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Ryan Speer joins University Libraries as digital collections archivist


Ryan Speer Ryan Speer

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.

The Virginia Tech University Libraries were established in 1872 with 500 volumes. Today, the libraries' holdings include more than 2 million volumes, and they provide access to a large collection of electronic databases and full-content journals, and is located in the Carol M. Newman Main Library, Art and Architecture, Veterinary Medicine, and the Northern Virginia Resource Service Center. The University Libraries is also a selective depository for federal documents and a member of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries. The University Libraries provide and promote access to information resources for the achievement of Virginia Tech's objectives in teaching, learning, research, creativity, and community service.