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New Director to Lead Special Collections at the University of Arizona

Date: March 22, 2012

Contact: University Libraries


The University of Arizona Libraries are pleased to announce the selection of India Spartz to the newly created position of Director of Special Collections, effective April 16, 2012. Spartz was hired after an extensive national search. Her appointment represents a major step in elevating the profile of Special Collections on campus, among researchers, and in the local community.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the field of special collections and archives management, Dean of University Libraries Carla Stoffle recognized Spartz as the ideal candidate to lead Special Collections. “India Spartz is a forward-thinking archivist with an entrepreneurial approach to Special Collections,” notes Stoffle. “This is a time of significant change for Special Collections, particularly in terms of preservation, digitization, and access. India’s successful record of archival management and leadership, grant funding, and donor engagement will position Special Collections to maximize on the many new opportunities that emerge from this time of change.”

The scope and diversity of Special Collections make it an important resource for the University, local community, and national and international academic community. Established in 1958 to house materials on Arizona, the Southwest, and the U.S./Mexico Borderlands, Special Collections now includes rare books, manuscript collections, photographs, and other materials in a wide variety of subject areas. Newly acquired collections include the Heiko A. Oberman research library, the Henry F. Dobyns ethnohistory and applied anthropology library, and the American Museum of Vaudeville and Up with People Archives.  

“Special collections, in general, are being challenged with becoming more entrepreneurial,” states Spartz. She notes that archivists and librarians in special collections must consider new approaches to how “collections are going to be preserved, made accessible, maintain relevance, and also be continuously funded.”

Spartz also recognizes the importance of connecting special collections with its community of users. In her first year at the UA, Spartz plans “to get to know the University and encourage the University to get to know me. Within the first year I would like to establish relationships across the campus among faculty and students and within the local Tucson community.”  

Spartz is currently Senior Archivist at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. She was previously University Archivist for the Alaska and Polar Regions Department at the University of Alaska; guest curator for the Alaska State Museums; and Alaska Historical Collections librarian at the Alaska State Library.

Spartz earned a bachelor of arts degree in U.S. History and Alaska Native Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a master’s of library and information science from UC Berkeley, and a master’s degree in museum studies from University College in London. She also holds an archivist certification from the Academy of Certified Archivists.

Spartz is a member of the Society of American Archivists and the Academy of Certified Archivists. She has participated on panels and programs at local, regional, national and international archival and library conferences. Spartz has served as a guest panelist and grant reviewer for the National Endowment for the Humanities, an archival training consultant for the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Saudi Arabia, and has contributed numerous articles to scholarly publications.

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