda has the expertise, the professional reputation, and the management experience to lead this part of our organization into a bright future. I look forward to working with her on expanding our already remarkable collections, celebrating the University’s bicentennial, and pursuing a successful capital campaign.”

Gunn began her career as an assistant archivist for the State Bar of Texas, and joined the Briscoe Center as head of archives and manuscripts in 1999. She was named assistant director for research and collections in 2005, and associate director for the division in 2007. In 2010, she became the first Janey Slaughter Briscoe Archivist. She has a Masters of Library and Information Science from UT Austin’s School of Information, as well as a Master of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Texas at Tyler. Gunn is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in American History at Austin. She has published on Davy Crockett, Stephen Austin, and integration in Texas, among other topics, and she has recently presented on involving undergraduates in archival research, as well as on the role of archivists in truth and reconciliation efforts. Her expertise in archives has been recognized by her election, in March, to the Society of American Archivists Council for a 3-year term, beginning in August 2017, and even more recently by her election as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists, an honor bestowed by the Society of American Archivists for outstanding contributions to the archival profession.

Gunn, who will start at the Library on August 28, commented, “I’m thrilled to join this wonderful community at the brink of the Library’s third century. The University of Virginia holds a special place in the world of cultural heritage institutions, and the Library’s collections, assembled and curated for scholarship and teaching, supports that stature. I look forward to working with Dean Unsworth and the Library’s stellar staff to lift the Library to even greater heights. I know we will do great things together.”

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