Meet Olivia Wood, the new Manuscripts Archivist
Posted October 9, 2023
Topics: Archives & Library

A woman sitting in a chair.A native of the Lima, OH area, Olivia Wood grew up in a household enveloped in history. As a child being raised by two educators—one of whom taught high school history for 25+ years—Olivia was taught to recite facts about Ohio history, which only fueled her spark for a career dedicated to preserving it.

Olivia graduated from Ohio State University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Minor in Education; during her undergraduate studies, she worked as a student assistant within the University Libraries. Post-graduation, she then transitioned into the role of Public Services Associate at Upper Arlington Public Library. In this role, she provided reference services, as well as worked directly with the Digital Archivist at UAPL to preserve Upper Arlington history until December 2019.

During the public lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, Olivia dedicated her time to working towards her Master of Library and Information Science degree at Kent State University in Kent, OH, from which she graduated in August 2021. Her degree is primarily concentrated in Archival Studies within Cultural and Heritage Informatics. Throughout her graduate studies, Olivia served as the Intern Archivist at the Ohio Genealogical Society, a position she began in February 2021. In addition, she successfully completed a research fellowship through the Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board (OHRAB) during the Summer of 2021.

An 1892 photograph of a group of students at Ohio State University standing in front of a small grotto by Mirror Lake.

An 1892 photograph of a group of students at Ohio State University standing in front of a small grotto by Mirror Lake.

In August 2021, Olivia accepted a position as Archives Assistant at the Ohio State University Archives. In this role, she supervised student workers, managed the Archives’ social media accounts, answered reference questions relating to Ohio State University history, and provided archival research for patrons. Olivia worked to provide digitally accessible content to researchers using the OSU Archives services, much of which included reconstructing how and why the collections are being used, by whom, and incorporating inclusive language and content for patrons.

At OHC, Olivia will join Matt Benz in overseeing the management, preservation, and acquisition of historical manuscripts. She is particularly excited for this position because she can contribute to preserving Ohio history, as well as building off her previous fellowship while researching for OHRAB, which included the documentation of Ohioan manumission records from previously enslaved peoples who fled from their captivity in the South.

In addition to her professional work, Olivia serves as the Assistant Coordinator to the Special Collections Division at the Ohio Library Council (OLC). Her professional portfolio, HeyOlivia, showcases her previous work and projects.

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