Employee Spotlight: Matt Shangler

Matt’s Bio
  • Working at Duke University Medical Center Library & Archives since: 2010
  • Education: Master’s degree, Public History with a concentration in Archives & Records Management, North Carolina State University
  • Current position: Head of Technical Services, Duke University Medical Center Archives
Q & A

1.    Please describe your current position & what you find most interesting about it.
In my current position, one of my major responsibilities is processing collections. This entails going through boxes that we receive from donors, organizing the contents, and creating finding aids for the Archives Website. This is exciting because you never know what you might find in one of those boxes! That is what I like most about my job; it’s not routine. I am constantly discovering new things. Sometimes, when I am processing a collection, I find unique documents that have never been published and aren’t available anywhere else.

2.    Describe yourself in three words. Up for anything!

3.    What has been your biggest professional challenge?
In order to attract donations, I recently began liaising with different departments to tell them about the Medical Center Archives and the services we provide. While I enjoy this new role, it has taken me from my comfort zone of working with boxes of archives all day.

4.    What do you think is the most interesting issue in libraries & archives today?
Access is such an important issue, especially for Medical Archives. In addition to making sure people are able to access our materials, we need to be concerned about HIPAA and whether certain information can be made available at all.

5.    Whom do you admire?
Lewis Hine, a professional photographer. He is known for his realistic portraits of working people.

6.    What organizations are you involved in?
I am active in the Society of North Carolina Archivists. This year, I am hoping to take on more of a leadership role by serving as a Member at Large.

7.    Is there anything about you that others might be surprised to know?
I raise chickens! I currently have five chickens, and I am hoping to get a few ducks.

8.    What do you do for exercise? For relaxation?
I enjoy being outdoors, and when the weather is nice, I like to go mountain biking. On top of that, I have three dogs that keep me from becoming a couch potato! For relaxation, I take photographs, or tinker with cars. My current mechanical project is working on an old truck. 

9.    What are you most proud of?
In 2013, I was responsible for coordinating the exhibit, An Eye for the Eye: Medical Illustration at Duke, 1932-2005, for Duke Medical Center Library & Archives. During the planning of that exhibit, I learned a great deal about the talented artists at Duke, such as Robert Blake, and the amazing drawings and illustrations they created. Beyond becoming acquainted with the rich history of artwork created at Duke, I was pleased that the exhibit was a success. 

10.    What is your favorite Website or blog?
The Website for the Duke Medical Center Archives. I am really proud of the work we have done on the Website to ensure that visitors can easily find and access the information they need.

For more information about Matt or the Duke Medical Center Archives, please visit https://archives.mc.duke.edu/.