By Tracy Zupancis Hoya Staff Writer

Lynn Conway was appointed university archivist on April 1 after working as assistant archivist since 1994 and as acting archivist since the death of Archivist Jon K. Reynolds (COL ’65) on Jan. 2.

Conway said that she does not envision any immediate changes in the archives, but instead aims to continue the work done by Reynolds in his 30-year tenure.

“John had an amazing knowledge of the university . I would turn to him to ask questions. So in a sense I’m going to have to educate myself, especially about the early history of Georgetown,” Conway said.

The university archivist is responsible for preserving Georgetown’s historical records and documents. In addition, the archivist helps students, faculty, staff and those outside the Georgetown community find information about the institution.

The archives were established in 1816, which means that Georgetown has the earliest archives of any American university. Georgetown has had a university archivist since 1898, according to Conway. The long history of the archives and the early establishment of the office of university archivist has resulted in an unusually comprehensive amount of information about the early history of the university.

Meeting and helping people are some of Conway’s favorite aspects of the job. “People tend to think that work as a librarian or archivist is a hermit’s existence, but that isn’t true. I meet a very wide variety of people. Last month alone I helped 73 people, ranging from undergraduates, graduate students and faculty to a production company.”

Out of all the information, records and history in the archives, Conway said that her favorite things are from the university’s earliest years, when exacting tuition ledgers were kept. “There are some interesting things recorded in there. For instance, students were supposed to bring a silver spoon with them to Georgetown engraved with their initials. If they forgot to get their spoon engraved, that went down in the ledger. Then there are other things written down as well – even the cost of guitar strings.”

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 GU Archivist Reynolds Dies at 57 (1/14)

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