Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa has been an active practitioner, educator and consultant in the field of cultural heritage preservation for 30 years. From 1985 to 1987 she was project archivist (supported by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission) at The Johns Hopkins University Peabody Institute. In August 1988 she was hired as the first preservation officer for the University of Texas at Austin General Libraries, and in 1996 she became the first Digital Programs Librarian for the General Libraries.
Ellen was the founding director of the William and Margaret Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record, a position she held from 2005-09 in the University of Texas at Austin School of Information. During her nine-year tenure in the School of Information, 2000-09, she taught courses in digitization and preservation management, advised and mentored students pursuing Certificates of Advanced Study in preservation administration and conservation, served on doctoral committees, and spearheaded collaborative educational initiatives. Between 1989 and 2009 she managed federal, state and private grants and contracts totaling $6 million for collections preservation, faculty and student support, and educational symposia and projects. She served as president of the Association of North American Graduate Programs in Conservation from 2005 through 2009. Ellen received an MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin and holds an Endorsement of Specialization in Administration of Preservation Programs for Libraries and Archives from Columbia University's School of Library Service.
She is currently a doctoral candidate in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, with an expected graduation date of fall 2014. In fall 2009 she was awarded a Newberry Renaissance Consortium Grant to undertake research on Paul N. Banks, founder of graduate education in library and archives preservation and conservation in the United States. Ellen received a Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Department of American Studies for academic year 2012-13.