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Introducing our new Rare Books Librarian, Agnieszka Czeblakow

August 24, 2015

Hello Top Shelfers! I am very happy to introduce myself as the new UTSA Libraries Special Collections Rare Books Librarian. Building on the work of my predecessor, Juli McLoone, I am responsible for acquiring, maintaining and preserving Rare Books Collection, and partnering with UTSA’s subject librarians to provide instruction on archival resources and research tailored to fit faculty learning objectives and enrich students’ learning experiences.

IMG_4461I come to San Antonio from Atlanta, Georgia where, from 2010-2015, I worked in the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) at Emory. As the Collection Management Coordinator, I was responsible for all aspects of managing the physical storage, arrangement, and retrieval of MARBL’s rare books, maps and over 15,000 linear feet of archival and manuscript collections. I selected printed materials for stabilization and conservation treatments, managed rare book mass digitization projects and workflows, and worked with curators and rare book dealers on acquisition and accessioning of new materials. During my tenure, I oversaw two moves of the rare book collection and played a major role in planning for the University’s new, state of the art off-site storage facility, which will house circulating and archival collections.

In 2011, I received my PhD in Latin American History from Emory University. My dissertation, A Prison by any Other Name: Incarceration in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth- Century Audiencia de Quito challenged the commonly accepted dichotomy between pre-modern and modern penology, and related assumptions about the beginnings of prisons and their development in Latin America.

It was during my dissertation research in Ecuador’s National Archives that my interest in the work of archivists and librarians was born. Upon returning to the United States, I sought graduate work positions that would bring me closer to that world. I have worked in Emory’s Conservation and Preservation Office, as a rare book assistant and, in 2009 as a fellow working with Emory’s Latin American Bibliographer on retrospective collection development. In 2014, I received my MLIS degree from University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

As the Rare Book Librarian, I am thrilled at the opportunities ahead of me and look forward to growing our Mexican Cookbook Collection, expanding our print collections related to communities and groups traditionally underrepresented in the historical record, as well as adding new items to our digitized collections. I am also very excited about partnering with UTSA’s librarians and faculty to create a robust archival instruction program that can provide UTSA students with immersive learning experiences that will empower them to become knowledge creators rather than consumers.

Stay tuned to the Top Shelf blog for highlights from our collections and news of the innovative work and research happening on the 4th floor of the John Peace Library.

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