In Memoriam: Susan von Salis

Susan von Salis, associate curator of Archives at the Harvard Art Museums, died December 2012 after a long battle with cancer. Von Salis is best known to GSLIS students as an Archives program internship supervisor. During her tenure at the Harvard Art Museum Archives, she welcomed GSLIS interns every semester. Hosting internships was a vital part of her work as an archives professional, and she was deeply invested in the development and success of newcomers to the field.

Before becoming curator at the Harvard Art Museums Archives in 2003, von Salis was a manuscript processor and information system administrator at the Schlesinger Library from 1986 until 2002. She was active in professional organizations, including the Society of American Archivists, New England Archivists, and New England Museum Association, and she was on various committees for each. During her 25-year career in archives, she taught a number of GSLIS continuing education workshops and presented at meetings on topics such as EAD, museum libraries and archives, and archival outreach and advocacy.

As one of Susan von Salis' former interns, I can attest that her generosity with her time and expertise was remarkable. Her enthusiasm for the work was infectious, and her guidance strongly influenced not just the kind of archivist, but also the kind of person, one aspires to be. She was a wonderful mentor and friend to emerging and seasoned archivists. Her outreach to everyone, and her kindness, is a great loss to us all.

Article by Megan Schwenke '13LS

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