BLACKSBURG, Va., April 19, 2012 – Ryan Speer has joined the Special Collections department of the University Libraries as digital collections archivist. In this role, he will develop digitization services, workflows, and best practices for the library.
“Ryan will be coordinating efforts to select, scan, and provide online access to original materials that are currently only available with an in-person visit to the library,” Aaron Purcell, director for Special Collections, said.
Speer has already begun work on two major projects: scanning several thousand print-only Virginia Tech theses and dissertations; and digitizing nearly forty Civil War diaries. “I will be working to apply appropriate technologies to increase the utility and availability of library holdings in general,” Speer said. “Archival and library digitization increases our reach and uncovers innovative and unexpected ways to use materials,” he said.
Speer previously worked at the Georgia Tech Library and the Georgia Archives. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history at Mississippi State University and a master’s of library and information science at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is a member of the Society of American Archivists.
Established in 1872 with just 500 volumes, University Libraries at Virginia Tech has more than two million volumes and a large collection of electronic databases and full-content journals. With locations in Blacksburg and the National Capital Region, University Libraries is a selective depository for federal documents and a member of the Association of Research Libraries.