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New Face at IJS: Angela Lawrence

Angela Lawrence
Angela Lawrence

Photograph taken by Robert Nahory.

If Angela Lawrence had to summarize her new job at the Institute of Jazz Studies in Dana Library, she would call it "the dream job." She is pleased to be at IJS, where she hopes to help process the collections and assist in the digitizing of collections.

Angela comes to Dana from the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan, where she was also a processing archivist. The Center for Jewish History is home to five research and cultural institutions, including the American Jewish Historical Society, the American Sephardi Federation, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Yeshiva University Museum, and the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research. She processed materials for the Leo Baeck Institute, which houses collections related to the German Jewish diaspora.

"Making sure the collections are available electronically," is very important to Angela as well. Currently searching for most individual items in the archival collections is not possible through the library catalog, but Angela plans to create finding aids that will help researchers.

She shares the enthusiasm for the digital update soon to come to the IJS collections with fellow IJS processing archivist Anders Griffen. In addition to the digitization process that is currently underway, the finding aids will make those collections easily searchable. "It's really exciting to be a part of these developments," Angela adds.

Working in a music library while pursuing her first master's degree, she considered librarianship as a way to combine her interest in both music and archives. When a fellow student left the doctoral program to go to library school, Angela was inspired to do the same. Eventually, she earned an MLS from Queens College - CUNY.

Upon graduation, Angela was able to secure a position at the Leo Baeck Institute. IJS has allowed Angela to meld her library skills and music skills. Her connection to jazz is also personal - her grandfather was a jazz aficionado and frequently attended performances in Harlem nightclubs with his daughter (Angela's mother) in tow. As Angela has said, "This music has always been a part of my life."

Posted February 2013