Hello! My name is Julia Masur and I’m the current Peer Research Specialist here in the Archives & Special Collections. I’m a senior history major, with minors in education studies and sociology/anthropology. On campus, I’m also involved in Greek life, ski team, and a few honors societies. I started working as the Peer Research Specialist at the beginning of my junior year, and applied during my sophomore year after a class session in the A&SC for my History 200: Doing History class. One of our major projects in that class was to create a collaborative class website about one of the pieces in the A&SC collection, a 1642 pamphlet about the English Civil War, titled A fuller answer to a treatise written by Dr. Ferne, entituled The resolving of conscience upon this question, whether upon this supposition or case (the King will not defend but is bent to subvert religion, lawes, and liberties) subjects may with good conscience make resistance. Believe it or not, that’s a shortened version of the title! Being able to touch the pamphlet and read through the original pages from almost 400 years ago was such a great experience, and made the topic feel much less abstract. You can tell from looking at the pages how well-read this copy was, and the way in which it could have helped change people’s worldview during the English Civil War and maybe even shifted their allegiances was exciting to me. I love it when history feels personal, and that pamphlet definitely made the English Civil War feel that way while working on this project. You can find the website that my class built about this pamphlet here.
My job responsibilities involve a lot of independent work. I help run some of our social media (mainly our Tumblr), pull materials and set up for classes or events, fulfill research inquiries, digitize archival materials, and reach out to student clubs and organizations to collect materials. The most interesting part of my job has been curating exhibits, of which I’ve done two. The first spotlighted the John M. Canse Pamphlet Collection, and centered around tourism in the American West during the early 20thcentury. The second went up as a part of the Race and Pedagogy Conference, and dealt with how Japanese incarceration during World War II impacted Japanese-Americans in Tacoma and at Puget Sound, as well as historical memory of incarceration. For that exhibit, I mainly used university records like President Thompson’s personal correspondence, university ephemera, and yearbooks. Something that challenged me in this position was learning the difference between thinking like an archivist and thinking like a historian. While archivists are obviously still interested in the content of the objects in their collections and need to know what’s in those collections, they do have to balance competing priorities and assess when it’s necessary to take the time to go in-depth with an object.
You can apply for my position on LoggerJobs through February 25. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or contact Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Adriana Flores ’13 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Archives & Special Collections is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM or by appointment.
By Julia Masur