Profile: Gerald Chaudron
Native New Zealander Gerald Chaudron brings a wealth of international and academic experience to his position as an archivist and assistant professor at Mitchell Memorial Library.
Chaudron received his doctoral, master's and bachelor's degrees in history from the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand. In 2002, he became certified to teach English to speakers of other languages from Trinity College in London.
That same year, Chaudron received a bachelor of broadcasting communications from the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. And in 2007, he gained his master's of library and information science from Louisiana State University. In between obtaining these degrees, he also taught in Japan for three years and in China for five.
As an archivist, Chaudron works to describe the university library's numerous collections. This includes processing manuscripts and photographic collections, including arrangement, description, writing finding aids, and preservation.
"We preserve and describe as appropriate. The archives are grouped in a way so that people can pinpoint and find what they need," he said.
The large range of collections at the library focuses mainly on Mississippi, with in-depth descriptions of half of the more than 680 collections already available online, thanks in part to Chaudron. People from all over the world can find the collections online, and several television documentary shows have used the archives for research.
While many may compare Chaudron's work to that of a librarian, there actually is a bit of a difference between the two roles.
"Archivists describe a group of objects, whereas librarians describe singular objects," he explained.
Chaudron also became a published author last year, with the release of "New Zealand in the League of Nations." Stemming from his dissertation, the book details the country's relations with the League of Nations, tracing New Zealand's steps toward developing its own foreign policy.
"Part of the fun of being a historian is getting to actually 'discover' things for yourself," Chaudron said.Writer: Margaret Kovar | Photo: Megan Bean
Next week … John Taylor Schaffhauser !