Meet Our Newest Director of Special Collections & Archives

Posted: June 28, 2019 9:00:00 AM CDT

Greetings from the Special Collections and Archives at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi! My name is Lori Atkins and I am just beginning my third week as the new Director. It is a blast, and exciting and sometimes late at night, a little scary. Only in that there are so many…wonderful projects ongoing and some needing to be started and other collections brimming with historical and culturally significant materials that aim to steal one’s attention.

Thousands of photographs live here at the archives, some dating back to the middle 1800s when Corpus Christi was a growing port visited by folk from all over the world concerned with acquisitions, riches and treasures. A few with the idea of settling down in a resort style community. Other materials housed here include letters, diaries, old newspapers, land grants, blueprints and art that tells the stories of the people of this city and region. I like to think all these people who left their stories at the archives can still be heard and visited.

Six years ago, I was working at Texas A&M University-Kingsville at Jernigan Library as the metadata librarian for the library and the Special Collections department. That is when I first fell in love with archives. Prior to my life in South Texas having an affair with the archive, I worked for a major airline as a flight attendant. I am very grateful for all the places I visited in this good world and all the people I worked with and got to meet on the airplanes. But having one’s body always moving forward in the plane, in the crew bus, in elevators, in my car going home was tiresome. I yearned for peace, quiet, interesting ideas perhaps in a cool, dark place. I found it in the archives!

special collections shelves full of archived photos and papersYou can’t beat the archives for interest and a cool environment. I worked as the Director and University Archivist at Texas A&M University-Kingsville for five years. Along the way I obtained the necessary certifications. Then one afternoon I saw on the Archives Gig website the position opening for a director at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Should I apply? Would they be interested? Maybe I could walk on the beach every evening…I applied. I am thrilled to be an Islander here at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi working with this energetic, welcoming team at the Mary and Jeff Bell Library! I look forward to meeting everyone, working on projects together and telling the stories of the people, organizations, and institutions of South Texas. Come on by!

By: Lori Atkins

Category: Hello, from the Staff