Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version

Winter 2005

Document Type



Documentary Editing, Volume 27, Number 4, Winter 2005. ISSN 0196-7134


2005 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


I would like to give you a little background on how I came to be in documentary editing. I've loved history ever since fifth grade. Then in the summer after eighth grade my father and I took a genealogy class. I decided to research my great-great-grandfather, who served as a captain in the Civil War. For the research I went to the State Archives. Once there, I was enamored with it all. On my sixteenth birthday all I wanted to do was to spend the day researching at the Archives in Raleigh. I declared that "I'm gonna work there some day." Sure enough, after getting my undergraduate degree at Wake Forest University and working at the Archives during the summer and on Saturdays, I was lucky enough to become a full time archivist in 1984. Shortly thereafter, I became a certified archivist. I then decided to obtain an MA in Public History at North Carolina State University. As part of that program I took a documentary editing class, taught by Jeff Crow. I decided then and there that that was really what I wanted to do. It was the perfect blend of research, writing, and working with original records. I graduated from the program in 1988 and tried three times to get a job with the Historical Publications Section, to no avail. Finally, in 1996, I was hired as the editor of the Iredell Papers. In 1998 I became a certified public manager, which essentially served as a death knell to my hands-on editing. In 2001 I was promoted to administrator of the section where we publish North Carolina history, just like university presses. I am in a unique situation in that I have the luxury of editing, being paid by the state to do what I love, and I also decide what Archives and History will publish, with help of course. I am extremely fortunate to be a history major and actually working in my chosen field.