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Meet Mudd’s Kelli Yakabu

Name: Kelli Yakabu

Title: John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Archival Fellow

Educational background: I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle as a part-time, online student and will graduate in 2020. I earned my bachelor’s degree in American Ethnic Studies and English with a minor in French also from UW.

Kelli Yakabu. Photo by April C. Armstrong.

Previous Experience: After this fellowship, I will continue as the Accessioning Assistant for the Pacific Northwest Collection at UW Special Collections where I communicate with donors and organize and rehouse incoming collections to prepare for further processing. I currently volunteer at the Seattle Municipal Archives where I process photo slides and Densho, a Japanese-American digital archive, where I digitize photographs and manuscripts. I’ve also interned at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, the Museum of Flight in Seattle, and the UW Health Sciences Library.

Why I like archives: I love how archives can help people, especially young people, learn about and understand their own history and identity. It’s helped me reconstruct the way I think about my own identity after finding people and communities in archival records that I can connect to. It’s an indescribable feeling when you see yourself reflected back in an archive after being ignored by mainstream history and Eurocentric curriculum for years.

Other interests: In my free time, I enjoy exploring Happy Hours, going to concerts and theater performances, running, skiing, reading, and being ignored by my cat Waffles. I enjoy traveling when I can and plan to visit NYC and Philadelphia this summer.

Projects this summer: I am excited to work on accessioning and processing various Public Policy Papers and University Archives collections including the Warren Worth Bailey Papers and the Richard Holbrooke Papers. I also look forward to participating in the reference rotation and learning about and working with born-digital materials.

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