LARAMIE (WNE) — A former Laramie librarian was recently named the Wyoming state archivist.
Kathy Marquis has spent her career working in archives, except for a 13-year period when she was the public services librarian at Albany County Public Library.
She left Laramie for Cheyenne in 2015 to become the deputy state archivist, and she was named the state archivist earlier this month after filling the role on an interim basis since last spring.
The Wyoming State Archives collect, manage and preserve Wyoming’s public records of long-term value. These records include the activities of the government as well as non-governmental historical records.
“We function as the state’s institutional memory,” Marquis said. “We preserve the records that keep the state accountable and that ensure transparency. You can’t do that if you don’t have the records that show what decisions have been made, what steps have been taken, what people have worked on which projects.”
Marquis was first exposed to the world of archival work as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan.
“My professor took me up to the historical library to get a little introduction, and I just thought it was the coolest thing ever,” she said.
She later got a job as a page at the university’s Bentley Historical Library, which included an opportunity to sit at the reference desk on occasion. She discovered that she loved working with historical materials and helping others with their research questions.
“I knew that what I wanted to do was become a reference archivist,” she said.